26 Years of DDLJ

A quintessential and fairy tale love story, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), directed by Aditya Chopra paved the way for Indian Cinema in an unforgettable way and gave the world one of the most loved classics.

By Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

About 26 years ago, on 20th October 1995, a quintessential and fairy tale love story Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was born, which paved the way for Indian Cinema in an unforgettable way and gave the world, one of the most loved classics. 

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

This film didn’t just break records, it shattered them. It is the first Hindi film to have an uninterrupted theatrical run of over 25 years. 

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Before this, Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay (1975) was the only film to have enjoyed a long theatrical run, that spanned over 5 years. DDLJ, as it is popularly called, surpassed Sholay, and since then it has been an unflinching historic record. 

Aditya Chopra, the director of the film 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' (DDLJ) striking a smile, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra, the filmmaker directing a scene of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra, the director during the shoot of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra helmed his career-defining directorial debut film, when he was only 23 years old. His first choice for the lead actor of this film was Tom Cruise, since the film was meant to be an English film - a love story between an Indian girl and an American boy who meet in Europe. But later, he decided to make it in Hindi.

Aditya Chopra had to convince Shah Rukh Khan to be a part of the film. Shah Rukh Khan had aced an ‘action hero’ image by delivering back-to-back hits with Baazigar (1993) and DARR (1993) which made him apprehensive to give a nod for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). This film forever changed Shah Rukh Khan’s image to that of an ultimate romantic hero!

Kajol, the leading actress in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

For director Aditya Chopra, Kajol was the natural choice for his lead character Simran. He had worked with her in the film Yeh Dillagi (1994) under the YRF banner. When he narrated the story of DDLJ to her, she was so moved by the story that she agreed to do the film. She essayed the character with such ease and brilliance that made Simran one of the most loved characters in the Hindi film industry.

Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

An ardent fan of the legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor, Aditya Chopra named his central character Raj Malhotra portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan after him. When he was fleshing out the character of Raj Malhotra, he wanted Raj to play a musical instrument. Eventually, the character played a mandolin which went onto become an iconic symbol for the film.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s off screen comfort with each other reflected on screen, making the characters Raj and Simran memorable in the minds of the audience. The chemistry was so effortless that they are still regarded as an iconic romantic couple.

The ensemble cast of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Apart from the brilliant narrative, which struck a chord in the hearts of the audiences, what also set the film apart were the characters. Each defined and played their roles to perfection. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol brought the characters of Raj & Simran to life effortlessly, and the supporting cast from the legendary Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal to Anupam Kher, each contributed in making this love story, a believable yet an extraordinary tale.

Jatin-Lalit, the music composers with Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan, the singers and Mandhir PanditYash Raj Films (YRF)

The music directors Jatin-Lalit had composed a song called ‘Paayal Bacha Ke Chalna’ for another film to be directed by Yash Chopra, but after director Aditya Chopra heard the song, he decided to use it for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ).

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the song 'Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna' in the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

However, he changed the song name to ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’, the song turned out to be a chartbuster and till date it is a must-have song in wedding playlists. Each song, tune and lyrics from the film have etched a place in everyone’s hearts.

Aditya Chopra, the filmmaker with Anand Bakshi, the lyricist of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra and legendary lyricist Anand Bakshi discussed the scene of Simran’s introduction wherein she speaks of her innermost desire with great detail. Anand Bakshi had penned down at least fifty mukhdas for the introductory song of Simran in the film before he came up with the line “Mere khwabon mein jo aaye, aa ke mujhe chhed jaaye, usse kaho kabhi saamne toh aaye”.

Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

The film brought in a new style of clothing in the Hindi film industry. Manish Malhotra, the costume designer of the film primarily kept the styling very classic yet contemporary. 

Kajol, the lead actress in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

From Raj’s iconic jacket to Simran’s ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’ mint green ethnic costume, the film set so many fashion trends that are in vogue even today.

Karan Johar, the supporting actor and Assisant Director of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Farah Khan, the choreographer of the song "Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane" from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Sharmishta Roy, the art director from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Manish Malhotra, the costume designer from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Anaita Shroff Adajania, the supporting actress from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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A vibrant and talented young generation of people came together for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Shah Rukh and Kajol became a superstar romantic pair; Karan Johar (filmmaker), Jatin-Lalit (music composer), Farah Khan (choreographer and filmmaker), Sharmishta Roy (art director), Manish Malhotra (fashion designer), and Anaita Shroff Adajania (fashion designer) became renowned names in their respective fields.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

From the conceptualisation to filming, from music to exotic locations, the making of this blockbuster was as charming and astounding as the film itself.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Watch what went into creating this epic love story here:

There’s an easy camaraderie between the characters and it mirrors on screen. Watch what went behind making this film a success.

From setting fashion trends to making Raj & Simran a poster pair for romance, the cast and crew shed light on all that and more.

From everyone’s excitement to all things unfiltered. Watching what went behind the making of the film will surely invoke nostalgia in you. 

Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor in a still from the song 'Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko' in the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

The snowy Alps, the lush green meadows, the breath-taking by-lanes of Switzerland, didn’t just offer backdrop to the film but also became an essential ingredient in Raj & Simran’s romance. 

Shah Rukh Khan, the lead actor in a still from the song 'Tujhe Dekha Toh' in the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

The effect of the beautiful landscapes were such that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge brought about a massive boom in Switzerland tourism.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the lead actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ)Yash Raj Films (YRF)

Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Amrish Puri, the actors in a still from the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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On the day of the film release, Aditya Chopra and his assistant Sameer entered G7 Multiplex (Gaiety Cinema) Bandra, Mumbai to witness the audience reaction. Post witnessing a pin drop silence to Raj’s monologue scene, Aditya Chopra knew the film was going to be a hit.

Shah Rukh Khan receiving the Filmfare Award from Karisma Kapoor, the actress and Ruby Bhatia, 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Kajol receiving the Filmfare Award from Dimple Kapadia, the actress and Ruby Bhatia, 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra, the filmmaker at the Filmfare Awards (1996), 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Aditya Chopra receiving a Filmfare Award (1996) from Sooraj Barjatiya, 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Anupam Kher receiving a Filmfare Award from the actress Sandali Sinha, 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Yash Chopra receiving a Filmfare Award from Shatrughan Sinha, the actor, 1996, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Calling the film a blockbuster hit, is an understatement. It gave a new definition to love and created waves at award ceremonies.

The film won 10 Filmfare awards: Best Actor (Shah Rukh Khan), Best Actress (Kajol), Best Supporting Actress (Farida Jalal), Best Actor in a Comic role (Anupam Kher), Best Lyricist (Anand Bakshi), Best Playback Singer (Udit Narayan), Best Dialogue Writer (Javed Siddique & Aditya Chopra), Best Screenplay Writer (Aditya Chopra) and Best Direction (Aditya Chopra), and Best Film. The film also won the National Award for Best Film providing wholesome entertainment.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge continues to be one of the favourite films worldwide. This iconic film reached a remarkable milestone of screening for over 1000 consecutive weeks in a single cinema, the Maratha Mandir in Mumbai (December 12, 2014). 

On the occasion of this milestone, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol launched the book - Aditya Chopra Relives...: As Told to Nasreen Munni Kabir

A poster of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), 1995, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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The admiration from the audience stays true to the film’s tagline ‘Come…fall in love’ - they visit Maratha Mandir again and again to fall in love with Raj and Simran’s story. The love of the audiences has made DDLJ the longest-running film in Indian history. In 2021, the film completes a mega milestone of 26 years!

Yash Raj Films (YRF) Studios in Mumbai, India, 2005, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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Yash Raj Films (YRF) Studios in Mumbai, India, 2005, From the collection of: Yash Raj Films (YRF)
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The land at Andheri West, Mumbai where YRF Studios stands tall today was bought from the profits earned of the most loved film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) at the box office.

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