Darjeeling is Bengal’s quaint little hill-station. Its stunning physical beauty continues to draw the crowds every year. The mall – a row of tiny shops spreading uphill, Tiger Hill – the famous hill-top that has made sunrises famous and horse rides around the centre of the town are some of Darjeeling’s most famous attractions.
The beauty of Darjeeling has recently been brought to the forefront by Anurag Basu’s film, Barfi. Barfi triggers more than just nostalgia and empathy; it envelops you in the warm glow of romance amidst the dew-soaked hills of Darjeeling. The movie revives the old-world charm of North-Bengal’s forgotten beauty.
Imagine misty mornings, golden sun- sets, bustling markets, quaint lamp posts, antiquated toy trains, laughing faces, innocuous quarrels. Talented cinematographer Ravi Varman has managed to rekindle the lost romance of the hills by weaving these threads together. Stunning locations in Darjeeling, just over 630 kms from Kolkata, form the perfect landscape for the movie.
Darjeeling’s big billboards advertise Goodricke tea and Murphy Radio – relics of the British Raj. In the movie it is implied that the protagonist is called ‘Barfi’ because his physical incapacities compel him to mispronounce his name ‘Murphy’ as ‘Barfi’.
Barfi portrays some of Darjeeling’s finest spots. Keventer’s, the Clock Tower and the Planter’s Club are only some of them. The latter is one of the town’s stand-out buildings.
It is a colonial establishment, strategically erected to provide tourists with a spectacular sight of the Himalayas. Residents were delighted to find that the Happy New Year Bridge too found its place in the movie because it is a spot that provides a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. You will also see a glimpse of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station.
Even the St. Andrews church which shares screen-time in the movie is one of Darjeeling’s historic landmarks. It is an ancient Anglican church, impressive in architecture, which serves as a memorial for Darjeeling’s most prominent residents.
Has Barfi enticed you to visit Darjeeling? We certainly hope it has!