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Worse would be, seeing it once through the lens of (someone else’s) camera, hearing about it (much more than) a thousand times and letting it interrupt our holiday plans and dreams every single time! Be it Spain since Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or Amsterdam and Paris since Queen, these exotic (and not-so-cheap) locales have captured our minds ever since. The films brought these places recognition in India as never before! Here are some more such places which feature in Bollywood films with their must-tries and the must-visits and must-haves and the ideal time to visit those places! Because life is short and the world is wide and we have so much more to learn and see and feel before we take the final journey to the land unbeknownst to any mortal being!
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From the song ‘Phoolon ke Rang Se’ in ‘Prem Pujari’ in 1970, starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman to ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ in 1995, having SRK and Kajol; from ‘Vaastav’ and ‘Khoobsurat’ (1999) to ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ and ‘Dhoom 3’ to ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, Switzerland easily seems to be the favourite European location for Bollywood! The Alps along with the green pasture lands and over 1500 lakes sure add much beauty to the shot. The variety in its geography can also prove to be a hitch-hiker’s delight! The Interlaken is the outdoor and the action sports capital of the country anything from skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, white-water rafting, to canyoning; between the two lakes Brienz and Thun; starting point for many, many tourists for excursions into the Bernese Alps.
Switzerland is famous for its watches and chocolates. If you have a fat wallet and a fine palate, these are worth the Francs spent. The country’s regional cheese specialties and Swiss army knives are also world-renowned.
Best time to visit is March to October.
New York, USA
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This is another place where a host of films with star casts as big as the production houses have been shot. Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007), Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006), English Vinglish (2012), Anjaana Anjaani (2010), London Paris New York (2012), My Name is Khan (2010) and many other films have had New York playing a crucial role in their stories. Travellers have a lot of tourist attractions to choose from. It has 22 national parks, 4 national heritage areas 27 National Natural Landmarks, 262 National Historic Landmarks, and 5,379 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, Times Square and Central Park are some of the most visited places by the tourists. The city also boasts of some amazing cafes.
New York is amongst the leading producers of grapes and quality wine of the country.
Best time to visit is from April to June and September to early November when the weather is mild and pleasant and the tourist crowds are not overwhelming. The cheapest time to visit is on weekends from mid-January to the end of February.
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Dil Chahta Hai (2001) is the first film that comes to mind when we talk about a Bollywood film in Goa. Goa has always been a breezy and a welcoming place to go to but this coming of age film introduced Goa to a new generation of Indians. Since the release of the film, the Chapora Fort has become a major tourist attraction in Goa. There have been other films too, which have succeeded in showing the other side of Goa, the one without the beaches. Finding Fanny (2014), Dum Maaro Dum (2011), Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (2007) and Dear Zindagi (2016). Apart from these, the Rohit Shetty-Ajay Devgn superhit Golmaal series too are either shot or are set in Goa.
It is notable for its cashews, low priced beer, wine and spirits as the excise duty applicable on those (until GST) was the lowest in the country.
Best time to visit is mid-November to mid-February.
With the Thames, Big Ben, London Eye, the Buckingham Palace and many other such historically and naturally relevant places making for picturesque backdrops, London seems to have become a big favourite with Bollywood. Paa, Mohabbatein, 1920, K3G, Ra.One, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Teri Meri Kahaani, London Dreams, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Baghban, Love Aaj Kal, Housefull, Desi Boyz, Mohabbatein, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Patiala House and many, many more films have been set in or shot in the English capital. It is the world’s most-visited city as measured by international arrivals (per night basis) leaving behind places like Dubai and New York and Heathrow is the world’s largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic.
Whether you’re looking for designer clothing, fun souvenirs or the perfect gift, there’s a wealth of London shopping to enjoy. One day you could be browsing London markets for unique items, antiques and specialist food; the next you could be exploring famous London department stores for the latest fashion and home wares, or enjoying retail therapy under one roof in the top shopping centres in London.
Best time to visit is September to November in Autumn.
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As Jan Morris writes, “Kashmir has always been more than a mere place. It has the quality of an experience, or a state of mind, or perhaps an ideal.” Kashmir has managed to captivate many a filmmaker’s and cinematographer’s minds with its beauty. Lakshya, Mausam, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, 3 Idiots, Fanaa, Fitoor, Highway, Tubelight are just some of the 21st century films that have been shot in the valley. Haider is one memorable film that shows the dark, gory side of people’s lives there.
Kashmir is known for its cashmere wool and Pashmina shawls, silk carpets, rugs, kurtas, and pottery. It also exports exotic tropical fruits like apples, walnuts, saffron, peaches, and cherries.
Best time to visit is October and then between December to January.
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Rajasthan has been another place which has seen many films being shot in its various colourful locales which give the audience an insight into its vast, beautiful culture. People have managed to preserve that rich a heritage, is also quite commendable. Padmavati has been much in the news for the same reasons. But even other than this, films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bajirao Mastani, Badrinath ki Dulhania, Bol Bacchan, Border, Dor, Paheli, I Am Kalam and many, many more critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful, both, have been shot having various forts, palaces, markets and the desert in the background.
Rajasthan has many things to offer to take back home either as articles of daily use or as souvenirs. Bandhani and leather goods, flavoured teas, oxidise jewellery, miniature paintings, woodcrafts, utensils and much more.
Best time to visit is October to February as summers can be quite harsh in the desert region.
Apart from those mentioned above, places like Spain, Turkey, Manali, Shimla, Paris, Dubai are also places that have been made famous because of a number of Bollywood films shot there. Prague is one more such beautiful and as-until-recently-unexplored place added to the long list after the release of Jab Harry Met Sejal. Given that 2018 has at least 15 long weekends, one should definitely try and plan a whirlwind trip to any of these locations to get a taste of the larger-than-life cinematic experiences that Bollywood has to offer.