Uttar Pradesh has always been one of the most lovable and sought after sites for huge crop of film makers. The deeply ingrained multiple cultures, the amalgamation of art and technology and the history behind the picturesque state makes U.P. epitomise India in a way no other state can.

Whether it be an entire movie or just one song, the cultural as well as architectural opulence of the state has become an adored charm of the silver screen, and can be viewed in the most of the Bollywood movies.

Entrenched in euphoria and the cultural richness of U.P., these beautiful songs exemplify the soul of the state-

‘Khaike Pan Banaras Wala’ from the movie Don

Starring Amitabh Bachchan, the actual “chhora Ganga kinare wala”, this song effectively captures the beauty of U.P. with its language and dance form. Like a sweet banarasi pan, the song refreshes the moods of people and makes them shake a leg even today.

Trivia: This iconic song was never meant for Don. It was originally written for the Dev Anand movie Banarasi Babu (1973). It was shot after filming was complete and was added after the intermission to balance the action-packed pace of the movie.

‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ from the movie Daawat-e- Ishq

A beautiful song shot in the by-lanes of Nawabi city, Lucknow. The scenes depicted in the song are a treat to the eyes of the food connoisseurs. The love for Awadhi cuisine grows stronger with this song.

Trivia:  Aditya Roy Kapoor had to read up a lot to prepare for his role of a chef in the movie as he neither knows how to cook nor been to Lucknow.

‘Suno na Sangemarmar’ from the movie Youngistaan

Shot amidst the beauteous aura of Taj Mahal, Agra, this song is a love anthem for the youngsters. The magnificence of the Taj has really adorned the setting. Likewise, it also captures stills of the famous Ambedkar park of Lucknow.

(Bollywood affair with Taj Mahal is not new. The iconic mausoleum has been featured in numerous songs as- ’Ek Shahenshah ne banwaake haseen Taj Mahal’ (Leader, 1964), ‘Bol Na Halke’ (Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, 2007) ‘Superman’ (Tevar, 2015) and so on.

‘Rangrez’ from the movie Tanu Weds Manu

Though the entire movie is set up in U.P., this song particularly highlights the quintessence of Lucknow. Just before the song, the scene where Jimmy Shergill asks a devastated Madhavan to take Kangana out, to shop for her wedding has been shot in the main hall of the Baradari. As the actors pass through the lanes of the city, its background itself showcases the simplicity embedded in the people here.

(The heroine of the movie, Kangana Ranaut, who is now an affluently famous woman, once had to sleep on the pavement since she had no house.)

‘Banarasiya’ from the movie Raanjhanaa

The film is mainly shot in Varanasi. This song truly epitomizes the local culture, colour and the spirit of the city. Varanasi was not just a setting for this movie, the city was featured like a character.

Trivia: Benaras being an intrinsic part of the ‘Raanjhanaa’ movie, Music Director A.R. Rahman used shehnai in all the songs of the movie, as a tribute to Ustad Bismillah Khan

‘Maula Mere’ from the movie Anwar

The mystic song is shot in the city of benevolence, Lucknow. The ‘tehzeeb’ and ‘nazakat’ of the city is clearly evident in the characters depicted in the movie. Like the city itself, the song stirs the soul and takes one to another world.

(Why just read it? Sooth your senses by listening to this beautiful Sufi track)

‘Hamari Atariya Pe’ from the movie Dedh Ishqiya

A sensual delight, this song by the maestros as Gulzar, Madhuri Dixit, and Rekha Bhardwaj is shot in U.P. So, whenever you are moved by the graceful classical dance moves of Madhuri, don’t forget to thank the Kathak virtuosos of U.P.

Trivia: This song is based on Begum Akhtar’s popular dadra “Hamri Atariya Pe Aao”. Vishal Bhardwaj had originally thought of recording a new rendition of the same dadra but eventually decided on an adaptation.

‘Dhadak Dhadak’ from the movie Bunty Aur Babli

Depicting the scenic beauty of Ganges and the divine Ghats, the song along with the entire movie is predominantly shot in U.P. The small town flavour is deeply embedded in this 2005 film by Shaad Ali.

Trivia: Shaad ali is known to be a director who shows Taj Mahal in his every third film, whether it be for one scene.

‘Aafaton ke parinde’ from the movie Ishaqzaade

Describing the passionate love story of two individuals, the song portrays the scenes from Hardoi and sites in around Lucknow. Indeed, no other state as U.P. would have better depicted the characters in this saga of love.

(Aafaton ke Parinde is the phrase used for beginning the title song of Ishaqzaade, which means ‘birds of troubles’ i.e. flyers who are ready to take risks and play with troubles. The song actually summarizes the theme of the movie.)

‘Hum To Aise Hain’ from the movie Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

The song features Vibha (Rani Mukherjee) and her sister (Konkona Sen Sharma) dancing on Banaras Ghats. Known for its old-world charm and the fascinating life here at the Ghats, the unusual journey of a girl has been excellently shot in Varanasi. After all which better city to shoot in if you want some traditional charm?

Trivia: During a shooting session in Varanasi, bodyguards of Rani Mukherjee aggressively moved media people and fans away from the film set that followed a political and media storm. The actress then apologised to the media.