Bollywood shooting locations are integral parts of Bollywood blockbusters in India. From rugged mountains to the deep blue ocean, from vast deserts to massive waterfalls, India has it all. For the audience, Bollywood movies are a way to virtually travel the world. The producers and the directors spend enormous effort in selecting captivating locations for a movie.
The movies spend millions on exotic foreign locations. But the zeal of the Bollywood audience is never-ending. I made a list of Bollywood movies for the past 20 years. These movies portray the amazing and spectacular locations of India. In today’s article, I will mention such films made between 2000 and 2010. In my next article, I will come up with movies of the next decade along with their wondrous shooting locations.
Dil Chahta Hai And Goa
Let’s begin with Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, starring Aamir Khan, Akshay Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta and Dimple Kapadia, a 2001 blockbuster. It is an iconic movie of friendship and love. The road trip the three friends in the movie make to Goa is a dream for most Indian youth. Goa is one of India’s favourite destinations. Tourists flood from all over the world to Goa for the gorgeous beaches. The Chapora Fort is a must place for a picturesque photo with friends, exactly the way the 3 friends – Aamir, Akshay and Saif click in the movie. Chapora Fort is adjacent to the beautiful Vagator beach. From the top of the intriguing ruins of the fort, the panoramic view of the vast blue sea is breathtaking.
3 Idiots And Ladakh
Rajkumar Hirani directed ‘3 Idiots’, starring Aamir Khan, R.Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor and Boman Irani, is a chartbuster from 2009. This is a comedy based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, ‘Five Point Someone’. The movie is a narrative that takes the audience to the college days of the main characters. Ladakh’s Pangong Lake became one of the most beautiful and renowned Bollywood shooting locations with this movie. The blue pristine lake sees more number of visitors every year after the movie. Tourists click pictures along with the movie props, left at the bank of the heavenly lake.
Wake up Sid And Mumbai
Bollywood shooting locations can make one rediscover her own city with a different perspective. 2009 release ‘Wake up Sid’, has made the rushing city of Bombay/ Mumbai appear stunningly romantic. It is love which makes a young casual guy set a goal in life. Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen could discover the busy business capital of India in their own delicate and poetic pace. The monsoons and the wide Arabian Sea in the city has been the main focus in terms of locations of interest.
Rang De Basanti And Delhi, Punjab
As we speak of cities here, how can we miss out India’s capital city from the list of Bollywood shooting locations? Released on the 26th of January (Republic Day in India), 2006, was Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Rang De Basanti’. This was a multi-starer movie comprising of Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Kunal Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, R. Madabhan, Sharman Joshi, Soha Ali Khan and British actress Alice Patten in the lead roles.
The movie significantly shows the colonial areas, encircling India Gate and other parts of New Delhi. It takes us to Punjab. For the documentary, they show the Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Amritsar’s GoldenTemple, with the holy ‘Ik Omkar’ as the background song, touches our spiritual cords. Local Punjabi wrestling rings, Dhabas, highways, mustard fields with yellow blooms and Gurdwaras shown in the movie brings out the real essence of Punjab. Golden Temple has been one of the most popular Bollywood shooting locations.
Delhi 6 And Old Delhi
Omprakash Mehra’s 2009 release, ‘Delhi 6’, as the name suggests, is about the incidents and stories of the city, mainly about Purani (old) Delhi. ‘6’ here stands for the postal code of the Chandni Chowk Area. Abhishek Bachhan, Rishi Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor have made Old Delhi look exclusively romantic. A.R. Rahman’s music adds to the charm.
Jab We Met And Himachal Pradesh
Let us now shift our focus from the cities back to nature’s bounty. Speaking of Nature’s bounty, I am always reminded of the beautiful locations of Imtiaz Ali’s 2007 blockbuster ‘Jab We Met’. The movie captures the breathtaking view of the snow-covered Rohtang Pass at 13000 feet and the rustic wooden Naggar Castle in Kullu of Himachal Pradesh. It is a sweet romantic comedy with Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor as the main cast.
Black And Shimla
Speaking of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, the capital of the state cannot be left out from the list of Bollywood shooting locations. Sanjay Lila Bansali’s movie, ‘Black’, starring Amitabh Bachhan and Rani Mukherjee is a soul touching movie. The story revolves around a deaf and blind girl and her relationship with her teacher, who develops Alzheimer’s disease. The movie was shot in Shimla and the iconic church at the Mall is symbolic in the movie.
Mission Kashmir And Kashmir
Kashmir, the heaven on earth has been one of the all time favourite Bollywood shooting locations. The beauty of the snow covered Himalayan peaks, lush rolling Kashmir hills and valleys and the iconic Dal Lake are past compare. Vidhu Vinod’s ‘Mission Kashmir’ is an intense movie touching upon the terror issues in Kashmir. Stars like Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff are captivating.
Yuva And Kolkata
Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi and Abhishek Bachhan live with different ideals and objectives. The lives of three different people are intertwined after a murder attempt and an accident in broad daylight on the Hooghly Bridge. Kolkata’s icons have been shown off and the spirit of the City of Joy is well portrayed in the movie. Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Esha Deol add to the charm of this Indian political thriller, directed by Mani Ratnam in 2004.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa And Rajasthan
Priyadarshan’s ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ is an iconic movie of 2007. Vidya Balan acts as a lady who has dissociative identity disorder. She is mistaken as being possessed by a spirit. Akshay Kumar, playing the role of a psychiatrist, comically plots to save the lady, his friend’s wife. The movie portrays the grandeur of Rajasthan. The Havelis (palaces) and the forts in Rajasthan are mesmerizing. The film captures the lively colourful village life.
As a bonus, I would love to mention two songs from this decade which instantly teleport the audience to the shooting location. Pradeep Sarkar’s Parineeta’s ‘Kasto Mazza’ song in Darjeeling’s legendary Toy train, with Saif and Vidya Balan, is as heartwarming as 1969’s Aradhana’s Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore’s ‘Meri Sapno ki Rani’, featuring the heritage Toy train. Queen of Hills, Darjeeling, has recently become pretty popular among the Bollywood shooting locations.
Athirapilly waterfalls in Kerala mesmerized the movie buffs in the song ‘Barso re Megha’ from Mani Ratnam’s 2007 biopic on Dhirubhai Ambani. The beautiful Aishwarya Rai dances like a peacock in the rain with the majestic waterfalls in the backdrop, with A.R. Rahman’s melodious music.
A versatile writer and travel freak, discovering the world in her own casual way. Loves to immerse into the core of Mother Nature and extract her inherent beauty.