Where Chamkila Lived And Sang: Exploring The Filming Locations

From Mehsampur to Ludhiana, find out all the places where the new Netflix film ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ was shot
Diljit Dosanjh as Amar Singh Chamkila in a still from the film
Diljit Dosanjh as Amar Singh Chamkila in a still from the filmSaregama Music/youtube

Based on the life of Amar Singh Chamkila, a Punjabi music revolutionary, the eponymous film gloriously chronicles the rise and fall of the legendary poet. The film takes its audiences through the real locations associated with the life of Chamkila, in the process highlighting the vibrant Punjabi neighbourhoods and lifestyle. Once you have watched the film, you can further explore the intriguing life of Chamkila by delving into the living locations ascribed to the singer. Let us embark on a trail of the locations and find out what can be further explored in its environs.

About Amar Singh Chamkila And Amarjot

Amar Singh Chamkila was a popular Punjabi singer from India. He had a unique style brimming with vibrant lyrics, high-pitched vocals, and innovative compositions accompanied by tumbi. His style took intricate inspiration from the rural Punjabi life he experienced, bringing out the core of the Punjabi lifestyle and predicaments, subsequently earning him the moniker "Elvis of Punjab." The lyrical revolutionary is famous for hits like "Pehle Lalkare Naal" and popular songs such as "Jatt Di Dushmani," although he never recorded this particular piece himself.

Amarjot Kaur used to be the female vocalist in Amar Singh Chamkila's band. Over time, they fell in love and got married. Chamkila's career soared to new heights after he teamed up with Kaur. Together, they not only dominated the live show space but also became one of the most successful singing duos in the history of Punjabi music.


Clock tower of Sangrur
Clock tower of SangrurShutterstock

Amar Singh Chamkila was a renowned artist who was committed to touring across villages and practising art in the Brechtian style. He reportedly performed 366 shows in 365 days, travelling extensively across Punjab's villages and cities. To portray his dedication authentically, a film was shot in various locations, including Sangrur, a small town in the Sangrur district of the Indian state of Punjab. Sangrur is known for its textiles, handicrafts, agriculture, and education. It is also the district headquarters and the former capital of the Jind State, built by Raja Raghbir Singh. The town was constructed on the pattern of Jaipur's famous pink city, with pucca shops and a bazaar. Sangrur boasts several attractions, including Banasar Bagh, a popular picnic spot and the city's most famous garden, The Jind State Memorial Museum, Shahi Samadhan, The Clock Tower, and Maha Kali Devi Mandir.


The iconic clocktower of Ludhiana
The iconic clocktower of LudhianaShutterstock

Ludhiana is known as the industrial hub of Punjab and is closely associated with the famous singer Amar Singh Chamkila. He gained popularity in this city by performing in traditional open-air theatres known as akhadas. Several roads and streets of Ludhiana appear in the movie, testifying to the city's vibrance. In addition to its industrial significance, the city has many historical landmarks such as the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, the Nehru Rose Garden, Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib Ludhiana, and Charan Kamal Gurudwara. Ludhiana has twenty colleges and universities, including the Punjab Agricultural University, which hosts the Museum of Rural Life. The museum showcases traditional Punjabi clothing, pottery, and musical instruments. In addition, the Nehru Rose Garden has many ornamental fountains and over a thousand different rose varieties. To the north lies the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, which documents the military history of Punjab. Other popular tourist attractions in Ludhiana include Hardy's World and Lodhi Fort (Purana Qila).


The film depicts the tragic event that took place on March 8, 1988, which claimed the lives of Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila and his wife Amarjot Kaur. The shooting occurred in Mehsampur village in the Jalandhar district, where the cast and crew recreated the scene in broad daylight, just before a scheduled performance. It was alleged that the All India Sikh Student Federation planned the murder due to Chamkila's refusal to stop singing what they considered vulgar songs. The killers were later killed in a police encounter in Phillaur two months after the assassination. Despite these claims, the case remains officially unsolved.

Other Places To Visit


The historic Golden Temple of Amritsar
The historic Golden Temple of AmritsarShutterstock

Amritsar is a city located in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab, home to The Golden Temple, which is the most sacred site and a symbol of pride and dignity in Sikhism. The temple was constructed by Guru Arjan in 1581 and was completed in 1604. Its architecture is a true masterpiece. The temple is situated in the centre of a pond called the Amrit Sarovar, also known as the Pond of Nectar, which provides a beautiful reflective surface for the golden monument. Besides The Golden Temple, other popular attractions in the city include Jallianwala Bagh, the Partition Museum, Wagah Border, Akal Takht, and Gobindgarh Fort. Amritsar is also famous for its variety of delicious street foods, with kulcha being a local speciality.


Open Hand Monument in Chandigarh
Open Hand Monument in Chandigarh Shutterstock

Chandigarh is a must-visit place situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, just 260 km away from Delhi. The city is home to the Chandigarh Capitol, a government compound designed by the renowned architect Le Corbusier. After the loss of Lahore to Pakistan, the government of (East) Punjab decided to build a new provincial capital, the size of Paris, under the guidance of Nehru. The place is a magnificent display of architecture and consists of three main buildings: the Palace of Assembly or Legislative Assembly, the Secretariat Building, and the High Court. As Nehru put it, "it is the biggest example in India of experimental architecture." In 2016, the Complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list along with 16 other works by Corbusier, marking the modernist architecture style.


Qila Mubarak Fort of Patiala
Qila Mubarak Fort of PatialaShutterstock

It was Baba Ala Singh who founded the Qila Mubarak Fort, which laid the foundation for the modern city of Patiala in the year 1763. The Fort complex contains several monuments, including the Jail Walla Palace, Moti Palace, and Sheesh Palace. The Sheesh Mahal, also known as The Palace of Mirrors, is a stunning edifice adorned with frescoes and intricate mirror work, which earned it its name. It is an amalgamation of Rajasthani, Punjabi, and Mughal designs, serving as a proud reminder of the opulence of mediaeval kingdoms. The Palace also houses a museum that displays the world's largest collection of medals, collected by the former Maharaja. In contemporary Patiala, the Punjab University stands tall, boasting remarkable architecture.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller