Summing up Nano Superdrive

on Monday, June 28, 2010

This one image effectively summarizes the Tata Nano and Nano Superdrive

From TataNanoSuperdrive
At each city, we have been holding Nano Carnival, a get together function for Nano owners in the city. We collect feedbacks from them and I spent some time going through the comments and feedbacks. Almost all of them open heartedly praised Nano.

As we're getting ready for the closing ceremony, just recalling all wonderful moments we had during past 26 days...

Superdrive Concludes in Mumbai

on Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yesterday afternoon Green Route Nanos arrived in Mumbai and we handed over the cars to Concorde motors. That was the end of Nano Superdrive after an incredible 5300+kms.

Things have been different since then- My schedule has suddenly changed- No landmark activities, no long drives, no next city to visit :(. Couple of people from back office who used to make daily calls to check if everything has been fine, spoke with heavy heart on Friday, as that was the last time they would be calling me to check if everything is fine...

The other two teams, Saffron and White also arrived in City today and I met the other two official bloggers after a month's time.

We're all looking forward to closing ceremony tomorrow evening, in the presence of Mr Ratan Tata.

It was great experience travelling with the nanos all over south India. Please stay tuned to this blog and my primary blog, for continued updates.

With warm regards
Shrinidhi Hande

Chota Nano ka Mota manual

While nano may be a small car, its workshop service manual is small by no means. Running into few hundred pages with detailed sketches and instruction, workshop manual is fairly thick and reminded me of my college reference books...

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Thankfully owner's manual is much simpler version
From TataNanoSuperdrive

"It looks pretty cute"-Goan girls on Nano

We took bites from a few FM Winners in Goa, who got an opportunity to test drive Nano...

From TataNanoSuperdrive
listen to them

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Big FM Goa: RJ Aryan, Uday and Namratha on nano

Backlog post. In Goa we had 3 RJs of Big FM accompanying us with over 10 winners, who'd gathered along with their family members...

I spoke to the RJs after their test drive, about their Nano experience...

Winners in Goa with Nano

From TataNanoSuperdrive

RJ Aryan
From TataNanoSuperdrive

RJ Namratha
From TataNanoSuperdrive

RJ Uday
From TataNanoSuperdrive

All 3 RJs with Nano
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Nasik Mall activity pics

on Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nano attracted Saturday crowd at Nashik city centre mall...

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Winners of games

From TataNanoSuperdrive

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Shobiz team: Shiva, Devaiah and Ravi
From TataNanoSuperdrive

From TataNanoSuperdrive

New Member in our convoy

While travelling from Solhapur to Nasik, we had a minor incident. On the highway, a cow decided to take an abrupt turn and came in front of our red car. Before something could be done, there was a collision. Car's front part- bumper and bonnet got smashed, while the cow fell off on its stomach. No one was hurt. The cow got up, recovered from its shock and ran away, while we had to continue our journey with the red car. There was no harm to the functionality of the car and we could drive it till Nasik.

From TataNanoSuperdrive

I was in a different car ahead in convoy and learnt about the incident only a few kms ahead. A rather unfortunate incident but thankfully no one suffered any injury. Our event manager, Shiva, who was in a car behind, described how he saw the cow abruptly crossing the path of the car and how nothing could be done to avoid a hit...

Eventually, we had to replace the car with a different one and for the last 2 days, we got this new white Nano cx for company. The red car was favorite of many, particularly FM and media people. Currently it must be busy getting back in shape :)

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Kolhapur to Solhapur Journey

Our journey from Kolhapur to Solhapur was through typical Maharastrian roads and scenery. Typical black soil, lots of donkeys around, fairly scenic farm land on both ways welcomed us.

Flag off from Kolhapur

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Crackers burnt to mark the flag off...
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Pitstop at Pandit Automotive, Sangli
From TataNanoSuperdrive
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Negotiating a road full of sheeps
From TataNanoSuperdrive

A truck full of jack fruits
From TataNanoSuperdrive
From TataNanoSuperdrive

We realized that most of the milk produced in the region is used for tea alone and there're hardly any curd or curd based food items available in hotels. The roads were 2 laned and just drivable, but were still tolled!

We covered the 220 odd kms and reached well ahead of estimated time and retired for the day

Nasik landmark activity pics

Each landmark in Nasik was pretty far from one another. We first went to Panchavati, a religious place with temples, river and pilgrims taking holy dip. The parking area was almost full, but we eventually got some since place, thanks to a few drivers who winningly took their vehicles little away, to make space for Nano.

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Second place was Dada Saheb Phalke Memorial, located on the outskirts of city, off Mumbai Highway. A nice hillock on the backdrop (with some caves on it) would be the place I'll explore next time when I visit Nasik...
From TataNanoSuperdrive

3rd destination was the Mukthidham temple
From TataNanoSuperdrive

What's up in Nashik?

on Friday, June 25, 2010

As Nano Superdrive brigade toured around Nashik town today, 2010 Rally of Maharashtra is also happening in the pilgrimage town of Nasik...

The technically challenging and physically daunting Rally of Maharashtra will kick-start the SPEED FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2010 for four-wheelers , the most prestigious event of the Indian Motorsports calendar on June 25-27 with the cream of talent in the country descending in Nashik for the first of the seven legs. The Ceremonial Flag Off will be on Thursday June 24th 5pm at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan while the Champagne Shower will be on Sunday 27th followed by the Prize Distribution for SPEED FMSCI INRC 2009 at a gala party in the evening.
-Read full details

And the interesting connection here is that both the above Rally and our Nano Carnival (Nano customer meet) are handled by the same Emcee... ;)

1 lakh car & 1 Rupee Phone call

Ek lakh a car, aur ek rupye main India main kahin bhi phone call! This Marathi signage suggests you can call anywhere in India for just One rupee...

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Spotted near City Park, Solhapur

Solhapur Customer Meet pics

Solhapur's Nano customers were invited to Hotel TripurSundari

Couples enjoying the balloon game. They were required to keep dancing to the music, holding the balloon between their heads, without touching it or letting it fall.

From TataNanoSuperdrive
And this great couple were the winners of the same, surviving for longest time with the balloon
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Fish the Nano
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Ravi Mehta trying his hands on professional photography...
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Water Bottles- Top view
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Lights boy was playing with the switches like a harmonium, by pressing alternative switches in various patterns to create the lighting effect...
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Post event pic:
Emcee Shilpa with Event Manager Ravi and Nitu
From TataNanoSuperdrive

5000 kms completed

Green Route has completed 5000 kms on the odo yesterday. I was too busy driving that I couldn't take a snap when it was at exact 5000 kms. We've just about 200kms more to go before we reach Mumbai. Feels great to recall what a remarkable month we had covering entire south India

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Nano Carnival and the Nano Seal

I should have written more text than I've written so far. But time constraints, poor connectivity had clipped my arms. Now that I've got some time and decent speed, watch out for more articles and writeups

At each city, we've Nano Customer Meet, called Nano Carnival. Its more of a party and entertainment than a formal meeting. It involves lots of games and entertainment, music and of course buffet dinner. The entry is by invitation only. (Nano customers in that city, and a few FM Radio winners are invited)

Access control is very critical in events like this, (to ensure that uninvited people do not get in) and after verifying the invitation of the Tata Nano customer, he/she and his/her family members will be let in, after putting a seal on their arms. This seal is the basic rubber stamp with Nano logo on it and helps identify that a person's entry has been confirmed. Even at resorts and clubs a hand ribbon or a seal is always used to identify authorized customers.

From TataNanoSuperdrive

Regular party goes are used to this mode of authentication and readily extend their arm for the seal. For others this is a new experience and they take it with good spirit. I've seen a few kids showing discomfort towards this and trying to rub it off...

In Mangalore, one esteemed gentleman, who came pretty late to the event, almost got ignited when the guy manning the door touched his hand to put this seal. "What is this? What are you doing? I'll write to Tata Motors!" was his reaction. The poor guy, who was a college student,working part time for an event management co in Mangalore (to which Tata Motor's event management co Shobiz had sub contracted) was taken aback. The gentleman was eventually allowed in without the seal but I am still wondering what text would have gone into his letter/mail if he were to write about this to tata motors!

Kolhapur's Mercedes Benz connection

Kolhapur, as a city is fairly small in area. The streets are poorly maintained, with no traffic signals in operation. However Kolhapur is a very ancient city, famous for its food, headwear, footwear, jewellery, wrestling and religious connections. According to legend it was settled by Kolha-Asur, a demon who was later killed by Mahalakshmi to relieve the local populace. However, honoring the demon's dying wish, the city was named after him.

As we passed through Kolhapur, we recalled that Kolhapur city also houses several rich businessmen. Apparently, Mercedez Benz had opened its second dealership in Maharastra at Kolhapur, after Mumbai. We were told that long ago, when a rich business man from Kolhapur went to Mumbai to place an order for a Merc, the staff and show room said "Sorry sir, we don't deliver to small towns like Kolhapur" This aggravated the the businessman completely.
sea-side Shri_merc2
(Above: File photos of me with Merc)

Back home, he met his peers in Kolhapur and all of them together, went to Mumbai and placed a bulk order for 110 Mercedes Benz cars. This shocked and surprised Merc officials, including those sitting in its headquarters. Subsequently Merc opened a dedicated showroom in Kolhapur and rest is history. (Read a related Times of India article)

And now, Kolhapur seems to have a competition. It looks like rich people at neighboring Aurangabad have placed a bulk order for 114 Mercs (details), half of them for the E class and rest split across categories...

Unfortunately I couldn't meet any of those super rich people in Kolhapur, but managed to click this poorly clad gentleman counting crisp notes by the road side...His face was intentionally avoided to protect his identity...(Isn't that a great way of covering up my photographic mistake? ;D )

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Right now I am dancing to this song from the movie, Mamma Mia...
Money Money Money... its so funny... in a rich man's world!

Statutory disclaimer: All information mentioned in this post are sourced from private and unverified sources and may not be fully accurate. The post is published in the individual capacity of the blogger and written purely as an information pertaining to his city of travel and no other intentions. Readers are advised to cross verify the information before interpreting the same.

Solhapur landmark pics

on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nanos at Datta Mandir Chowk

From TataNanoSuperdrive

At City Park
From TataNanoSuperdrive

At Sat rasta...
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Day 11-Day 20 Activity Summary

For the benefit of those who are unable to follow the green route blog on a daily basis, here's a brief summary of our Day 11 to Day 20 activities (for Day 1 to Day 10 summary check this post)

Day 11: Mangaluru to Calicut
We were flagged off from Automatrix, Mangalore by about 10am and were supposed to reach Kochi by night. However, narrow NH17, heavy rains and traffic ensured that we could reach only half way, till Calicut, on Day 11. We halted at Calicut and left for Kochi early morning on day 12

View Day 11 photos and text * Mangalore's stock broker Ramesh's feedback on nano can be viewed here (He drove with us from Mangalore till Kasargod)

Day 12: Calicut to Kochi and Kochi landmark activities
We left early from Calicut (or Kozhikode or Kallikote) and reached Cochin by 11 AM. We visited Chinese Fishing net and two churches in Kochi

Kochi landmark pics * Kochi Media Coverage *

Day 13: Kochi to Coimbatore
The drive was scenic. Road was reasonably good. Rain was occasional and distance was about 200kms. We reached Coimbatore before evening.

Blog posts: Day 13 in pics *

Day 14/June 15th: Coimbatore Landmark activities

Posts: Coimbatore landmark pics * Test drive feedback * Radio winner's feedback * Preeti's feedback * Media Coverage * Puja Time *

Day 15: Coimbatore to Chennai: 500+kms
We started fairly early as we'd to cover 500+ kms and reach Chennai. We drove through the scenic Mettur Dam. Drive through western Ghats was fun and later we hit 6 lane superhighway and from there all nanos cruised at their top speeds...

Day 16: Chennai landmark activities
Big FM Radio winners * Customer meet pics * Nanos at Trident Hotel * Chennai landmark pics * RJ Akhila of Nano *

Day 17: Chennai to Bangalore
About 390 kms distance was covered well ahead of time, thanks to great roads (heavily tolled roads though). Traffic at Electronic city to Madiwala, Bangalore's dreaded traffic jam zones was minimal, may be due to the new elevated flyover.

Blog posts:Flagoff pics

Day 18: Bangalore landmark activities
TV9 Coverage * Blr landmark pics * Nanos in front of Vidhana Soudha *

Day 19: Bangalore to Kolhapur
This was the longest route in our entire trip, but covered in about 12 hours or 9.5 hours excluding break. We drove across the state of Karnataka and re-entered Maharastra at Kolhapur, through which we'd already passed during our Pune-Goa journey, thus completing full circle.
Blr-Kolhapur in pics *

Day 20: Kolhapur landmark activities

We covered two circles and a heritage building in Kolhapur...
Posts: RJ Manish on Nano * RJ Anaya on Nano * Shalini Palace Kolhapur * Nano's at Taramani Chowk *

That's how our day 11 to day 20 went... Standby for more

Kolhapur Radio winners speak about their Nano Ride

Kolhapur Radio Winners spoke to the RJ about their Nano Experience...

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Listen to them

Authentic Maharastrian khana

After our landmark events in Solhapur, we went to the residence of Shobiz's local vendor. He treated us with authentic maharastian lunch, that included chapatis, aam ras (mango extract), chutneys and other side dishes.

From TataNanoSuperdrive
For the first time in the trip we all sat down comfortably on the floor and ate something. (Except for our event manager, Shiva, who couldn't sit down due to an injury.
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Above: Nitu, Ravi Mehta and Shiva of Shobiz.

The food was great and homely and was quite a break from our regular hotel food

A biker slips off...

As we left Kolhapur and headed to Solhapur, it started raining.

We were driving on a 2 lane road and suddenly became witness to an incident... A bike rider skidded off the road and fell down. Bike fell upon him and he was struggling to get out.

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Thankfully there were no other bigger vehicles heading in the same direction. A fellow biker and others rushed to the rescue and the bike was lifted. The man escaped without any serious injuries...

This was the first incident we witnessed during our trip.

From TataNanoSuperdrive
Tip of the day... Car is relatively safe.. Upgrade to a Nano...

India ka public loves Nano...

on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A proud dad clicked a photo of his son, with Nano, near Kamat Upachar, Tumkur

From TataNanoSuperdrive

How's it inside? A curious person peeks inside the Nano... At Surat
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Saar, idu diesel nalli barutta? (Sir, is this available in diesel?) an Autodrive in Bengaluru asks us
From TataNanoSuperdrive

Standby for more such photos...