Are you looking for some vacation inspiration? Want some options to be included in your travel bucket list? Nikita Chawla lists some Bollywood film inspirations that would make you want to leave everything else and pack your bags to travel!
Agree or not, Bollywood has influenced us in many ways. From picturising vibrant cities to vivid farmlands in the countryside to the extravagant snow clad mountains and valleys to mesmerising beaches and coasts that leave us spellbound, Bollywood has the charm to turn local locations to global tourist spotlights. Bollywood filmmakers quest for delivering picturesque locations to scripts hereby creating a ‘window seat’ experience to audiences into a fancy dreamy world inspiring us to get-set-go so as to re-live those onscreen moments.
(In no particular order)
- Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge (1995)
Indian cinema’s longest running film, DDLJ has redefined timeless romance and it continues to be an iconic film for generations. Yash Raj’s masterpiece continues to screen since the release of the movie in 20th October 1995 in Maratha Mandir in Mumbai.As viewers, one gets carried away to the places as the film opens with introduction of Simran’s family in London covering Trafalgar Square,Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Southhall among other scenic locations with ‘ghar aaja pardesi’. Extensively shot in the locals of Switzerland, the movie looked dreamy. ‘Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam’ was picturised in the beautiful locals of Obersimmental-Sareen and Lake Lungern having magnificent view of the mountains. ‘Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main’ was shot in mesmerising locations at Gstaad and Jungfraujoch. Raj being the charmer, Simran’s innocence, heavenly locations, the iconic guitar and cow bell, mustard fields; the movie has the same freshness even after watching the movie a zillion times, the movie has the same freshness and newness. *Honeymoon Destination!*
- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a fun lively movie that took us on an incredible journey across Spain; a story of three friends who go on an exciting bachelor road trip to self-discovery. The visualisation and the plot of the film was dreamy, fancy and totally mesmerising. The movie was majorly shot in Spain and its gorgeous locals which looked magical. The film succeeded in detailing especially when it came to Spanish culture, their iconic monuments and extravagant festivals. From sky diving to scuba diving to Tomatina to Flamenco dancing with Senorita to the San Fermin Pampolna festival (running of the bulls), these mental bwoys did them all! *Err.. Is the Tomatina Festival over yet?*
- Highway (2014)
As the movie suggest, the filming location was the national highway of India along Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Kashmir and Rajasthan. The locations were offbeat yet amazing. The phatakaguddi Veera’s journey portrayed in the film gave us major road trip goals. As they say, allow the roads weave a story. *Road trip anyone?*
- Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
The cult movie revolves around 3 best friends and their respective relationships. Shot extensively in and around Goa and Sydney, Australia. The exotic Goa is known for its rocky rustic mountains, idyllic blue painted seas, iconic forts, peaceful churches and vibrant food and culture. Sydney was gorgeously yet comprehensively picturised in the film. ‘Jaane Kyon Log’ was picturised in the amazing locals of Sydney including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. By the end movie, you sure are gonna call your gang to plan a trip to celebrate friendship! *Squad Goals*
5. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)
The movies celebrates love, friendship, relationships and a journey of self-discovery. Bunny’s character represents the spirit of travel and adventure. Bunny plays the central character who represents the true spirit of travel and adventure. Portions of the film where shot in Manali, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Srinagar. The song ‘Ilahi’ was shot in the romantic city Paris, France. Aditi’s (Kalki) wedding scenes were shot at the royal and grandeur The Oberoi Udaivillas at Udaipur, Rajasthan. Gorgeously filmed, the locations of the film are mind blowing and larger than life. *Bunny, can we join you please?*
6. Tamasha (2015)
With the release of Tamasha, the film introduces us to the mesmerising continent, Corsica. The film weaves a beautiful story between Ved and Tara who meet at Corsica, become friends, fall in love and depart only to meet years later in Delhi. Every scene picturised at Corsica was eye pleasing and postcard ready. The story also portrays Ved’s journey to discover his true self that leaves the audience with a message to follow your dreams. *Wanderlust Diaries*
7. Jab We Met (2007)
Imtiaz Ali’s beautiful way of storytelling through picturesque locations as backdrops has resulted in a masterpiece – Jab We Met which has always been a ‘feel good’ film for many. We could even watch it on loop and never get tired. The movie revolves around Geet and Aditya who embark their journey that changes their life. From Mumbai to Ratlam ki galiyaan to ganne ke khet in Punjab, they road tripped only to realise Geet ‘ghar se bhag rahi hai’ Anshuman se milne all the way to Manali. The soulful road trip song ‘Hum Jo Chalne Lage’ was picturised in the vibrant locals of Rajasthan. ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ was shot at Rohtang Pass, Manali while ‘Aaoge Jab Tum’ was picturised in the heavenly Simla. *Shall we go Skiing?*
8. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
A classy family film by Zoya Akhtar set on a fabulously woven travel backdrop. Major portions of the film were filmed on a cruise line in the Mediterranean Sea also covering some captivating locations. The visuals of the film are breath-taking and have been shot sailing along Turkey, Spain, Italy, France and Tunisia. The movie was picturised in some of the best locations in Turkey namely Antalya, Cappadocia and Istanbul.*How about a destination wedding in Cruise?*
10. Hum Tum (2004)
A lovely rom-com, Hum Tum was filmed in the mesmerising locals of Amsterdam, Paris and New York. The peppy number ‘LadkiKyon’ was picturised in various locations in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Less than six minutes, director KunalKohli treats us with a virtual tour of the mesmerising city. *Museums & galleries!*
11. Student Of The Year (2012)
If it’s a Karan Johar film, it has to be larger than life having flamboyant sets and locations, exclusive yet classy costumes, perfect casting ensemble and some groovy music! The new generation teen love story, SOTY had all of it! Portions of the film were shot in Kashmir and Thailand. Known for its tropical beaches, blue lagoons, cultural heritage and glittering temples, a small portion of the film was shot in Bangkok, Thailand. The soothing romantic song ‘Ishqwala Love’ was picturised in the post card beautiful valleys of Pahalgam in Kashmir. *Everyone loves this song!*The spectacular Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, Uttarakhand was picturised as the exterior of the fictional yet larger than life Saint Teresa High School. *Wooo Sassy*
12. Kaho Na Pyar Hai (2000)
A blockbuster hit, the movie soars the fantasies of many youngsters especially women who dreamt to be shipwrecked with the love of their life in an abandoned island. The portion of the film where Sonia and Rohit get stuck in isolated island is picturised in the breath-taking panoramic landscapes, clear blue beaches and white sands of Krabi, Thailand. Another beautiful portion of the film was shot in scenic landscapes of New Zealand. The song ‘Na Tum Jano Na Hum’ was shot in dreamy New Zealand. Lush green fields, gigantic snow clad mountains, long drive and hot air balloon ride while the sun is shining just right, New Zealand is a romantic dream. *Honeymoon Alert!*
13. Dhoom 2 (2006)
While the movie was shot at various locations indoors and outdoors; the most striking portion was the ones that were shot in Brazil. Talk about Brazil and we get reminded about the sun kissed white sand beaches, free spirited people, music, Samba and Football!! The song ‘My name is Ali’ was shot in Rio de Janeiro. The majestic and holy Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro has a mesmerising view of the city and is also pictured in the song.*Crazy kiya re*
14. Rockstar (2011)
Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar talks about a young lad Jordan and his journey to stardom. The major portions of the movie was shot in fascinating Prague, Czech Republic.The lively song ‘Hawa Hawa’was picturised in the beautiful locals of Prague. While the other portions of the film were filmed in India – Kashmir, Dharamshala, Delhi and Mumbai. Mohit Chauhan has given voice to Rabir’s character as a Rockstar, music score by A.R. Rahman and lyrics penned by IrshadKamilhas added to the overall visual presentation of the film.*Bags packed already!*
The rom-com destination wedding film, was shot at the enthralling backdrops of Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Frombreathtaking castles to sandy beaches to spectacular landscapes, Yorkshire looked dreamy, therefore the movie succeeded in having a fairytale essence. The locations of the film were magical. For the viewers, it may seem that the film is picturised in one castle instead it was shot in six different castles in Yorkshire. The most prominent castle which was the exterior was the gorgeous Carlton Towers, North Yorkshire. Other locations used in the film are the Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire, Eddsfield Airfield in East Yorkshire, Low force Waterfall in County Durham, Goathland Station in North Yorkshire, Saltburn Beach in North Yorkshire and Allerton Castle in North Yorkshire. The famous ‘Gulaabo’ was shot in Temple Newsam Farm in West Yorkshire while ‘Nazdeekiyaan’ was filmed at Allerton Castle. These locations give the right grandeur and elegance that matches the great Indian big fat wedding destination theory! *How about a country side family luncheon?*
16. 3 Idiots (2009)
A landmark entertainment movie with a beautiful message, RajkumarHirani’s 3 Idiots was picturised in numerous picturesque locals of India. The fictional Imperial College of Engineering was shot at the campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The climax scene where Kareena Kapoor adorns a beautiful orange red bridal dress riding on a sunshine yellow scooty to meet Rancho err PhunsukhWangdu was picturised at the fascinating Pangong Tso Lake at Ladakh. If you’re someone who has Ladakh on their vacation bucket list, your desire to road trip in Ladakh intensifies after watching this movie.*Up for a bike trip to Ladakh!*
17. Namaste London (2007)
Mostly shot in London, England the film leaves the audience dreamy and asking for more! The picturisation was spot on and the soulful music set the tone of the film right. The Punjab da puttar Arjun gave *Husband Goals*to most women as he woos his NRI wife Jazz. Subtly, the film also has a tinge of patriotism that makes us Indians proud.
P.S. Jazz goes on a family vacation to India which is a quick visual tour of famous hot spots in Northern India. Oh yes not forgetting the lush green mustard fields of Punjab and the ganne ke khet!
18. Queen (2014)
Totally devastated, timid and shyRani decides to go on her honeymoon all alone when her fiancé calls it quits for the wedding. She sets to embark on a journey of self-discovery, freedom, friendship and independence. She heads to Paris first and then to Amsterdam. Whilst her trip to Paris, she encounters a series of events where in she meets Vijaylakshmi who inspires her to be bindass and free spirited. After her few nakhras, dhumkas and hungamahogaya, Rani departs to Amsterdam only to find her new improved version. Despite the spotlight was on the O Gujariya girl, we couldn’t stop noticing the dreamy backdrop of Eiffel Tower and the tranquil streets of the city. *You Go Girl!*
19. Sanam Re (2015)
For a filmmaker, the location adds oodles of emotions to the film. And if you have Arijit Singh singing for you, you have the right ‘feels’. Sanam Re has some beautifully shot scenes in the charming snow-clad mountains of Himachal and captivating landscapes of Ladakh. The title track is picturised in an elegant way that one gets transported into the film. The romantic drama is set in the backdrop of Himachal, Ladakh and Canada.*Dreamy Eyed*
20. Dilwale (2015)
What happens when Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol come together onscreen? Sheer Magic! *sigh* Raj meets Meera, hopelessly falls in love only to depart as their respective families are rivals. Years later, thanks to destiny and their respective siblings that fell in love only to re-unite the ex-couple. The movie was shot in exotic locations of Bulgaria, Iceland and Goa. The dreamy song ‘Gerua’ was shot in mesmerising locations in Iceland that it almost looked unbelievable! Kajol’s elegant chiffon saris, SRK’s signature pose and the magnificent backdrop leaves us starry-eyed!
P.S. How could we forget the 5 minute date between Raj and Meera in the beautiful streets of Bulgaria? Sigh! Cannot able to take it! *Date Goals*
- Chennai Express (2013)
While Chennai Express was ideally not shot at Chennai but in the beautiful cities of Munnar and Goa. One of the most unforgettable scene of the film is one that was shot at Dudhsagar Falls, Goa where Meenamma introduces Rahul to her father who is a don of a village. It is believed that the Dudhsagar Falls seem more enthralling during the monsoon.*Go Goa Gone* Major village scenes were shot in the charming green estates of the Munnar, Kerala. Known for its beautiful green valleys, magnificent mountains and tea plantations gives one serenity and major weekend getaway goals. Undoubtedly, Kerala is God’s own Country!*Weekend getaway goals*
- Anjaana Anjaani (2010)
The romantic film was shot in the enchanting country, the United States of America covering some of its charming cities – San Fransico, Las Vegas and The New York City. The song ‘I feelgood’ captures the spirit of the Entertainment Capital of the world a.k.a Sin City – Las Vegas giving a captivating visual impact on the audience. ‘Hairat’ was shot in the remarkable landscapes of Jean Dry Lake, Nevada. Bollywood has projected the US as a dreamy and fancy land that has apparently made it to the travel wish lists of many! *Let’s Drive?*
- Pardes (1997)
The musical drama Pardes revolves around Kishorilal who wants an Indian bride for his NRI son Rajiv so that she could keep Indian values alive in the family despite living in a foreign land.Ganga flies to the USA to understand his lifestyle. Little did she know that the bond she had with Arjun (Rajiv’s friend) would result her in realising that he is the man of her dreams! The film had beautifully picturised in the banks of the holy Ganges, mesmerising The Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra, Rishikesh in Uttaranchal and Mysore. Simultaneously, the movie was also picturised in the fascinating cities of Vancouver, Las Vegas and Canada. The song ‘I love my India’ sets the theme of the movie and creates patriotic feels towards of country.*Anyone in for a river raft at Rishikesh?*
- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
The romantic drama was picturised in the picturesque royal locals of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The film effortlessly crafts the vibrant culture, heritage lifestyle of the two states.Heritage sites such as the royal Vijay Villas Palace in Kutch, beautiful BadaBagh, the spectacular Gadsisar Lake and the majestic Jaisalmer Fort (AlbelaSajanAayo Re song) are major backdrops in the film. Additionally, the second half of the film was shot in the enthralling city Budapest, Hungary (represented as Italy in the film). Remember the dramatic climax scene where Nandini unites with her husband Vanraj? It was shot at the charismatic Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest! The music and the background score of the film is an icing on the cake – soulful yet powerful. *Desert tour! Hot air balloon ride! Festivals! Woah!*
- Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
The romantic saga was shot in enthralling locations of England and Kashmir. The extravagant music by music maestro A.R. Rahman, SRK’s heart burnt dialogues amidst the gorgeous landscapes of England and Kashmir gives all the ‘feels’. Major portions of the film was shot in London, England covering some iconic locals such as Trafalgar Square, All Saints Church, Marble Arch, Palace of Westminister, Hyde Park, St. Marys Church, London Eye, London Tower Bridge, Somerset House among others. The scenes that were set in India were shot in the heavenly locals of Jammu Kashmir – Ladakh, Pahalgam and Gulmarg. The song ‘Jiya Re’ was beautifully picturised in the blissful valleys of Jammu Kashmir.Every backdrop in the film is photo-ready! The film makes us believe that if love is true, time has no boundaries. Undoubtedly, Yash Chopra is called the King of Romance.*Can we have a Polaroid already?*
Money can buy you happiness but you’re the richest if you have experienced life while travelling. Work on marking off some of these places from your travel wish list.
Travel the world, capture memories and create stories!