Surrounded by lush green meadows, snow-clad mountains and covered with dense vegetation, Bhaderwah also known as ‘Chota Kashmir’ is the latest destination for Bollywood. After 30 years, the shooting film ‘Love Jihad’, directed by Mukesh Mishra is in progress here.
The picturesque valley with its gurgling streams picturised in Farooq Shaikh and Poonam Dhillon starrer 1980’s film ‘Noorie,’ is once again seeing cameras rolling with Mishra’s film Love Jihad. The film is being shot with actors Sarfraz Ahmed, Keshav Arrora, Arjuman Moghal, Debolina Bishwash and Nigel Akkara.
The threat of militancy was a deterrent for over 30 years, but with the commencement of the shooting for Love Jihad in Bhaderwah after 1980, the violence seems to be a thing of the past.
"Those who don't have visited Chota Kashmir, I want to tell them that we are here enjoying and shooting in a very peaceful manner," says director of film Mukesh Mishra. According to him, 50% of the shooting will be held at Bhaderwah and the remaining will be shot in other parts of the country.
Mishra appreciated the local administration and the Bhaderwah Development Authority for providing them congenial atmosphere and security."Tourists like this valley a lot, when they hear about the Bhaderwah valley, they get very curious and when they come here, they really get impatient to see it," says Bhaderwah Development Authority chief executive officer Angraz Singh Rana.
Sanjay Chouhan, a local resident, said that after film Noorie in 1980, the shooting almost came to a halt after militancy erupted in the entire Chenab Valley, disrupting the source of income of many people dependent upon the tourism industry as it is the only industry in the hilly terrain. But with things improving now and the shooting of Love Jihad, we are hoping it will boost the tourism industry in the area, he added.
Bhaderwah Development Authority publicity secretary Aamir Rafeqi said that shooting of Love Jihad will attract more people to this place and hoped that more filmmakers will return to the Bhaderwah Valley that has unparalleled beauty, but was neglected for over two decades.
He added that tourists have been returning to Bhaderwah in recent years, which will revive the tourism industry, the mainstay of its economy until the insurgency erupted.