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When Cholistan Roars


My fellow bloggers and I kicked off our exciting journey from Multan- the City of Saints to Bahawalpur by road while making a quick pit stop along the way for one of the city’s specialty, mutton chops (champain) from a place near the Arts Council. Interestingly, the hotel that we were staying at during our brief stop at Bahawalpur, Galaxy Hotel, had been inaugurated the day before and we were their very first guests. Early the next day we left for the beautiful Cholistan Desert, locally known as Rohi and is only a bumpy 30-km ride away from the city of Bahawalpur. Upon reaching, we set out to explore the place, witnessing its many sand dunes and the famous Derawar Fort; while immersing ourselves in the heritage and culture reflected in the living style of the people of Rohi.

Famished after the day’s excursion, to say we attacked the delicious dinner hosted at Toyota’s Camp by IMC, would be putting it mildly and the party didn’t stop there as later we were entertained by the beautiful sounds of Folk music which left us spell bound.

The very next day at 9 AM sharp, right after breakfast; IMC took us to the rally tracks where we noticed that the majority of the cars participating were Toyota 4×4 SUVs. During the “Flag-Off”, the Pilot vehicle was also launched and the management of the IMC was present at the finish line to launch the branded vehicle, Vigo.

Owais Khakani who was driving a 3.0 L Turbo- Charged Diesel Vigo Champ modified for safety and performance was sponsored by IMC but due to certain technical issues with his vehicle was unable to complete the race.

The rally was to be stretched over a period of 2 days with the first day being devoted to stock i.e. original cars.

Results of the stock cars:

[tabs][tab title =”A. Stock”]Qadir Nawaz Sangi ( 2:41:57) – Miam Afzal ( 2:37:28) – Kashif Asghar ( 2:57:05) [/tab][tab title =”B. Stock”]Amir Magsi ( 2:41:57) – Bilal Ashiq ( 2:48:29) – Asif Aziz ( 2:50:43)[/tab][tab title =”C. Stock”]Abdul Rehman ( 3:03:06) Syed Ameer Ali ( 3:03:53) Ghulam Nabi Khan ( 3:08:22) [/tab][tab title =”D. Stock”]M Sajjad ( 3: 07: 46) Jam Bilal ( 3:08:04) Ali Waqar (3:23:51) [/tab][/tabs]

Second day to be devoted to prepared i.e. modified cars that have phenomenal safety and performance .

Results of the modified cars:

[tabs][tab title =”A. Prepared”]Sahibzada Sultan ( 2:30:54) Ronnie Patel ( 2:31:10) Nadeem NAeem ( 2: 42: 46) [/tab][tab title =”B. Prepared “]Jaffar Magsi ( 2:31:42) Jam Kamal ( 2:32:03) Zain Mehmood ( 2:33:59) [/tab][tab title =”C. Prepared”]Zaheer Hussain ( 2:31:17) Raja Asim ( 2:40:34) Dr. Noor Qamar ( 2:40:51) [/tab][tab title =”D. Prepared”]Mehboob Khan ( 2:41:44) Muhammad Iqbal ( 2:44:50) Dawood Abbasi ( 2:54:31) [/tab][/tabs]

My keen interest in cars made me curios regarding both events and was impressed to see the dedication and hard work that goes in to modifying the cars for this really, enabling them to go beyond their limits.

Courtesy of IMC, the bloggers and media cabinet were taken to the Vigo Fun Fest where they were given a chance to drive the new Toyota Hilux on the track and complete the lap time.

The top 3 results of the Vigo Fun Fest are:

1. Aurangzeb Khan ( 55.16 sec)

2. Abdur Rafay Alavi ( 57.47 sec)

3. Rizwan Bhatti ( 57.90 sec)


To promote adventure opportunities in the country and highlight the cultural and historical heritage of the area, Cholistan hosts an annual jeep rally during the month of February. Personally, I feel that the event can be better organized at a larger scale if the Government of Pakistan were to take a keen interest in the matter. Despite, special arrangements being made, the influx of four- wheelers as well as the heavy contingent of army personnel, rangers and the police created serious issues of traffic in the area causing accidents and minor clashes amongst the drivers.

There is no shortage of both tourism and adventure spots within the country that we have yet to fully explore fully cultivate as tourist destinations but unfortunately, none of this will be possible without the government’s help.

In the end, I would like to thank IMC @ToyotaPak for arranging such an amazing and adventures trip for car enthusiasts such as I; it truly was a memorable experience.

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