Villages in Punjab have lately come into the spotlight for being chosen as shooting locales for many Bollywood films. The latest example is Aamir Khan’s next film Dangal which is based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat. Aamir will play the role of the noted wrestler and the film’s shooting is expected to commence in Kila Raipur and Gujjarwal villages, near Ludhiana, in the coming days.
Preparations for the film have reached its peak in these villages as the HT City team discovered when they visited these areas. The residents of these villages, be it children or the old, are more than excited to witness the making of the film and most of all none of them want to miss out on the opportunity to meet Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.
Interestingly, all of them knew the selected spots where village bazaars have been converted to look like villages in Haryana where Phogat hails from. Shop names, hoardings, labels, advertisements and notices in the Punjabi language have been repainted in Hindi at these particular spots.
“We know that the story’s background has roots in Haryana but we are happy that the film team chose Punjab. It was interesting to see how the artists went about their work converting these spots so that we could feel like we were in Haryana. The owners whose shops were selected are being congratulated by one and all,” says Mohinder Singh, whose flour mill will be part of the film shoot and has been renamed as ‘Kala chakki wala’.
Similarly, Surinder Kaur’s beauty parlour and general store Guru Nanak Beauty and General Store has been renamed ‘Munayari Ki Dukan’. She says, “I am a big fan of Aamir Khan and I will surely take pictures with him. We have informed all our relatives about this great opportunity and we will also get the chance to see how films are made.” Besides bazaars, a few homes have also been finalised and traditional Haryanvi elements have already been introduced in these homes.
Meanwhile, Khan will be visiting Ludhiana district for the second time. He was here previously to shoot for Rang De Basanti at Doraha Fort. Some other recent examples of Bollywood films that have been shot in Punjab are Phantom that was shot in Malerkotla chosen to replicate Lahore and Singh is Bling that was shot in the Sangrur district.