Standing stoically amid greenery on Mathura Road, Purana Qila has been a favourite spot among Delhiites who throng this iconic landmark for a date with the city’s history, a fun boat ride or a picnic after a day at the adjacent New Delhi Zoological Park.
Not just Dilliwalahs, the Qila aka the Old Fort has lured Bollywood filmmakers, too, who have captured its magnanimity and picturesque beauty in films. As it’s time for the 16th century monument to undergo restoration — conservation, maintenance and development — for it to come alive in all its glory, here’s reminiscing how it has made for the perfect backdrop in some of Bollywood’s biggest films — be it Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De! India or Kangana Ranaut’s Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Check it out!
TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS
The 2015 Aanand L Rai directorial saw the fort make an appearance in a musical sequence between actors Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan. Old School Girl, the track for the sequence saw the actors enjoy a boat ride at the Old Fort Lake.
LOVE AAJ KAL
The Qila acted as a symbol of love in the 2009 hit film, which narrated two parallel love sagas — an old-school one between Veer and Harleen (played by Saif Ali Khan and Giselli Monteiro) and a modern romance between Jai and Meera (Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone). In one scene, you see Deepika working on restoration of the fort.
CHAK DE INDIA
While the title track of the 2007 drama sees the India women’s hockey team led by Shah Rukh Khan jog around various locations across Delhi such as Lodi Gardens, Garden of Five Senses and Rajpath, the Purana Qila also makes a brief appearance. Singer Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals with visuals of the team running through a misty path amid the fort’s ruins make for a great sequence.
In 2004, late filmmaker Yash Chopra’s blockbuster Veer-Zaara was shot here. The sequence shot at the Qila-e Kuhna Masjid in Purana Qila saw the film’s protagonists Veer (Shah Rukh Khan) and Zaara (Preity Zinta) bid farewell to each other. After the film’s release, it became a popular spot among tourists.
The Old Fort made a brief appearance in a song sequence in the 2012 film, Jannat 2. Actors Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta are seen romancing at the Qila to Shafqat Amanat Ali’s hit song Tu Hi Mera. The song takes you on quite a Dilli darshan, also featuring other Delhi landmarks such as Qutub Minar and Dilli Haat.
The climax scene of the 1998 Mani Ratnam movie, Dil Se, was shot at the fort. In the sequence, Amar (Shah Rukh Khan) and Moina (Manisha Koirala) express their love for each other. And as they embrace, the suicide vest Moina is wearing explodes, killing them both.