Rickshaw Run South India

The Details: Rickshaw Run South India

The newest rickshaw-shaped slap around the chops. South India is a veritable banquet of awesomeness. It’s chock full of marvellous shit to see, excellent places to go and has backroads that your will make you tingle in all the right places, and not only due to the potholes.

After looking at the map for a while, we’ve decided to chuck this little spicy route into the mix. And what a mix it’s turning out to be. It’s like an innocent-looking cocktail that will actually make you fall over and possibly wee yourself a little.

Here’s all the information you need to round up a couple of mates and drive a 3-wheeled shit box through South India. 1000 kilometres of ridiculousness awaits.

1. The un-route

You’ll either start or finish in Kochi depending on the direction of travel. The birthplace of the Rickshaw Run, Kochi is nestled down on the Malabar Coast. You’ll be surrounded by tea plantations, backwaters and national parks full of wildlife.

At the other end, you have Goa. Famed for its Portuguese heritage, chilled vibe, palm-fringed beaches and rather spicy nightlife. It’s been firmly on the tourist map for many a decade now and it’s very clear to see why.

In between Fort Kochi and Goa is pretty much anything you could ever wish to see whilst bouncing along in your tinny steed. South India is absolutely rammed with very cool shit.

The coast is a big draw for many, but spice that up with some inland driving through the Western Ghats, and you’re onto a winner. Don’t underestimate the Ghats - the highest point is 2700m above sea level, so they’re pretty bloody big.

Each edition goes in a different direction but the Rickshaw Run South India is equally stupid and glorious whichever end you start from.
Rickshaw Run India by James Neale

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2. The dates

Pioneers Edition - February 2025

UNROUTE: Fort Kochi to Goa

7th February: Pre-adventure beers
8th February: Test driving, team briefing & launch party
9th February: Launch day
14th February: Finish Line & Party

March 2025

UNROUTE: Goa to Fort Kochi

28th February: Pre-adventure beers
1st March: Test driving, team briefing & launch party
2nd March: Launch day
7th March: Finish line & party
Rickshaw Run India January 2020 - by Chris Jelf

October 2025

UNROUTE: Fort Kochi to Goa

10th October: Pre-adventure beers
11th October: Test driving, team briefing & launch party
12th October: Launch day
17th October: Finish line & party

November 2025

UNROUTE: Goa to Fort Kochi

7th November: Pre-adventure beers
8th November: Test driving, team briefing & launch party
9th November: Launch day
14th November: Finish line & party

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3. Entry fee & what's included

£2,295 per rickshaw and you can squeeze three of you into one of these marvels of engineering.

That makes it £765 each for a team of three.

You can pay in instalments too, chopping the fee up into monthly chunks.

What you get for your money

  • The Rickshaw

    A 3-wheeled, 4-stroke air-cooled rickshaw, pimped to your own design with insurance and all the other necessary paperwork

  • Pimp your rickshaw

    Submit your design from home and our team of artists will paint anything you want on your vehicle, including your charities or sponsors logos. We recommend matching your adventuring attire with your pimp job for maximum impact.

  • Test Driving

    Designed so you can learn to be master of your 3-wheeled destiny. It also includes how to switch your rickshaw on, how not to stall it more than you actually drive it and how not to let it fall over when taking on things like corners or potholes. Our driving instructors are on hand to assist and answer all those pesky questions like "how does it go forward?"

  • Rickshaw Repair Lessons

    We have a team of most excellent auto-rickshaw mechanics who will give you the basics of how to tinker with your chariot when it inevitably breaks down.

  • Team Briefing

    Pre-launch briefing on the chaos about to be unleashed and a Q&A with our splendid crew.

  • Swag

    We like to give you some stuff along the way. So each team member will ceremoniously receive...

    - A Rickshaw Run patch to prove your metal
    - A Rickshaw Run T-shirt in case you forget spare clothes.

  • Tool Kit

    We give each team a basic tool kit for fixing up your steed once released into the wild.

  • Launch Party

    A ruddy great big knees up including dinner, some free drinks and awesome local live music.

  • Launch Day Ceremony

    An official send off ceremony on launch day.

  • Finish Line & Finish Party

    We set the stage for your finish line photo and round things off with another bloody great big knees up to swap tales from the road. Much back slapping and quite a bit of falling over is likely.

  • The Adventure

    One week of being slapped about the chops with everything India can throw at you and your glorified lawnmower. Adventuring stupidity at its very finest.

  • The Knowledge

    We'll be on hand by phone and email to answer your questions before the adventure. Our team of experts can advise you how to get to the start line, the best outfits for the parties and our recommended blend of Darjeeling tea.
    Plus the team handbook packed with pre-adventure info and updates on your Run.

  • A community of likeminded idiots

    And we'll introduce you to Rickshaw Run India veterans if you want a chat. Most importantly you get the company of fellow Adventurists, a collective of genius-idiots drawn to the call of overland stupidity.

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4. The rickshaw

The world's greatest three-wheeled adventure machine. They don't go round corners very well. Or uphill. Or very fast at all, unless you're going downhill. All of which makes them the perfect vehicle for tackling a massive chunk of Indian-flavoured chaos.
  • Make


  • Engine

    4 stroke, single cylinder, air cooled

  • Engine Size


  • Transmission

    4 forward, 1 reverse

  • Fuel Capacity

    8 litres

  • Top Speed

    55kmph (ish)

  • Power

    7 HP at 5000 rpm

  • System Voltage

    12V, DC

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5. Pimp my rickshaw

A few weeks before you set off for India you submit a paint job to our team of rickshaw pimpers. These guys are actual real artists when they're not painting rickshaws. But when they are painting rickshaws they turn your 2D vision into a life-sized custom masterpiece.

The more absurd and original the design the faster and more reliable your rickshaw becomes. This might not actually be true, but you are probably 2% more likely to be helped when you break down if you’ve got a giant smiling Ganesh painted on your trusty steed.

Not only does this mean your ride looks shit-hot, but the layers of paint accumulated over the years give the Rickshaws almost 0.5% extra structural durability, which is almost entirely useless.
Rickshaw Run January 2020 by Chris Jelf

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6. Driving license & insurance

Driving Licence

To drive any vehicle in India as a foreigner it’s a legal requirement to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). So make sure you have this. The IDP is an extension of your driving license showing the vehicles you're licensed to drive and translating the information into multiple languages.

Auto rickshaws are classed as ‘light motor vehicles’ in India which means a Category A or B Stamp in your IDP normally means you're all set.

Vehicle insurance

Your rickshaw comes with the legally required third party vehicle insurance and the registration documents you need to drive in India. But be aware the cover is limited and rarely used in practise. Claims are often settled at the time on the roadside, in cash. If you damage a vehicle or injure an animal or person it's likely you'll be asked to pay up in paper money there and then.

Travel & Medical Insurance

You'll need travel insurance that covers you for exactly what you're doing and exactly where you're going. We wouldn't scrimp on this one. We might make the odd joke about how dangerous this all is, but when the shit really hits the fan you'll want decent medical and legal cover as an absolute minimum. Imagine how proud your family will be when they get a $50,000 hospital bill because you were too lazy to do a bit of boring paperwork for your adventure, then go and sort the boring paperwork instead.
Rickshaw Run India by Davide Bozalla

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7. Saving the world

Not only is the Rickshaw Run an industrial dose of adventure, it’s also about Saving the World. We ask every team to raise a minimum of £500 for the official charity Cool Earth, who work alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.

Anything above this can be raised for any other registered charity of your choice.


We need to save every rainforest in the world so future generations have somewhere to get stuck. Not because we’re tree hugging sandal weavers, but because the world would be shit without them. It’s not about the carbon off twatting, the point is rainforests are indescribably excellent.

How do we raise the cash?

The best way to raise these funds is through your friends and families, people you work with or anyone who's got a dirty little secret only you know about. We've found that the best way to collect these funds is to set up a fundraising page on the Cool Earth website. Your donors can chuck cash their way via your page and it saves on fees. You can also use other fundraising platforms such as Justgiving.

You've got until 2 weeks after the end of your adventure to raise the minimum amount of £500. Teams often raise the most cash while they're on the road and just after they get back, but it's wise to start your campaign early.

If you don't raise £500 by the deadline, unfortunately you will go to hell. Together with Cool Earth we give you tips and resources to help you fundraise. Then 2 weeks after the finish line party we will pester you for your final total. But don't panic, we won’t set any dogs on you, or force you to sell your children. We will be very, very disappointed though and do a sad face at you.

The warning

These are genuinely dangerous things to do. The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.

This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.

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8. I'm ready - sign me up

Registration is open now. Press the button of adventuring destiny and set forth into the unknown in a glorified lawnmower.

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9. Subscribe and follow

Follow the Rickshaw Run

Follow The Adventurists

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10. Contact us

+44(0)117 422 3400

[email protected]

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