After witnessing the magnanimity of the Kumbh in Prayagraj, where we commenced the fourth edition of the Toyota River Drive, we drove our Toyota Fortuner to Kanpur to take a brief look at its leather industry. The city is popularly known as ‘The Leather City of the World’ and is one of the largest agglomerations on the banks of the Ganga. We also spoke to some locals who said that the tanneries in Jajmau and Unnao have been affected by the Kumbh Mela. The Ganga, while flowing past Kanpur picks up millions of liters of effluents from the tanneries and continues past Prayagraj, where the Kumbh is about to begin on the January 15. Hence, strict orders from the NGT has confined the production capacity to half, in order to curb pollution. The Toyota River Drive is truly opening up our perspective on how we look at India’s most important river.
Meanwhile we have been driving our Toyota Fortuner through crowded cities and seamless highways. Toyota’s flagship SUV in India, the Fortuner, is a splendid cruiser and one can easily cover hundreds of kilometres without getting tired. In fact the ride is so relaxing that Rohit and Alameen, our photo and videographers, have been dozing off for hours in the comfortable rear seat. The suspension set-up is well balanced and the SUV doesn’t rattle over the bumps and broken tarmac. In fact, it encourages you to drive over the bad patches and then it just glides over them. The rear ac of the Fortuner can be controlled separately and the fan speed too can be adjusted uniquely for the rear passengers. Oh, and what a nice and towering view of the puny and low slung vehicles on the road.