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Team AckoApr 27, 2023
India is a hub of movies made and produced across the world. While the discovery of one's favourite TV or film location has been restricted due to Covid-19 and the travel restrictions it has brought along in its wake, visiting these film and TV locations can still be a thrilling experience. This article brings forth a list of the top 10 locations for pop culture tourism and visiting film or TV locations in India.
The dream of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, his gardens, and his fort - Agra’s Humayun, Fatehpur Sikri, Delhi’s Red Fort, and Dehradun’s Tiger Falls - have all been immortalised in films. Chandigarh Environs is an enchanting world steeped in history, and it has become the site of many movies made in India, including Manmohan Desai’s Ajooba, Shekhar Kapur’s Lagaan, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to name a few. It is the perfect place for pop culture tourists to explore and learn about India’s film industry, with its lush gardens, magnificent monuments, and sweeping views. As one of the most popular film locations in India, it is also the home of many designers and artisans who work on the sets for films, so visitors can also learn about the production process and discover how the industry works.
Varanasi, the ancient spiritual city of India, has captivated viewers in films and TV shows time and time again. Dating back to ancient times, the city is known for its vast and colourful ghats, temples, narrow labyrinthine lanes, and ancient buildings. With its close proximity to the Taj Mahal, Varanasi makes for the perfect film and TV location. From Eklavya, the Royal Guard, to the acclaimed Mira Nair’s Namesake, Varanasi has been featured in some of the biggest-budget films out of Bollywood. The city’s old-world aura, along with its contrasting modern vibe, captivates viewers from all around the world, making it a top pick for film enthusiasts.
Sitting atop the foothills of the Himalayas, the former summer capital of British India, Shimla has been the favored location of some of the most renowned filmmakers in India. The area around Shimla was used by Satyajit Ray in his masterpiece Pather Panchali. Even after the state of Himachal Pradesh no longer had a national capital, Shimla continues to hold onto its cinematic success by appearing in some of the biggest blockbuster films in India such as Sholay and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Popular television shows such as Yeh Hai Mohabbatein and Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi have also been shot in Shimla. Pop culture tourists can delve into the city’s beauty by visiting the famous Christ Church, the two-story Gaiety Theater and the Himachal State Museum.
A fascinating destination for tourists and filmmakers, the ancient city of Jaipur in Rajasthan is a part of the golden triangle of tourism in India. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in culture, art, and history and provides an exotic backdrop to a range of cinematic marvels. Home to expansive fortresses, palaces, and breathtaking views, the iconic city has been used in most of the A-list films of Indian cinema, such as Veer-Zaara, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Tamasha, and Shuddh Desi Romance. With its grandeur and its majestic architecture, Jaipur is an ideal destination for tourists pursuing pop culture tourism.
The sprawling city of Delhi is India’s national capital and an exciting destination for pop culture tourists. Delhi has been the go-to movie spot for some of the top filmmakers in the country and is extremely popular for the easy accessibility of the locations. It has featured in the background of some of the biggest blockbusters in Indian history, such as Hum Saath Saath Hain, Haider, and Panga. Delhi offers stunning tourist destinations such as the iconic gem, Red Fort, a majestic Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and many more locations. Pop culture tourists can explore the city’s past and present in a warren of lanes, markets, cafes, and bazaars.
Mumbai, the city of dreams, has been the spotlight of some of the biggest films in Indian cinema, including Slumdog Millionaire, 3 Idiots, Singham, and Delhi Belly. One of the most iconic locations in the city is Dhobi Ghat, where thousands of locals flock daily to do their everyday laundry in the open air. It was made popular in the film Slumdog Millionaire, and is one of the most recognizable film locations in the city. Another popular film location is the Bandra Bandstand, a popular tourist spot for the sea-view that it provides. The iconic Gateway of India, a basalt archway from the colonial British Raj, is also a famous film location, having appeared in movies such as Queen and Don.
Udaipur, known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is one of India’s most beautiful cities that has been at the centre of some of the biggest Indian films ever made. Located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, Udaipur is known for its breathtaking lakes, majestic palaces, serene temples and cobblestone streets. It made an appearance in Jodha Akbar, which is listed by the Guiness Book of World Records as one of the most expensive Indian films made. It was the backdrop to the blockbuster film PK and it has also been featured in the Queen and Don series. Tourists who visit Udaipur can explore and admire the various forts and monuments like the City Palace and Jag Mandir, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in film and pop culture.
Ooty, or Udhagamandalam, is a picturesque hill station located in the state of Tamil Nadu. It has been used as the setting for some of the most interesting movies of all time, including the Tamil romantic comedy, Ayan and Mani Ratnam’s critically acclaimed Yuva. Ooty is known for its beautiful landscapes, with lush green valleys and winding roads. It also boasts a variety of popular tourist attractions such as the Botanical Garden and the Ooty lake. Film buffs and pop culture enthusiasts visiting the city can wander around the enchanting Dodabetta Peak, which has featured in the blockbuster Rajinikanth film, Robot.
Bangalore, the tech capital of India, has also been the backdrop for some of the best Indian films. With its charming gardens, salubrious weather, and modern infrastructure, Bangalore has enthralled millions of viewers in the Sholay and the Queen series. It is also the home to some of Bollywood’s most iconic actors such as Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Bangalore is home to many popular tourist attractions such as Cubbon Park and the Bangalore Palace, which have been featured in films such as Dhoom 3 and Bajirao Mastani. Tourists exploring the city’s historic locations can avail of guided tours to visit the stunning gardens and the magnificent palaces of the city.
Chennai, or Madras, is the fourth largest city in India and the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Located at the mouth of the Adyar River, Chennai has been the setting of some of the most memorable Indian films such as Mani Ratnam’s Agni Natchathiram and Yuva. Famous film locations within the city include the majestic MGR Memorial and the beautiful Marina Beach. Chennai is a popular tourist destination with many popular tourist attractions such as the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Fort St. George and the Santhome Cathedral. Pop culture tourists can explore these remarkable locations and delve into the city’s rich history and culture.
India is a diverse country blessed with immense natural beauty and cultural history. It is also home to some great film and TV locations, offering plenty of pop culture tourist attractions for tourists and movie enthusiasts alike. From the stunning forts of Rajasthan to the ancient spiritual cities of Varanasi and the modern metropolis of Delhi, India has a great variety of pop culture locations for visitors looking to explore their favorite films and television shows. Whether you are a movie buff or a culture enthusiast - India is the place to be.
What are the top 10 pop culture tourist destinations in India?
The top 10 pop culture destinations in India are The Mughal Gardens at Chandigarh, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore in Karnataka, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
What are the popular film locations in India?
The popular film locations in India include The Mughal Gardens at Chandigarh, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Ooty in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore in Karnataka, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
Can I visit these film locations even during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Yes, you can visit these film locations during the Covid-19 pandemic, as long as you are following all safety protocols and restrictions. However, it is best to check the local regulations and restrictions, as they may differ from state to state.
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