Bollywood or the Hindi Film Industry has an enormous impact on our lives. We, Indians, almost hero-worship the actors and try to imitate their fashion sense, language and lifestyle. Very often than not, we imagine ourselves as the characters of films and wish we too could romance or fight the same way they did. Movies also introduce a world of exotic locales. Bollywood movies have explored the length and breadth of India from leading metros to tier-2 cities and historic monuments to quaint hamlets. Some movies have made certain places so iconic that now they are known by those movies like Chapora Fort in Goa is better known as the “DilChahta Hai” fort or the Pangong Lake in Leh for 3 Idiots. We present to you some of the exquisite locations from Bollywood movies that could inspire your travel plans:

  • Darjeeling The list of movies shot in Darjeeling are endless. This beautiful hill town of West Bengal was extensively explored during the 1960s in movies like Aradhana, Aaye Din Baharke and Professor. The lush green tea estates, snow-capped mountains and charm of the toy train ride makes Darjeeling one of the most loved destinations for Bollywood and tourists alike. Jagga Jasoos, Barfi and Main Hoon Na are some of the latest films that have featured this fascinating hill station. If you plan to visit Darjeeling don’t forget to include the iconic toy train ride in your itinerary. Also remember to spot your train online to ensure that you don’t miss the ride of a lifetime!
  • Varanasi The religious city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh has fascinated the imagination of filmmakers since ages. Varanasi, nestled on the banks of the Ganges, with its serpent-like alleys, vibrant ghats and ancient temples is one of the holiest cities for pilgrims. Some of the movies that have been shot here and have tried to depict the true essence of the city include MuktiBhawan, Banaras and MohallaAssi. Romantic dramaRaanjhanaand critically acclaimed Masaan have chosen Varanasi as their backdrop. The 2005 Deepa Mehta film Water revolves around the plight of widows seeking redemption in an ashram in Banaras. The film, however, could not be shot in the city due to political pressure.
  • Manali The picturesque valleys of Manali, verdant slopes, cascading waterfalls, tiny hamlets, snow-capped mountains and delightful weather makes it a favourite among filmmakers. Krrish, Jab We Met and Henna are some of the popular movies that capture the beauty of this place. Jab We Met also brought the romantic side of train travel and with features like online PNR status check and spot your train facility, train travel has become extremely convenient. The Hidimba Devi Mandir of Manali, with its simple yet beautiful structure, nestled amid thick cedar forest, has been a preferred site for shooting in Manali. The critically acclaimed film Roja (1992) and the romantic comedy YehJawaanihaiDeewani (2013) have both been filmed here.
  • Udaipur With placid lakes, intricately carved palaces and havelis, the City of Lakes is among the top destination for cinematographers. Bollywood classic Guide was among the first movies that introduced Udaipur to Indian audience. Off late, Ram-Leela and YehJawaanihaiDeewani have also been picturised here. The Best Exotic Marigold and Octopussy are two popular Hollywood movies shot in Udaipur.

These stunning locations might look beautiful on 70mm screen but if you travel them in person they would be even more gorgeous than you could have ever imagined. So add them in your bucket list for your next holiday.