Have you felt freedom while travelling? Well, our special guest and very loved Sita from Ramanand Sagar’s mythological drama Ramayan - Dipika Chikhlia says that travelling makes her feel liberated and humble. From gazing at the expansive sky to feeling heavy when the trip ends, take a look at Dipika’s exclusive travel interview where she shares many unheard stories and travel experiences that are close to her heart.
Call her a travel buff but her love for road journeys is real. A true traveller at heart, scroll down to know why?
: What is travelling for you?
Travelling for me is freedom. All the worries quickly fall off the window as I look up at the expansive sky. Travelling somehow makes me feel humble and free.
: What’s the most fun childhood travel memory?
I had a lot of fun travelling during my childhood days as my dad was a government employee. We used to travel with him to all the places he was posted at. From travelling extensively in the South to many road trips to Mahabalipuram, I cherish all those car journey’s. Even today, travelling by car puts me back to a very relaxed mode.
: Which place in India is close to your heart?
My sister is very dear to me and she lives in Baroda. So I think Baroda is close to my heart because of my sister. I also love Goa, I don’t think anybody can deny their love for this fascinating beach place in India.
: Which places in India did you travel while shooting for Ramayan?
Oh! We haven’t travelled much because most of the shooting happened in studios. All we did was Narmada and that’s about it. But after Ramayan got over we travelled everywhere for promotions. From Mauritius, to UK, Tibet, everywhere!
: Who is your favourite travel buddy?
Initially we used to travel a lot with our family friends but ever since my daughters grew up, they have become my favourite buddies. From advising me on clothes, makeup, what to put in and what not to put in, they are always there to help me.
: One unique travel experience that moved your heart?
Italy always fascinated me but for some reason my trip always got cancelled. So when I finally made my way to Italy, it moved my heart. But I also feel that travel in general makes me relaxed and calm. I have this strange issue of not coming back home even if I have a beautiful house and all the luxuries of life. Returning back home somehow is saddening, it always moves me.
: Which place you won’t mind being stranded at?
I would love to be stranded in Switzerland. It is one place from where I never wish to come back. I love the tramps, scenic beauty and everything about there. I went there for my honeymoon as well.
: Any Indian destination you would like to be stranded at?
Anywhere in the mountains, Shimla possibly. I went there almost a decade back and it was really charming.
: Which place in India would you like to travel with your parents?
: Which unique festival of India is a must see?
There is this festival called Anyottam which is held at Guruvayoor Temple in Thrissur. The unique ritual of the elephant race is pretty fascinating. I went there for shooting when I actually got a chance to witness it and trust me, it was a visual treat.
: Name a person whose travel diary you would like to read.
I would love to read the travel diary of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi because his International presence is quite impactful. He has brought some commendable changes. Another person who inspires me is the famous author, Mark Tully. Having worked with BBC for 30 years and authored about 9 books, it will be very interesting to read his travel diary.
: Name one place in India from where you feel nothing is far.
I think my home is a place from where nothing is far. All I need to do is to decide and go wherever I want.
: If you have to go on a girls trip. Which place in India would you choose?
Bangalore and Leh Ladakh
: What’s your biggest fear when you are travelling?
I am a bit paranoid about losing my bag because I have experienced it once. If I don’t see my bags on the conveyor belt, my heart starts beating fast and my stomach starts churning till I actually spot them. For short trips, I usually carry my overnight bag and keep it with me. The fear of losing my bag bothers me a lot.
: What’s your all time favourite dish from India menu?
With such diverse platters of India, it's hard to pick one dish for a foodie like me. I like Khandvi from Gujarati platter and Mishti doi from Kolkata. I love Chole Bhature, I cannot mention one dish.
: What’s the weirdest food you have ever tried?
Once in Madhya Pradesh, I tried a sabzi made out of sev, it was a gathiya kind of a thing made with milk. It was not weird but very different. This unique dish still fascinates me.
: What’s the best travel advice you have ever received?
When you pack your sarees, jeans, tops, toiletries and whatever you are carrying in small bags, you always end up opening a neat bag at the airport security or even at home. I really loved this super handy advice.
: What’s one travel habit that you want to change?
I don’t think I will be able to change my habit of packing too many things. Even if I am travelling for two days I carry six pairs of clothes because I am never sure if I would like it or not once I am wearing it. I carry an oversized bag whenever I travel.
: What will you drop if your baggage exceeds?
Nothing! I won’t drop anything. I would pay and take everything. I feel miserable later but I can’t part with my things.
: What’s the most expensive thing you have brought on a trip?
I over indulge in cosmetics when I am travelling abroad. I pick a lot of fancy bags and sunglasses from duty free.
: Which destination in India is on your bucket list?
Rose to prominence with her iconic role as Sita in Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan, the super talented actress Dipika Chikhlia instantly became a popular household name. After the huge success of Ramayan, she gave back to back stellar performances in many TV serials, Bollywood movies and regional films. Recently conferred with an award and title of ‘Made In India Icons 2021’ - her depiction as Sita garnered the same love even after 3 decades when the show was aired once again on Doordarshan last year. Last seen in Bollywood film, Bala in 2019, Dipika is very picky about projects that keep coming her way ever since. Actor, painter, politician, dog lover, avid traveller and whatnot, certainly her superlative persona is hard to match. Don’t you agree?
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