Most of the kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s would be smitten by the 90s romantic classic Indian movie – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Starring the super popular stars – Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in the leads with a great supporting ensemble like Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Mandira Bedi, Farida Jalal, Parmeet Sethi, etc. this movie won the hearts of just about everyone and set really high ideals of love and romance, besides also popularising the typical Swiss Cow Bell, the mustard farms, and so much more. Moreover, ever since it released 23 years ago on 20 October 1995, it has been running constantly at the Maratha Mandir cinema hall in Mumbai, India.
The film boasts of some really great shoot locations in Europe and in India. In fact, the story spans an entire trip through Europe, in train and on road. Here’s a list of 8 most beautiful locations (from all the locations) where this movie was shot that you could add to your list of travels and relive the nostalgia that we call DDLJ.
Trafalgar Square, London
This is the location where the film opens, with Amrish Puri feeding the pigeons, reminiscing about the mustard fields of Punjab, back in India. Trafalgar Square is one of the most vibrant spaces in London, and is also on the list of city’s most important places to visit. Now, as such a large flock of pigeons could be a health hazard, feeding pigeons is prohibited at the Trafalgar Square. Visit during the early morning if you want to avoid huge crowds of tourists. The opening shot also covers the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.
Home to Simran’s home as well as her father’s convenience store, this suburban neighbourhood of London houses quite a large Indian community. Owing to this, the place has a pretty Indian ambiance – pubs, shops, cinema hall, everything. The inside of Simran’s house was shot at Film City in Mumbai though, so don’t go looking for that house. Much later, films like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Bend it Like Beckham, Patiala House, etc were also shot in Southall.
King’s Cross Railway Station, London
Harry Potter is not the only one who made this station popular, DDLJ did it long before Harry came along. This is the station where Rahul and Simran catch the Eurostar train to go around Europe. After the trip, they return at this same station and part ways. And then there’s Harry Potter and the platform 9 3/4 too.
St. Mauritius Church, Saanen, Switzerland
The romance of this movie spans through various really beautiful villages of Europe, especially in the Gstaad-Saanenland region of Switzerland. If you remember the scene where Rahul and Simran pray together, then the place where that happened was the St. Mauritius Church. the church was built in the 13th century and was later expanded in the 15th century. The scenes depicting the interior of the church are shot at St. Grat Church in Montbovon.
Raj and Simran miss their train in this tiny town called Zweisimmen in Switzerland. Then they enquire about the next train to Zurich. As fate would have it, they end up taking a road trip together. The scene where Simran runs to catch the train was shot in the parking lot of the station. Zweisimmen is actually the starting point of a major rail line that goes to Montrux along Lake Geneva.
As beautiful as the movie DDLJ was, so was its music. The song ‘Zara sa jhoom lu main’ was shot in the main promenade of Gstaad. Gstaad is a tiny, charming village in western Switzerland. Simran visits a chocolate shop here, and then runs out leaving Raj to pay the bill. Raj and Simran return to the hotel in a horse drawn carriage along the main promenade, which is a fully car-free street lined with boutiques, international store as well as local shops. Gstaad is a popular winter sports destination and also a known celebrity getaway. It is surrounded by the scenic Alps, the Alpine wooden chalets and also amazing gourmet restaurants.
Standing 3454 m above sea level, Jungfraujoch is the highest train station and the highest point of Europe. It has icy glaciers and breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. Some portion of the song ‘Zara sa jhoom lu’ is also shot here with Simran dancing unabashed in the snow. This place is immensely popular with Indian tourists, obviously. Finding snapshots of Indian movies and Indian food is no difficulty at all here.
Lake Lungern, Switzerland
Another romantic song from DDLJ, ‘Tujhe Dekha To’ has been shot at this mesmerising lake in Switzerland. Raj and Simran go fishing at this lake and end up catching a shoe! The lake is indeed very scenic with emerald green clear water with pristine surroundings.
So when are you visiting these locations and living the nostalgia that we call DDLJ?