Heritage Town of Siddhpur: Where Kamariya Song from Mitron was shot - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Heritage Town of Siddhpur: Where Kamariya Song from Mitron was shot

The houses that formed the backdrop for the Kamariya song in the Hindi movie Mitron

Movie shoot locations have always been a rage with our Indian junta. Be it Ladakh’s Pangong Tso from the movie ‘3 Idiots’, Goa’s forts from the movie ‘Dil Chahta hain’, Arunachal Pradesh’s Sangetsar Lake from the movie ‘Koyla’ or the yester year movies that made Kashmir super popular, Indian movies help us discover and experience new locations, their hidden attractions and their unique cultures.

A moment from center of Siddhpur heritage town, Gujarat

One such recent movie that showcases a beautiful off beat destination is the Hindi movie Mitron, which is now available on Amazon Prime Video. While most of the movie is shot in the heritage city of Ahmedabad, its opening shot and main song ‘Kamariya’ is shot in the heritage town of Siddhpur that was an important part of the Chalukya and Solanki empires between the 10th and the 15th centuries.

If you look at the music video above (this is the extended one with all the town buildings – you can recognize the starting shots if you have watched the movie), the street with the heritage homes with hacienda architecture, the exquisite clock tower in the middle of the bazaar and the other heritage buildings are all part of old Siddhpur town. In total, there are 18 such mohallas or neighborhoods with such heritage homes.

Coat of Arms of a 1917 Heritage home in Siddhpur, Gujarat

All of these heritage homes and buildings were built in the hey days of this town when the merchants, traders and kingdom did great business with both the far east and the west. If you look closer, you can see a bit of Hindu, Islam and European (especially Hacienda) design elements in its architecture. The buildings of note are the magnificent and beautiful homes of the Bohra traders. It is in front of these homes that this music video was shot. Most of the decorations from the movie shoot can still be seen. These homes are still operational with a wide diversity of people living in them from Hindus and Muslims to Parsees, making for great portrait photography if that happens to be your area of interest. Then, there is the building with 360 windows. It looks ordinary from the outside due to it being weather beaten, but when you are inside, you can truly feel the effect of these windows. Then, there is the clock tower, which was designed in the early part of the 20th century.

The main bazaar of Siddhpur, Gujarat

While these houses are the center of attraction due to the Mitron movie, Siddhpur offers so much more to the traveler in you. There is the 12th century ruins of the Rudra Mahalaya temple that in its hey days boasted of a multi level intricately carved palace temple. It was damaged by Alauddin Khilji in the 13th century, but has been partially resurrected by the Archaeological Survey of India. Then, there is Bindu Sarovar, a tank mentioned in the Rig Veda and that is considered a sacred place to offer Matru-Shadh (paying respects to the female ancestors). Then, there are a whole bunch of ancient temples, all located by the banks of the Saraswati river and a bustling main marketplace or bazaar.

Beautiful pillar archway at Rudra Mahal, Siddpur, Gujarat

When I visited Siddhpur last week, I did not know about the connection with either the Mitron movie or the Kamariya song, but I fell in love with its heritage as soon as I entered this heritage town. It was an absolute pleasure riding around these heritage homes and the bazaars on a motorcycle. I think I rode through these mohallas some 10 times or so. That is how much I liked it. If you have the time to slow down, stop at the main bazaar opposite the clock tower, have a cup of tea and watch the colorful people of this town go about their daily chores. For us urban dwellers, it offers such a fresh and different perspective.

Pretty houses from the heritage town of Siddhpur in Gujarat, India

All in all, the architecture, the heritage, its temple, its tryst with ancient texts, its spirituality and its colorful and laidback lifestyle make Siddhpur a fantastic off beat destination to explore and experience in Gujarat. I would recommend this place with many thumbs up!

A Heritage Moment in Siddhpur, Gujarat

How to reach Siddhpur or Sidhpur:

The nearest domestic and international airport is Ahmedabad. Siddhpur has a railway station and good roads connect it from all directions.

The intricate pillars of Rudra Mahal, Siddhpur, Gujarat

Where to stay:

If you need luxury, I would recommend staying at Ahmedabad and making a day trip to Siddhpur. If you prefer rural stays, I would recommend taking a look at Airbnb who have tied up with a local NGO to empower the women of Gujarat. Through this initiative, you can stay in the simple homes of Gujarati families in their villages. These villages are found around Mahesana. If you prefer any kind of accommodation, you can find decent hotels at Siddhpur or Patan.

When is the best season to visit:

The winter months should be the best time to visit Siddhpur. The rest of the year should be fairly hot.

Other Nearby Attractions:

This region is blessed with a lot of heritage sites. There is the UNESCO World Heritage site in Patan’s Rani Ki Vav, the exquisite Sun Temple at Modhera, a hill station in Taranga and more gorgeous heritage in Vadnagar and Palanpur. If you ask me, you have enough places to see and experience for a full week. Even Kutch is not too far away from here.

As I leave you, here is the full video of the Kamariya song from Mitron movie that has garnered more than 189 million views. Enjoy the heritage homes of off beat Siddhpur as you humm to this colorful music video.

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