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Once upon a time, in the land of the five rivers, Punjab, a bunch of daredevils  gathered near the city of Hoshiarpur! The occasion you ask? Toyota’s Great 4×4  Expedition. It was two days filled with off-road shenanigans, adventure, and, of course, a pinch of chaos. This uproarious tale might tell you a bit or two about  the thrilling world of off-roading!

The adventure kicked off at the Gaj Retreat, Hoshiarpur, a picturesque location  set amidst Punjab’s natural beauty. Participants, their hearts filled with anticipation, arrived to embark on a thrilling two-day journey. After checking in,  the afternoon sun bathed the retreat in a warm glow, setting the stage for an unforgettable expedition.

Toyota Hilux
The Playground

At noon, we got together for a briefing session, starting with introductions. This  was what felt like a grand family reunion — you know, the one where you have  that one quirky uncle you can’t help but laugh with. No adventure talk is complete without the mandatory do’s and don’ts talk. More like a moment, where the wise elder imparts life advice — some we take seriously, and some, well, not  so much.

The moment of joy arrived as we were introduced to our trusty steeds for the  journey, the iconic Toyota Hilux. The Hilux, renowned for its remarkable off-road  capabilities, promised an exhilarating experience navigating through Punjab’s diverse terrains. Excitement was in the air, and with keys in our hands, we were ready to roll.

Toyota Hilux Convoy
Toyota’s Great 4×4 Expedition was more than just an adventure; it was a  two-day odyssey

The Great 4×4 Expedition was like a ‘come one, come all’ event for the 4x4s. We  had a mix of everything, like a vehicular circus where everyone had their tricks.  And leading the parade was the imposing Land Cruiser, a bit like the ringleader of our automotive circus.

Day one was a wild ride, quite literally. We ventured onto a dry riverbed trail  filled with rocks, bumps, and surprises. It felt like the kind of rollercoaster you  can’t wait to get off but would hop right back on. There was some good-natured grumbling as we got to know the Hilux, its perks, and quirks.

Toyota Hilux
Rain rain go away, mighty Hilux wants to play!

When we finally reached the beautiful river, the real show began — the river  crossing. The Hilux went into 4 Low mode, and with the subtlety of a tightrope  walker, crossed the river without a fuss. A photo-op followed, complete with Chai and Pakodas. It felt like we were in a Bollywood movie, all we were missing was  a fantastic song with some great moves.

Later, on our way back, we crossed the river once more, this time under the  fading sun’s golden glow, transforming the river crossing into a scene worthy of a postcard.

Toyota Hilux Crossing A River
Hilux navigating through the river

The dawn of the second day saw the crew wake up with a spring in their step and a twinkle in their eyes, ready to face the uncharted Punjab terrain with the mighty Toyota Fortuner. Our convoy set off with music that belonged to a bygone  era, letting the early 2000s indie pop tunes paint the atmosphere with a sense of nostalgia.

Kikar Lodge, a massive 1800-acre property surrounded by Kikar trees, nestled  amidst the Shivalik foothills near Ropar, was our lunchtime stop after a convoy  drive of 75 km. The scene was nothing short of picturesque — like a scene from a  travel brochure. Lunch was amidst lakes and natural terrains, making us feel a bit like we were in paradise.

Toyota Fortuner
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner?

During our visit, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Amarindar Singh Chopra,  fondly known as Mr. Kikar, the owner of this beautiful property. He graciously  gave us a tour of the grounds and shared a fascinating tidbit – he owns a Toyota Fortuner 4×4, which he uses to explore the property and enjoy the occasional off-road session.

We embarked on a trail exploration that felt like a blend of a scavenger hunt and  a slapstick comedy show. Unexpected showers transformed the terrain into a playground of mud and muck, and we couldn’t help but laugh as we navigated  this new challenge.

Toyota Hilux Convoy
Our convoy set off with music that belonged to a bygone era, letting the early 2000s indie pop tunes paint the atmosphere with a sense of nostalgia

With the sun’s return, the mud began to dry, revealing a clayey playground of  fun. We took turns behind the wheel, testing our vehicles on obstacles that could challenge even the most daring circus performer.

As the sun shone brightly above, we gathered for coffee and shared stories of our off-road escapades. It felt like a casual meet-up with old friends, only the topic of conversation was our incredible 4×4 adventure.

Mahindra Thar
See-sawing its way out of a ditch

The expedition concluded with a trail leading to a mesmerizing overlook, where  we planted trees as a symbol of our commitment to reducing our carbon  footprint. It was like the ending scene of an epic movie, complete with a heartfelt  message of environmental responsibility.

During the expedition, we delved into the technical aspects of our 4×4 vehicles,  from downhill assists to the intricacies of 4 Low and 4 High modes. Modifications were also on the agenda, as we explored how these enhancements affected our off-road performance.

Toyota Hilux
Hilux tackling obstacles without breaking a sweat

In the end, Toyota’s Great 4×4 Expedition was more than just an adventure; it was a two-day odyssey filled with shenanigans and memories to last a lifetime. As our vehicles roared and our tires spun, we left with mud-splattered grins  probably planning our next rendezvous with the 4x4s.