After making headlines last year for driving 23,800 km from Delhi to London in 97 days with her two friends, Nidhi Tiwari is back with news about another jaw-dropping expedition.
By completing a 5,000 km solo road trip in Siberia in the freezing winter, 35-year-old Nidhi has become the first Indian to drive to the coldest permanently inhabited place on earth — Oymyakon in Siberia, also known as the Pole of Cold.
Nidhi specialises in outdoor education, off-the-road jeep drives, and also has a lot of experience in long-distance and high-altitude driving. She has founded a platform called Women Beyond Boundaries to connect and encourage women taking up adventurous expeditions.
“So.. it turns out that I did not get lost in the Siberian wilderness or get frozen to the bone, nor was I eaten alive by wolves and neither was I consumed by the spirits of the North… Happy to share that I have finally completed the journey from Yakutsk to Magadan and back.. having left deep tyre tracks at the pole of cold in Oymyakon. No doubt that it’s been a journey both within and outside. Thanks for your wishes and cheers,” Nidhi wrote in a post on the official Facebook account of Women Beyond Boundaries.
According to a report in The Huffington Post, Nidhi travelled in a loop from the world’s coldest major city Yakutsk to the port town of Magadan and back.
The 13-day solo trip through Siberia was not a piece of cake as the temperatures would be as low as minus 59 degree Celsius. Nidhi says that the Delhi-London trip, in which she was the only one driving the car throughout, prepared her for this extreme expedition. In Siberia, the real challenge was the weather and the remote landscape.
Nidhi prepared for the expedition by driving in high-altitude areas in her Toyota Land Cruiser to build up her stamina. She planned every day of the expedition meticulously.
The region gets only three hours of daylight in winter, which meant she had to drive mostly in the dark. She’d drive for over 10-12 hours a day.
The trip was organised as an educational expedition to this remote region and 15 Indian schools had partnered with her. The expenditure cost between Rs. 8-10 lakh. Throughout her journey, Nidhi was interacting with the students, informing them about the experiences on the go.
A driver to the core, she spent an extensive period in her youth trekking in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and soon after, she was leading treks and expeditions to the remotest places across India. She started jeeping out of the necessity to drive on challenging terrains and eventually took up long-distance driving.
A mother of two and an Army wife, Nidhi has driven to Ladakh, Lahaul, Spiti, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, northeast India, as well as to different destinations in the US, South Africa, Europe, London and now, Siberia.
Nidhi always has the full support of her husband and children, but convincing her parents took some time. “My parents struggled to make sense of my interests and passion when I was growing up. It was a tumultuous time and then they were proud. I think my family is still trying to figure out my DNA,” she said.
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