Every Indian’s heart beats in the rhythm of Bollywood music. Be it peppy dance numbers, soulful melodies, or a romantic dream sequence in a land far away; the Indian film industry has churned out a whole new dimension of having locations that never fail to captivate their audience. The new age cinema has pushed all geographical boundaries so extravagantly, that Bollywood today doesn’t just sell dreams, but also promotes tourism, and how!
United States of America
What could we possibly say about the glorious land of Liberty, that has been home to innumerable Indian films? USA puts a modern twist in all our films, making it the most desirable country for Indians to watch on screen. Not to mention the delight of the Indian diaspora that resides there.
A Miami-based Dostana setting major friendship and life goals, Shahrukh’s quest in My Name Is Khan, Preity Zinta’s breakdown at the Brooklyn Bridge in Kal Ho Naa Ho, and Sridevi winning hearts with her linguistic magic in English Vinglish, USA has had an indelible mark on Bollywood.
A high-end drama set in a British backdrop is all that it takes to win us over. Be it Akshay Kumar’s pursuit of winning his love over in Namaste London, or Hrithik Roshan’s determination of reuniting his family in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, London has been an inseparable part of our desi films. Cambridge, Buckinghamshire, Bath and many other English townships have stolen our hearts repeatedly.
How could we ever forget the classic romance that brewed between Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge, as they travelled across Europe and danced on the snow-capped Swiss mountains!
It was Raj Kapoor’s Sangam, that marked the beginning of Bollywood’s Swiss journey; which was then taken many notches higher by Yash Chopra. Interestingly, Lake Lauenen close to Gstaad is popularly referred to as “Lake Chopra”, since it features in most of the legendary director’s films.
To celebrate the Bollywood hotspot that Switzerland is, there is a special tour known as “YRF Enchanted Journey” that covers iconic shooting locations of Yash Raj films in the country.
Zurich, Geneva, Interlaken, Gstaad and other spots in Switzerland flourished with time as directors infused an essence of love in their movies through these picturesque locations.
Zoya Akhtar’s brainchild in the form Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, has given each of us a massive task to check-off our bucket lists. This journey of 3 amigos as they explore their lives amidst the coastlines of Costa Brava, skies of Seville, and a stirring road trip across España, has marked its rightful place in Bollywood’s heart. It is safe to say that the unforgettable landscapes of Barcelona, Pamplona, Ronda Bridge coupled with each of the adventure sports has swept us off our feet. But what caught our attention the most was the pungent spin on our festival of colours – Holi! The Tomatina celebrations in Buñol have given us a new definition of painting the town red.
The first thing that crosses our minds when we think of France, is the magnificent Eiffel Tower. From Kangana Ranaut redefining honeymoons in Queen to Ranbir Kapoor globetrotting in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Paris has been monumental in Indian cinema’s portrayal of different kinds of love. Why just stop at the Eiffel?
Notre Dame, the Louvre Palace, and the romantic vibes of Bastia, Lyon, and other cities of France have so much familiarity on our celluloid.
This landmass has been the go-to destination for Bollywood as it inspires filmmakers with its spectacular beaches, reefs and countryside. Just as how the perfectionist fell in love with the dimple girl in Dil Chahta Hai round about the Sydney Opera House, we fell in love with Australia. While Salaam Namaste and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag painted a pretty picture of Melbourne, many films took us around Sydney, Brisbane and Queensland too. What’s tough to erase from our minds is the patriotic moment in Chak De India that was shot in multiple spots of Aussie land, few of them being the Webb Bridge and Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre.
The Land of the Crescent Moon has surely shone brighter than the sun in the filmy context. On one hand is Dil Dhadakne Do constructing a fabulous image of Istanbul and Cappadocia and on the other is the Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger that toured us around Antalya, Mardin and other lesser known corners of Istanbul. Turkey forms a beautiful amalgamation of Europe and Asia, and certainly proves to be a perfect spot for Bollywood.
With a country as mesmerizing as Greece, it isn’t a surprise that Bollywood has wonderfully captured this treasure land several times.
From the old memories of Chalte Chalte exposing the beauty of Athens and Mykonos to us, especially through the Church of Panagia Paraportiani to the scenic shots of Rhodes and Paros in Salman Khan’s Wanted, to the absolutely stunning blue waters of the Aegean Sea in Bang Bang, Greece oozes with beauty and charm.
Popularly known as the Land of Stories, Czech Republic undoubtedly lives up to its name. With a story as captivating as the country, Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar owes its aura to the Czech Republic. The enigmatic Karlstejn Castle, Charles Bridge and Vrtbovska Garden form significant parts of the movie. How else would have we seen the splendour of Prague had Bollywood not set foot here?
Anytime you do an internet search on the most beautiful countries in the world, you will always find Canada on its charts. No wonder Bollywood can’t stop flaunting this country’s landscape. Vancouver has spread its arms wide open for iconic movies like Pardes and Taal. Falling their footsteps, numerous other Hindi films have been shot in Canada. You’ll often see glimpses of the Niagara Falls, Alberta, Calgary and Ontario in the theatre near you.