Abhishek’s tryst with Kedarnath
Adirector who has delivered hits in various genres, Abhishek Kapoor, with his films — be it, the musical drama Rock On!! (2008) or the buddy flick set against a tense political backdrop, Kai Po Che (2013) — has been slowly making a mark in the Hindi film industry with his work. The 47-year-old, who travelled to Kedarnath, talks about his experience in the snowy region of Uttarakhand. Excerpts:
Tell us about your experience in Kedarnath.
Kedarnath was an enriching experience. The people, their culture, the language and the terrain are a stark contrast to cities. There is a mental elevation that sparks instantly the moment you step out and leave the urban setting behind and enter the mountains. It’s exhilarating. What was the most beautiful moment of your trip? Undoubtedly , the darshan to Kedarnath Temple. I can’t shake off that heady feeling. The morning aarti starts at 6.30am, the sun hasn’t risen yet and it’s freezing — but you’re in union with all the devotees and their overwhelming devotion. The passion in the atmosphere is indescribable — just experiencing it is enough.
Tell us about the food culture in Kedarnath?
Simplicity is the essence of the food there. We explored the local dhabas, and ate vegetarian home-cooked food. When it comes to restaurants, there are a few options around the temple, but not while trekking. Fortunately, we stumbled upon an old Garhwali couple who offered us a delicious feast.
What did you shop for, and how was the whole shopping experience? Did you buy anything that is exclusive to Kedarnath? This time, shopping was an indulgence out of bounds. Restful sleep meant everything. Though, I did take home something extremely valuable to me. I visited the home of a revered saint, a few miles away, and he gifted me a rudraksh mala that I hold close to my heart.
Did you happen to witness any local music or cultural performance during your trip? In Kedarnath, the general tenor of music was religious. Some of it has stayed with me. That’s usually the case with me.
Could you describe a few destinations in Kedarnath that you visited, and what did you like about those locations?
A few hours outside of Kedarnath is a mountain trek called Chopta. From there, we trekked to Tungnath Temple. The entire landscape is idyllic, tranquil and serene beyond comparison.
If given a chance to highlight a few aspects from this trip, what would they be?
The cold may have been freezing and the terrain treacherous, but people everywhere were warm and welcoming. We all came back fitter, hopefully evolved and a lot more gratified with life.
A panoramic view of the town
The lush green landscapes of Kedarnath