The Mountains Are Calling
Condé Nast Traveller India|August - September 2018
The Mountains Are Calling

Actor Neha Dhupia tells Aatish Nath about why she’s become a spa junkie, how marriage is changing the way she travels and what’s on her bucket list

 

Aatish Nath

Fresh from a post-swim shower, Neha Dhupia is busy snacking on the fries that have come with the club sandwich she ordered from room service at The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa. She’s hungry after her laps in the hotel’s made-for Instagram heated pool where the jaw-dropping views are reflected in the surrounding glass. The view from her suite’s terrace is an equally generous one of snow-tipped mountains and pine trees. The resort’s wooden exterior, sloping roofs, lush landscape and general fairytale setting have, unsurprisingly, made an appearance on Dhupia’s much-followed social media feeds.

It’s been less than a month since Dhupia surprised everyone by announcing her marriage to her “best friend”, fellow actor Angad Bedi on social media, but he’s not the one accompanying her on this trip. Instead, she’s come to Gulmarg with her mother. She smiles and explains, “My mom was always my best travel companion, she always will be. Nothing can take away from that. In a place like this, it’s nice to be around her.”

About 8,500ft above sea level, Gulmarg rewards you for the winding 90-minute drive from Srinagar with vistas of icy mountains, rolling hills where sheep and cows graze and carpets of flowers in every colour of the rainbow. But Gulmarg is perhaps best known as a ski destination, where the world’s second-highest gondola transports holidaymakers up the 14,400ft Apharwat peak. In the winter, the place is dotted with tourists skiing and snowboarding on slopes thickly blanketed in fresh powder.

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August - September 2018