While thinking of Switzerland, I wanted to write about some famous destinations from that heaven in Europe. But, one day when I was watching a movie The Hero: Love Story of a Spy on television and saw Sphinx Observatory scene, I thought why not to write a post about the bonding of Indian movies with the most romantic destinations of Switzerland. Yes, almost each of us dreams about Switzerland, because of the many shots in Indian movies filmed there. and then we have this post, Switzerland and Romantic Songs of Indian Movies.
The picturesque landscapes of Switzerland attracted the Indian Film Producers and Directors from many decades to shoot the romantic scenes there. The first Indian movie shot in Switzerland was Raj Kapoor’s Sangam in 1964, soon followed by Shakti Samanta’s An Evening in Paris in 1967. Then in 1970 the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra went for his honeymoon in Switzerland. He was so impressed with the beauty spread all around in this tiny, but one of the wealthiest nation of Europe, that he made an extensive tour of Switzerland and later, this country became the part of almost his every film. Through his films, he introduced the lush green meadows, snow-capped Alps, pristine lakes of Switzerland to India. Those are the days of intense militant activities in Kashmir Valley. Slowly drifted away from Kashmir, Many filmmakers followed the same path and Switzerland became an integral part of many romantic Bollywood Movies. Till date more than 80 Hindi Movies and more than 200 Indian Movies have been shot in Switzerland.
As the Bollywood romance with Switzerland continued, tourism industry in Switzerland started booming. Switzerland became the most romantic dream destination among the youth getting married in India and planning a honeymoon there. Yash Chopra captured the beautiful landscapes all around Switzerland with his beautiful actor couple singing and dancing around them. This was the most exciting idea of the romance and he became famous as the King of Romance. Switzerland equally honored the role of Yash ji to promote Tourism in Switzerland among the Indians. A beautiful lake, where he shot many movies, is famously known as Chopra Lake. He was felicitated with the honorary Swiss Ambassador Award by the Embassy of Switzerland and honored with the title “Amabssador of Interlaken”, his favorite town in Switzerland. A train named after Yash Chopra was also launched in Jungfrau Railways in Switzerland.
Some of the well known tourist spots of Switzerland and their shoots in Indian movies songs are listed below. All the screen-shots here are taken from the videos of respective songs or scenes on the Youtube.
1. The Castle of Chillon: It is also considered among the seven wonders of Switzerland. This island castle is located on the shore of Lake Geneva. This castle is beautifully and extensively filmed in the song “Kasam Se Kasam Se” from the movie Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rahte Hain. The romantic couple in this song is Kajol and Anil Kapoor.
The Castle opening time depends on the season and may vary from one hour or so from its normal opening hours between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. It remains open throughout the year except the 1st of January and 25th of December. Individual Adult entry fee is 12 Swiss Frank CHF) and a child (6-16 years) entry fee is 6 CHF. A family package consisting of a couple and a child will cost you 28 CHF. Concessions are available for students, senior citizens, group etc.
2. The Castle of Aigle: This castle is situated in the municipality of Aigle of the Canton of Vaud. It is considered as the Swiss Heritage Site of National Significance. Surrounded by beautiful landscape in the form of vineyards, this castle is also featured in the movie Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rahte Hain in the same song“Kasam Se Kasam Se” featuring Kajol And Anil Kapoor.
The Castle remains open throughout the year except on Monday. In Winter (Nov. to March) , its opening hours are from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM , while in Summer (April to Oct.), its opening hours are from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM. It also remains open on Easter Monday,Pentecost Monday and Fasting Monday. Entry fee is 11 CHF for adult and 5 CHF for child (aged between 6 years to 16 years). Concessions are available for students, senior citizens, group etc.
3. Rhine Falls: Located near the town of Schaffhausen in Northern Switzerland, these are the largest plain waterfall in Europe. Falls are located on the Upper Rhine and they are 150 mtrs wide and 23 mtrs high.
These waterfalls are beautifully filmed in the title song of the movie Had Kar Di Appne starring Rani Mukherjee and Govinda . In the end of this song, you can also see The Schlossli Worth Castle, located close to the Rhine Falls.
4. Casino Flower Clock, Interlaken: Interlaken is one of the Bollywood favorite town in Switzerland. This is best place to plan your journey for Jugfrau, Monch, Eiger and other surrounding mountains. One of the beautiful attraction located in this town is a floral clock, Casino Flower Clock, which is beautifully filmed in the song “Sitara Aankehn” from Movie Aur Pyar Ho Gaya starring Aishwarya Rai and Bobby Deol .
5. Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church, Lucerne: Chapel Bridge is a covered wooden bridge in the town of Lucerne, another highly picturized town in Bollywood movies. The bridge interior is famous for some high quality paintings, dating back to 17th century. This feature is present only in two other wooden bridges of Lucernce and not replicated elsewhere in the Europe. At the other side of the bridge is the beautiful Jesuit Church. Both these attractions are visible in the song “Jara Gunguna Lein Chalo” of the movie Laaga Chunri Me Daag starring Rani Mukherjee and Abhishek Bachhan.
6.Tram Ride in Berne: Trams in Berne, the capital of Switzerland, are small and beautiful. In the same song “Jara Gunguna Lein Chalo” of Laaga Chunri Me Daag, we can see a beautiful tram moving in front of legendary Zytglogge Tower in Berne City.
7. Swiss Alps: Can you imagine the beautiful and charming Switzerland minus Snow-clad peak of Alps and lush green meadows along its slope? Swiss Alps is a synonyms to the beauty of Switzerland, that makes it a perfect destination for trekking, hiking, skiing and various other adventure activities. The best way to reach in this region is via the town of Lucerne.
There are many Bollywood songs shot with the Alps in background,but one I find particularly beautiful is the song “Hai Deewana Ye Ishq Mera” from the Movie Dhai Akshar Prem Ke starring Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachhan.
8. The Castle of Gruyères, Fribourg: This building was built between 1270 to 1282 and located in the medieval town of Gruyeres, Fribourg (35 kms from Fribourg). It is also considered as the Swiss Heritage Site of National Significance. This castle and surrounding areas are filmed in the song “Bahut Khoobsurat Ho” from the movie Khoobsurat starring Urmila Matondakar and Sanjay Dutt.
This castle remains open everyday of year between 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM from April to October and between 10 AM to 4:30 PM from November to March. Entry fee is 10 CHF for adult and 3 CHF for child (aged between 6 years to 16 years). Concessions are available for students, senior citizens, group etc.
9. The Top of Europe at the Sphinx observatory: This particular attraction is not filmed in a romantic song, but in a action scene of the movie The Hero: Love Story of a Spy starring Priyanka Chopra, Preity Zinta and Sunny Deol.
The Sphinx Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Jungfraujoch Mountain Pass Area at an altitude of 3571 mtrs. Below the observatory is a railway station, accessible throughout the year and from railway station there is an elevator to the viewing deck. Viewing deck offers a panoramic view of the mountain peaks of Jugfrau, Monch and Eiger. In the movie, this observatory is filmed as the secret lab of Amrish Puri to store his nuclear weapon.
10. Shooting Locations of DDLJ: Best is kept for the last. If we are discussing about the Indian cinema and Switzerland, then this discussion is incomplete without the mention of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. This movie was shot extensively in Switzerland and this was the film after which Indian couples went crazy to explore the various destinations in Switzerland.
In fact, demand to visit DDLJ shooting locations picked up so much, that Yashraj Films collaborated with a leading Indian Travel Company to offer a ready-made travel package “YRF Enchanted Journey” to visit the original shooting locations of DDLJ.
The shooting locations of DDLJ in Switzerland are too much to mention in this post, but just for the reference, these are the honeymooners’ favorite locations:
The DDLJ Church: It created lot of confusion in earlier days, because in movie scene, there are two different churches in the exterior and interior. The exterior was shot at Montbovon, while the interior was shot in a church at St Grat.
DDLJ Bridge: Located in the town of Sannen.
…“Jara Sa Jhoom Loo Main” song was shot in the town of Gstaad. You can also see famous Candy store “Early Beck” in the song.
…In the song “Mere Khwabon Me Jo Aaye”, Shah Rukh Khan is running behind a plane. That scene was shot at Sannen Airport.
…The railway station where Kajol misses her train was shot at the Zweisimmen Railway Station, while When they finally make peace, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol wait at the railway station in Saanen for the next train to Zurich.
…The scene, in which SRK apologies to Kajol was shot in the town of Interlaken.
Switzerland always remain a favorite destination for Indian film-makers from the decades, but in the recent years as the budget of movies are increasing, the movie-makers want to explore the new untouched destination around the world. Another factor behind this is the increasing cost of shooting in Switzerland. Other countries are also attracting Indian film-makers with budget friendly package and hassle free processing of their shooting related documents. Due to this, we can now see the locations like Miami, Egypt, Cuba, Turkey and Fiji in Indian Movies. So, is the Indian Cinema Honeymoon with Switzerland and Europe is getting over with time? We have to wait for some more years to get a right answer for this.