Actress Nikhila Vimal who made her debut through the super hit movie Bagyadevatha, stunned the audience with her Thiruvananthapuram slang in the Dileep starrer Love 24x7. Her role in Aravindante Athidikal was a breakthrough one and the pretty actress dons the character of the leading lady opposite Fahadh Faasil in Njan Prakasan, which is running into packed theatres. Besides movies, Nikhila is extremely passionate about travel and loves to explore the different places and its cultures. However, she complains that she hasn’t been able to take some time off her busy schedule and set out on an exciting trip. Nikhila has travelled to beautiful locations as part of the filming of her movies. The actress talks to Onmanorama about the exciting times that she spent at different places and reveals her most favourite hangout destination.
“Though I love to travel, I haven’t been able to find many opportunities to set out on exciting trips. While in school, I would be busy with the dance rehearsals and other programs when everyone else in my class went for study tours and leisure trips. So I have always nurtured a passion for travel from childhood itself. Now that I am in the movies, I travel a lot between different locations. Those trips are actually so much fun and I enjoy it a lot. I have been lucky enough to travel to places where I could enjoy lots of amazing sights. Now, I hardly get any time to relax at home,” laughs Nikhila.
Valley of flowers
Nikhila says that her trip to Kashmir for the filming of a movie, during March - April, was an incredible one. It was freezing cold when the crew reached there. They couldn’t even see anything due to the snow and fog. Nikhila, who had planned to have a great time in Kashmir, was disappointed as the crew decided to return, unable to shoot in the extreme weather. However, the climate began to change after 2 days and Kashmir unravelled its true mesmerizing beauty. Nikhila admits that it would have been a great loss had they returned without filming there.
“We shot at almost all the major tourist spots like Pahalgam and Gulmarg in Kashmir. With its beautiful lakes, pristine streams and enchanting gardens, Pahalgam would truly conquer your hearts. The apple orchards are in fact one of the major attractions there. It is the perfect place to enjoy the true beauty of nature in all its glory. Gulmarg is known as the meadow full of beautiful flowers. It is also one of the major skiing destinations in the world. If Kashmir is the heaven on earth, then Gulmarg is the valley which is filled with heavenly flowers. The climate here is similar to Switzerland’s. Many blockbuster movies were shot in Gulmarg. I really loved the Kashmir trip and the beautiful sceneries there,” said Nikhila excitedly.
Nikhila, who hails from Thaliparamba in Kannur, admits that she has been longing to visit the famous Mookambika temple since some time. Though she did her debut dance performance at the temple, she has not been able to offer prayers at the shrine until now. However, the filming of Nikhila’s movie Aravindante Athidhikal was shot at Mookambika and she considers herself extremely fortunate to have got that opportunity. She said, “I finally reached near Goddess Mookambika and I was really happy about it. We shot for 15 days near the temple at Mookambika. The trek to the Sarvagnapeedam (seat of wisdom) is definitely one of the unforgettable trips in my life. Within 15 days, I trekked to the Sarvagnapeedam at least 5 -6 times, as part of the filming. From the top of that hill, the beautiful view of the Kolloor Mookambika temple could be enjoyed. The climate was chilly and as the mist clears, an array of scintillating sights of the nature awaits you. The jeep ride, through the hilly areas, was thrilling and equally adventurous. It was actor Aju Varghese who drove the jeep during that adventurous trip,” recalls Nikhila.
Nikhila confesses that she shares a special connection with Chennai. It was for a shooting that she visited Chennai for the first time. The actress was bowled over by the vibrant city, its unique cultures and the mouthwatering delicacies. Nikhila, who has many friends settled in Chennai, likes to visit the city often and have a great time with her friends. Marina beach is in fact one of her favourite destinations where she loves to spent an amazing evening.
The youngster admits that Chennai is her favourite shopping destination as well. Her mother often complains that Nikhila would return from Chennai with bags full of things bought from there. A self-confessed foodie, the actress loves to try out the unique dishes at Chennai as well.
“Mahabalipuram tops the list of my most desirable destinations. It is a unique place known for its history and rich heritage. Here the history is magnificently etched in stone. The beauty of the scintillating Dravidian architecture can be seen here,” noted Nikhila.
“We have been planning a family trip for quite some time. However, nothing happened until now. All of us are really busy with our own things. My elder sister is currently pursuing her PhD and will soon complete it. We may plan a foreign trip when my sister too is free,” revealed Nikhila.