Lonely Planet Writer

How to travel across the Himalayas in a rickshaw

If you’re an adventurous sort with a huge level of experience under your belt, you might be up for the challenge of heading to India and taking a week-long trip across the Himalayas in a rickshaw.

You can cross the Himalayas in a rickshaw. Image: Mila Kiratzova

As well as having a unique experience, you will also be raising funds to help save the rainforests, during the week-long Rickshaw Run trip that takes place both in June and in September. According to the organisers, the Adventurists, this trip is strictly for seasoned adventurers. Participants will travel through dramatic mountain passes in three-wheeled, air-cooled rickshaws — aka tuk-tuks – as they travel from Leh to Shimla in June, and in reverse on the trip in September.

Crossing the Himalayas in a rickshaw is a huge adventure. Image: The Adventurists

The Adventurists are working with Cool Earth around saving the rainforests, so in addition to the cost of the trip, those embarking on the adventure are given a target of raising £1000 (€1163) to support this cause. The organisers also stress in no uncertain terms that participants should not overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

You can cross the Himalayas in a rickshaw. Image: Mila Kiratzova

“This is not a glorified holiday, it’s an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky,” they say. “You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. The only certainty of the Rickshaw Run is that you will get lost, you will get stuck, you will break down, and you will help save a bit of the world.”

Your rickshaw may break down along the way. Image: Mila Kiratzova

“Not only are you driving a very unsuitable vehicle on very bad roads in a very remote part of the world, you’re doing this at an altitude that would give a mountain goat vertigo,” they continue. “Being this high and oxygen-starved is detrimental to both you and your vehicle. These are genuinely dangerous things to do.”

Views of Leh city from the top of Leh Gompa in Leh Ladakh, India. Image: Beerpixs/Getty Images

To learn more about the Rickshaw Run, during which participants into contact with the local, semi-nomadic people who live in the Himalayas in yurt-style tents, please see the website here.