Travels open your mind to new people and ways of life. Well, TV, and now soon to appear on web, actor Mahima Makwana personally experienced this change when she recently went on a 12-day trip to Kashmir and Ladakh.

“Having been working for long, I did not get much time to travel. But this time, after initial dithering, I decided to take off along with my mom and her friends as part of a package tour. A family trip is a different experience as compared to outings with buddies,” says Mahima, last seen in Zee TV show, Mariam Khan – Reporting Live.

“Kashmir is truly heaven on earth. I think it was one of the best times of my life.

At the very outset, let me say that this trip opened my eyes to the importance of the Indian army, which we, living in settled parts of the country, take for granted. But out there, we could see men in fatigues at every 200 meters. Their role in internal security is very important and not just on the borders,” she adds.

“My visit to the Kargil War Memorial was a very emotional moment and to add to it, it rained at that particular moment; quite cathartic, don’t you think?” adds Mahima, who began as a child artist with Balika Vadhu. Her first lead role as an adult was in &TV show, Adhuri Kahaani Hamari.

“Kashmir and Ladakh are very different in terms of culture, language and cast. In the Kashmir valley we went to Gulmarg (zero point) and Sonmarg for skiing. Srinagar is the most beautiful city I have ever come across,” quips Mahima. She will next be seen in an Eros Now web series called Flesh.

“The cold desert of Ladakh is very beautiful. We went to Leh, where I did river rafting, camel safari and motor bike riding on the sand dunes. No visit to Ladakh is complete without spending some time at Pangong Lake, so how could we break this cardinal rule.”

In closing, we asked her about her popular social media picture in Kashmiri wear. “Yes, I looked very pretty in it. I had tried it in one of the famous Srinagar gardens (Nishant and Shalimar) and many people had come forward to tell me that you look like Kashmir Ki Kali.”

Mahima adds, “Henceforth, I would like to make it a point to visit Kashmir every year.”