Several Bollywood films get shot abroad, but certain locations in India are still popular with our filmmakers. India has diversified locations like hill stations, deserts, beaches, monuments, rural areas, forts and palaces etc, which appeals to filmmakers; besides its a bit cheaper to film in India. Here we take a look at some of the top filming locations in India, where several Bollywood and other regional Indian films have been shot in the past.
There have been directors in the past, who were so passionate about their work, that they would go to any limit to make sure everything related to their movie was authentic (place, sets, ornaments, and so on). Whether such passion really converts into box office success is debatable, but what cannot be debated is their commitment to the art.
And it’s not that such commitment is shown only in the veteran directors, a lot of newcomers are also not ready to compromise when it comes to giving that perfect touch to their movies.
Rajasthan is a favorite not just with Indian filmmakers but even Hollywood is fascinated by this place. Rajasthan is where, probably the maximum number of film shootings have taken place. And that includes Hollywood movies as well. This royal retreat offers spectacular palatial beauty along with the serenity of the lakes. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Jodha Akbar, Yaadein, and Border are just a few of the hits which have been pictured in Rajasthan.
“Gulabi’ song from Shuddh Desi Romance, filmed in Rajasthan
Goa is another popular destination, not just for Indians but even foreigners. This beach paradise attracts film makers from all over the world. Ironically, the state has lesser locals and more of the tourists! Some of the movies promoting the celestial beauty of Goa are Dil Chahta Hai, Josh, Ek Villain, Golmaal 3, Finding Fanny and Singham.
Dil Chahta Hai title song
The capital city of India is currently a favorite among Indian filmmakers, because of its historical monuments, better infrastructure and wide roads. The historical monuments, markets, Delhi University and the city life of Delhi have always been a photographer’s delight. Some of the most popular films shot in Delhi include Rockstar, Fanaa, Jannat 2, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, 2 States etc.
‘Masakali’ song from Delhi 6
Kashmir is back in action with several filmmakers filming in the valley. Several films in recent years have been shot in Kashmir. Who wouldn’t want to capture the heavenly beauty of Kashmir in the lens? Words fall short even if you try to describe the magnanimous charm that this place mesmerizes the visitors with! Kashmir is the most beautiful location for adding romance to a film! Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Highway, Rockstar have recently chanced upon the beauty of this state.
Jiya Re song from Jab Tak Hai Jaan, filmed in Kashmir
When it comes to beauty, the south is no less than the north. If north has the snow-clad peaks, the south has spectacular waterfalls as nature’s bounty. Remember the gigantic waterfall Aishwarya Rai falls from in Raavan? And the song called Barso re Megha from Guru? It is the magnificent beauty of Kerala which has been screened in these films.
‘Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari’ song from Chennai Express, filmed in Kerala
Manali in Himachal Pradesh was always a popular destination and when Kareena Kapoor danced to “Yeh Ishq Hai, Jannat Dikhaye” amidst the snow-clad mountains, more and more people wanted to visit this beautiful place. Remember the narrow roads covered with snow on the sides, the picturesque valleys and the beautiful cottages shown in Jab We Met? Well, these are all the charms of a beautiful hill station called Manali!
‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ song from Jab We Met, filmed in Manali
Leh/Ladakh was earlier considered to be an inaccessible region because of the extreme climatic conditions. But not anymore! Thanks to the film-makers, these locations have now become popular especially amongst the youngsters. While in 3 Idiots Aamir Khan was found teaching at Ladakh, the latest flick Fugly showed the youngsters taking a road trip to Leh. Other movies filmed in these regions include Lakshya, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, and Dil Se.
‘Satrangi re song from ‘Dil Se’ filmed at Thikshey Gompa in Ladakh.
This small yet divine city of Punjab has also contributed in making our films look astonishingly picturesque. The busy lanes of the city, the Golden Temple, the Jallianwala Bagh and the Khalsa College are favourite shooting spots for the directors. Movies which have been filmed at these locations are Gadar, Bride and Prejudice, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Veer-Zara and Legend of Bhagat Singh to name a few.
Ik Onkar song from Rang De Basant, filmed at the Golden temple, Amritsar
Two popular Gunday of Bollywood were born in this city! You probably would have guessed it by now that it is the Ranveer Singh-Arjun Kapoor starrer Gunday that chose Kolkata as its prime location. Other major films shot here are Barfi, Kahaani and Parineeta. Another advantage Kolkata has is that its nearer to popular hill stations like Darjeeling & Sikkim.
Tune Maari Entriyaan song from Gunday, filmed in Kolkatta
Mumbai is the home to the largest film industry of India. The first shot of camera would have begun from this city itself. A lot many films have been shot at this entertainment capital of India. Munnabhai MBBS, Slumdog Millionaire, Dhoom, Saagar, Talaash, Ek Deewana Tha and there is no end to this list!
‘Jai Ho’ song from Slumdog Millionaire, filmed in Mumbai
South-Indian Director Shoots Film at Over 100 Locations
South-Indian Director Sathya Prabhas Pinisetty shot his Tamil-Telugu directorial debut Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka at over 100 locations.
While those hundred locations were spread across 5-6 cities in India, the effort involved was huge as they had to constantly move around with their equipment and crew from one place to another.
“The nature of the script was such that I had to change about 140 locations. The story revolves around four characters in four different parts of the country and I wanted to keep it authentic. Therefore, I didn’t want to compromise creatively,” said Director Sathya Prabhas Pinisetty.
The director had to spend considerable time convincing his actors and the crew about the merits of taking such a step. Not only the traveling takes time, taking the required permissions to shoot at the various locations is also a time-consuming process.
“I had to constantly shift locations in a city. There are two ways of doing it. You can either cheat and do it according to your convenience by compromising on the ambiance or take your time and convince your team to go where your script takes you”.
The shooting was done in cities like Bombay, Goa, Pondicherry, Hyderabad and Chennai, including locations such as the fishing harbours in Pudupettai, CST station in Mumbai.