Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali, who concluded the shooting of his upcoming flick 'Highway' in Kashmir, is busy attending guests and observing traditional marriage ceremonies in Srinagar. "It's a sophisticated culture," said Ali, who is fond of Kashmir's crewel work, décor and dresses.
In 2011, the director rekindled Bollywood's lost link with Kashmir by shooting Ranbir Kapoor starrer 'Rockstar', which has glimpses of Kashmir weddings, dress and architecture.
The director - who boasts of making 'Highway' cast, Aalia Bhat and Randeep Hooda, and the crew lose weight "despite gorging on splendid Kashmiri food" --- is busy binging on the courses of Wazwan, local cuisines, in Srinagar where he is busy attending a wedding of a relative for the past four days.
"There is so much that Kashmir has to offer, it is amazing. Yet you always feel you have only scratched the surface. I am very excited about Kashmir in 'Highway'," said Ali. Unlike the past shooting locales, Ali chose to trek for fresh and virgin locations this time.
"The team has had to trek 2-3 km every day to reach those picturesque real locations in Kashmir. They have been shooting in the upper reaches of Aru valley in the small hutments of the local shepherds called 'Bakarwals', who are always seen travelling with their flock of sheep across the mountains," said Ali.
The team 'Highway' has also already shot at the snow-clad upper reaches of Chandanwadi which has absolutely breathtaking views, which is around 3,000 feet above the sea level.
"This has been a very different Kashmir for us. We trailed with the Bakarwals who are nomadic shepherds and with them saw the high slopes and streams of upper Himalayan mountains," said Ali.
Kashmir is one of the six states, along with Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal, where the movie is being shot. 'Highway' is presented by Sajid Nadiadwala, has music by maestro AR Rahman and will release worldwide on December 13, 2013. "I am hopeful to shoot my next film at Gurez (near Line of Control)," said buoyed Ali.