Tag Archives: New zealand

Bollywood calling Backpackers

The past 2, 3 days were simply amazing for IHR. After we launched the Bollywood packages and a new website bollywood.indiahotelreview.com we were little tentative about the acceptability to the masses as well as to the media of such a daring and niche venture. Putting all apprehensions to rest the media actually lapped up our idea. We are all over the print as well as on the worldwide web. So all our efforts in research and then putting together all the information in bits and pieces to make people familiar with the innovative concept of set jetting has paid off.
During this whole course we understood that to put an idea or a sudden spark to work requires formidable effort. This is especially true for finding out the details about the shooting locations of Hindi films in India. To our utter dismay and disbelief we found that we may be going  gaga about the Hindi films and the Bollywood stars but very little  information is available about the exact shooting location and spots where the scenes or songs were shot.
So a Ram Nagar near Bangalore which provided the ideal location for Gabbar’s Den in the greatest ever blockbuster Sholay or Gondal near Rajkot where Sanjay Leela Bhanshali’s magnum opus Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam starring Aisharya, Salman and Ajay were shot remains largely in oblivion ensconced under the burden of the film’s star cast and charisma.
Our endeavour was to bring those places out of the closet and showcase them to the discerning travelers who also happen to be bollywood fans.
So for example you may be a Shahrukh fan and is greatly enamoured like most of Indians by the Chaiyya Chaiyya song, however you had no inkling where the famous train sequence was shot or whether the whole thing was real or done in a set. Or for that matter where on earth was the place where Aamir sung and danced his heart out in “ Masti ki Pathshala”
These coupled with the “hurt” that what Hrithik Roshan did to put New Zealand tourism back on track after the stupendous success of “Kaho Na Pyar Hai” or for that matter Britain cashing in on Bollywood’s frequent escapades into Brtish territories with films like Namastay London or Cheeni Kam the Amitab Bachchan starrer, in comparison to that our Indian locations are hardly talked about or finds much favour with a film crazy Indians.
We are trying to bring Bollywood locations on the tourist map of India, at par with the hugely popular concept of set jetting in the west. With Oscars conquered the Bollywood beckons the world.

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Set- jetters Paradise: Bollywood Tours and Filmi Chakkars in India

Remember a lovelorn Arvind Swamy in Blue Jeans and striped T shirt singing the soulful melody of “ Tu Hi Re, Tu Hi Re/ Tere Bina Main Kaise Jiyun” on the ramparts of a magical fort lashed incessantly by the sea waves under the fading lights of a monsoon sky. A desparate Shaila Bano aka Manisha Koirala unable to bear the agony of separation comes down running on the slopes of a tower in the fort. Guessed right, indeed it was Mani Ratnam’s Bombay, the biggest blockbuster of 1995.

Then there was Saif Khan romanticizing Vidya Balan amidst the huffing and Puffing of a train in the song Kasto mazza hai relaima/ Ramailo o kaali oraali in the movie Parineeta.

More recently in the movie” Jab We Met “Kareena was seen dancing to the hit number “Yeh Ishq/ Haan Hai Koi To Wajah/ To Jeena Ka Maza Yun Aane Laga “with a troupe of dancers from Himachal Pradesh in a verdant valley. The beautiful dancers were roped in from Chamba, Bilaspur, Kinnor, Dharamshala, Hamirpur and Kullu.

By this time, you must be wondering what this post is all about or what on earth does IndiaHotelReview.com has to do with Hindi Films or the songs we are talking about.

FYI, “Tu Hi Re” of Bombay was shot in the magnificent Bekal Fort in the Kasargod district of north Kerala, Parineeta’s song was very much in the toy train of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) while “Ye Ishq” with bollywood bombshell Kareena was shot in the verdant hills of Kulu Manali. All top tourist destinations.

Welcome to the world of Film tourism or ‘Set-Jetting’, a term that has become very popular abroad especially in Britain. Set- Jetting means that potential tourists are likely to get influenced and visit the places, restaurants, because of its appearance in the films or TV. Essentially it is an effort to capitalize on the ‘Screen Magic’.

According to researches made on film tourism it has been established that 8 out of 10 people have got their interest aroused in a particular destination by it’s presence on the film and 2 out of 10 will actually travel to the location of the film.

Not so long ago before the Bollywood directors and producers made a beeline for more glamorous locales offshore, Indian landscapes offered( still it does) great locations for outdoor shoots.

Ask your grand parents about how a boatman would point the place near Dhuandhar falls on river Narmada in Jabalpur where a charming Padmini frolicked in the water in the super duper film of the 60’s “ Jis Desh Me Ganga Bahti Hai “. In the 70’s flick “Aradhana”, Rajesh Khanna, the then heartthrob of many female fans wooed a gorgeous Sharmila Tagore on the slopes of Darjeeling Hills or more recently Amitabh Bachchan doing a Lolita in “Nishabd” with sprightly Jiah Khan in the very picturesque Munnar. Tea County in Munnar where Amitabh stayed was teeming with people to catch a glimpse of the superstar.

Not many know that “Chaiya Chaiya” presumably one of the best train songs ever shot for an Indian Movie in Mani Ratnam’s controversial “Dil se” was picturised on the train of Nilgiri Mountain Railways that runs between Mettupalayam and Ooty. This is a 46 km breathtaking journey across hair-pen bends and curves, tea gardens, dark tunnels, narrow valleys of lush green vegetations. During shooting lasting over a week Shahrukh sung his heart out atop this train over a period of 8-days.

By the way Ooty is also the place where hit films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Saajan, Raja Hindustani, Maine Pyar Kiya, Jo jeeta Wohi Sikander, Raaj, Dil Hai ki Manta Nahin etc were shot.

While milking the Indian Film Industry has caught on the fancy of Tourist Boards abroad, unfortunately in India inspite of Filmstars enjoying status of Demigods and Films such a big passion, Set –jetting or it’s slightly skewed Hindi “ Filmi Chakkar” is neither very popular nor promoted aggressively.

It was amazing to learn that after “Kaho Na Pyar Hai” New Zealand made special efforts to woo Indian tourists or Britain is having a dedicated Bollywood map to trail the places where our stars danced or had an intimate tête-à-tête. It’s high time that we understand the potential of Set-Jetting and set the ball rolling with our very familiar or not so Known Bollywod Hotspots. Let’s start our Filmi Chakkar with Ooty.

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