Cholistan Jeep Rally

Posted on May 27, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Photo of the Day, Travel
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Owais Mughal

Cholistan Jeep rally is an annual 3-day even of fun and adventure which takes place in choilstan (also called Rohi) desert of Pakistan. Every year an increasing number of participants have been taking part in the event with their numbers reaching 80 in the 2008 edition of the race. So far four editions of this annual events have been organized by the Tourist Development Corporation of Punjab(PTDC).

Following photo is credied to Mr. Yasir Nisar and was taken on March 9, 2008 .

Cholistan, Pakistan, Jeep Rally

I like the above photo because it has captured every flying grain of sand and stone around the participating jeep of Cholistan Rally in a time-frozen space.

The rally is 218 km long and makes a loop along the famous Derawar Fort.

Cholistan, Pakistan, Jeep Rally

The photo above has been referenced from the Cholistan Jeep Rally page at

Twelve checkposts are establised along the route of this rally.

1. First CP is set up at Qasaiwala at Km 9.7 from the opening point near Derawar Fort.
2. Jamoon Wala CP is set up at 25.9 km,
3. Nawan Kot at 50 km,
4. Gandawala at 70 km,
5. Bijnot at 97km,
6. Bandhal at 124.4 km,
7. Rasool at 132 km. There is a refueling facility available at Rasool.
8. Khangarh mor at 144km,
9. Khangarh Fort at 156 km,
10. Hangola at 169.3 km,
11. Bharoon Wala at 176km, and
12. Last CP at Sat Khoh at 199.3 km.

The rally consists of several events which includes Engine Inspection, a qualifying 5-km race on the dry bed of River Chenab, a welcome dinner at the historical Noor Mahal, palace of Nawab of Bahawalpur, a route checking drive and the real race. Prize Distribution Ceremony follows the race. The vehicle covering the 218-km distance in shortest time is declared winner in each of the four categories. The Prize money in 2007 edition of the race was Rs 100K, Rs 70K and Rs 50K for the first three positions in each category.


2. A collection of VIDEOS of Cholistan Jeep Rally
3. Cholistan Rally Coverage at

19 Comments on “Cholistan Jeep Rally”

  1. Zaka says:
    May 27th, 2008 3:02 am

    This year Cholistan Jeep Rally plans to raise Rs 100,000 in food aid for poor and needy of Cholistan.

  2. Wasiq says:
    May 27th, 2008 7:16 am

    Having so many vehicles racing through a fragile and relatively unravaged natural environment is a cause for concern. Heavy tires and the sand ruts they create, not to mention the littering crowds that will follow these jeeps, should worry those of us who cherish the wildlife, fauna, flora, and historical architecture of the Cholistan region. I would have been a lot more supportive of efforts to protect and conserve the little nature that Pakistan has left — perhaps by walking, rather than driving, through this magical region near my parent’s native city of Ahmedpur Sharkia.

  3. Tina says:
    May 27th, 2008 9:08 am

    great–rich boys with loud toys tearing up the fragile desert ecosystem of this historical area. Throw a tiny sop to the poor and voila! now they are philanthropists as well.

    Why an Cholistan not be developed without destroying it for the fun and games of the wealthy?

    Making a place suitable for tourism takes more than turning it into grounds for a bumper-derby that sets a poor example. What about conservation and building something instead of encouraging that kind of wasteful consumption of precious fuel? Good grief.

    Who can race there anyway? Mostly just foreigners?

    Not very accessible to the average run of people, is it?

  4. Haris Siddiqi says:
    May 27th, 2008 11:08 am

    I think it is a great way of bringing an often ignored area of Pakistan to limelight. I hope it gathers traction amongst the enthusiasts and I would love to take part in it one day.

    Armored corps of Pakistan Army uses the same desert for training. My friends who are concerned about the negative effects of the rally on local environment, please consider that 80 cars running for a day can’t do even a fraction of damage that 100 tanks can do in a month long training but we shouldn’t stop that either.

    As far as the waste of fuel is concerned, I’d rather we waste it this way so there is less of it available to set buses, tires and people on fire :-)

  5. Ali Dada says:
    May 27th, 2008 11:53 am

    This is wonderful. I wanted to go to Dubai for off-road desert driving in a 4X4 vehicle. Now I can save the money and go to this place for fun.

  6. JK says:
    May 27th, 2008 2:33 pm

    Of course, this further encourages the desertification of our once green lands.

  7. ShahidnUSA says:
    May 27th, 2008 10:08 pm

    Who knew blowing dust would have its own rewards.
    Prize money should be donated to charity.
    Participents have their fun and adrenalin rush while racing.
    This is how you entertain the rich and feed the poor.
    Caution: Safety gears and barriers.

  8. May 28th, 2008 2:30 am

    This is good as according to ‘Zaka’, Rs. 100,000 wd be given as food aid to people in Cholistan….

  9. Tina says:
    May 28th, 2008 9:55 am

    The charitable donation is less than half of the prize money being offered. So this is not exactly Edhi principles in action.

    As for those who talk about tanks–military is also a group of rich boys with loud toys, so what difference?

    One needs only look to the former grasslands of Balochistan, at the time of Partition populated with cheetah and antelope, where literally every living thing has had a bullet put through it by Saudi princes on hunting holidays. The province is now a howling desert with empty “hunting lodges” and the princes have moved on. Truthfully, there isn’t even a hare in Balochistan these days.

    There has to be a more sustainable way to make money than allowing the wealthy to obliterate the environment for pleasure and then leave.

    Can there be no eco-tours developed for Cholistan? Even the country extremely poor country of Suriname has managed to create an eco-tourism niche in order to save its rainforest, instead of buckling to the pressure to clear-cut it. I think a balance must be possible.

    We had a similar issue at our Sleeping Bear Dunes national park–millionaires assumed they had a right to fly in and drive ATVs over the dunes and then leave us with the destruction, the pollution, and the cleanup. Fortunately this was put a stop to before the dunes were too much damaged, but it wasn’t without a fight.

    If you don’t have to live there and the world’s your playground, then everything is just play. So it’s amazing how seriously angry these people get when you ask that they play somewhere else. Sometimes I really believe the rich are like spoiled children, whose only pleasure is in breaking every thing around them and forcing others to accept it.

  10. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 28th, 2008 11:56 am

    @ Ayyashi, Maghrib-zadagi, Ghurbat ka mazaq,
    it should be banned, shameful attitude,
    Roti, Kapra, aur makan in 4×4 petrol consuming,
    mussawati USA Jeep. !!

    Adult’s delinquency in Pakistan, how’s that ??

    Sassi Punno, Cholistan mein

    Thalon mein nikkaltay hein,
    4×4 mein yun “sassi” kay,
    Yeh Becharray comerades,
    Bachay bigray howay amiron kay

    Goya, thaikay pay day dia ho,
    Punno ki ghurbat ka jawaaz
    Hanstay hongay jenab-e-Ahmed Faraz,
    Peettay hongay jenab-e-Jalib sar apna
    Dhool urti hay, to becharay Faiz kay gharibon par.
    Rafay Kashmiri

    Tamam Shu’ara ka ehtram lazim hay !

  11. Ali Dada says:
    May 28th, 2008 5:15 pm

    So having fun in a desert area whose economy is cash strapped anyway is not acceptable?

    What kind of environmental damage are you talking about? Lets see, it is a ‘desert’ area and the cars are running on a ‘track’…not freestyle off-roading.

    Just imagine if this becomes a major race – than there would be better management, huge revenues generated, and Pakistan would be known for yet another good reason.

    You can stop this race and frankly speaking, other neighbouring nations will take advantage and lure our drivers in.

    We were the first country to host Twenty-20 tournament in cricket but somehow – we didn’t make it the next big thing. Indians realized this and now they have 2 huge things- ICL, IPL.

    So, go ahead kill off the Cholistan jeep rally and I guarantee you will see a Rajisthan jeep rally.

  12. Harris Siddiqi says:
    May 28th, 2008 5:17 pm

    Come on guys, enough crying. What environmental damage is expected from changing the order of sand particles underneath the tires of a jeep?

    And whatever money was given to charity is more than the charity had before the rally.

    The “rich” and spoiled army guys do the training in the desert so 180 million people can sleep in peace.

  13. SAIMA says:
    May 28th, 2008 5:22 pm

    I care deeply about the environment and about the poor but I think some people here are making a needless fuss about the race. Yes it would be nice if more than just 100,000 was given to the poor in the region. But, frankly, that is 100,000 more than NOTHING. The attention that this would bring to the region might also bring with it better policies and investment in the poor. No, I do not think that the race will change the fortune of Cholistan. But it can really do more good than harm.

    being critical is good but sometimes just criticism for criticism’s sake serves no purpose.

    Thanks to Owais Mughal for a nice post.

  14. September 5th, 2008 5:33 am

    inshallah we come next rally again to perform drift

  15. habib says:
    March 7th, 2009 11:33 am

    hey to get latest news bt jeep rally 2009 …check out forumm

  16. Furqan says:
    April 21st, 2009 4:48 am

    I am a painter and designer living in rahim Yar Khan city in cholistan. I am finished now to paint this jeep’s scene. it apealed me when i saw it first time. I dont know the owner of this jeep or who was driving this jeep. if anyone knows please contact me at 0300 6730378.

  17. bonobashi says:
    April 21st, 2009 12:21 pm

    @Ali Dada

    Somebody’s been taping your conversation:

    Enjoy ;-)> and hope you do lots of slides in this one some day soon.

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