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The Desert Conqueror – Sucheta Kadethankar, The First Indian Who Crossed Gobi Desert


As a child, we all have heard the beautiful stories of Arabian Nights, haven’t we? From Ali Baba to Aladdin’s magic lamp, deserts will always be our fancy dreams. But on the contrary, a desert is as much as beautiful as it is wild and brutal. Desert treats no one kindly; she will grab you by the neck and kill you with a thirst for water if caught unguarded. The mere image of being lost in a desert gives us Goosebumps! So, how will you feel if I say recently an Indian girl crossed the wild, harsh and great Gobi Desert in 2011? Well, let us hear the story of the first Indian who crossed Gobi Desert here.

Sucheta Kadethankar – The First Indian to Cross Gobi Desert

The Birth of a Conqueror

Conqueror? Yes. 31st December 1977, in the wake of a New Year, Sucheta Kadethankar was born in Pune. Since her childhood days, she was a person who had adventures running through her veins. After completing her initial schooling in Pune, she started studying history at Fergusson College of Pune. Just like her real life, she had a thirst for knowledge in her educational background as well. Thus, she did not stop at history. She became a journalist, and after that, she took a course in IT as well. And currently, she is employed as a lead information Developer in Symantec.

Adventures By Soul – The Other Side of Sucheta Kadethankar

Apart from a versatile educational background, Sucheta was an adventure by heart. Sports were her favourite hobby since her schooldays. From trekking to cycling, Sucheta always gave a hard competition to her fellows in the field of sports and adventures. River crossing and desert walk are two things that she loves to do always. In 2008, she participated in trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. Also, she has already completed many treks in Sahyadri Mountains and Sinhagad Fort near Pune.

Sucheta Kadethankar during the Gobi Desert Expedition 2011

When Inspiration Comes From Passion – Hear Out Sucheta’s Incredible Gobi Expedition

“Gobi Crossing 2011.” The adventurous soul of Sucheta brought her in contact with the Explore Foundation of Ireland. And soon, she registered herself as a participant in the list of people who wished to cross the fifth largest deserts of the world. And among the list, Sucheta was chosen as one of the 13 selected walkers for the 60-day trek, covering almost 1600 kilometres.

The trek started from Bulgan towards the north-east direction of Khongoryn Els. Human habitation is absolutely rare in Gobi desert, and if you want to see the faces of people, you can only see nomads living in the midst of deserts in a house-igloo.

But the hardships that she faced during the trek were something else. At first, she suffered from flu that lasted for a few days during the early half of the trek. In the scorching heat of 47°C, she had to cover herself with sweaters. However, her bad luck did not end there. After recovering from the flu, she got kicked by a camel too. Also, she witnessed a scary three-day sandstorm during the trek. Due to such harsh situations, many people quit the trek in the middle but Sucheta did not. Surprisingly, she completed the trek in 51 days only.

The Desert Conqueror Sucheta Kadethankar

Awards After

Before she has won many awards because of her adventures but after the impossible Gobi desert trek, she won the award for ‘Most Inspirational Working Woman’. Also, her name made a place in the Books of Limca Records.


Nothing is impossible.’ If you can eye a goal, you can achieve it too. And no one can better explain than Ms Sucheta. The 40 years old women became the first Indian who crossed the Gobi Desert. Kudos to her!


Written By: Subharthi Bhattacharya


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