The Bollywood Romantic Movies’ history is very old. Hindi film industry to complete 115 years this year, on 21st April 1913, the first Hindi film Raja Harishchandra, a silent film was actually a romantic film, since then this genre has become one of the popular genres among the filmmakers and audiences.
If you go back the top films that were among the biggest hits are romantic films. From 1913 to the mid of 1950, most of the Bollywood films were emotional dramas.
The filmmaker-actor late. Guru Dutt came up to break the jinks with Pyaasa (1957) and the film considered as the first official romantic film starred Guru Dutt himself and Waheeda Rehman in the key roles. Pyaasa dialogues, romantic scenes, and fantastic climax loved the beautiful romantic genre film. After seeing the success of Pyaasa, filmmakers changed their mindset and started making action-romance, romantic drama, romantic-thriller, rom-com.
Mughal-E-Azam (1960), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Guide (1965) and Silsila (1981) among the best Bollywood romantic movies, an evergreen decade of the Hindi film industry. Later in the years, the evolution of three young and dynamic actors was made, they had become the romantic icons of Bollywood.
Top Bollywood Romantic Movies of All Time
Yes, we are talking about Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, and Shahrukh Khan who had not only started their career with iconic romantic Bollywood films but also became the most popular romantic actors of Bollywood. Even, now after 25-27 years of their debut.
All the three Khans are ruling the Hindi film industry and the credit for their huge success go to romantic movies. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (Aamir), Maine Pyar Kia (Salman), and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Shah Rukh Khan) are among the most popular Bollywood romantic movies of all time.
|Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu
|Sanam Teri Kasam
|Harshvardhan Rane, Mawra Hocanea
|Radhika Rao, Vinay Sapru
|Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor
|Shahid Kapoor, Amrita Rao
|Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta
|Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukherjii
|Kal Ho Na Ho
|Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan
|Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali
|Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan
|Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai
|Hrithik Roshan, Ameesha Patel
|Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
|Shahrukh Khan, Kajol
|Anil Kapoor, Sridevi
|Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit
|Maine Pyar Kiya
|Salman Khan, Bhagyashree
|Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
|Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla
|Kumar Gaurav, Vijeta Pandit
|Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bachchan
|Rishi Kapoor, actress Dimple Kapadia
|Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman
|Dilip Kumar, Madhubala
|Guru Dutt, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman
1- Pyaasa (1957)
Pyaasa is considered as the first romantic Bollywood film written, produced, directed by ace filmmaker Guru Dutt. Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman were two lead heroines along with Guru Dutt in the film revolves around Vijay who is a struggling poet trying to make his works recognized by independent India and a prostitute called Gulabo helped him in publishing his poems.
Guru Dutt delivered a solid performance as an unsuccessful poet and the film became hit at the box office. Apart from its romantic plot, Pyaasa is also remembered for its music and emotional tracks like Jaane Who Kaise Log The.
2- Mughal- E-Azam (1960)
Mughal-E-Azam is an epic historical romantic drama directed by K. Asif featuring tragedy king Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Prithviraj Kapoor. Mughal-E-Azam is the story of Mughal Prince Salim, son of emperor Akhbar who falls in love with court dancer Anarkali.
Salim’s father Akhbar is unhappy with this relation and disapproves it then a rebel story begins and a cold war takes place between father-son. The film set several milestones that time and treated as one of the most popular romantic films of all time in the history of Indian cinema.
It was the most expensive film of that time and went on to hold the highest box office grosser for 15 years, lead actor Dilip Kumar who played Saleem became a superstar overnight of Hindi cinema and the on-screen pair Dilip Kumar-Madhubala became a favorite choice of filmmakers.
The soundtrack was another big achievement for the film, composed by legendary music director Naushad, songs like Pyar Kia to Darna Kya and Mohe Pangat Pe are still among the iconic songs of Hindi cinema. If we talk about the awards, Mughal-E-Azam awarded with National Award for the best film plus three other Filmfare Awards.
3- Guide (1965)
Directed by ace filmmaker Vijay Anand, Guide was a romantic drama based on the loose adaptation of R. K. Narayan written novel by the same name. Featuring evergreen actor Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, Guide is the story of Raju who was a freelance guide, earned his living by taking tourists to the historical places.
One day a man comes to city wife Rosie (Waheeda) and wants to research on the caves. Raju takes Rosie to a tour and falls in love with her. This is the little synopsis of this very popular romantic film is certainly the milestone film of Dev Anand’s career and he has always remembered for this film.
Guide not only won National Award for Best Film but also bagged six Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. The soundtrack composed by S.D. Burman including Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna, Din Dhal Jaye, Gaata Rahe Mera Dil and Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya have magically kept a special place in the hearts of the people.
4- Bobby (1973)
Filmmaker-actor late. Raj Kapoor is reckoned as the backbone of Hindi Film industry. The passion of filmmaking made him different from others. He is proudly called as the father of Indian cinema. He always loved to make romantic films and Bobby is one of his best romantic films.
Bobby was the official debut film of Raj Kapoor’s youngest son Rishi Kapoor and actress Dimple Kapadia. The story revolves around two Mumbai-born teenagers who fall in love with each other but their families don’t accept this relationship due to the big class difference. Raj is the son of a rich businessman while Bobby is the daughter of a poor fisherman.
Bobby was the trendsetter of that time and gave a new idea of making teenage romance to the film industry. Several movies in the following years were inspired by this film which became the second blockbuster of the year and among the all-time must watch Bollywood films. Bobby won 5 Filmfare Award of the year which shows its trump.
5- Silsila (1981)
Silsila is regarded as one of the most classic films of all time. Yash Chopra directorial romance drama is remembered for its star cast including megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar. This was also the last film of an iconic on-screen couple of Amitabh and Rekha, who were also popular for their rumored off-screen affair.
Silsila was based on love- triangle between Amitabh-Rekha and Jaya. Although, the film was not a big blockbuster today everyone wants to see this classic film and also legendary Yash Chopra called Silsila and Lamhe were two of his best films that he made ever.
6- Love Story (1981)
Rajendra Kumar who also called as Jubilee Kumar of Indian Cinema debuted as a producer with this romantic film, Love Story starred Kumar Gaurav and Vijeta Pandit in the main leads directed by Rahul Rawail became blockbuster and Kumar Gaurav became a superstar overnight.
The film was among best love stories of Bollywood and the pair Kumar-Vijeta was an iconic pair of Bollywood but unfortunately, both Kumar and Vijeta didn’t pick up from here and lost their charm after just one film. The songs, specially Yaad Aa Rahi Hai and Dekha Maine Dekha became smash hits of the year.
7- Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Qayamat Se Qayamat was the debut film for Bollywood’s Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan and former Miss India Juhi Chawla. The film was based on the famous novel Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare. This romantic drama became superhit and film industry got two new rising superstars of B-Town.
People admired this pair of Aamir and Juhi and after this film, these two were seen in various super hit films in the subsequent year. It won National Film Award for Best Popular Film proving Wholesome Entertainment and seven Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Debut and Best Female Debut. Aamir Khan, son of filmmaker Nasir Hussain is currently ruling the film industry and regarded as one of the finest actors of Bollywood.
8- Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Maine Pyar Kiya is a beautiful romantic love story directed by Sooraj Barjatya who made his directorial debut with the film. Salman Khan started his career as a supporting character in Biwi Ho Toh Aisi (1988) while he has appeared as the main lead in the film along with debutant actress Bhagyashree.
Maine Pyar Kiya tells the story of two friends Prem and Suman who fall in love with each other but face lots of hurdles to unite. Maine Pyar Kiya was the biggest superhit of that year and also among the highest grosser of the year.
Salman Khan became an overnight superstar with the film and thus started the journey of this young and dynamic actor of the B-Town, currently, he is the box office king of the film industry. His every film for the past 10 years is blockbuster and at present, he is the most popular Bollywood actor.
9- Dil (1990)
Directed by Indra Kumar, Dil featuring Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit is an Indian romantic drama. It was the remake of Telugu film Thodi Muddhu. The story of Dil revolves around two young lovers Raja and Madhu madly love each other but due to the status gap between their families, no one accepts their relationship.
Raja and Madhu ran away and make their own world. Dil received a huge success at the box office and Madhuri received Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The songs of Dil were also very popular among youth.
10- Lamhe (1991)
Lamhe was another fantastic showcase of Yash Chopra, who is regarded as the father of romantic films. Lamhe featured Anil Kapoor and Sridevi is the love story of Viren and Pallavi whose father was died due to the heart attack. Although Lamhe did not become a big hit at the box office but appreciated by overseas audience due to its urban plot.
Sridevi received several accolades for her dual characters and bagged the Filmfare Award for Best actress. Lamhe, without any doubt, is the finest films of Yash Chopra and regarded as the classic masterpiece of modern time. In 2013, Lamhe was inducted among the top ten romantic movies of 100 years.
11- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, popularly called DDLJ is the most popular and romantic Bollywood film of all time. Featuring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in the main leads, this iconic film directed by debutant Aditya Chopra, son of Yash Chopra and the film revolves around two young NRI’s who fall in love with each other during a Europe tour with their friends.
Raj wants to marry Simran but his father refuses to do so as he already promised to give her hand to his friend’s son. DDLJ is the most successful film of Indian cinema and went on to become highest grosser of the year. The most promising thing about this magical film is that the film was completed 1000 weeks in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir theater, which is an unbreakable record of the history of Hindi film industry.
The iconic pair of Shah Rukh and Kajol become the most popular on-screen pair of the B-Town and then seen in several other successful films together. It won 10 Filmfare Awards, the most for a single film at that time. It also received National Film Award for Best Popular Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
DDLJ has some terrific achievements such as it was one of three Hindi films in the reference book 1001 movies you must see before you die and on 12th place in British film institute’s list of top Indian films of all time and is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema.
12- Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai (2000)
Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai or Kaho Na Pyaar Hai is a romantic thriller directed by Rakesh Roshan. This film gave another superstar to the film industry as Hrithik Roshan, son of Rakesh Roshan made his acting debut with this film along with Ameesha Patel. Hrithik played dual characters of Raj and Rohit.
The story revolves around Rohit and Sonia who love each other but due to an accident (murder), Rohit died and Sonia met with his lookalike Raj who eventually helped her to catch Rohit’s murderers. In between these all, Raj falls in love with Sonia. The film went on to become blockbuster and Hrithik became an overnight superstar.
Kaho Naa… has a magnificent record for the greatest number of awards (102) won by a Bollywood film and added to the Limca Book of Records. It bagged 9 Filmfare Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor.
The soundtracks of Kaho Na… became highly popular among the people. This successful duo of father-son has made some most popular and blockbuster films of Hindi Cinema like Koi Mil Gaya (2003) and Krrish (2006).
13- Mohabatein (2000)
Mohabatein was the comeback film of the successful director-actor duo Aditya Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan after 5 years. Their last film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was blockbuster and again they came back with this unique love story of a college boy Aryan (SRK) and his love Megha (Aishwarya Rai) but her father Narayan Shankar (Amitabh Bachchan) who is the strict headmaster of Gurukul doesn’t allow them to unite that results in death of Megha in a suicide.
Raj then came back as a music teacher and filled the color of love in the university among the youth. This beautiful love story was the highest earning film of the year in the overseas market and crossed Kaho Na…Pyaar Hai as the highest worldwide grosser. It also won two Filmfare Award for Best Actor critics and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
14- Devdas (2002)
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Devdas is originally based on 1917 popular novel of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel of the same name. Although, there were two more films were earlier made before this but this Shah Rukh Khan starred film was the finest film made in this novel.
The film revolves around Devdas (SRK), a wealthy foreign returned graduate came back India to marry his childhood friend Paro (Aishwarya Rai) but Dev was deeply addicted to alcohol due to which his marriage was broken down which leading into his emotional deterioration.
Madhuri Dixit and Jackie Shroff were also played a very important role in the film, which became internationally acclaimed by the audience. Besides, five National Film Awards, Devdas also bagged 10 Filmfare Awards including Best Film Award.
Devdas also acclaimed globally and was nominated for the Bafta Award for Best Foreign Language Film and also was India’s entry into Academy Awards. Recently. Devdas was included in Time Magazine’s top 10 movies of the millennium worldwide.
15- Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)
This Karan Johar’s production venture directed by debutant Nikhil Advani is also a beautifully written romantic drama starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan. The film sets in New York where an enthusiastic working girl Naina Kapur, who falls in love with his neighbor Aman Mathur, a heart patient, who tries to play matchmaker for Naina her best friend Rohit.
Kal Ho Na Ho, which was said inspired by 1970’s superhit film Anand, was declared blockbuster in Indian and called as the all-time blockbuster in overseas. The film was also screened at various International Film Festivals and won two National Awards and eight Filmfare Awards. The title track of the film becomes really popular among the people.
16- Hum Tum (2004)
Directed by Kunal Kohli and produced by Aditya Chopra, Hum Tum is an Indian romantic comedy loosely based on 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. The story of Hum Tum revolves around two characters Karan and Rhea who, after several meetings and get-togethers, became friends and at the end of the film fall in love with each other.
There was an animation series launched in the film where they represent the current state of Karan and Rhea’s relationship. The film was well received by the audience and the performances of Saif and Rani were praised by the critics. Hum Tum won several Filmfare Awards including Best Actress, Director, and Actor in a comic role. Saif went on to won National Film Award for Best Actor for his outstanding acting.
17- Veer Zara (2004)
Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra made his directorial comeback after 7 years with this iconic film Veer Zara which is one of most memorable romantic Hindi films of all time. As usual Shah Rukh Khan was played the main lead in the film, which was set in the backdrop of conflict between India and Pakistan.
It was the story of Indian pilot Veer Pratap Singh and a Pakistani girl Zara (Preity Zinta), who came to India to do last rituals of his grandmother. Here she met with Veer and both falls in love with each other. After that Veer went to Pakistan for his love but caught by Pakistani Police suspected as an Indian spy.
Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukherjee), a lawyer by profession helps him to free and get him to his love Zara. The film hailed by the audience and declared superhit at the box office not only in Indian but also in Pakistan. The film won several Awards at several Film awards including most popular film at National Awards and also Filmfare Award for Best Film.
18- Vivah (2006)
Vivah is a Bollywood romantic film directed by Sooraj Barjatya featuring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao. Vivah is the story of two individuals and their journey from engagement to marriage.
The film is considered as the simplest and beautiful love stories of all time. Each and every scene of the film is wonderful and ultimately it became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year. This was the career-changing film for Shahid Kapoor which got him a nomination for Best Actor at the Screen Awards.
19- Aashiqui 2 (2013)
Aashiqui 2 was the sequel to 1990 hit romantic drama Aashiqui. This Mohit Suri directorial starring Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in the main leads was a blockbuster film that suddenly made Aditya and Shraddha as the shining superstar of the B-Town.
The story of Aashiqui revolves around Rahul (Aditya), who was a successful musician but his career is on the slide due to his alcohol addiction. He meets Aarohi (Shraddha), a bar singer and fell in love with her.
After that Aarohi become singing sensation which results in occurring ego problems between them. Made with the budget of just 9 crores, Aashiqui 2 become the blockbuster by collecting over 100 crores globally and one of the most popular romantic films of Bollywood.
Besides its plot, the film is also recognized for its fantastic soundtracks including Tum Hi Ho by Arijit Singh and Sun Raha Hai Tu by Ankit Tiwari. The film went on to win 2 Filmfare Awards and four IIFA Awards.
20- Sanam Teri Kasam (2016)
Radhika Rao, Vinay Sapru directed romantic drama Sanam Teri Kasam is a heart-wrenching love story, is one of the top rated Bollywood Romantic Movies. Telugu Film Industry fame Harshvardhan Rane and Pakistani actress Mawra Hocanea played key roles in this film and did a great job.
This is the story of a guy who just released from jail and fall in love with a simple but beautiful girl Saraswati Parthsarthy aka Saru. Sanam Teri Kasam failed to get Box Office success but made a place in millions of hearts through the emotional romantic story and soothing music.
21- October (2018)
October is Varun Dhawan’s 10th film in Bollywood, consecutively 10th hits show that he is the big thing in future. Shoojit Sircar’s direction and heart-wrenching story is a dream combo.
October reveals the story of a guy is a chef in the hotel, a sweet girl also joins that hotel but she faces an accident there and goes in coma, the guy is a true lover and great human being considers it his own life’s battle where Varun Dhawan’s performance is just wow.