'Uncle' fame Karthika loves travelling solo

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Karthika Muraleedharan who made her grand debut through the Dulquer Salman starrer 'CIA' has charmed the Malayali audience again with her amazing performance in the movie 'Uncle.' It is the unique style of speaking, by mixing Malayalam and English, which makes her characters so endearing. Karthika is a self-confessed travel enthusiast who loves to hit the road whenever she gets some free time. Though she loves to travel with her friends, it is the solo trips that she enjoys the most.

Favourite hobby

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Karthika saves up her pocket money to set out for some interesting trips, mostly with her friends. "I usually go for trips whenever I am free. It is thrilling to travel with friends. Travelling with family, too, is special. Since I grew up in Mumbai, I have been to almost all the tourist spots there. When I was a child, we used go for outings every Sunday," says Karthika.

The young actress calls Mumbai a land of unending sights. The picturesque Aarey Colony is in fact her favourite destination in Mumbai. The suburban area, away from the bustle of the city, is full of lush greenery and fresh air. Karthika loves to head to the Aarey Colony whenever she wants to enjoy some alone time, unwinding and relaxing.

Holi celebration

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Karthika loves to celebrate all the north Indian festivals and Holi is quite special to her. This year, Karthika and her friends took a trip to the beautiful Pushkar to celebrate Holi in the most colourful way. The gang usually plans their trips without spending too much money as they travel using their pocket money. They travelled by train to Ajmer, from where they caught a bus to Pushkar. As Puskar is a land of many ancient temples, the Holi festival has a special significance there.

"The Brahma temple built in the 14th century is the most famous among the many ancient temples in Pushkar. We had a great time, smearing colours on each other, singing and dancing all the day. We spent three amazing days there. A special mystical feeling engulfs you while enjoying the enchanting beauty of the Brahma temple. We had dinner at the gurudwara, and it helped to keep a check on our budget. We spoke to the local people to know more about the place," narrates Karthika.

Love for the woods

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"I have always been in love with greenery and nature. I was in class 10 when I enjoyed the beauty of the forests for the first time. It was a leisure trip from school to the Gir forests in Gujarat. The Gir forest is the only place outside Africa where lions can be seen in their natural habitat. The landscape is full of woods and shrubs, and we even saw a leopard. I was able to see some wild animals for the first time, during that trip," revealed Karthika.

Solo trips

Karthika's parents hail from Kottayam and she visits their ancestral homes when she is in Kerala during the vacations. The actress completed her graduation in creative arts from the Srishti School of Arts in Bengaluru. She does art direction and installations as well. Before making her way into the movies, Karthika had come to Kerala, along with her college mates, to watch the Kochi Muziris biennale.

She loved the days she spent in Fort Kochi, enjoying some of the mouth watering delicacies of Mattancherry from the local wayside eateries. The actress was particularly drawn to the heritage buildings, the bazaar road which sold unique antique and handicrafts items and also the Jew street in Mattancherry.

When she is at Enadi, her mother's home town, Karthika loves to be the quintessential Kottayam girl. She roams around enjoying the quaint hamlets and visiting the temples.

Unforgettable Wayanad

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The actress visited Wayanad during the filming of her movie Uncle starring mega star Mammootty in the lead role. "Wayanad could be termed as a wonderland which is a storehouse of mesmerizing sights. The misty mornings, beautiful hills and valleys, lush green forests and curvy roads are all unique and amazing. There was a wild elephant which lingered around the sets. I don't remember its name. He really liked humans. I have heard about him ever since I reached Wayanad for the filming. But I didn't see him during the filming days. On our return trip, after wrapping up the schedule, I was lucky to spot him on the road. Though I was working, my Wayanad trip became complete only after seeing the wild elephant," noted Karthika.

Dream destination

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Karthika Muraleedharan who loves to travel solo, and also with friends has may dream destinations which she wishes to explore. Sikkim and Bhutan are on her list next. Karthika has a special liking for these places as they are extremely beautiful and peaceful. Bhutan is in fact touted as the happiest place in the world. The young starlet is eagerly waiting to pack her bags and head to her next dream destination.

Here are a few tips by Karthika Muraleedharan for those set out on solo trips:

The trips should be planned giving prime importance to your safety

Arrangements for accommodation should be made before setting out for a trip

A detailed itinerary should be planned in advance

Enquire about the transportation facilities in the area

Good restaurants and safe accommodation facilities, which aren't too costly, should be booked in advance

Always carry a knife and pepper spray in your bag if you are a female solo traveller

Always carry a medical kit with all the essential medicines and first aid.

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