Travel Shots 13: Piku

Year of release: 2015

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Irfan Khan

Piku is a motion picture which talks about motion.  I love Piku for many reasons. Deepika’s look, Amitabh’s acting, Irfan’s irritation, the journey and most importantly because it talks straight to your heart. It’s a story of Piku, young and independent woman and her father, Bhashkor; who has a rather serious motion problem. The father and the daughter embark on a road trip from Delhi to Kolkata, halting at Varanasi.  The movie takes us through Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata and a beautiful long stretched highway. The director shows us the capital city Delhi beyond Red Fort and Chandani Chowk. He gives us a chance to enjoy the quite serenity of the Varanasi Ghat. And of course the famous cycle ride through main roads and small alleys of Kolkata.

Piku

piku map
The Piku Map

Gurgaon, Delhi

The movie starts and ends in Delhi. The Banerjee family is shown settled in Delhi. The scenes where Piku and Rana have conversations were shot at Gurgaon cyber hub and city club. The scene where Piku and Rana’s mutual friend, Syed Afroz, convinces them to work together was shot at the Gurgaon City Club. The pre-climax scene where Piku and Rana are shown having light conversation about the death of her father, was shot at Gurgaon City Hub.

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Gurgaon City Hub
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Gurgaon City Club

Gujrat Highway

The Banerjee family, their servant and Rana are shown going to Kolkata by road via Varanasi. But the actual highway scenes were shot at the Gujrat State highway state highway connecting Ahmedabad and Bhuj. The Journey Song was shot on this highway. The fight between Bhashkor and Rana over a knife was shot at Patdi Near Surendranagar in Gujrat.

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On Highway

The Dhaba

Piku and the rest take a small hault at Puransinh ka dhaba on the highway. They eat, talk and relax for a while. When we see the dhaba, we have a feeling that we have seen it somewhere but don’t know exactly where. Well the dhaba in the movie was created from scratch as it was a set. It looks so familiar because the art direction team has taken references from many real dhabas on the highways.  The set of Puransinh ka dhaba was created near Malvan toll tax booth. The Malvan village is located in the Surendranagar district in Gujrat.

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At the dhaba

Chet Singh Ghat, Varanasi

The film’s last schedule was shot in the city of Ghats i.e. Varanasi. The Banerjee family take their night halt at a hotel in Varanasi. Here Piku and Rana are shown talking about Bhashkor sitting on the Chet Singh Ghat.

The palatial building of the Chet Singh Ghat was built in the mid 18th century by Chet Singh as a small fortress. But he lost his fortress in 1781 in a battle with British troops headed by Warren Hastings. In late 19th century King Prabhunarayan Singh got his hold on the fort. Later he donated the northern part of the estate to a Naga group of ascetics who later built the actual ghat we see today.

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Chet Singh Ghat, Varanasi

Howrah Bridge, Kolkata, India

When we see Howrah Bridge on screen, we know it’s the story of Kolkata and Bengali people. The bridge is a connection between Howrah city and Kolkata city. In the movie we see the bridge when the Banerjee family reach Kolkata.

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Howrah Bridge

Laha Bari Mansion

The Laha Bari Mansion is one of the famous Bonedi Bari (Aristocratic Homes) from Kolkata. The Champakunj house in the movie is the heritage Laha Bari Mansion. Built in the British era, the mansion is famous for its 170 year long tradition of Durga Pooja. The Durga Pooja performed here is very unique as the Durga is seen in the arms of Lord Shiva and her eyes are closed shut. The reasons being, Mother Durga bestowed a lot of wealth to the Low family. The Durga Pooja festival is the best time to visit the palace.

laha bari mansion
Champakunj

Prinsep Ghat, Kolkata

This Ghat was built by Britishers in 1841 on the banks of river Hooghly. The Ghat is shown during Piku and Rana’s Kolkata visit. The Ghat is famous recreation spot amongst local thus used in many movies. It also gives you a magnificent view of the Vidyasagar Setu.

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A view from the Ghat

Cycle Ride, Kolkata

Bhashkor Banerjee is seen roaming on the streets of Kolkata on bicycle. He is shown enjoying his ride while driving through newly built cement roads and old narrow alleys. While shooting the sequence, 700 police men were controlling the crowd. But actually there were only 100 real police and other 700 were dummy police men hired for extra help. Amitabh drives the bicycle through Shyambazar Five-point crossing, SN Banerjee Road, Bishop Lefroy Road and Red Cross Road Place.

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The famous bicycle tour

The Singara Kachori Shop, SN Banerjee Road, Kolkata

In the movie Bhashkor Banerjee is shown talking continuously about eating habits and his motion problems without getting bored. He discusses these topics as the matter of life and death. But when Rana advices him that he should not stop himself from eating anything or should not stop himself from doing different things, Bhashkor takes it too seriously. He explores the city through a bicycle ride and also buys Kachori.

The small shop from where he buys fresh Kachori, was not a set like the dhaba on the highway. The kachori shop is located on the SN Banerjee Road known as the Singara Kachori Shop. The shop became super famous in just 35 minutes because Amitabh bought kachoris from there. But even before the fame, the shop always saw busy days as its famous for other local delicacies too.

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Halt for Kachoris
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Travel Shots 12: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Year of Release: 2001

Director: Karan Johar

Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor Khan

It’s a blockbuster movie from the 90’s we all have seen several times. Now many of you may criticize the movie harshly in public but you are the same person who can’t switch the channel when the movie is on. It’s a pure entertaining family drama.  No other Bollywood film has ever hasdsuch a huge star cast as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham aka K3G. Even Shahrukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan plays the young Rahul in the movie. The film still holds the record of one of the highest grossing films worldwide. It was highly praised for its visual richness and actor’s performance. The movie was shot extensively at Mumbai, London and Egypt. The film was shot at multiple locations throughout these cities but in this article, I will be concentrating on few major locations with important scenes.

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Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, England

The super rich Raichand family is shown living in their own huge castle. The Waddesdon Manor is used to represent the dreamy Raichand house. The inside of the mansion was developed from scratch in a studio at Mumbai to double as the home of the Raichand family.  The Manor was built between 1874 and 1889 as a weekend house.

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The Raichand House
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Aryan Khan as young Rahul

Chandani Chowk

Two of the leading ladies from the film are shown living in the famous Chandani Chowk of Delhi. Many song sequences and scenes with comedy and emotional drama took place at Chandani Chowk. But the cast and the crew never entered the real Chandani Chowk for filming. The huge set of Chndani Chowk was built at a studio in Mumbai, just like the insides of the Raichand House. The art team had to build 17-18 different sets as Karan Johar wanted the movie to be larger than life and visually real in every frame. No wonder the movie cost went up to 400 million Rupees.

The Great Pyramids, Giza Plateau, Egypt

Suraj Hua Madham became the national anthem of romantic numbers. Anjali (Kajol) and Rahul are seen dancing on the tunes at various locations across Egypt. Anjali can be seen donning the beautiful orange dress in front of the pyramids of Giza. Because of the weather as well as the tourist crowd issues the crew had to shoot in the early morning just for two hours. It obviously stretched the Egypt schedule of the film.

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Anjali on the background of the Pyramid

Bahariya White Desert, Bahariya Oasis, Giza, Egypt

 The splendid Bahariyas or the White Desert in the Western Deserts of Egypt can also be seen in the song Suraj Hua Madham. Anjali wearing her beautiful netted white saree and Rahul in blue and white combinations give us cool vibes on the hot background. The place is approximately 300km away from Cairo.

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The White Desert

The Western Desert, Egypt

The Western Desert covers about 700,000 square kilometres and accounts for about two-thirds of Egypt’s land area. The song Suraj Hua Madham was also shot at another end of the western desert. The location bleeding yellow light is mesmerising. The crater can be seen in the background when Rahul is hugging Anjali.

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Romancing through the desert

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England

Deewana Hai Dekho song was shot at multiple locations. It’s the song where handsome grown up Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) is dancing around the sexy college babe Poo aka Pooja (Kareen Kapoor Khan). The song starts at the Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire which is shown as the couple’s college. Students dancing on the tunes of the song on the stairs and the final aerial shots were taken at this location. It was the first Indian film to be shot there.

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A place to dance; not study

British Museum, London, England, UK

The fast tune dance piece in the song Deewana Hai Dekho performed by Rohan, followed by Poo’s lines in fake British accent was shot here. The museum was established in 1973. But the structure we see in the song was built much later, in 2007, as a part of reconstruction. The roof we see is known as the Great Court Roof which is a part of the Reading Room.

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The British Museum
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Dancing on the stairs

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Rohan, being the dashing hero is shown playing Rugby with his buddies in the song Deewana Hai Dekho at the Millennium Stadium. No wonder with those moves and a great play he impressed the cheer leaders and left Poo jealous.

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Millennium Stadium

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, England

The most emotionally powerful scene of the movie is in the second half. The scene where Rahul and his mother meet after ten year at a mall makes me cry even today. The scene was shot at the famous Bluewater Shopping Mall. When people got to know that Shahrukh, Kajol, Amitabh and other superstarts from the film are shooting at the mall, they gathered in huge numbers. Soon the crowd became uncontrollable and the authorities had to tell the crew to stop filming and leave.

 

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The emotional Scene
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Blue Water Shopping Mall

 

Travel Shots 11: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Year of release: 2011

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Actors: Hrithik Roshan, Farkhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin

ZNMD i.e. Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara is a trend setter in the category of Bollywood travel movies. Its an engaging journey of three friends through the rustic cities of Spain. They explore the cities, their selves, their relations and friendship. This movie take their friendship on the next level. You cant see the bromance in the trio. Their friendship is as pure as the wind they flunk in.

poster

The three dashing heroes of the film: Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol are shown skydiving in Seville, scuba diving in Costa Brava, running with the bulls in Pamplona and getting busted with tomatoes at the La Tomatina tomato-throwing festival in Bunol. The movie was highly appreciated by youngsters. It also boosted the tourism traffic in Spain by 32% post release. The success of the movie led to be enlisted as a case study in Marketing Management Courses in Spain colleges. Following this, the Barcelona tourism department carved out a special ZNMD tour for a day. The tour takes you to the beaches and hotels in Barcelona where ZNMD was shot in just 89 Euros per person.

http://www.barcelonabeachtours.com/m1_movie_zindagi_na_milegi_nobara_beach_tour_costa_brava.html

Montserrat Mountains, Catalonia, Spain

Arjun played by Hrithik Roshan is shown as a workaholic man. Even on the trip he is shown engaged in work time to time. In one such incident, he is shown taking a video call with his Japanese clients. There his friends are shown making fun of this ‘buoy’. The majestic Montserrat Mountains in the background leave us with a simple question: how can anyone think of working around such a beautiful landscape?

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Serra de Rubio Windfarm, Igualada, Spain

Scene where Farhan throws Hrithik’s cell phone out of the car. And Hrithik get mad at him. Later he gifts him a pink phone saying Mushi Mushi!

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 Lloret de Mar Beach, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Costa Brava is situated just 75 km from Barcelona. The Lloret de Mar beach is a nude beach in Spain. During filming, it was embarrassing for the crew to shoot there, as the beach was full of naked people. The crew had to look each frame carefully as they couldn’t afford the nude people seen in the movie, for fear of the Indian censor board.

It’s the beach where they first meet Laila played by Katrina Kaif. Hrithik is shown attracted towards her and Farhan tries to flirt with her. Here they don’t know that she will be their Skooba diving trainer.

beachmeet laila

La Tomatina Festival, Buñol, Valencia Community, Spain

How will you feel if you could celebrate holi twice in year? The people from Buñol celebrated their regional holi i.e. La Tomatina Festival twice in 2010. Once for Spain and once for India. The whole festival was re-created and almost sixteen tons on tomatoes were flown in from Portugal for the shoot. The song Ik Junoon was shot on the background of this festival.

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Skydive Empuriabrava, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Skydiving from a plane as suggested by Arjun was shot at Skydive Empuribrava, in Costa Brava in Spain.

sky diving

While shooting  Farhan Akhtar used to throw himself off a plane at every opportunity he got and in fact he clocked in about 200 jumps and became a certified diver.

Rio Tinto Mines, Huelva Province, Spain

Scene where Katrina kisses Hrithik before the Khwabon Ke Parindey song was shot here. They share a passionate kiss at a hot location!

hot katrina kaif and hrithik kisskissing location

Alájar, Huelva, Andalusia, Spain

The song “Señorita”, was shot in Alájar, a town located in the province of Huelva. The locals and Mayor of Alájar can be seen in their traditional costumes in the song. The crew warned about the loud sound of the song to the locals in advance as the song took almost three nights to complete. For the vocals of the Flamenco song “Señorita”, the trio roped in Maria del Mar Fernández, a Spanish Flamenco singer, who made her singing debut with the film. Also Hrithik, Abhay and Farhan themselves lent their voices to this song. The song has many Spanish words which later turned into parody by many in various Indian regional languages.

senorita song

Ronda (White Village), Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

The beautiful village of Ronda full of white quaint houses can be seen is located only 45 minutes from Marbella. Imraan’s (Farhan Akhtar) father Salman Habib (Naseeruddin Shah) is shown living here. The entrance to Ronda is through a breath-taking bridge.

salman habib village

Bardenas Reales, Spain

The trio spend a night at this particular location in their car after they leave from Salman Habib’s village. The area is considered as semi-desert natural region. Here Imraan gets closer to his true self. He apologises to his mother and Arjun for his mistakes. In morning Kabir has a small fight with his fiancée and they leave for their next destination.

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Hotel Don Jilton, Bunyol, Spain

During the trip Hrithik realises that there is something wrong with Abhay. So he and Farhan asks Abhay whether whether he is happy with Natasha or not. Abhay clarifies that he is happy but deep within he knowns that its not true. This ‘confrontation’ happens in a hotel room at Bunyol.

The Pamplona Bull Run, San Fermin Festival, Pamplona, Navarre, Spain

The trio is shown participating in various adventure sports throughout the movie. The Pamplona Bull Run (Encierro), which is a part of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain is shown as their last spot. Inspired from this climax plot, the film was initially titled ‘Running With The Bulls’. But ZNMD got its way.  The trio is shown running for their lives infront of a dozens of angry bulls. The poetry recitation in the background surely leaves you with goosebumps.

san fermin festivalbull running

 

 

Travel Shots 10: Anjaana Anjaani

Year of release: 2010

Director: Siddharth Anand

Actors: Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor

Akash (Ranbir Kapoor) and Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) are hurt and want to quit their lives for different reasons. They try to die but they can’t. I guess they didn’t approach the death master from Final Destination! So they live through various suicide attempts. They consider this as a nature’s call and decide to take a trip to Las Vegas and die later. On this trip they obviously fall in love, then get apart, again come back, marry and live happily ever after. What I loved in this film is the huge backdrop of locations like Valley of Fire, Golden Gate and Las Vegas. And of course Priyanka Chopra’s character name Kiara, which means dark or little.

bollywood movie anjaana anjaani wallpaper red car hot priyanka chopra sexy ranbir kapoor funky car image poster wallpapers pics

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges of the United Stated which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. As I said earlier, the leading pair is highly depressed and planning for suicide. Akash goes to the famous to commit suicide. There he meets Kiara whose there for the same act. Here they try to end their lives together but fail!

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Brooklyn Bridge

Wollman Rink, New York, USA

Wallman Rink is a public ice rink in Central Park, New York. The rink was opened in 1949 and it has been a favorite location for many romantic movies. A part of the song Aas Paas Hai Khuda was shot here. We see a depressed Kiara skating at the Wollman Rink.

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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

The director seems to love the bridges of the US. We can enjoy the panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge which is known as one of the wonders of the modern world. Heartbroken Kiara cries her heart out without caring for her expensive mascara in her car parked near this bridge. This is the real reason why she wants to die over the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Golden Gate Bridge
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Kiara’s Car

Jean Dry Lake, Mojave Desert, Nevada, USA

Akash and Kiara are on their road trip to Las Vegas. A part of the song Hairat was shot at the Jean Dry Lake in the Nevada Desert. People often go there for camping and cycling trips.

Jean dry lake

Valley of Fire State Park, Mojave Desert, Nevada, USA

The Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest park in Nevada. The giagantic red stones, sand dunes from the dianoseur era and thousands of arches created by the wind keeps you mesmorised. Akash and Kiara can be seen walk through the red rocks of the Valley of Fire State Park when their car is stolen from the goons. Part of the song Tujhe Bhula Diya where the leading pair is on their way back from Vegas was also shot here.

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Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Akash and Kiara are shown enjoying the glittering city of Las Vegas through out the song I feel good. The song features Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

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Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Kiara and Akash hold a bag of liquor on their shoulder and the pipes in their mouth in the song I feel good which begins at the fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas.

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Fremont Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

I feel good song from the movie surely inspires you to go through various streets and hotels from Las Vegas. Kiara and Akash are shown dancing and giggling in front of the red and flashy, stunning, Fremont Hotel and Casinos on Fremont Street of Las Vegas.

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Lake Mead, Mojave Desert, Nevada, USA

The sad song from the movie Tujhe bhuladiya became the national break up song of the year. It was partly shot at the banks of largest water reservoir of USA i.e. Lake Mead in Nevada.

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Lake Mead

Mission District, San Francisco, California, USA

Tumse Hi Tumse song was shot at Mission District in San Francisco. Akash dresses up like Superman, Batman and Elvis to cheer up Kiara. They are shown going through the colourful buildings in Mission District in San Francisco.

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