Cecil Hotel Murree and the movie ‘armaan’

Posted on January 19, 2010
Filed Under >Raju Jamil, History, TV, Movies & Theatre, Travel
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Raju Jameel

From our story on Cricket’s Heartbreak hotel we will now take you to Murree’s Cecil Hotel, which has been instrumental in bringing together many hearts in Pakistan whether it be movies or the real life.

It is said that Cecil Hotel, located at Mount View Road Murree was a summer retreat of a British Army Colonel. It was built in 1858 and is therefore one of the oldest surviving hotels in Pakistan. It was converted as Viceroy’s summer place in 1940 and in 1957 it was converted into a hotel by a Rawalpindi based businessman. Lakhani Group bought it in 1998 through an open auction and are the current owners.

During 1958 through 1978 period, Cecil Hotel was one of the most expensive hotel in Murree- frequented by the country’s elite. By mid-60′s Cecil also became one of the most sought after outdoor location for Pakistani movies – in fact Pakistan’s first ever platinum jubilee movie armaan made Cecil its main outdoor location. The movie armaan also showed Cecil as the house of the main lady in film bibbo where she lived with her two daughters; Tarannum and Rozina and her munshi Agha Sarwar.

See this clip I made at Cecil recently – where I explain the location of armaan song and how it was picturized. This video clip is dated as January 14, 2010.


In the movie, this “house” (Cecil Hotel) was visited by Waheed Murad and his best friend Nirala where Waheed was to choose one of the two sisters to marry – his dad being an old family friend of Begum Saheba (Bibbo) but he likes Najma (Zeba) who is alone, her parents dead and a distant relative to Bibbo who treats her almost as a servant. A perfect Cinderella story minus the crystal shoe.

Cecil Murree has had over 300 outdoor locations for pakistani movies but the best to capitalize Cecil and its outside ambiance in a full song was armaan‘s hit song ‘betaab ho udhar tum..’

Now i’ll request you to watch the clip of the song below and compare it with my video above. If you look closely, you’ll appreciate how good of an architecture and construction of Cecil Hotel is. Not much has changed even after 47 years the song was shot here.

armaan‘s famous song at Cecil Hotel (1966):

ATP’s Other Related Posts:

1. armaan: Pakistan’s Super hit movie
2. Bandish: Pakistan’s Super Hit Movie
3. Aina: Pakistan’s Greatest Blockbuster Movie
4. Khuda ke liye
5. Lollywood Billboard Art
6. Movie: Ramchand Pakistani
7. kaanch: A tele movie from Pakistan
8. Ahmed Rushdie, Waheed Murand and Ko Ko Korina
9. Waheed Murad: Pakistan’s First Heart throb Hero?
10. Sohail Rana: Musical Maestro

9 Comments on “Cecil Hotel Murree and the movie ‘armaan’

  1. Shirjeel says:
    January 19th, 2010 3:00 pm

    While another nostalgic reminder about the great movie Armaan and my favourite Pakistani actor Waheed Murad.

    Thanks to Mr. Jameel for his nice video about the present day Cecil. What struck me was the uncontrolled development and the mushrooming of ugly apartment buildings which have completely destroyed the pristine beauty of Murree.

  2. January 19th, 2010 7:00 pm

    What a Nostalgia!!! Worth sharing

  3. Nihari says:
    January 19th, 2010 9:24 pm

    Kudos to you Jameel Sahib…what a splendid post

  4. aquarian says:
    January 20th, 2010 4:50 pm

    I am sure this hotel was quite ‘in’ in its prime days. I’ve seen black and white family photos where people made sure to get their photos taken at Cecil Murree.

  5. Junaid says:
    January 20th, 2010 6:37 pm

    Ahh

    I have such great memories of this hotel when growing up and going on long trips to Murree each summer.

    Thanks you for a great post.

  6. June 21st, 2010 5:57 am

    I love cecil murree. This is one beautiful view that you cant get in any other hotel in murree. Specially, I love this steep road that leads the way to the hotel. I wish I could go there every week !

  7. MEHMOOD HUSSAIN says:
    September 29th, 2010 5:10 am

    DEAR READERS,
    MY BEST WISHES FOR ALL, DATE BACK IN THE YEAR 1969,I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE HISTORIC
    CECIL HOTEL MUREE, WE WERE 4 OLD DAYS FRIENDS AMONG OUR LATE FRIEND SALEEM FROM WIMBELDON,UK, HE WAS OUR SPONSOR TO BEAR ALL THE EXPENDITURES, ON THOSE DAYS MOST OF THE
    FILM SHOOTING WERE PLACED AT ADJOINING AREAS OF MUREE AND CECIL HOTEL, MORE THAN 4 DECADES
    HAS BEEN PASSED, I WISH TO VISIT AGAIN MUREE AND CECIL HOTEL BUT ALAS OUR SPONSOR IS DEAD.

    THANKS,
    MEHMOOD HUSSAIN,
    mehmoodfaiz@yahoo.com

  8. November 25th, 2010 12:00 pm

    Its ok not really beautiful i have seen so many hotels in Murree better than cecil

  9. March 10th, 2011 7:54 pm

    Yes, Cecil hotel was very good hotel of its time. I used to visit it regularly, but now the CECIL Hotel is demolished and they have constructed a huge complex of appartments.

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