Alia Bhatt Is In Love With Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt is gradually emerging as the big Kashmir fan who wants everybody to shoot in Kashmir. She just concluded shooting her new film Raazi. Directed by Megha Gulzar, the film was shot in tourist resort Pahalgam in Kashmir.

“One had always heard of Kashmir as paradise on earth. But when I actually went there for shooting I realized this was really the most beautiful place I had seen on earth,” media reports quoted Alia Bhatt saying.

Earlier, in mid-April 2013, Alia shot for Highway, directed by Imtiyaz Ali in Kashmir.  The crew shot in Gurez, the valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kilometres from Bandipora district of north Kashmir, and some of the scenes were shot in Aru Valley and Chandanwari Pahalgam in South Kashmir. So spellbound is Alia by the natural beauty of the Valley that she wishes to visit again in the near future.

Actress Alia Bhat and her friend Akanksha Ranjan Kapoor in a Kashmir hotel. Bhatt was then shooting for film Raazi.

“And this time not for work but simply to look around,”  she said, adding that she had hardly got any time away from the shooting to actually see the place. That is sad, because her mother (actress Soni Razdan) was with her, and it would have been fabulous to explore the landscape.

Alia further said that when she used to have off time from shooting for Raazi, “my mother and I took a long shikara ride. That was unbelievably enjoyable and exhilarating. I didn’t get a chance to do it a second time.  But I will be going back. Because I want to just take in the stunning beauty of Kashmir,” she said.

Alia while opposing the view of the valley as violent said “I know people are scared to go to Kashmir because from the outside we’ve heard so much about the violence. But believe me, I saw no stress or violence anywhere while we shot for Raazi.” she said.

Ali added that throughout her journey, it was peaceful and invigorating. We had irreproachable security facilities (bandobast). But it was all tranquil, not a single untoward incident happened during the entire shooting schedule of Raazi.”

Alia also urged her Bollywood counterparts to plan their shoots in Kashmir to rebuild touristic confidence in Kashmir. Alia said that she has seen no strife or tension anywhere in Kashmir. “Everywhere we went we were treated with love and affection. I know Hindi films were shot extensively in Kashmir during the 1970s and 80s,” she said.

Alia said that now she can tell all the film crew in Mumbai who is interested in visiting Kashmir to shoot.  Alia said “please don’t go by what you’ve read and heard. It is absolutely safe to shoot in Kashmir. Go by all means.’  We need to go there more often to shoot our films. Only then will the rest of the people feel confident enough to visit the Valley and make it the tourists’ paradise it once used to be.”

The 25-year-old actress had been quite excited about her next release Raazi. The thriller features her in the role of a Kashmiri girl who gets married to a Pakistani officer played by Vicky Kaushal. The film was set to release on May 11, 2018. The movie is based on Harinder Sikka’s novel ‘Calling Sehmat’.

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