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6 Stunning Beach Wedding Destinations

By Divia Thani Daswani

Location, location, location. You’ve found your Prince Charming, and now it’s time to plan. So, where do you want this journey to begin? Does it involve a castle, a palace, or the mountains? A glittering city or a pristine coast? Whatever your choice of storybook setting is, find it and book it. You only get the opportunity to create the actual fairy tale you have always dreamed once.

Whatever your choice of location, when you plan a wedding in a different destination, that place holds a special significance for you and your partner for the rest of your lives. You will carry it with you in your hearts, you will plan to return many times, you will one day bring your children to it and delightedly explain the spot Mom and Dad got married in. It becomes a story you will tell for many years. It could even be the place you return to if you want to rekindle your romance when it needs a spark, or where you go to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. Whether it is Goa, Phuket or Pondicherry, your heart will sure lift a little whenever it is mentioned, or when you’ll recall the special memories of your big day.

Divia Thani Daswani is the Editor of Condé Nast Traveller India
Twitter handle: @diviathani

In an exclusive in “The Ultimate Guide to Destination Weddings” special supplement complimentary with Condé Nast Traveller India February – March 2015 issue, Aarti Cooper talks about the perfect destination for the wedding of your dreams. 6 Amazing Beach Wedding Destinations featured are:

Oman, Muscat


Visa: Can be obtained in 3-4 days
Travel time: Three hours non-stop from Mumbai
Season: October—March.
Spectacular location: Choose the Al Bustan Palace, or Ritz-Carlton Hotel with the Hajar Mountains and the Sea of Oman as backdrops.

Kovalam, Kerala


Visa: None
Travel time: Two and half hours non-stop from Mumbai to Trivandrum
Season: September—November and February—March.
Spectacular location: Have a clifftop reception at The Leela Kovalam

Langkawi, Malaysia


Visa: On arrival
Travel time: Six and a half hours from Delhi via Kuala Lumpur
Season: November—March.
Spectacular location: Say your vows amid the ancient rainforests and mangroves of the Kilim Geopark. The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi and The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa are great stay options.

Galle, Sri Lanka


Visa: Electronic Travel Authorization
Travel time: One and a half hour from Bengaluru to Colombo, then three-hour drive
Season: October—November and February—April.
Spectacular location: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and resort, The Fortress also has an in-house wedding planner.



Visa: On arrival
Travel time: Six hours non-stop from Mumbai
Season: May—December
Spectacular location: Le Touessrok and One&Only Le Saint Géran have great golf courses for extra entertainment.

Goa, India

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Visa: None
Travel time: One hour non-stop from Mumbai
Season: October—April.
Spectacular location: Have a big wedding at the Grand Hyatt or a more intimate ceremony at the Park Hyatt. Just a dozen of you? Pick Goa’s best-kept secret—Elsewhere Beach Houses.

Read the full story here

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Say I love you the Platinum Way!

ORRA, a leading jewellery brand has launched a unique line of platinum ‘His and Her’ matching Platinum Couple Bands called ‘Love Code’. When words just ain’t enough to express true love, a gift especially one as precious as platinum goes a long way in saying it all.

ORRA’s Love Code collection has a set of matching rings with “You & Me” “I Love You” and “Life” etched in platinum in the Morse code. One can also have a personalised message of love over it. This distinctive concept allows couples to express love in an intimate language that is special to them and sealed in a precious metal forever.


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Price Range: Starts from Rs. 40,000 women’s bands and Rs. 60,000/- men’s band.

Availability: The rings are available at ORRA’s stores throughout the country and the website www.orra.co.in.

The next Big Indian Wedding is in Venice

A fortnight back WeddingSutra broke the story of J Lo coming to India for the Hinduja wedding in Udaipur. Since then we have been chasing the details on the next big Indian wedding. It doesn’t take us much time to scoop out the most interesting news in the world of weddings, everyone loves to talk to WeddingSutra. So here it is: the next big Indian wedding will be taking place at the St Regis Clemente in Venice.

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The St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace (left) and newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa.

According to one of the guests from Mumbai, the families have bought out the entire hotel room inventory for the three-day celebrations in June. While the wedding program and venues for the celebrations are not announced yet, most of the guests will be staying at the St Regis property and the newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. The groom (Ashwin Grover) and his bride-to-be (Riya Khilnani) are both from London. His parents are well known in London’s A-list circuit. The groom’s mother Pamela Grover is a close friend of many bollywood superstars while his father Kimi Grover is a business tycoon. In 2013, the Grover’s hosted their elder son Kunal’s glamorous wedding in Cannes.  The celebrations took place at some magnificent venues including Chateau Dieter, a glorious renaissance castle that was once home of acclaimed artists Henry and Marie Clews. Many of Bollywood’s biggest names were in Cannes for that wedding including Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, Rakesh and Pinky Roshan, Ekta Kapoor, Rishi and Neetu Kapoor.

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Ria Dubash and Kunal Grover’s wedding in Cannes.

Interestingly, some of the grandest Indian weddings have been taking place in Italy since 2010. It started with industrialist Sajjan Jindal hosting his younger daughter Tanvi’s wedding in Florence. The celebrations were held at five magnificent venues and the nuptials were solemnized at Villa Le Rose which is run by fashion czar Ferragamo’s family. Later, in 2012 UK based industrialist Pramod Agarwal hosted his second daughter’s wedding in Venice. In 2013, Thailand based NRI tycoon Aloke Lohia had his daughter Aradhana’s wedding in Florence- at venues like St Regis, Westin Excelsior and a spectacular estate owned by Italy’s Corsini family.

Last year, two grand Indian weddings took place in Puglia. The UK based Agarwals (whose second daughter wed in Venice) hosted their youngest daughter’s wedding in Borgo Egnazia, one of the most luxurious resorts in Southern Italy.  The event with over 800 guests was orchestrated by Marco Balich of Balich Worldwide Shows that specialises in designing and staging big events worldwide, from Olympic Ceremonies to the Carnival of Venezia. A few weeks before the Agarwal wedding, Google head honcho Nikesh Arora tied the knot with Ayesha Thapar (scion of Delhi-based Vikram Thapar group) at an exquisite wedding ceremony that saw the global glitterati in attendance.

Agarwal wedding in Puglia, Italy.

While the Jindal, Grover, Agarwal and Nikesh Arora-AyeshaThapar weddings have made news in India, Florence has hosted a few more extravagant and intimate shaadis. Some very well-heeled Indians based in Europe have chosen venues like Villa Le Corti a renaissance era villa owned by a well-known aristocratic family and located in S. Casciano, a small town nestled in the countryside outside of Florence. And IL Borro, one of the most unique luxury resorts in Tuscany- the magnificently restored property is an oasis of charm with its own medieval village, 19th century villa, farm and farm buildings. And for the local event managers as well as the hotel’s staff this was all a unique, cultural experience– serving up rustic Tuscan dinners complete with wood oven baked pizzas, buffets of seasonal delights and wines to men in regal turbans, and women in colorful lehengas and sarees. Little wonder whenever we travel outside India to visit new resorts or speak at conferences, hoteliers as well as event organisers & specialists have so many questions to ask us on Big Indian Weddings, hoping they too will get a chance to host or manage one someday!

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Indian wedding at Villa Le Corti in Florence, Tuscany. Photos courtesy- Wed In Italy.

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Indian wedding at IL Borro, Tuscany. Photos courtesy- Distinctive Italy Weddings.

WeddingSutra Recommends: Dreamiest Swimming Pools for your Honeymoon/ Romantic Stay at Shangri-La

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa
The secluded paradise of Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is what dream honeymoons are made of, Romantic suites, breathtaking beaches, couple’s spa rituals and a beautiful pool that is one of the country’s largest free-form swimming pools, set amidst lush landscaped gardens and water fountains. And if you want a pool to yourself, book yourself a two-bedroom ocean villa perched on a cliff with a swimming pool facing the ocean for glorious views.

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Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort , Kota Kinabalu
On the edge of the white sand Pantai Dalit Beach, nestled in 400 acres of lush jungle in a picturesque nature reserve, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort is a paradise for honeymooners with its luxury accommodation and stunning facilities. There are two beautiful pools at the resort for a cool dip amid luxuriant gardens but our favorite is the private pool for Ocean Wing residents only.


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Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu
Tucked in lush tropical landscape and with a crystalline coastline, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu, is the ideal setting for a romantic stay. The resort offers two swimming pools amid 13 hectares of landscaped gardens. And if you want the best views of the sunrise, the infinity pool, available to Ocean Wing residents only, is just lovely for an early swim.


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Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu
Located on the island of Borneo in the eastern part of Malaysia, the infinity pool at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu is the perfect way for travellers to get closer to nature.



Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
This is as close to heaven on earth as you can get without leaving earth.  Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives features luxurious accommodation including ocean retreats, beach villas with infinity pools and resort pools surrounded by lush vegetation, including 17,000 coconut trees and over six kilometres of picturesque coastline and two kilometres of white-sand beaches. No matter what your choice of pool is, you can lounge on a brilliant tropical afternoon and enjoy the stunning view in which azure waters meet sapphire-coloured skies.



With WeddingSutra on Location- Purva Kewlani

As part of our initiative WeddingSutra on Location, we invited three brides-to-be for a unique experience at Manish Malhotra’s couture store in Khar, Mumbai. Starting with a Style Consultation, followed by a Makeover and a Photo Shoot, each of the participants got an opportunity to interact with some of the best names in Bridal & Wedding services.

Here, in the first of the three-part series, Purva Kewlani, a Jewellery Designer by profession blogs about her experience with WeddingSutra on Location at Manish Malhotra.

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“I have known about WeddingSutra for many years but I first found out about WeddingSutra on Location through a friend while we were chatting at a coffee shop. We talked about my marriage plans and that I might be formally engaged soon and then my friend quipped: “as soon as your wedding date gets fixed you should write to WeddingSutra to be a part of their ‘On Location’ experience. As we sat there talking, I never imagined I would be lucky enough to get that opportunity. And then a few months later on a beautiful Friday morning I was off to Manish Malhotra’s store for the On Location experience.

I walked in to the store which was swarming with visitors and clients, even though it had just opened its doors. Team WeddingSutra welcomed me and after the initial round of introductions, it was time to look at the couturier’s bridal collection. I was excited and nervous. I have always stayed away from heavy makeup, and I have never worn heavily embroidered Indian wear, but today I wasn’t going to shy away from trying it all.

After going through the collection at store, I picked out a maroon velvet lehenga with star butti work, teamed with a maroon velvet blouse and net dupatta with buttis. I tried it on and it looked stunning, and the color suited my skin tone. Next step in the transformation was the makeover. Makeup Artist Kumar Iyer who is well known for creating some simple yet glamorous bridal looks, gave me just what I wanted – elegant and understated makeup. And then after some discussions Laksh Singh completed the look with a chic hairstyle.

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Then, team WeddingSutra helped me accessorize my look with jewellery from Azva. I am usually partial towards diamonds, but this time I got to wear a rich gold set- a gold necklace enhanced by red enamel, jhumkis and a statement kadha.

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And finally, it was time for the photo shoot with Candid Wedding Photographer Shreya Sen. She was really sweet and encouraged me to be at ease and enjoy myself while she shot both indoors and outdoors.

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On WeddingSutra.com, every bride can get great tips and loads of information, and WeddingSutra on Location is an amazing and insightful experience. Thank you team WeddingSutra.com for understanding what every bride wants.”

Purva’s Look
Purva is not particularly fond of dramatic makeup. Keeping that in mind, Kumar started with creating a base by using the Lakmé Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse in Beige Honey on Purva’s flawless complexion. Kumar then decided to forgo the drama and lined her lower eye lids with Lakmé Absolute Gel Addict Eyeliner in Black. He then applied Lakmé Absolute Drama Stylist Shadow Duos in Purple Haze to complement her outfit and multiple coats of Lakmé Absolute Flutter Secrets Dramatic Eyes Mascara to open up her eyes. Since Purva has high cheekbones, Kumar used the Peach Blush shade from the Lakmé Absolute Face stylist blush duos to slightly contour her cheekbones. He kept her lips muted with a coat of Lakmé Absolute Lip Tint in Peach Please shade. Hairstylist Laksh Singh created a little drama withPurva’s hair by adding extensions to give it some volume and finished with soft swept waves and curls.

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lakme collage

If you’re getting married in 2015 and would like to be a part of WeddingSutra On Location*, write to us at weddingsutra@gmail.com with your name, link to your FB profile and wedding date. Selected lucky winners get a complete ‘Bridal Wardrobe Look’ consultation on how to pick the wedding outfit complimentary to your body type & personality, and experience the look you prefer with a trial makeup and photo shoot in the makeup look.

*Location and Date – to be decided, City – Mumbai

Purva@WeddingSutra on Location
Outfit- Manish Malhotra
Jewellery- Azva
Makeup – Kumar Iyer for Lakmé Absolute
Hairstyling- Laksh Singh
Shoot Management–Tejal Karlekar, Kashmera Samant, Neelam Lakhani
Photographs byShreya Sen

An Engagement Shoot on a Hot Air Balloon- Guncha + Amit

It is truly heartening when we get emails from couples and photographers telling us how WeddingSutra motivated them to think outside the box for the pre-wedding shoot. Just married Arpita wrote in a few weeks ago: “I kept sharing photos from your album Pre Wedding Photography with my fiance and for someone who was terribly uncomfortable with the idea of a pre-wedding shoot, you won’t believe it, he actually turned imaginative after seeing what other couples did–  and we too had a fun and fabulous pre-wedding shoot”.


Cinematographer Vardaan Malhotra (of ‘Dilli Wale Weddings’) wrote to us about his shoot with Guncha and Amit. He tells us: “I wanted to do a pre-wedding shoot on a Hot Air Balloon for the longest time. Then I met to-be-weds Guncha and Amit, we got chatting about photography and their wedding plans and I knew this is the couple who could make my ‘up in the air’ dream come true. They are a fun couple with great chemistry and I visualised their amazing adventure on a hot air balloon. When I shared my idea, they were very excited and all set to fly! The key now was to find the right location. I traveled to Jaipur for the recce, to understand how Hot Air Balloons work and to find some really good camera angles to capture the balloon creatively. Since the take-off generally happens at 4 am, lighting I figured was an issue. And as soon as the balloon went up, it flew away thanks to the strong winds. And I chased it on car through the narrow muddy streets of Kukas (Jaipur). It wasn’t easy at all- my car got many dents but who cares about such minor irritants– I learnt so much and experienced so much excitement that day. Recce done now it was time for the real shoot up in the air. I am usually a little nervous before every shoot, but today I was more nervous. Some of my concerns- what if the wind took the balloon in the wrong direction where I would not be able to chase it on road. Moreover during the Recce, I was told that the launch site as well as the land site can differ depending on the direction of the wind. Land site could be a village where locals come near the balloon and it becomes difficult to take shots or it could be some other open space. But fortunately, it all went as planned and in the end I got some amazing shots. Certainly an experience to remember for the rest of our lives!










- DILLI WALE Weddings in association with Sahib Biwi aur Camera
- Skywaltz Skyxplorer
- Bride’s Outfit – Frontier Phagwara(Bazar/Raas)
- Groom’s Outfit – Gargee Designers by Ravi Gupta
- Bride’s Make-up & Hairstyling: Chandni Singh & Jyotsna Singh

Lady Gaga’s Platinum Engagement Ring

Lady Gaga’s long-time boyfriend Taylor Kinney popped popped the question on Valentine’s Day with what appears to be close to a 10-carat heart shaped diamond solitaire set on a delicate micro-pave Platinum band designed by renowned jeweler Lorraine Schwartz. Gaga announced their engagement via Instagram, “He gave me his heart on Valentine’s Day, and I said YES!”


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Behind the Scenes- WeddingSutra on Location@Manish Malhotra

We hosted our last WeddingSutra on Location at the studio of top couturier and Bollywood’s favorite designer- Manish Malhotra. The three brides-to-be who were ecstatic to experience a dress rehearsal in his signature ensembles were Purva Kewlani, Esha Shah and Khushboo Gala.

Photographed by Shreya Sen, here are some of the behind the scene moments– team WeddingSutra managing it all, makeovers by Makeup Artist Kumar Iyer with the Lakmé Absolute range, hairstyling by Laksh Singh and jewellery by Azva.

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Keep logging on to www.weddingsutra.com/blog, as we will soon feature more photos of the final look of each bride-to-be and what they personally had to say about their wow experience with WeddingSutra on Location at Manish Malhotra.

Location- Manish Malhotra Couture Store, Khar
Makeup – Kumar Iyer for Lakmé Absolute
Hairstyling- Laksh Singh
Jewellery- Azva
Photographs by- Shreya Sen

Destination Goa- India Beach Fashion Week

The newest Fashion Week we attended was the India Beach Fashion Week which took place at North’s Goa’s newly opened Grand Mercure Hotel. After we returned to Mumbai many asked us “so how was it”? And our response was: “A refreshingly different fashion week” and “fairly well-organised”. While we wouldn’t rave about the creations we witnessed on the ramp, we think the primary organisers UV Events and their communication partners ‘You, Me and We’ put in good efforts to make this a much talked about fashion extravaganza.

The biggest Fashion Weeks in India are always held in Mumbai and Delhi, so here the communication was around ‘Beach is the New Ramp’ and Day 3 of the Week was dedicated to Bridal and Occasion wear.  With many Indian designers creating beach, resort and holiday wear, and more couturiers focusing on the destination wedding bride, this was a showcase of what a certain segment are wearing for their cool outings or weekend celebrations. One of the most high profile shows at the three-day week was when Dolly Sidhwani, wife of noted Filmmaker Riteish Sidhwani unveiled the new collection of her label ‘Noble Faith’. Many of Dolly and Riteish’s close friends from B-town were there, while actress Amrita Arora was the showstopper.

Here are our top picks from India Beach Fashion Week for brides shopping for their destination wedding.

Zanaaya Couture
If its a desi destination wedding, there have to be lehengas and saris! Zanaaya Couture delivered exactly that- a shimmery wearable range of ethnic outfits for the brides and wedding guests.

Zanaya collage

Rimple & Harpreet Narula
Inspired by the beauty of Barcelona and avant garde Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, the ‘Love in Catalonia’ collection by Rimple and Harpreet Narula offered some pretty gowns for brides-to-be.

Rimple & Harpreet Narula collage

Nachiket Barve
We loved the sheer silhouettes and bright shades of Nachiket’s line. Perfect for a romantic honeymoon evening or a casual event for a destination wedding.

Nachiket Barve collage

Sounia Gohil
A very fashionable collection featuring classic clean cuts, lehengas, jackets and gowns with digital and architectural prints in earthy hues.

Sounia Gohil collage

Falguni & Shane Peacock
For brides willing to take risks, Shane and Falguni offered an edgy line with sleek gowns, embellished and printed lehengas, embroidered jackets and dresses in soft shades of pink, grey, blue, white and aqua green.

Falguni & Shane Peacock collage

PICS- The Grand Hinduja Wedding, JLo Sizzles in Udaipur

It was our breaking news story on Thursday last week- Jennifer Lopez is coming to Udaipur for the shaadi of billionaire businessman Sanjay Hinduja (51) and fashion entrepreneur Anu Mahtani. It created its fair share of ripples— many newspersons called for more details, while a few invitees as well as vendors involved with the wedding messaged us privately to ask ‘wow, we didn’t know this—really’? We don’t reveal our sources, but before we break news we do a double check and its out only if it is from the most authentic source. So when a Mumbai daily reported exactly a week later that it is Beyonce and not J Lo who may be performing on 12th night, we as well as some in Udaipur were surprised. But finally, J Lo arrived in Udaipur in the early hours of 12th with her beau Casper Smart, and she headed to The Leela (not Udai Vilas as reported in our previous post). At 10.00 pm, the wait ended for the global glitterati when the actor-popstar stepped into Jagmandir Island. “How do I even describe it” quipped one guest about last night. “it was an ultimate frenzy, and almost all the 900 guests from Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, Seema and Sohail Khan, Dino Morea and the Maharana of Udaipur were seen letting their hair down and swaying to her music.”


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Like all high profile weddings, the Hinduja-Mahtani wedding with its posse of A-listers was out of bound for the media, so their coverage was mostly centred around Udaipur’s Dabok airport. After all, the private jets all led to Udaipur. A few guests posted updates on Facebook and Instagram- jewellery designer Maheep Kapoor was present with husband Sanjay Kapoor, model/ actress Rashmi Nigam, sisters Deanne Panday and Alison Woodham,  business baron Rishi Sethia (he was with fiancé Queenie Singh) and design czar Manish Malhotra who had designed some bridal ensembles. When we messaged some guests on day 1 they were gushing about the wow décor by Mumbai’s Dhun Cordo. On day 2 they were ‘waiting for tonight’- it was the sangeet and the night when J Lo was expected to perform. She didn’t but performances by the girl’s side entertained all—friends of the bride’s mother (Indu Mahtani) and sister (designer Nandita Mahtani) who included prominent society ladies Haseena Jethmalani, Champa Doshi, Gauri Pohoomul and Devaunshi Mehta danced to ‘Poora London Thumakda’ (Queen), ‘Bole Choodiyan’ (KKKG) and ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ (Don 2). Day 3 were the nuptials, and the post wedding party with J Lo and her troupe. The B-town entertainers on Day 1 and 2 were Malaika Arora Khan, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh,  Akshay Kumar was expected but he didn’t come (that didn’t dampen the mood, you know who the star entertainer was).

celebs at hinduja wedding

We presume J Lo will make a quiet exit today, and the wedding guests with be back on the road (or their private jets) and for many days the talk will be around on Destination Udaipur! Is there a wedding anything close to this anytime soon? We are already getting impatient to write, so as soon as it gets fixed, you’ll read about it here first!

The Wedding Makers
Ritu Chhabria (Groom’s sister) and Raman Makkar (Groom’s brother-in-law)- Event Orchestration & Direction
Cox & Kings- Hospitality, Logistics and Planning
Aditya Motwane- Hospitality
Dhun Cordo- Décor & Design
Wedniksha (a division of Wizcraft)- Entertainment/ Artist Management
Foodlink- Catering
Mickey Contractor- Makeup & Styling
Prem Joshua, Terence Lewis & Troupe, Vishal Shekhar- Entertainment
Rajendra Masterji- Choreography (Sangeet)
Badal & Raja Jain- Photography & Cinematography

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