Bollywood exploring Kashmir for future projects

Bollywood exploring scenic backdrops in Kashmir for future projects

Bollywood bigwigs arrived in Kashmir on Thursday for a four-day visit during which they are expected to interact with media, travel and trade associations

Credit: Reuters Photo

The big banners of Bollywood are exploring scenic backdrops in Kashmir these days for their future film projects.

The top names which are exploring options include Ajay Devgan Films, Sanjay Dutt Productions, Reliance Entertainment, Rohit Shetty Films, Zee Studios, Adhikari Brothers & SAB (Marathi), Endemol, Rajkumar Hirani, Excel Entertainment besides representatives from Producers Guild, Mumbai.

The Bollywood bigwigs arrived in Kashmir on Thursday for a four-day visit during which they are expected to interact with media, travel and trade associations and the Valley’s film and line producers.

Soon after their arrival in the city on Thursday, the 24-member delegation of top-notch banners and other artists visited the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir.

According to officials, the Bollywood caravan will also scout for locations at Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir before concluding their visit. “Kashmir has been receiving good response from the Bollywood filmmakers since the opening of the tourism here in addition to the country’s regional entertainment houses for shooting song sequences and commercial ads,” Director Tourism, Kashmir, G N Itoo, said.

He said Kashmir is a natural backdrop for the filmmakers and the department has been making it easy for them to get permission for shooting. Celebrities who recently visited Kashmir include singers Jubin Nautiyal, Guru Randhawa, Salman Ali, former actress and model Sana Khan, music composer Salim Merchant, TV host and anchor Aditya Narayan, business tycoon Anil Ambani and most of whom visited Gulmarg.

Owing to its natural beauty, Kashmir was an integral part of Bollywood films till the insurgency in the late ‘80s and the latter lost its connection with the Valley. However, as the situation improved over the years, Bollywood again returned to its choice locations in Kashmir. Legendary Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra shot his last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan in Kashmir in 2012.

However, civilian unrest which broke out in the Valley after the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, not only dropped the arrival of tourists to Kashmir but also kept Bollywood crews away.

While Kashmir has been struggling to bounce back as a preferred tourism destination, industry majors hope that the arrival of Bollywood crews will be the first major hope.