There is a small, almost uninhabited railway station not far from Panvel and just before the start of the beautiful Konkan railway. It is called Apta.
It won’t be wrong to call Apta railway station, a ghost station. In the nights, it might resemble one.
As you can see in the pictures below, there is just one building and a man other than the photographer.
But millions of Indians and many around the world have seen this station. That’s not an exaggeration because Apta is the favourite of Bollywood.
It was this station where DDLJ’s climax scene was shot which ended in this:
But you have seen Apta in the following scenes too:
This scene from ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’
And this is Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Khakee’ just before the iconic train action scene. (Yes, they changed the name of Apta to the fictional Nairoli.)
This is Bachchan Jr in ‘Guru’ at the same station but retouched for the film.
So Apta was the station that was made to look like a railway platform in Gujarat, once placed in Punjab, and twice in some hill station.
Apta has also been featured in countless ads and lesser known films.
So what makes Apta so popular?
It is difficult to pinpoint that, but the location – more green cover, nearby Panvel, less human intervention – and the fact that one can see the entire train due to the tracks curving at a distance make it an excellent spot for a shot.
The once unshaded platform now has asbestos roofs. A trickle down effect of the modernization drive of the Indian railways appears to have reached here too.
That’d good for the passengers. As for those who wonder if it alters the untouched beauty of the station as you have seen it in the movie, worry not because Bollywood can do magic.