Imtiaz Ali is known for making films with good stories, backdrops and locations. He proved again with his film Highway that visually appealing films can be made without setting shoot locations outside the country. Here are seven cool locations in Highway:
Kuchaman city is located in the state of Rajasthan. The city is famous for several heritage havelis and the Kuchaman Fort. Imtiaz Ali shot in the Kuchaman valley to capture the sand dunes providing the terrain transitions. Kuchaman Fort is situated on a cliff and has now been turned into a heritage hotel. The fort is the most famous place for tourists, and has been previously used as a backdrop in movies like Drona and Jodha Akbar.
Chandanwari is situated near a hill station called Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir. It is 16 km away from Pahalgam and is the central point for tourists during the Amarnath yatra. Since the route for the yatra from Chandanwari is steep, travelling on foot or by pony are the only options.
Gurais or Gurez is a valley located in the Himalayas, about 75 miles away from Srinagar, in northern Jammu & Kashmir. The film has a few scenes and a song shot here. Guaris stands at an elevation of 2400 m above sea level and is surrounded by mountains covered with snow. The valley is famous for the snow leopard and the Himalayan brown bear. Guaris is also very close to the Burzil pass, which is close to the Indo-Pak Line of Control. While it is a famous valley in Jammu & Kashmir, it remains cut off from the rest of India for six months due to heavy snowfall.
Nurmahal Spiti Valley
Nurmahal is a city in Punjab, 33 km away from Jalandhar. Previously known as Ket Kehloor and destroyed in 1300 AD, this city was rebuilt by the Mughals, who named it Nurmahal after Noor Jehan, Mughal empress and the wife of emperor Jehangir. Since she was brought up here, it was named after her. The prime tourist attraction is the Serai Nurmahal or Mughal Serai. Constructed by Noor Jehan, it is a quadrangular structure with 140 cells.
The famous Aru Valley is around 15 km from Pahalgam. Imtiaz Ali’s decision to shoot in the valley was probably a boon for the story. Aru is characterised by exquisitely scenic locations, with mountains, lakes and meadows, and a peaceful environment, much to tourists’ delight. The highest peak in the valley is Mt. Kolahoi, which is home to the Kolahoi Glacier, Kashmir’s largest glacier. Aru is known for being a base for trekkers headed to places like the Katrinag valley, Tarsar-Marsar lakes, Lidderwat, Kangan, the Vishansar-Kishansar lakes and the Kolahoi Glacier.
Up high in the Himalayas lies a desert valley called the Spiti Valley. ‘Spiti’ means ‘the middle land’ and it is the land between India and Tibet. It is separated from the Kullu Valley by the famous Rohtang Pass. Spiti Valley is one of the least explored places in Himachal Pradesh. It is characterised by beautiful monasteries and intriguing landscapes. The Tabo and Ki monasteries are must-visit places in Spiti. Adventure junkies can trek or go mountain biking. The winters isolate the Spiti Valley from the rest of the world as it is a difficult terrain. It is also home to two of the world’s highest lakes, Surajtal and Chandratal.
Named after the Sufi Saint Baba Sheik Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Faridkot is a district and a town in the state of Punjab. The town was founded in the 13th century by Raja Mokalsi, grandson of Rai Munj. Characterised by a dry climate, this town suited the film’s narrative quite well. Places of tourist attraction in Faridkot include Darbar Ganj, Raj Mahal, Qilla Mubarak, Fairy Cottage and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park. The Farid Mela festival is celebrated in the month of September for a period of nine days. Faridkot is also famous for several Gurudwaras such as the Gurudwara Godari Sahib and Gurudwara Tilla (Chilla) Baba Farid.