Amrutha Kashinath and Shubra Acharya are out on a mission to challenge stereotypes and warnings against women travelling alone. By Shrimayee Thakur
Against seemingly insurmountable odds, two women bikers, Amrutha Kashinath and Shubra Acharya completed a journey most can only dream of undertaking: a trip from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, to Leh in Ladakh, in just 129 hours. Their feat has earned them a place in the Limca Book of World Records, as it is the fastest South-North tour done by women on a motorcycle.
According to reports, Amrutha had clarified at the end of their journey that they had no prior plans to complete the long journey in such a short time frame. It was only later that they decided to take this up as a challenge, and finished it within five days.
Despite several constraints against women undertaking long journeys alone on grounds of personal safety, among other concerns, Amrutha and Shubra prevailed in their determination to set a new standard for women travellers. Amrutha also said that generally women in India don’t travel alone, and feel more secure with a male companion. Amrutha and Shubra wanted to change this notion.
The remarkable trip taken by the two women was completely sponsored, and both had to take training sessions over the course of months to prepare themselves for it. Both Amrutha and Shubra are frequent travellers and have been on multiple trips together over the past eight years.
According to Amrutha, the two passionate bikers have covered approximately 2 lakh kilometres around the country together. They have also covered the terrains of other countries, such as Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
Undertaking such a journey comes with its own challenges, the most difficult of which, according to the two women are juggling their sleep schedule while travelling. According to Shubra, managing a minimum of five hours of sleep while having to get up early the next morning was quite difficult. Ladakh’s Tanglang La Pass proved to be one of the most challenging stretches, due to its proclivity for snowstorms and rains.
Their story is motivational or all women travellers in India who are hesitant to take up journeys on their own. Amrutha and Shubra have exemplified the power of determination and strong will.