“Sadly, we haven’t made a film on it and not many people know about it” – Akshay Kumar on bringing Battle of Saragarhi to big screen with Kesari
Akshay Kumar has starred in several films which have had either social messages or were based on real-life stories. The actor will soon be seen in Dharma Productions’ Kesari as Havaldar Ishar Singh, the leader of the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi along with Parineeti Chopra. And it is film he will always remember.
“The Battle of Saragarhi ranks second when one would search about the top battles ever fought by India. Sadly we haven’t made a film on it and not many people know about it. I also did not know much about it in detail, but I learnt a lot of things while working on the film,” Akshay Kumar said during Kesari promotions.
“It is fascinating that these people had the chance to run away but they didn’t. They were aware that they will not win this battle but still chose to fight,” he added.
Akshay Kumar, who himself is trained in martial arts, had to learn a couple of new techniques for the action sequences. Akshay said, “There is a technique called Gatka, which is popular in Sikhs. We had to do that in this film. I know martial arts so I had to make some efforts to do it. I had to learn some techniques. It was a new genre of action for me. It was a different kind of fight.”
Akshay Kumar also revealed that some of the most crucial portions of the film were shot in Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh and that it was a difficult process to shoot due to the temperature. “The kind of terrain we shot the film was difficult… There is less oxygen in Spiti Valley. Besides, the pagdi (turban) that I wear in the film weighs one and half kg and the sword was of 6-7 kg but in reality their sword was 25-30 kg. The film is not shot on real locations but this place where we shot matched the era of 1897,” he said.
Directed by Anurag Singh and produced by Dharma Productions, Kesari is based on the famous Battle of Saragarhi which was fought between the Afghan tribesmen and the British Indian army’s Sikh Regiment in September 1897 at Saragarhi. The British Indian contingent comprising 21 Sikh soldiers were attacked by around 10,000 Afghans and is considered one of the greatest battles. Kesari will hit the screens on March 21, 2019.