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LONDON

Jab tak hai Jaan

Shot in the very picturesque and the very moody London, Jab Tak Hai Jaan covered many tourist frequented destinations. The Victorian era though long gone by, still has traces of its influence in the royal city and the movie captures this beautifully in its song sequences. Bollywood has a long standing association with the city with many movies being shot here every year. From the marvellous Marble Arch to the more common London tube, everything finds a place in the movie. As the aspiring singer Samar roams around Trafalgar square belting out the soulful Challa song, one is possessed with the wandering spirit of the song. One of the oldest cities in the world, London has seen the world take its shape. A city where history blends sublimely with modernity, London is a must see on our list of places. You haven’t seen Europe, if you haven’t been to London!

The Filmy Lense – Jab Tak hai Jaan

Samar Anand is an Indian musician who is trying to make it big in London. During such trying times he meets Meera who bowls him over. But Meera has other aspirations in her life which essentially revolves around landing herself a Brit fiancé (which does happen). But the regular meetings with Samar makes her fall in love with him and she commands him to leave her life as she doesn’t want her life to be disrupted. Samar makes his way back home and joins the army and rises in ranks. Now a major, he is not the man he used to be anymore. In course of his daily duty he saves Akira, a journalist from a tragedy who instantly falls in love with him. She insists on doing a cover on him, in the process of which she stumbles upon the diary maintained by Samar which has a good long episode of Meera in it. From here on the film shifts gears and throws the audience from one end to another. A love triangle which starts and ends in London, this was the romance prodigy’s (Yash Chopra’s) last movie.

Filmy Locations

All Saints Church, Blackheath

Scene: Intro of Katrina Kaif and the Church where Katrina Kaif has deals with God

Blackheath lies between the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich in the southern part of London. Blackheath literally means ‘dark coloured heathland’ and the famous All Saints Church is located in this region. Built in 1857 by Benjamin Ferrey the church transports its visitors into a mini-heaven of sorts. This place is a respite from the hip big city life of London.

Trafalgar Square, London

Scene: The song: Challa

Like Rome (as earlier mentioned) London also has a fair number of public squares. Our desi crowd would overlook it as just another ‘community hall’ sort of place, but the Trafalgar Square is so much more than that. If you are looking for impromptu performances, lazy afternoon jaunts, then Trafalgar Square is the place to be in. It is London’s Times Square; one would never bore of it. Every major celebration and event starts right here in this square which boasts of fountains numerous fountains which becomes animated at night and pavements which always has tourists treading on it. Trafalgar Square has witnesses some of the major events of the century such as the Royal Wedding, Olympics and many more. One of world’s most provocative pieces of art, the Fourth Plinth resides in this square. Breath in the air saturated with some rich history in this square.

Tower Bridge, London

Scene: The song: Challa

When the world was alien to mechanized bridges, Tower Bridge of London had bascules which would rise to let the river traffic pass. The bridge still attracts a fair share of tourists in a time when mechanised bridges are no more an alien concept. The history, the architecture and the geographical location, all these play a major role in the bridge’s attraction factor. The giant structure stands in all its glory in River Thames adorned in red, white and blue, the colour denotes the Queen’s silver jubilee.

Canary Wharf, London

Scene: The song: Challa

A business centre which attracts tourists-Canary Wharf located in Tower Hamlet is one of a kind. A medley of tall buildings is the first thing which meets the ones eyes. Canary boasts of the second tallest building in the UK, One Canada Square. Apart from trade, the place is a hotspot for shoppers, movie lovers and other entertainment seekers. It boasts of over 300 shops, bars, restaurants and more.

St Pancras railway station, London

 

Scene: The song: Challa

This is no ordinary railway station. It is a sight for the sore eyes and an architectural delight. The station has art pieces on display which were specially commissioned, for example, The St. Pancras International Clock, the Betjeman statue etc. It is flanked by the King’s Cross Station, the Regent’s Canal and the British Library, which mean you can kill more than two birds with one stone if you are in the locality. You can see them all! The Victorian architecture would take you back in time.

Palace of Westminster and Westminster Bridge, London

Scene: The song: Challa

The Palace of Westminster needs no introduction. The crown of London also happens to be the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. On the banks of River Thames, the palace has seen quite a lot. In 1834 after going up the flames the palace was a mere shadow of its once glorious structure. Today, a fairly newer palace stands in place of the old one, but it has still retained its original style and ambience.

On the other hands, Westminster Bridge is a foot over bridge over River Thames. The bridge is painted in green, the colour of the House of Common’s seat at the Westminster Palace. While the Lambeth Bridge (which is on the opposite side of the parliament) is painted red, the colour of the House of Lord’s seat at the Westminster Palace .

Leake Street, London

Scene: The song: Ishq Shava

A haven for mural painting lovers, the Banksy Tunnel or the Graffiti Tunnel commonly known as the Leake Street lies in Lambeth, London. The graffiti covered walls are a sight to behold. A planned graffiti festival namely “Cans Festival “was organised in 2008, to create these artworks which is over 300-meter long. After two editions of the artistic festival, Leake Street turned into a major tourist attraction.

Trinity Buoy Wharf

Scene: The song: Ishq Shava

The Bow Creek Lighthouse or the Trinity Buoy Wharf is London’s only lighthouse. At the convergence of River Thames and Bow Creek, the light house gives a spectacular view of London. Today, it is an ornate lighthouse which is majorly used for artistic purposes.

The O2 (Earlier known as Millennium Dome)

Scene: The song: Ishq Shava

The greatest and the largest entertainment district in South-Eastern London, the O2 provides a wide prospect of entertainment. Go dancing in a fancy club, or enjoy a quiet meal in a gourmet restaurant or go bowling, or ice skating, it has much more to offer. It adds a spark of excitement to leisure.

The Great Conservatory, Syon Park, London

Scene: The song: Saans

If you are nature lover then head eight miles away for Central London to Syon Park, a country estate which looks nothing like a ‘country’. The landscaped park, the Syon House and the ambience which seeps into the tourists is a once in a lifetime experience. If you are willing to spend, then you can rent an apartment here any time from April to October. The place is often booked during this season for wedding receptions, formal dinner, lectures etc.

Marble Arch, London

Scene: The song: Saans

A marvellous marble arch designed by John Nash in 1872, the Marble Arch is one of the major landmarks of London. Only royalties are allowed to pass through the arch which happens once in a while during ceremonial processions. Commoners can enjoy  the sight and wander around in Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edward Road.

London Eye

Scene: The song: Saans

A ferry wheel, a giant one at that on the River Thames, has been officially named as the eye of London. 135 meters tall and 120 meters wide, this is the place to be in. The London eye draws over 3.5 million visitors annually.

Other locations covered in the movie worth a visit

Pahalgam, J&K; Gulmarg, J&K; Ladakh, J&K

Other movies shot in London

Indians and Angrez have had a long history, therefore over 40 Bollywood movies are shot in London in a year’s time. Some of them are- Mughse dosti karogi, Namaste London, Love Aaj Kal, London Dreams etc.

Must try

This once in a lifetime opportunity must be utilised optimally.

Go splurge in Harrods, browse in Columbia Road Flower Market, and discover Portobello Road Market, dive into London’s best record shops, Billingsgate Market and tip-toe into Davenports Magic.

Book Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe

Hog on Chinatown’s delicacy, Turkish delicacy, traditional Brit food and more.

Paint the town red– West End musical, Ministry of Sound, Comedy Store, get into classic and art-house cinema.

Discover Leighton House Museum, Buckingham Palace, London Zoo, Monuments.

Getting there

There are regular flights operating to London from New Delhi and Mumbai. One can fly by Air India, Indigo or other carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic etc.

Where to stay

The Bingham

Hazlitt’s

Claridge’s

Church Street Hotel

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