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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Travel Shots 9: Bachana Ae Haseeno

Year of release: 2008

Director: Siddharth Anand

Actors: Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, and Minissha Lamba

What can I say about this movie? A man, who always runs away from commitments and ‘love’, falls in love. In his running away period he breaks hearts of two beautiful women. When his heart is broken, he realizes his mistakes and he sets on a journey to apologize to the ladies. He struggles, apologizes and undoes all the wrong things he did with their lives. When he comes back, he find out that the lady who rejected him has realized her mistake (just like he did) and they come together and live happily ever after.

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I love the movie only because of two things: costumes and the beautiful locations. The movie takes you through half of the glob in just three hours. It’s a joyous ride you can’t miss. Various locations from Europe, Australia, Amritsar and Mumbai are eye candy for any travel freak. One can’t imagine better locations than these for a rom-com.

The Promenade, Gstaad, Obersimmental-Saanen, Bern, Switzerland

Raj plays the DDLJ tune to a group of people on the streets of Gstaad to woo Mahi. Mahi hears the tunes and falls in love with Raj as she watches him play her favourite tune.

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Raj Playing the famous DDLJ tune

Rougemont Railway Station and Rougemount City, Vaud, Switzerland

Just like Kajol in DDLJ, Mahi misses her train. Raj sees this and comes back to rescue. There they both decide to hire a bike and start their trip to Zurich. The song Ahista Ahista starts here and travels through the antique town of Rougemont which is known for its wooden chalets and rich culture.

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The Rougemount Square

Gstaad, Obersimmental-Saanen, Bern, Switzerland

Aahista Aahista song has all the picture perfect scenes from Switzerland. The locations where Raj and Mahi are riding on a scooter were shot at Gstaad.

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Going through the Mountains

Gstaad-Glacier 3000, Obersimmental-Saanen, Bern, Switzerland

In the song Ahista Ahista Raj and Mahi are shown enjoying the dog sledging and the Alpine Coaster. You can enjoy the Dog Sledging trip where 6 to 10 dogs pull the large sled. One ride costs 9 CHF i.e. around 614 Indian Rupees.

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Dog Sledging
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The Alpine Coaster

One part of the song was also shot at the world’s highest toboggan run: The Alpine Coaster, which is one of the biggest attractions at the Glacier 3000. The coaster gives you beautiful views of the Montblanc, the Matterhorn and the Jungfrau mountains. 520° circles, 10 somewhat steep curves, 6 waves and 3 jumps, speeds of up to 40 km/hour on a one kilometre stretch is the craziest adventure one can ever have. It costs 9 CHF i.e. around 614 Indian Rupees per person.

Early Beck, Gstaad, Switzerland

As the Raj-Mahi love story is based on DDLJ, it covers many locations we saw in the movie. Just like the Early Beck. There is a scene where Raj and Mahi are hungry, so they go to this bakery eat a lot of chocolates by pretending that they will buy them eventually. When they are full, they just run away leaving the baker in shock.

 

Hotel J.K. Place Capri, Capri, Campania, Italy

The posh 5 start hotel JK Place was used as Shreya’s mansion.  The hotel gives you stunning views of bay of Naples. The hotel is located on the Capri Island overlooking the beach of Marina Grande.

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Shreya at her mantion

http://www.jkcapri.com/

Fontana Della Barcaccia

Fontana Della Barcaccia means the Fountain of Ugly Boat. This fresh water fountain is loacated at Piazza di Spagna in Rome. A part of the song Small Town Girl was shot here. Radhika is bored and she tells Raj to dance for her. Raj dances infront of the fountain and tries to entertain Radhika by doing all the famous Bollywood dancing steps.

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Fontana Della Barcaccia

Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy

Ponte Sant’Angelo means the bridge of angels. It was built in 134AD Roman Emperor Hadrian. In the song Small Town Girl we can see Radhika cycling on this bridge. And Raj follows her, running, holding a napkin and a glass of Orange juice in his hand.

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Piazza Della Rotonda, Rome, Italy

Piazza means a city square. It’s a square located in front of the Pantheon. In Greek language Pantheon means ‘the temple of every god’. We can see this beautiful square, full of people in the song Small Town Girl where Raj is running with shopping bags and coffee in his hands for Radhika.

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Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy

Piazza San Marco is also known as St. Marks Square. It is said that Napoleon called the piazza as the ‘drawing room of Europe’ and I totally agree. Built in 1720, the piazza is a paradise for architects. The romantic number Khuda Jaane shot between Raj and Gayatri starts at this location. Besides this song, the piazza has been a favourite place for many Bollywood directors to shoot various song sequences.

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Alberobello Trulli, Bari, Puglia, Italy

Alberobello is a small town in Puglia in southern Italy, famous for its Trulli. Trulli is a plural for Trullo which means a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof. The Trulli are now protected by UNESCO. Gayatri and Raj are shown playing little game of hide and seek in the song Khuda Jaane at this location.

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The Grand Canala, Venice, Italy

Some say that Venice is the sewage of Italy. But please don’t be judgemental about this beautiful city of huge canals. There are water buses and water taxis for public transport. Amazing isn’t it?? And they also have beautiful Gondolas for tourists. Gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat propelled by a gondolier.Six people can share the Gondola ride at a time. It costs 80 Euros for a 40 minutes ride i.e. 6050 Indian rupees. But if you go after 7pm, it will cost you 100 Euros i.e. 7560 Indian rupees for a ride.

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In the song Khuda Jaane we can see Gayatri and Raj cuddling on the Gondola. Well, all I can think right now is thank god Raj paid for the trip. Gayatri is ambitious and self made but she just couldn’t afford for this over priced Gondola ride on her taxi and supermarket job salaries.

Vignanotica Bay, Foggia, Puglia, Italy

The Vignanotica Bay, a pebble beach surrounded by many grottos, that can be reached from the sea or following a path cut through Mediterranean vegetation and Aleppo pines, also called Baia dei Gabbiani for the presence of innumerable seagulls. On the hill behind the beach, the whole valley is covered with Olive trees. The grottos became the signature image of the song. Grottos are the natural caves we can see by the sea.

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Faraglioni di Mattinata

In Italian, Faraglioni means stacks. Its a geographical phenomenon. Its a coastal and oceanic rock formation, eroded by sea waves. Mattinata is a famous sea side resort town in southern Italy. The Faraglioni at Mattinata beach are scenic and very romantic. Raj and Gayatri are shown romancing on the same sea shore. Behind them we can see the grottos and other huge rock structures eroded by sea and wind.

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Gargnao Apulia, Italy

Gargnao is a sub-region of Foggia in the south-east Italy. This mountaing area is partly covered with the ancient forest Foresta Umbra. The mountain and the beach view can be seen in few shots of the song Khuda Jaane.

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Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia

Raj decorates the whole Archibald Fountain square with candles, gets on his knee and proposes Gayatri. But unfortunately Gayatri declines his request and leaves him in a state of shock and tears. There he realizes that how Radhika and Mahi must have felt when he dumped them.

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Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Raj and Gayatri can be seen partying in front of the Opera House. It was built in 1973. Many people think that it’s a building with a single venue but actually it comprises multiple performance stages. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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Travel Shots 8: Jab We Met

Year of release: 2007

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Actors: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor-Khan

Places seen: Chanddigarh, Shimla, Manali, Rohtang Pass, Patiala, Mumbai

The movie lift up the careers of Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor. The movie was a trendsetter and a blockbuster hit. The character of Geet played by Kareena Kapoor Khan was appreciated immensely as it touched the hearts of every single Indian girl. Everyone was Geet in their own way. The story was simple. Geet, a happy go lucky girl, meets Aditya and changes his approach to look at life. Because of an unfortunate incident, she loses her charm and Aditya helps her to get back to the old Geet she was. They fall in love in the process, get married and live happily ever after.

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The movie was shot in Mumbai, Punjab, Shimla and in Himalayan foothills.

Rohtang Pass, Manali:

The opening shots of the song Yeh Ishq Haaye were shot here. Geet runs away from home with Aditya to meet her boyfriend in Manali. On the way to Manali, they pass through beautiful valley of Himachal Pradesh.

rohtang pass

Naggar Castle, Manali:

The shots displaying Tibetan carnival from the song Yeh Ishq Haaaye were shot here. The crew transformed the historic Naggar Castle into a huge Tibetan. People from surrounding villages were organized to be extras, local shop keepers and balloon vendors hired to provide colorful displays of merchandise, and amusement rides were set up. The result was a vibrant singing and dancing extravaganza featuring traditional dancers, including Tibetan lion dancers, and costumes.

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Shimla-Kalka Toy Train:

Shimla-Kalka train route was built in 1898 and now its declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Aditya comes to Shimla to bring back Geet. While sightseeing in Shimla, they come across the train and run to catch it. The scene is partly inspired by the famous DDLJ climax train scene.

toy train

Shimla Mall Road:

Mall Road is the main street in Shimla which was built by Britishers. It’s the famous shopping hub and always crowded by tourists.

Aditya comes to Shimla looking for Geet. There he sees her working in a school, staying at a working women’s hostel, devastated. We can see the damsel in distress walking through the Mall Road, with red eyes and nude expressions.

mall road
Shimla Mall Road

Mandawa, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan

Mandawa is a small town located in the Junjhunu district of Rajasthan. The town is full of havelis and old Rajasthani structures. One of the best travel songs in Bollywood Hum Jo Chalane Lage is from the movie. The song shows the brighter side of Aditya and tracks the emotional journey of Aditya and Geet’s friendship. Aditya and Geet are shown taking their luggage from Kota station and travelling to Bhatinda by road. In the song we can see the famous Mandawa fort in the behind of Geet and Aditya where they are enjoying the ice-gola. The fort has been converted into a heritage hotel so one can enjoy staying over there.

fort

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus:

The movie starts with the helpless and stressed Aditya travelling through the city. He arrives at CST and there he boards a train. Geet boards the same train but with much on-the-run drama.

Khandala Bus Station:

Geet and Aditya go through a very happening night from railway station to hotel descent. Finaly this extraordinary night comes to an end at Ratlam bus dept. But it’s actually Khandala bus depot. Whenever you are travelling to Khandala by bus, the same depot is the last stop of your destination.

Lonawala Railway Station:

Geet misses her train twice in a night. Both the station shots were taken at Lonawala Railway Station.

station

Nabha, Patiyala:

The small town Nabha in Patiyala district of Punjab soon became a talk of town when it became the house of Geet. Nabha was used to represent Geet’s house, garden and farm which the filmmakers said to be in Bhatinda.

Travel Shots 7: Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.

Year of release: 2007

Director: Reema Kagtil

Actors: Amisha Patel, Abhay Deol, Kay KAy Menon, Boman Irani, Shabana Azmi, Minnisha Lamba, Raima Sen, Diya Mirza, Ranvir Shorey, Arjun Rampal
The movie is a story of six couples on their Honeymoon. The director tells their stories as taking radio as a medium. The movie is an entertainment package. It has superheroes, love stories, feminism, Bollywood romance, suspense, sex and what not! As the script demanded tho movie was shot in honeymooner’s paradise Goa!

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The Halke Halke Song:

The song Halke Halke from the movie features various tourist destinations in Goa. The song starts with a scenic view of Dona Paula. The scene where Kay Kay Menon fails in the attempt of showering flowers on his wife was shot at Corjeum fort. Also the couples were shown enjoying the paddling boat rides at Goa Kayaking.

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Paddling Boats at Goa Kayaking
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Corjeum Fort
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Dona Paula

Our lady of the Mount Chapel:

The end notes of the song Halke Halke were shot here. The whole song features all couples enjoying except Diya and Ranveer. At the church Diya is shown praying to the god and suddenly her knight in black armor, Arjun, arrives with a gun in his hands. She hugs him and runs away on a shiny Kawasaki Ninja (worth 2 lacs) leaving Ranveer behind.

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Our Lady of the Mount Chapel

Aguda Fort:

It’s the fort where Kay Kay Menon drinks a beverage which has heavy dosage of drugs in it. He misunderstands it with a soft drink. Later he gets too high to handle it and dances till he faints.

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The Aguda Fort

The Cruise:

The super catchy number from the film Sajana Ji Vaari Vaari was shot on a cruise. The cruise visit should be on your to do list when you are in Goa. Every day the cruise leaves at 5:30pm from the Mandovi river port in the city. The one hour ride lets you enjoy the scenic beauty of the perfect sunset. They also do a small music and dance skit from Goa’s heritage. You can enjoy your evening dancing and singing on the boat with your loved once in just 300Rs.

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Dancing On the Cruise

Travel Shots 6: Kaal

Year of release: 2005

Director: Soham Shah

Actors: Ajay Devgan, John Abhraham, Vivek Oberoi, Esha Deol, Lara Dutta

The movie is a story of a group of young people and a ghost. The story takes place in an imaginary national park where people are found dead due to animal attacks. A couple goes there to investigate about the same. Another group of people arrive there to enjoy their weekend. There they meet a tour guide who tells them the ghost stories of the national park. The group members are found dead one by one, and finally the three remaining people run for their lives from the ghost *spoiler alert* who is the tour guide, Kaali.

kaal poster

The movie gives us a social message to save and respect our wildlife. During the filming 25 liters of actual blood was used in the various violent killing scenes. The scenes surely give you the creeps. The film was shot in Corbett National Park and in Thailand. The film takes us closer to the nature and surely inspires us to travel through the thick forest and admire the amazing wildlife we have around us.

Jim Corbett National Park:

The park is named after the famous tiger conservationist Jim Corbett. More than 586 species of birds can be found in the park. The park is famous for the tigers and elephants. Even today the park is working extensively to save the Tigers. The park is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It’s 237 km away from the national capital Delhi. One can reach here by road or by train.

99% of the film was shot in the park. The park is divided into three zones: Public, Tourist and Core. The film was majorly shot in the Tourist and Core zones. As the film makers shot in the core zone without permission, they had to face a law suit.

The pre-climax Bhoot Bunglow scene was also shot here. One can see the bunglow in the park.

The whole cast and crew of the movie stayed in the Manu Maharani Resorts in the park. The resorts are located in the public zone of the park. The camp fire scene in the movie was shot here.

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A warning by Kaali
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Manu Maharani Resort

Ramganga River:

The Corbett National Park was known as the Ramganga Park in 1954-55. But later it was renamed in 1956. The river is known as the life source of the national park. The scene where Vishal Malhotra dies on the river bridge in the movie was shot on this river. While filming, the bridge collapsed and the whole cast dived into the freezing water.

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The Ramganga River
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The River Scene

Bangkok:

The famous three-tiger scene in the movie was shot in Bangkok. The scene also marks the entry of Ajay Devgan in the movie. These tigers were also used in the famous 2000 Hollywood movie Gladiator. These 12 foot tigers used to roam on the sets freely. The makers of the film had to shoot with real tigers as the computer generated animated tigers were not looking as real as they wanted to be.

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The Famous Tiger Attack Scene

 

Travel Shots 5: Mr. & Mrs. Iyer

Year of release: 2002

Director: Aparna Sen

Actors: Konkana Sen Sharma, Rahul Bose

Internationally appreciated movie Mr. & Mrs. Iyer takes you far away from Bollywood romantic or tragedy sagas. It takes you closer to the reality. Meenakshi (Konkana Sensharma) belongs to an orthodox Hindu Tamil family. She is travelling with her son Santhanam from a hill station. As she is travelling alone, her father asks Raja Chaudhary (Rahul Bose) to help her if she is in need. Raja reluctantly agrees. They embark on a bus journey which goes through a thick jungle. Soon they realise that they are trapped in a Hindu-Muslim riot situation which lead to impose a curfew in the area. Raja is a Muslim but Meenakshi saves him from a group of Hindu extremists by saying that they are husband-wife. The whole journey they pretend to be a couple which they are not. The personal conflict, the social anarchy, attraction makes the movie serious. But one can’t miss the scenic beauty shown in the film. The director does not disclose the name of the location in the film. The movie was shot at various locations in Himalayan foothills.

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The movie inspires us to travel to the core Himalayan forest which is blessed with scenic beauty and wildlife.

Bhutanghat:

Bhutanghat is famous for its scenic beauty. It’s a famous tourist spot for locals. The mystic hills are covered with thick forest, blessed by the river Raidak. It’s just 45km from Alipurduar in West Bengal. There is also a forest bungalow in the hills which was built in 1904 by the Britishers.

The scenes where the tension in the movie starts were shot here. The scenes where bus stops duty heavy traffic and later is attacked by Hindu extremists who eventually lead to a killing of Muslim passenger were shot here. We all remember the tragic shot where Raja finds the teeth of the old Muslim traveler on the banks of the river. That specific river is Raidak.

river bank

Gorumura:

The scenic Gorumura national park is overloaded with natural beauty. The park is famous for its natural population of the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. The park has various watch towers: Yatraprasad Watch tower (named in memory of a legendary elephant of that name), Rhino observation point in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow, Old Khunia Watch Tower near the Murti forest bungalow and Suksukia Bird watching Point. The dense forest flourished on the banks of the rivers Murti and Raidak are is full of Sal trees.

The abandoned bungalow where Meenakshi and Raja are safe kept by police is the real forest bungalow from the park. To give the haunted and old look to the bungalow, the crew of the movie covered it with cobwebs and mud.

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The Forest Bunglow

Dooars

Dooars is derived from a Bengali word ‘Duar’ which means Door. The hilly area is actually considered as a gateway to the Eastern Himalayas. Many parts of the forest are still untouched due to lower tourist interference. Most of the area is preserved with the tag of ‘core area’ as one has to get special permission to enter in those routes. The forest is crowling with various natural wild species like elephants, bisons, rhinos, leopards, sambhars, deers of various types and countless varieties of birds and butterflies. The forest covers a huge area of Jalpaiguri district in West Begal. The forest is blessed by the water of two rivers: Teesta and Sankosh.

The forest region shown in the film was shot extensively in this forest. One can identify the scene where Raja is clicking Santhanam and Meenakshi in early morning sunshine.

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