Given all its troubles last year, it is no surprise that the Nano is seeking divine blessings as its commercial launch date nears.
While two factory-fresh Nanos — one white, one silver — were driven to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Friday for blessings, on Sunday afternoon, yet another Nano made its way through the narrow, crowded lanes outside Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s dargah in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Tata officials with the car offered a chadar at the shrine.
“Ratan Tata himself instructed that the blessings of different leading shrines of our pluralistic country should be sought before the Nano hits the road,” said one of the five officials who travelled in the car to Amritsar, refusing to be named.
With the plant that will eventually manufacture the Rs 1 lakh car still being built at Sanand in Gujarat, the model taken to the Golden Temple was assembled at the factory in Uttarakhand, 400 km away. “We drove down from Pantnagar,” said the Tata official.
The Nano in Ajmer was built at Pimpri in Maharashtra, airlifted from Mumbai to Jaipur and driven down, said a Tata Motors dealer.
The Nano drew huge crowds everywhere. “Wherever we stopped for lunch or tea, hundreds would gather,” the Tata official said. “Many wanted to test-drive the vehicle. We allowed a few to do so.”
“It was both a spiritual journey and a test of its road worthiness,” said Rishi Dada, managing director of Dada Motors, Tatas’ authorised dealer in Jalandhar and Ludhiana.