Superstar Rajinikanth loves the smaller airports in India. He admires the beauty of airports in Himachal Pradesh for their scenic views
Small airports always make a big splash in terms of bringing a smile to my face. This is not to say that the high-end, technologically-advanced airports don’t impress me. In India, the Chennai Airport is an example of how technology should be inclusive. There is good synergy between machines and technology and people who operate them. Without the people, a tech-savvy airport would feel very robotic. Outside India, I think the Singapore Airport really is the best. The way they use renewable energy sources, solar power, the cleanliness and the attention to passenger comfort is amazing.
But as I said, I like small airports. They just seem that much more old-world. You don’t feel like you will get lost. I visit Himachal Pradesh very often, it is part of my continuing spiritual journey. So I visit the ashram of my guru at least twice a year. Have you seen the Kangra Airport? Just the descent into it is visually stunning. Mountain tops that are covered with snow, endless views of greenery and the clouds against the sky are just amazing. I have never seen the sky so blue elsewhere. You step off onto the tarmac and the air feels so clean and crisp. Even the ground staff there are forever smiling and helpful.
The Dharamshala Airport is also one of my favourites. Its location makes you feel like you are landing right on top of the mountains. There is a particular spot inside the airport from where the landing strip seems like this beautiful ribbon that is wrapping the entire view. The approach to the airport in spring is a sight for the eyes. There are flowers blooming everywhere. I have sometimes walked the last half-a-kilometre in Dharamshala Airport just to enjoy that fragrance.
(As told to Aarti Kapur Singh)