8Dilwale dulhania le jaenge
It was the 90s, Indian cinema screen was ruled by the trio of Khans, the tunes of Jatin-Lalit and Nadeem Shravan and the directors like Yash Chopra, David Dhawan and Sooraj Badjatya with growing movie budgets. It was also the time just before the arrival of internet in India and the time of slowly growing jobs in the wake of globalization in an increasingly younger country after the higher unemployment rates of the preceding decades. At such a time, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge hit the silver screen bang in the middle of the decade marking the debut of Aditya Chopra, a young man of 24 years of age and the son of Yash Chopra, and staring the now iconic pair of Shahrukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Simran.
It was the first time in Indian cinema that a young female actor was shown embarking on a euro trip with her girl gang. The film follows Raj and Simran through the picturesque landscapes of Switzerland and the lush green and bright yellow mustard fields of Punjab.
Within no time, the film gripped the imagination of the nation and people fell in love with the movie which centered on the theme of nostalgia for the homeland for Indians settled abroad and the born abroad but desi at heart second generation. Such is the stature of the film that Maratha Mandir, a Mumbai film theatre continues to run the film unabated post 20 years of its release. The amazing cinematography captured the very scenic beauty of Switzerland making it the number one choice of nation to visit for most Indians for years to come. In fact, till date the Switzerland tourism department has special mentions at all locations where the movie was shot. Devoted fans complete the tour as a homage to their favorite film and all-time great movie couple of Raj and Simran and re-enact their favorite moments from the film.
The Golden Pass Train route is the one that covers most of the iconic locations. The almost pilgrimage begins at Montreux and goes to the pretty village of Gstaad which is the location of the song ‘Zara sa jhoom lun main’. It is the train station at Zweisimmen near Gstaad where Raj and Simran miss boarding their train. As a matter of fact, Lake Lungerersee in the beautiful town of lakes, Interlaken has been renamed lake Chopra by the Swiss Tourism Department to honour the legacy of Yash Chopra. Saanen , another picturesque place, was the location of the church scene with Raj and Simran. Enough reasons to start planning your visit to Switzerland now!