Travelling the length of India in, as the name suggests, rickshaws, the Rickshaw Run covers nearly 3000km. Picture: theadventurists/instagram
Travelling the length of India in, as the name suggests, rickshaws, the Rickshaw Run covers nearly 3000km. Picture: theadventurists/instagram

Experience India from the back of a rickshaw

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 25, 2019

Share this article:

India's size and diversity are also its downfall for those who only have two weeks off work, but want to experience all India has to offer. The Adventurists believe they have the answer…the Rickshaw Run.

Travelling the length of India in, as the name suggests, rickshaws, the Rickshaw Run covers nearly 3000km of India’s west coast, starting in Cochin and finishing in Jaisalmer in January and vice versa in April. 

There is no set route for entrants,with the only two obligatory rules being to "get off the tourist trail" and "experience the real India". It is hard for participants not to oblige, given driving in rickshaws means sticking to major roads isn’t advisable and breakdowns in random places way off the beaten track are inevitable.

View this post on Instagram

Ever been chased by a massive sandstorm in India while driving a tiny open sided rickshaw with a top speed of ‘oh shit definitely not enough’? . No? Then jump on our £150 discount for the Rickshaw Run April 2020 and you could be in with a chance of being swallowed by flying sand like Tommy and his mates. . This is an early entry to our #RickshawRun photo competition (there’s £1,750 of adventure vouchers up for grabs for the winner.) - head to for all the details. . This shot was taken by @tommynicholls - we applaud you for stopping to capture the moment with that bad boy rolling towards you and your three-wheeled lawnmower. . Tommy is a quadruple @theadventurists veteran so we’ll be posting more from his adventures. He’s already done: . Rickshaw Run April 2015 . Monkey Run Peru September 2017 . Monkey Run Romania Pioneers Edition . And he just got back from the Rickshaw Run Himalaya September 2019 . Excellent service record Sir and a fine contribution to the fight to make the world less boring. . #MongolRally next? . #adventurist #theadventurists #adventuristsveterans #adventuretravel #sandstorm #chasedbyasandstorm #rickshawrunindia #instatravel #instaadventure #india #indiaadventure #incredibleindia #rickshawadventure #overland #adventure #adventurerally

A post shared by The Adventurists(@theadventurists) on Nov 16, 2019 at 3:46am PST

Using rickshaws for the run isn’t just because they’re fun to drive, although that definitely helps. Travelling such massive distances in a car or on a bus often means the world would passes by in a blur, but do it in a rickshaw and you find yourself immersed in a different world. 

The traditional vehicles are remarkably well received by the locals and the lack of windows mean you are properly absorbed in every situation you encounter, whether you like it or not.

View this post on Instagram

‘Not all those who wander are lost’ . ‘A journey is measured in friends rather than miles’ . ‘The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever’ . Someone commented on this inspirational post by three man #MongolRally2019 team @all_aussie_adventurers asking who the 4th person is… . “The first person we could find who agreed to hold hands with us 😆” . Mongol Rally Instagram heroes at work. . #liveyourbestlife #holdhandsforadventure #travelinspo #tripofalifetime #thejourneyneverends #sunsetsofmysoul #bestfriendstraveltogether #travelinspiration #inspirationaltravelquotes #instatravel #travelfun #theadventurists #mongolrally #cappadocia #turkey #terriblehashtags

A post shared by The Adventurists(@theadventurists) on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:29am PDT

There are huge parties at the start and the finish line, but apart from that, during the actual journey, you’re on your own, which is all part of The Adventurists ethos…”planning your own route gives you the freedom to go at your own pace and take in the sites that interest you. Want to look for tigers, rhinos and elephants in the nature reserves? Go for it. Want to check out hilltop temples and hidden yoga retreats? Why not? Prefer to do a local homestay and cook with a local family? Good call. The rickshaw is the perfect tool to take you to your definition of adventure.”

There is some pointers and advice given before you set off, to ensure you at least know how to use a rickshaw and do some basic mechanics.

Adding extra colour to the Run is the fact that all of the 85 rickshaws, which carry up to three people, are "pimped up"; with teams given the opportunity to create their own designs back home, before local artists in India bring the rickshaws to life with said designs.

The stories that come back from the runs are even more colourful, with tales of glorious sunsets over the Ganges, enjoying traditional festivals and spending lazy afternoons teaching local children to play golf, mixed in with more unusual tales of racing around go-cart tracks, over sexed cows and the gentleman bonding with locals over moustaches.

The feel-good factor is boosted further by the fact participating teams have raised over £2 500 000 for charity since the Rickshaw Run’s launch in 2006; truly topping off what, for many, is the adventure of a lifetime.

The Rickshaw Run has three planned editions in 2020, one in January, one in April and another in August. 

For more details visit, where you can also find out about Rickshaw Runs in the Himalayas and Sri Lanka.

Share this article: