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"Chaiyya Chaiyya"
Song by A. R. Rahman

from the album Dil Se

Released 1998
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre World Music
Length 6:48
Label Venus Records and Tapes, Sony Classical, Varese Sarabande
Writer A. R. Rahman (music), Gulzar (lyrics)
Producer A. R. Rahman
Dil Se track listing
"Chaiyya Chaiyya"
"Jiya Jale"
Music sample
Chaiyya Chaiyya

"Chhaiyya Chhaiyya" (Hindi: छैंय्या छैंय्या, "[walk] in the shadow") is the first song in the Hindi film Dil Se directed by Mani Ratnam.

The song was composed by A.R. Rahman, written by Gulzar, and sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi. It quickly became popular upon release and its music video gained the same status, partly because it was filmed on a moving train. The Hindustani version of the song is called "Chaiyya Chaiyya", while the Punjabi and Tamil versions are called "Thaiyya Thaiyya".

In 2003, ‏the BBC World Service conducted an international poll to choose the ten most popular songs of all time. Around 7000 songs were selected from all over the world. According to the BBC, people from 155 countries voted "Chaiyya Chaiyya" ninth in the top 10 songs.[1]


About the song

"Chaiyya Chaiyya" not only reached the top of the charts in India, but also became popular in England.

It is also featured in the opening of the second act of the musical Bombay Dreams, in which the train sequence from Dil Se is recreated on stage. Remixes of the song were used in the opening and closing credits of the 2006 film, Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee and produced by Brian Grazer. The opening credits have the original version with additional trumpet accompaniment and the closing credits feature a hip-hop-inflected remix featuring Punjabi MC ("Chaiyya Chaiyya Bollywood Joint").

The song was also featured in the pilot episode of the television show Smith. A cover of this song was performed in episode 5 of season 5 of CSI: Miami.

Music video

Chaiyya Chaiyya's music video

The video was filmed on top of the Ooty train (the Nilgiri Mountain Railway) in mountainous Tamil Nadu, southern India while actor Shahrukh Khan dances with model/actress Malaika Arora and other dancers. The cinematography of the film was handled by Santosh Sivan. The choreography was completed in four and half days by Farah Khan.[2]



  • An English translation available at BollyWhat.


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