Allu Arjun's Badrinath makes tourists happy

Manali: For many days now, residents of two Manali villages have been devotedly going to 'Badrinath'. Their pilgrimage begins at the crack of dawn and they all return by night, tired, but happy with the fruit of their labour. Allu Arjun's mega-budget movie 'Badrinath' is being shot near Manali.

In dire need of pilgrims, who courageously save the Badrinath shrine from a terror strike in the movie, its producers decided to go for the real thing. So in came hundreds of 'sages', 'shani devs' and 'mendicants' from Kothi and Palchan, two settlements in Manali. Young and old, men and women, everybody cleared the screen test for their Tollywood debut.

"My son, his wife and daughter were invited to act by the film unit at Gulaba," said a proud Khek Ram Thakur, an elder of Kothi village, adding that their role included singing, dancing and fighting.

At their end, the shopkeepers and those into promoting tourism at Manali want the movie magic to go on. "All the paupers and self-proclaimed 'sadhus' who love harassing tourists are busy polishing their acting skills. With them gone throughout the day, tourists are much happier shopping here. May the shooting continue for years," hoped local shopkeeper Sanjeev.

Directed by VV Vinayak, this Allu Arjun and Tamanna-starrer is being made as an action-packed commercial movie. The art director, Anand Sai, is said to have spent Rs 3 crore to design the set near Manali.

"The story demanded at least 500 devotees and dozens of sages and 'babas' to stand behind Allu Arjun when he fights the villain. The shooting got under way last month at Gulaba, near Kothi, which is the last village of Kullu," said Rahul, the line producer of 'Badrinath'.

Apart from the leading actor reportedly taking martial arts training in Vietnam from action director Peter Hyens, sources say Bollywood biggies Imran Khan and Nana Patekar would play cameos in 'Badrinath'
adding to its mass appeal. Mammooty was supposed to play nana patekars role , but due to some busy work he can't do it.
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