India's cinematic landscape is not just rich in stories but also in breathtaking locales that set the stage for some of Bollywood's most memorable scenes. In his journey from being a young dreamer to becoming the “King of Bollywood”, Shah Rukh Khan has graced numerous films with his charismatic presence against the backdrop of stunning locations across the country. India is geared up for the release of Shah Rukh Khan's Pan India blockbuster, Jawan, which has been shot across Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. SRK movie scenes have often given us major travel goals and Jawan should be no different. Here, find out about 6 tourist destinations that every fan of Shah Rukh Khan wishes to visit and relive the magic of SRK movie scenes from his filmography.
Leh – Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Directed by the legendary man Yash Chopra, this movie captured the awe-inspiring landscapes of Ladakh. Incidentally, this was Yash Chopra's last film. The film's romantic plot unfolded against the backdrop of Pangong Lake's tranquil blue waters and the dramatic terrain of the region. Shah Rukh Khan's character donned the uniform of an army officer. No fan can forget the scene of SRK riding a Royal Enfield bike with lyrical words penned by Gulzar Saab being read out in the background.
Kerala – Dil Se
The picturesque landscape of Kerala has always been preferred by moviemakers for the purpose of shooting movie scenes. Veteran director, Mani Ratnam chose Thekkady and Munnar for his movie Dil Se. The song “Jiya Jale” encapsulated the beauty of three mesmerizing waterbodies of Kerala. The camera captured the beauty of the heroine against the backdrop of the backwaters of Alappuzha and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady. Shah Rukh Khan romancing a sensuously dressed Preity Zinta in the waters of Athirapilly waterfalls (located in the Thrissur district) is an indelible memory in the audience memory.
Wai – Swades
This movie is remembered for one of Shah Rukh Khan's most appreciated performances. This Ashutosh Gowarikar directorial was the first Indian movie that was actually shot at the NASA headquarters. The most iconic SRK Movie scene from this film (which was used in the trailer and as the promotional poster) finds Shah Rukh Khan's character, Mohan, riding a boat. This was shot at the Dhom Dam. It is an earthfill and gravity dam on the Krishna River near Wai in Maharashtra. Wai is a small village in Maharashtra, located at a distance of 90 km from Pune, which gained popularity with the shooting of Swades in 2004. It was reported that the team of the film Swades stayed back in the village for seven months to shoot the song “Yeh Tara Woh Tara”. Interestingly, Wai has become a pit spot for tourists who visit hill stations like Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. Wai is popular for its scenic beauty and temples. There are many temples built in Wai where tourists come for local photoshoots. The four famous temples near Brahmanshahi ghat are Chakreshwar, Chimneshwar, Kaunteshwar/Harihareshwar and Kaleshwar. Many scenes from Rohit Shetty's film Chennai Express involving Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone have also been filmed in this place.
Apta Railway Station – Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Perhaps the most iconic climax of an SRK film was that in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. The shot was improvised on set by Shah Rukh Khan himself. And the scene has become unforgettable. The movie ends at Apta railway station on the Panvel-Roha route of the Central Railway. Lying between Rasayani and Jite railway stations, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, this station is complimented by the picturesque hills and greenery. The station has hills on one side and a road on the other making it easily accessible. Such a railway station with fewer crowds is an ideal location for film shooting. Few trains halt at the Apta Railway station. It also has an additional track which makes this suitable for the movement of special trains booked for film shooting. Apta is just a 2 hours journey from Film City, Mumbai. Thereby, Apta Railway Station has become the most preferred location after CSMT. It is so visually attractive that Danny Boyle's 2008 Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire also used the same railway station.
Ooty – Dil Se
Everytime one talks about Dil Se, the image that immediately comes to our mind is that of Shah Rukh Khan dancing atop a moving train. The iconic Chhaiya Chhaiya, composed by A R Rehman and choreographed by Farha Khan was an instant chartbuster. No major back projections or post-production special effects were used in the music video as it was shot in-camera on top of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway train. Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a 46-km long meter-gauge single-track railway in Tamil Nadu that started in 1908. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. The mesmerizingly beautiful Nilgiri Hills in the background made the visuals of the song unforgettable. The impressive dance moves of the star make this song one of the favorite songs of SRK fans.
Darjeeling – Main Hoon Na
Who can forget the antics of Shah Rukh Khan playing an undercover soldier posing as a college student in Farha Khan's first film as a director, Main Hoon Na! It was the 153-year-old St. Paul's Boarding School that was portrayed as a college in the movie.
Situated at 7,800 feet above sea level, St. Paul's School in Darjeeling is said to be the highest public school in the world. With the mighty Kanchenjunga as the backdrop, St. Paul's is said to be the second oldest educational institute in the country (and possibly the oldest residential school in Asia). The release of the blockbuster had sparked great enthusiasm among locals and tourists alike as the superstar and other crew had stayed here during the shooting in December 2002. It was common to find tourists, some dressed as SRK, posing in front of the school gates.
Earlier, Shah Rukh had shot to stardom with the song “Dil Hai Mera Deewana” for the movie Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman which was also shot in Darjeeling.
Amritsar – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Staying true to the plot, Amritsar has been the primary location for SRK movie scenes in this film. The characters of Surinder Sahni (played by Shah Rukh Khan) and Taani (played by Anushka Sharma) visit the Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara which is also known as the Golden Temple. With its top half made purely from gold, the legendary shrine is almost synonymous with Amritsar. This awe-inspiring temple is the holiest shrine in the Sikh faith. It became a center of the Singh Sabha Movement between 1883 and 1920s. As the soulful title track plays in the background, the characters try to understand God's hand in their lives and relationships. This called for one of the most emotional moments in the film that beautifully captured the divine aura of the place and gave significance to the plot.
Shah Rukh Khan is a phenomenon that unites fans of Bollywood from all across the globe. The audience has thus, along with the superstar, traveled to destinations that are shooting locations of SRK movie scenes. How many of these places have you been to?
An honest SCORPIO who is crazy about movies, and overly passionate about travel.
Believes in immortalizing the moment, either by way of the photograph or literal documentation of the journey.