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Tata's Full Throttle is fit for a jungle experience

The highest density of tigers, we were told, was in Bandhavgarh, which meant we were pretty much guaranteed a sighting. So with that in mind, we set off from Delhi towards the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh as part of the Tata Motors Full Throttle Jungle Experience.

You see, the Full Throttle events are organised by Tata Motors, in collaboration with Cougar Motorsports, for Tata SUV owners to get a feel of the true capabilities of their cars. This particular expedition, aptly titled the Jungle Experience, traversed a route through three national parks, hitting Panna, then Bandavgarh and finally ending at the Pench national park.

A pearl white Tata Safari Storme was my companion on this drive, and with the initial checks done, we set off fairly early from Delhi with Gwalior in our sights. This route had us taking the now famous Yamuna Expressway, which, for the uninitiated, is a stretch of road that connects Delhi to Agra. A six-lane wide road with visibility as far as the eye can see and little to no traffic is what it actually is. So, naturally, Agra came and went by pretty quickly, with the Safari’s speedo pegged at unmentionable speeds. A quick break for lunch along the way and we were back on the road again. There wasn’t much to see on the way, so we figured it’d be better to push on to Gwalior instead of dilly dallying about.

It wasn’t exactly an easy drive that day, but we still decided to step out after reaching the hotel, to take in the local sights and sounds. First up on our itinerary was the Gwalior fort, and by the time we were done with the light and sound show there, I was about ready to collapse into the nearest bed. So much for sightseeing, then.

Day two started with the news that the road between Gwalior and Jhansi was pretty much non-existent. Hey, we were in a convoy of SUVs, bad roads could be easily conquered, I thought. Never was I so wrong. Despite taking it easy, the road still managed to get the better of the cars, puncturing a few tyres and rattling up the suspension on a few of the other models. Thankfully, after Jhansi, the roads smoothened out quite a bit. They were still quite narrow, but at least the fillings in our teeth were safe for the rest of the journey. In fact, just as I was just getting into the groove of powering the Safari Storme through the bends, we’d reached Panna, our stop for the night. Oh well, there was an early morning jungle safari that I had no intention of missing, so an early dinner and some rest was in order.

The tiger reserve itself is open to the public only for three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening, so an early start is needed if you’re to catch a glimpse of any wildlife. Though I didn’t spot a tiger – it seems our group just missed out on it – there’s still plenty of other fauna to ogle at, plus, the national park itself is beautiful and worth a visit for sure.

And with that came the end of my journey. It was with a wistful glance at a fast disappearing convoy of Tata Full Throttle vehicles that I picked up my bags and headed to the airport. Maybe I'll get to go Full Throttle another day, then!