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Thursday July 18th 2024

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai | 1998

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai filming location: University Of Mauritius, Mauritius
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai location: 'St Xavier's College': University Of Mauritius, Mauritius | Photograph: wikimedia / Amitexo

Before dying in childbirth, Tina (Rani Mukerji), the wife of Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), leaves her newborn daughter the task of reuniting Rahul with his first love Anjali (Kajol) in this odd, but hugely successful, triangular romance.

Although the story is set largely around Mumbai, India, with interiors filmed in several Mumbai studios (Film City, Goregaon; Filmalaya Studio; Filmistan Studios; and RK Studios, Chembur), much of the film was made in Mauritius.

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 miles off the southeast African coast, and one of the world's top luxury tourism destinations

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai filming location: Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis, Mauritius
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai location: Rahul is late to meet his daughter in 'Mumbai': Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis, Mauritius | Photograph: wikimedia / B Navez

Port Louis is the capital and largest city, and its here on the Le Caudan Waterfront that Rahul makes up for being two hours late to meet his daughter.

In the flashback story to the college days of Rahul, Tina and tomboy Anjali, ‘St Xavier’s’ is the campus of the University of Mauritius, Le Reduit, at Moka, a few miles south of Port Louis.

The triangular fantasy song Tum Paas Aaye suddenly – and for no logical reason – whisks the three off to the rolling green landscapes of Scotland.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai filming location: Black Rock Cottage, Glen Coe, Scotland
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai location: the fantasy song Tum Paas Aaye: Black Rock Cottage, Glen Coe, Scotland | Photograph: wikimedia / Patrick Mackie

The charming white-painted cottage, set against the dramatic mountain backdrop of Buachaille Etive Mor, is Blackrock Cottage, West Highland Way, just south of the A82 at the foot of Meall a’ Bhuiridh, between Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe. Since 1947, it's been the climbing hut of the Ladies' Scottish Climbing Club.

The famous peaks of Glen Coe have featured on-screen in Mel Gibson's Braveheart and in 2012 Bond movie Skyfall.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai filming location: Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai location: the fantasy song Tum Paas Aaye: Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland | Photograph: wikimedia / David Iliff

The castle on the lake with a stone arched bridge, is the 13th century Eilean Donan Castle on an islet in Dornie, eight miles east of Kyle of Lochalsh on the A87, Wester Ross. Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins until it was bought in 1911, restored, and opened to visitors in 1932.

One of the most visited attractions in the Scottish highlands, it's no stranger to the screen Eilean Donan has also been seen in Highlander, 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, two costume adventures: Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948) with David Niven, and The Master of Ballantrae (1953) with Errol Flynn, as well as Loch Ness (1996), romantic comedy Made of Honor and Shekhar Kapur’s epic Elizabeth, The Golden Age.

The ruined abbey is Inchmahome Prior, on an island in the middle of Lake Menteith in Stirling (the only 'Lake' in Scotland) an Augustine priory founded in 1238. In 1547, the four-year-old Mary Queen of Scots was brought here for safety by her mother, Mary de Guise, after the Scots defeat at the Battle of Pinkie.

The steep-sided rock rising from the sea is Bass Rock, a seabird sanctuary, home to a large colony of gannets, in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland.

The castle facing it is Tantallon Castle, Auldhame, East Lothian, is a semi-ruined mid-14th-century fortress consisting of a single wall blocking off the headland, with the other three sides naturally protected by sea cliffs. It's about three miles east of North Berwick, in East Lothian.

Back to the real world, the second half of the film follows young Anjali's attempts to reunite her father with his first love, who's now teaching at a summer camp in Shimla. Sadly, 'Camp Sunshine' doesn't exist. The bridge and the camp buildings were built just for the film at Wenlock Downs in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula, and is home to its own Tamil film industry, known as Kollywood (a portmanteau of Kodambakkam and Hollywood). Tamil cinema is one of the largest centres of film production in India, the rolling meadowland of Wenlock Downs is a spectacular meadowland, about five miles northwest of Ooty, has provided a backdrop for lots of movies.

There were once riding stables and kennels at Ooty and the Ootacamund Hounds hunted across the surrounding countryside, which is named after Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock. There's still horse racing at Ooty Racecourse.

Incidentally, the game of Snooker is said to have originated on the billiard tables of the Ootacamund Club, invented by army officer Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain.