When we talk of Bollywood films that make us want to travel, Ayan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani finds a definite top spot on the list. Unlike most Indian films, it wasn’t just the exotic YJHD filming locations that inspired many to travel, but also the fact that the lead protagonist’s dream career was to be a travel cinematographer. Now that was a revolutionary idea for a generation that was only beginning to pick up on the idea of #instatravel. What was earlier a vacation, actually seemed like the most lucrative career choice which provided the luxury & thrill of travelling without blues.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
The key plot of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani revolves around Kabir Thapar, aka Bunny whose ultimate dream was to travel & experience the world. Bunny is a cinematographer, fresh out of college with a carefree attitude, chocolate boy charm & a dream that he is so passionate about. He meets Naina, a classmate from school on a trip to Manali with his other best friends Avinash & Aditi. Naina, unlike Bunny is an introvert, serious, studious, class topper who was under tremendous pressure prepping for her medical career.
Bunny helps Naina value & love herself. He feels comfortable opening up to Naina. After the trip Bunny leaves for his masters & continues to live his life on his own terms, chasing his dreams.
He comes back only 8 years later, for Aditi’s destination wedding in Udaipur. Aditi-Avi-Bunny & Naina are back together again.
Each one, to find their own happy ending & come to terms with life.
Now YJHD, is one of those films which made several fall in love all over again with the idea of travelling. In fact the film had just the right elements to connect with the masses- friendship, love, dreams, growing up & life.
One of the key highlights of the film was the beauty of each frame. Which came not just from the good looking star cast but from the range of exciting locations. After all, a film whose main protagonist is a travel cinematographer is guaranteed to have lots of travel & great shooting locations.
So let’s decode-
YJHD Filming locations:
In every love story, it’s extremely important where the boy and girl first meet. In a la DDLJ scene, Bunny & Naina meet for the first time in the film at the Mumbai Central railway station where Bunny helps Naina get on the train by extending his hand to her to get onboard a moving train.
This scene was shot at the real location, the Mumbai Central railway station in Mumbai.
Starting from Manali
The trekking group, including Bunny- Naina & their friends reach Manali for their exciting adventure. The first YJHD filming location in Manali, as we see in the film are the Span Resorts.
The sequence of their first day in Manali was shot near the Hadimba temple, including the fight scene at night.
The Hadimba temple is one of the most popular temples in Manali and has been showcased as an important landmark in this hilly town.
The other filming locations in those sequences include Jalori, Kothi, Gulaba, Hamta, Naggar in Kullu-Manali areas.
The song Subhan Allah, a dream romantic duet between Naina & Bunny was shot in the snow clad Pahalgam, in Jammu.
Trek to temple
After the group is told about the legend of the Bhuta Parbat, Bunny & Naina hike up there to reach the peak. This entire sequence was shot in Kongdori area of Kashmir.
Ilahi is the first song in the film post interval. Bunny has become a travel cinematographer working with Fox Traveller. This song shot in Paris and Lyon beautiful puts together a compete tourism montage of the food, streets, culture, luxuries, women, and all kinds of beauty of the French cities.
Sights like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, Rue Mouffetard, Museé Louvre, Sienne river are some of the common visuals in the song.
I must say, the song is so beautiful shot and stitched together, showcasing Bunny’s new life and journey, it’s the finest piece of example to take inspiration from for any aspiring travel videographer.
Aditi’s Destination Wedding
After showcasing Bunny’s new life, the film comes back to where Naina started narrating her story- Aditi’s wedding. We are taken into the palaces of Udaipur, as Aditi who is all girly now is all set to get married, not to Avi whom she loved but Taran. Her wedding is also the perfect occasion for her best friends to unite! Avi and Naina are already here. Bunny flies in from Paris too!
Aditi’s Wedding sequences have been shot across the regal & elegant property of the Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur.
Bunny & Naina day out
Between Aditi’s wedding functions, Naina and Bunny take some time to bond as they explore the city of Udaipur. This again is one of the best shot and scripted sequences of the film where all key aspects of the city including the lake, the forts, the markets, the food are showcased in the background. All while Naina and Bunny’s chemistry is at the forefront.
Some of the popular spots in Udaipur covered in this sequence are-
- Lake Pichhola
- City Palace, Udaipur
- Bagore Ki Haveli
Finally, Naina and Sunny settle down to watch the sunset, while Bunny insists on heading for the light show. Naina throws away Bunny’s list and asks him to sit with her and watch the sunset ‘cuz it’s not possible to chase everything, you’re bound to miss something. So it’s best to enjoy the moment.
This scene was shot at the Chittorgarh fort in Udaipur.
The remaining portions/ indoor scenes of the film were shot in Mumbai, in the 3 popular studios- Filmistan, Film City & Mehboob.
YJHD became a humongous success on it’s release for multiple factors including the hit pairing of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone! The theme of friendship, romance, dreams struck a chord with the audience. Most importantly for the first time ever, the theme of travel, was explored in a way never done before.
Ever after… one could easily say that they wanted to travel for a living!
For most people I know, the YJHD is no less than food for their soul. What about you? Do you like the film? Which is your favourite YJHD filming location?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.