NEW DELHI: 'Brahmastra' director Ayan Mukerji on Wednesday said he went to the Mahakal temple in Ujjain alone and chose not to take his lead actor Alia Bhatt because she is pregnant.
Both Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor were very keen to visit the temple, Mukerji said a day after reports that the star couple was prevented from entering the premises of the Shiva temple in the Madhya Pradesh town following protests by Bajrang Dal activists.
"Honestly, till the end, they were very keen but when we reached there and we heard about this, I felt a little bit that I will go alone," Mukerji said in response to a question at a press conference to promote his film that releases on Friday.
"I had gone to seek blessings and energy for my film. The blessing is for everybody. I didn't want to take Alia because of her present condition. Honestly, when I went, I felt that they could have also gone and did their 'darshans'. That is on me," he said.
On Tuesday, Bajrang Dal activists reportedly did not allow the star couple to enter the temple premises of their alleged remarks about eating beef.
Police used batons to disperse the crowd, some raising slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram' when Kapoor and Bhatt reached for a 'darshan'.
"Brahmastra" is the couple's first film together.
Industry insiders are betting big on the lavishly mounted 'Brahmastra' -- which has been in the making for close to a decade -- especially at a time other mainstream Bollywood films have tanked at the box office.
"There is no negative environment," Bhatt told reporters.
Asked if she feels the current climate is right for the movie to be released in theatres, Bhatt retorted, "Which climate? Summer, autumn, winter...There's no such thing. It's a beautiful environment to release a film. Everything is positive and good. We are so happy the theatres are back and functioning...We are very grateful that we get to do a job and put a film out there for the audiences to watch," Bhatt, who was accompanied by Mukerji and Kapoor," added.
Mukerji, known for critically-acclaimed movies "Wake Up Sid" and "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", agreed that the team's aim is to spread "warmth and positivity".
His film, he said, is a celebration of Indian culture.
"Overall about everything else, my feeling is that with Brahmastra, we have this line -- the light is coming. And by light, we mean everything is positive and spiritual in this life. And with this whole marketing effort and this film, our effort is to spread warmth and positivity because that is what we all want and that is what the word means."
According to Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, nobody stopped the actor couple from taking 'darshan' at the Mahakal temple.
He also said artists and actors should stay away from making such remarks that can hurt the sentiments of the people.
"The protest is a different matter. There was no restriction on them to offer prayers (at the temple). Other persons accompanying the actor couple had offered prayers and all arrangements were in place," Mishra, who is the state government's spokesperson, told reporters on Wednesday.
'Brahmastra Part One: Shiva', which also features megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy, is a joint production of Star Studios, Dharma Productions, Prime Focus and Starlight Pictures.