By: Shikha Patial
Shimla has always been Bollywood’s one of its favourite places for its picturesque sights. Many love songs have been shot amidst the beautiful pine trees of places like Naldehra, Chail and, Mashobra. More so, the place has been famous for its British touch. There are many buildings from the British era that are famous amongst movie-makers.
Bollywood often looks up to Shimla as an economic alternative for Switzerland or England. Lately, the Simla British Resort, a masterpiece of British architecture has emerged as an exclusive favourite of Bollywood and mostly remains booked for the shooting of one or the other Bollywood movie.
Ajay Devgan’s ‘Mai Aisa Hi Hoon’ was the first movie which was shot here followed by Amitabh Bacchan’s ‘Shoe Bite’ and recently Imran Hashmi and Kangana Ranaut were also here for Raaz-II. A renowned Bollywood and television figure Parikshit Sahni who is here these days to shoot his home production tele-series ‘London Ki Ek Raat’ says, “This property exactly looks like London and it is exactly what I wished for my shooting”.
This property which was established in 1893 by the British is now owned by Ajay Goel of Shimla Goel Buildwell Pvt Ltd. “This is the only property in North India, which is 100 per cent British,” says Goel. He further informs that every piece of furniture, furnishing equipment and even the cutlery and crockery, which are used for dining even today is of British times.
The Interiors of the resort reflects a Royal British style and makes one relive the British era. There are two cottages, The Scottish Cottage and The British Cottage – both named after their style architecture. Worth watching are the exclusive and elite antique pieces like Lampshades made of camel skin, pianos, leather and stone paintings and a wooden round table which has got a scene of an entire village inscribed on its surface, is a great masterpiece. The windows of the cottages are draped with beautiful leather curtains, maintenance of which is only possible in temperate climatic region like Shimla. There are stone fire places in the rooms with brass fire kits. The resort as a whole is a great souvenir of the British times and keeps one enthralled through out. All these features put together make it an exclusive property in India.
Another big attraction in the resort, which is used in almost all the movies is the wooden ceiling, which opens out a staircase leading to the attic and its sight reminds one of some old thriller movie. Raaz-II also made use of this staircase to shoot its intense and haunted scenes.
Simla British Resort, besides being an absolute masterpiece of British architecture is has many other engrossing features that it would always act as a magnet to attract the Bollywood to Shimla.