- The film cost about Rs 1.5 crore, an immense budget then. The original story was changed to give a somewhat happy end.
- The main stars went to London to be fitted for special wigs. But the hair began to fall as they weren’t suited to Indian weather.
- Tailors from Delhi, Hyderabadi jewellers, ironsmiths from Rajasthan were brought to Bombay. Shoes came from Agra.
- There is a mausoleum for Anarkali (though there’s no historical evidence she existed) in Lahore, and a bazaar is named after her.
Star-crossed legendary lovers have always gone down well with Indian audiences. Whether Anarkali, the slave-dancer at Akbar’s court, did exist doesn’t matter. The tragically defiant love story of the prince and the showgirl of the Mughal age has fired the imagination of poets and filmmakers alike: there are many screen versions of this romance. However, K. Asif’s extravagant and outrageously expensive costume drama, which took over a decade to make, has become the touchstone of romantic love. The scene in which Prince...