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Revisiting Bollywood: 5 Iconic things to do in Punjab

 Revisiting Bollywood: 5 Iconic things to do in Punjab

By Netra Sadhale

10 Jul, 2024

Whether it’s Yash Chopra’s timeless romance saga or Imtiaz's Ali’s never-ending soul-searching journeys, Bollywood and Punjab fit together like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. DDLJ’s portrayal of Punjab with Kajol’s iconic white dupatta flying over the mustard fields and Shahrukh’s striking pose has forever left an indelible mark on Bollywood, setting up a benchmark for filmmakers to draw inspiration from romance capturing rural India.

Punjab’s natural beauty and culture continues to captivate audiences worldwide but still remains to be a place uncharted by backpackers when it comes to looking for offbeat destinations. So come, venture with us through the blog to explore the five cinematic things to do in Punjab, the Bollywood style.

But before we explore Punjab’s cinematic charm, make sure to check into The Hosteller Amritsar , for an unforgettable stay experience. Nestled amidst the iconic landmarks like Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and famed local eateries, The Hosteller is a perfect blend of traditional Amritsari charm and modern comfort. .

5 Bollywood Moments to Recreate in Punjab

1. Pathankot to Chandigarh via Amritsar: A Dil Chahta Hai-inspired Road Trip

Explore the iconic landscapes of Punjab through a 'Dil Chahta Hai' -inspired road trip with friends. Often referred to as the ‘Land of Five Rivers’, Punjab boasts amazing landscapes. Right from lush green fields to vibrant mustard farms and serene villages, Punjab is just the perfect place for your next road trip adventure.

Begin your journey in Pathankot, a charming, picturesque village with beautiful scenes of the Shivalik ranges and river Chakki. After gradually descending, you can go to the bustling city of Amritsar. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the stunning Golden Temple surrounded by Amritsarovar and shop through the bustling bazaars before you en route to Jalandhar. These bazaars have some amazing collections of Phulkari dresses and juttis. As you move towards Jalandhar, the bustling streets now transition seamlessly into the serene countryside views and vibrant mustard farms.

The local dhabas on the way enhance your road trip experience even further. By Halting at these roadside eateries, you can also savour the taste of authentic Punjabi cuisine. Punjabi cuisine offers a delightful variety of taste palettes from buttery parathas to creamy Dal Makhani and spicy herbs to tandoori meats. Finally, don’t forget to capture some amazing pictures in the vibrant mustard fields and end your journey at Chandigarh. This 300 km road trip from Pathankot to Chandigarh is an absolute must and a completely offbeat things to do in Punjab.

Picture of iconic scene from Dil Chahta Hai. Three of them driving car

Iconic road trip scene from 'Dil Chahta Hai' (Credits: TimesofIndia)

2. Samjhauta express: Relive the ‘Veer Zaara’ train journey

Stroll down memory lane and travel through the iconic ‘Samjhauta Express’ that once connected the two nations. Started in 1976, the Samjhauta express was the only lifeline connecting India and Pakistan. The train that earlier began from Delhi ventured through the fertile state of Punjab and commenced its journey at Pakistan’s capital city, Lahore.

However, due to political tensions, the train no longer goes to Pakistan but still holds the thrill of appealing to its travellers. If you love to go down memory lane, this train journey is one of the most adventurous things to do in Punjab. You can board the train from Amritsar Railway Station and disembark at its final destination, Attari (the last village of India) covering an overall journey of 45 mins. The tickets for this train can be purchased only at the Amritsar Railway station and not through online booking. This train once bustling with travellers to and from Pakistan as depicted in Yash Chopra’s iconic ‘Veer Zaara’ now echoes with emptiness. The tranquillity inside the train hints at the passage of time and its vibrant past.

Along this route, you can explore India's international and last railway station, Attari. This train brings you tantalisingly close to the Wagah border, evoking charged excitement. You will also get to witness the iconic gate closing ceremony at Wagah Border which is hardly 3km from the station.

Iconic scene from the song 'Tere Liye'  Veer and Zaara at Atari Railway station

Iconic scene from the song 'Teri Liye' when Veer comes to drop Zaara at Attari Railway station. (Credits: News18)

3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan saga: Experience border crossing at Kartarpur corridor

Imagine reliving the emotions and excitement of border crossing as shown in the finale scene of iconic movie, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. Experience a similar journey at Kartarpur Corridor and get a chance to dive into the history and shared emotions of two nations (India and Pakistan).

Just 50 km away from the Golden City, Amritsar, Kartarpur Corridor offers an experience like never before. Opened in 2019, mainly just as a gateway for Indian pilgrims to access the sacred Kartarpur Gurudwara Pakistan, this corridor is a journey that teleports you back in time. The corridor lets Indians enter Pakistan, visa-free offering a rare thrilling opportunity to cross international borders on foot.

Visiting this corridor gives you a chance to witness the beauty of the world's largest Gurudwara, Kartarpur Sahib and savour the taste of delicious langar with Pakistanis. Moreover, you can indulge in a budget-friendly shopping spree at a Pakistani bazaar and experience Pakistani warm hospitality.

Ending scene from Bajrangi Bhaijan after Salman crosses the border to come to India

Ending scene of Bajrangi Bhaijan (Indian Meme Templates)

4. ‘Highway’ quest: Discover Toosa village via Punjab roadways.

Hop on Punjab roadways (state transport bus in Punjab) and live your Patakha Guddi moment (like Alia Bhatt in Highway) by embarking on a solo trip to Punjab’s beautiful village, Toosa.

The journey commences from the bustling town of Amritsar where you can board the bus and further traverse scenic highways lined with mustard fields.. You can get down at Ludhiana bus stop and then take a local transport to Toosa village which is just 30km away. To know the exact bus timings you can visit the official site of Punjab roadways.

Toosa village in Ludhiana district truly ignites the rustic charm of Punjab with breathtaking views of sugarcane and mustard fields around. You can learn the art of pottery from the local craftsmen here and enjoy the hot mouth-watering samosas from nearby thelas. Immerse in the beauty of this charming village and to fully embrace the free-spirited essence of Alia Bhatt in Highway try your hands on the tractor with locals.

Visual from the song Patakha Guddi

Visuals from the song Patakha Guddi ( Credits: Koimoi)

5. Revisit ‘Jab We Met’ Magic: Unveil Sadda Pind, Punjab’s cultural charm

Remember the comic scenes of ‘Jab We Met’ when Shahid and Anshuman return to Bathinda with Geet after 7 years. The abundance of warmth and hospitality with a grand Punjabi welcome and plethora of Punjabi cuisine is just what you can relive at Amritsar’s cultural marvel, Sadda Pind.

Located just a 10-minute drive from Amritsar, Sadda Pind recreates a village ambiance, immersing in Punjabi culture and cuisine.The streets are adorned with colourful artwork and energetic Bhangra and Gidda dances.Moreover, the visitors get a chance to savour the taste of variety of Punjabi dishes right from Chole Bature, Dal makhani, Amritsari fish, Makki ki Roti, Sarso da saag, Malai Lassi and more.You can book the tickets from the official website of Sadda Pind. 

You can also learn craftsmanship from local artisans, listen to captivating tales from storytellers, dance through the beats of Bhangra and indulge in authentic Punjabi cuisine at village-themed restaurants. This offbeat location displays Punjab’s hospitality is a must-visit and a mandatory thing to do in Punjab.

Comic scene where Shahid is overwhelmed by Punjabi hospitality

Comic scene from Jab We Met (Credits: ScoopWhoop)

Frequently asked questions:

1. How far is The Hosteller Amritsar from Amritsar Railway Station? The Hosteller Amritsar is hardly a 15-minute drive from Amritsar Railway station and is well connected to iconic locations like The Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh.

2. How long does it take to travel from Pathankot to Chandigarh via Amritsar? The journey from Pathankot to Chandigarh is approximately 300 km and it takes around 5 hours to reach Chandigarh via Amritsar.

3. How far is the Wagah Border gate from Attari Railway Station? The Wagah Border gate is approximately 3 kilometres from Attari Railway Station. You can either choose to walk or take a tum tum to the entrance.

4. Which is the nearest bus stop to Toosa Village? Toosa village is in the Ludhiana district of Punjab. The closest and most feasible option is to get down at the Ludhiana bus stop and take a local auto to Toosa.

5. Is the border crossing at Kartarpur Corridor safe? Don’t worry. The Kartarpur Corridor was especially opened for Indian pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Gurudwara. However, you may not worry as crossing the border from Kartarpur Corridor is highly safe and visa- free for Indians.

6. What is Sadda Pind? Sadda Pind is a cultural village designed to showcase the traditional lifestyle, art and culture. It aims to preserve Punjab's rich heritage and culture, making it a popular tourist destination.

7. How to reach The Hosteller, Amritsar? The Hosteller Amritsar is hardly 10km away from the Amritsar airport, 3 km from Amritsar Railway station and 2.5km from ISBT Amritsar bus stop. You can easily opt for a cab or tumtum to reach The Hosteller Amritsar.

Note: Feature image has been generated through AI. (Images copyright- Midjourney)

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