The World’s A Stage

Actor Pankaj Tripathi unravels vibrant chapters of his travel experiences, emphasising the importance of preserving nature and being conscious of our carbon footprint.
Actor Pankaj Tripathi is an avid traveller
Actor Pankaj Tripathi is an avid travellerSarika Gangwal

Actor Pankaj Tripathi's Instagram is testament to his love for travel. From the Northeast to Scotland to the minutiae of the India's heartland, he faithfully documents the scenic locales where he travels for shoots and family vacations. The actor has a deep interest in exploring a regions's culture, food, and the idiosyncracies of its people to truly understand its ethos.

We caught up with Tripathi to discover why he considers travel essential for an actor's evolution as a character and a person.


Until the 10th grade, Bihar was all I knew. My world was limited to the district of Gopalganj, where my village was located.

Back then, we relied on bullock carts for our journeys. As darkness settled in, we would hang lanterns on the cart, lighting our way. Whether it was visiting my uncle’s village or my sister’s place, both situated within the same district, we would hop on these carts. It was after high school that I started exploring the broader world by moving to Patna and then Delhi to study. Eventually, destiny brought me to Mumbai, where my life as an actor began to unfold.

Tripathi and his family on a vacation
Tripathi and his family on a vacationCourtesy: Pankaj Tripathi

In acting, one’s travel experiences play a significant role. Through them, I understood the world, society, rivers, and ghats. Whatever I am is based on the experiences I gained in life and via travelling. My sojourns have been incredibly important and have contributed significantly to my personal growth. They have helped me develop my understanding of our vast and diverse country. Travelling expands your vision and broadens your mind and thoughts.

When people ask me about a memorable vacation or travel experience, I find it hard to single out one that stands above the rest. The destination holds little importance to me. It’s the journey that truly captivates me.

However, some off-beat destinations, especially in the Northeast, are immensely dear to me. The mountains and forests there have a unique charm that attracts me powerfully. Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim—all of them are magnificent.

In an old interview, I stressed that young people should travel to broaden their horizons. It gladdens me that youngsters are exploring the world and sharing their experiences through vlogs on social media. I follow them because I gain perspective from their travel experiences.

While travelling, I often carry my own cooker and induction stove, but I love trying local food as well. On the road to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, a lady served me a delicious mirch ki sabzi and bajra roti. The taste lingers in my memory even today. Another remarkable food experience was during the shooting of “Stree” in Chanderi, a town in Madhya Pradesh. I had the opportunity to savour the delectable dishes at a “Pehelwan Dhaba.” The flavours were unique.

In my travels across the globe, I have had the pleasure of discovering exceptional Indian cuisine in various corners of the world. Cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, and Dubai have become hubs for delectable Indian dishes. Whenever my work takes me to these destinations for an extended period, I make it a point to indulge in the flavours of India. Dal, has gained immense popularity worldwide. Regardless of where you find yourself, be it the bustling streets of Glasgow or the vibrant cityscape of Dubai, you can find excellent dal.

I also have a great passion for collecting things while travelling. When I went to South Africa, I brought back some copper bangles, ornaments, and utensils, which are famous there. During my shoot in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, I got back phool-ke-bartan. “Phool” is a type of ancient non-reactive metalware that is used to store curd and other sour dishes.

I have a peculiar habit of bringing back vegetables from my travels! It doesn’t matter if I am in Jodhpur, South India, or the Northeast; I always manage to smuggle some local veggies on my flights back to Bombay, much to the amusement of my wife.

Also, in my line of work, there are times when I have to immerse myself in the local culture and language of the places I visit. It’s fascinating how language can bring people closer and help build connections.

While filming “83,” I had to learn Dakhini, a language spoken in the Deccan region. It was quite a challenge, but I embraced it wholeheartedly. I wanted to portray the character authentically, and language plays a significant role.

And you know what? It’s not just when I’m shooting in India that I try to pick up a few local phrases. When I travel abroad for work or leisure, I make a conscious effort to learn basic greetings in the local language.

Another photo of Tripathi and his family on a vacation
Another photo of Tripathi and his family on a vacationPankaj Tripathi

It’s a small gesture, but it goes a long way in breaking the ice and showing respect to the people I meet. Plus, it helps me strike up simple conversations with the unit members and the friendly locals who make my journeys even more memorable.

Wherever you go, it is crucial to be mindful of the nature and ecosystem of that place. We should be conscious of our carbon footprint, for our actions today shape the experiences of tomorrow. It pains me to witness people casually discarding wrappers and plastic bottles at tourist destinations as if they were leaving only traces of their presence.

But can’t we do better? Can’t we carry metal or glass bottles filled with water from home or our hotels? Can’t we leave these places as pristine as we found them? It deeply saddens me. Such individuals fail to understand the marm (essence) of travelling.”

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