Shimla, the most popular hill station located in Himachal Pradesh also happens to be one of the favorite movie locations for filmmakers. Also known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, Simla is located in the foothills of the Himalaya’s, which makes it one of the most preferred shooting spots in India.
In 1864, Viceroy John Lawrence had made Shimla (then spelled as Simla) as the summer capital of British India.
The hill station boasts of several examples of colonial architecture, the most famous ones being the Viceroy Lodge, the neo-Gothic style Christ Church and the Mall road. All of these landmarks have prominently featured in several Indian films.
Movies Shot in Shimla
Several movies were shot here in the late 60s and the 70s, but then shooting came to a halt in Shimla as filmmakers started preferring the Kashmir Valley, and Europe in the late 90s. However, with filmmakers more budget-conscious nowadays, Shimla seems to be back in favor now.
The pretty locales of the town, the Raj-style bungalows & Palaces, Shimla’s railway station & the toy trains is what attracts Bollywood filmmakers.
Several Bollywood movies have been shot here with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Black, Jab We Met, 3 idiots, Bang Bang,
Tamasha being the more popular ones that have been shot here.
In 1960, R.K. Nayyar shot his black-and-white romantic musical hit ‘Love in Shimla’ here.
Popular Hindi Songs Filmed in Shimla
Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) starring Dev Anand had this beautiful song ‘Tu kahan ye bata is nasheeli raat mein’ picturised on the streets of Shimla.
The film Daag (starring Rajesh Khanna and directed by Yash Chopra) had a song ‘Mere dil mein aaj kya hai Tu kahe to main bata doon’ which was filmed in Simla.
The movie ‘Dost’ (1974) starring Dharmendra had the popular song: Gaadi bula rahi hai, seeti baja rahi hai’ which was shot on the train from Shimla to Taradevi.
Shooting in Shimla
The government’s new policy makes getting clearances much easier. It has introduced a single-window system to grant permission to film and TV serial makers (within 3 days) to shoot in the various locales of the region.
There are many who believe that Shimla makes for a perfect setting for shooting films, and a well-equipped studio will make it even more attractive to film producers (should drastically cut down the production time and cost).
Though television is big nowadays, the television stars are definitely not as big as the film stars. That’s why probably no one recognized the actors of the tele-serial C.I.D. (including actor Shivaji Satnam, popularly known as ACP Praduman) when they were shooting one of their episodes in Shimla. During one of their reel-life chase scene on the busy Mall Road, onlookers thought that the outdoor scene was actually a real crime, and soon the real police were all over that place. It took the TV show’s crew some effort to convince the police and onlookers about the reality.