See why old Land Rovers rule in rural West Bengal
Sandakphu, West Bengal - This tiny rural village, one of the remotest places in India, sits at an altitude of 3636m near the Nepalese border, way up in the Himalayas.
The only way in or out is from the nearest town, Maneybhanjang. The tortuous 31km gravel road is little better than a pony track, with towering gradients, rockstrewn surfaces and unpredictable weather just some of the hazards. If you ask anybody in Maneybhanjang the way to Sandakphu, they'll point up!
Which is why the locals rely on a fleet of hard-used but well looked after Series Land Rovers, dating back as far as 1957, for daily transport up and down the treacherous route. This small community has more than 40 of them, which is why this remote corner of West Bengal is known as the Land of Land Rovers.
And that was reason enough for the maker, celebrating the 70th anniversary this year of the Land Rover’s world debut at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, to go up there and bring us the fascinating glimpse of a world where simplicity equals durability, a true illustration of appropriate technology.