Bhedaghat to Fatehpur Sikri: 7 times Bollywood popularised 'offbeat' holiday destinations

Here's a tribute to all the Bollywood movies which brought forth the hidden gems of India and pushed Indians to travel and explore even more.

The craze for Bollywood and love of travelling goes hand-in-hand for Indians. Although Bollywood’s obsession for foreign locations hasn’t faded away altogether, but there still are some Indian producers who have found heretofore unused Indian destinations as their shooting locations. In the 80s, Bollywood movies were being shot in Switzerland, Mauritius, Venice, Paris while in India, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh remained favourites.

Since 1991, Indians however took travelling more and more and in the late 90s and 2000s, movies like Maine Pyar Kiya, Pardes, Rang De Basanti, Asoka, Dil Chahta Hai, Jab We Met and 3 Idiots featured many offbeat Indian destinations — thereby bringing them under the spotlight for people across the globe.

It is a funny coincidence how each of these movies features one or the other Khans — Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir with the exception of Kareena Kapoor’s Jab We Met. With songs and iconic scenes, these places were etched in the minds of millennials and became the most popular holiday getaways with them.

Here’s a tribute to all such movies which brought forth the hidden gems of India and pushed Indians to travel more and more:

1 . Maine Pyar Kiya popularised Ooty 

Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke song from Salman Khan and Bhagyashree’s classic love story, Maine Pyar Kiya, was shot in Ooty. The movie released in 1989 and people were smitten by the beauty of the Nilgiris. And that’s how Tamil Nadu’s Ooty became one of the favourite holidaying destinations with the Indians.

2. Pardes reminded us how gorgeous Fatehpur Sikri is

Remember Shah Rukh Khan singing Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain in Subhash Ghai’s Pardes (1997). The location in the background is Agra’s famous Fatehpur Sikri. Only a few knew about this hidden historical wonder back then but thanks to Pardes.

3. Dil Chahta Hai and the lovely Aguada Fort, Goa

Goa has been a popular holiday destination with the young crowds for quite some time now but earlier only a few had any idea about a fort called Aguada. The fort shot to fame with the title song and the subsequent iconic scene from the movie.

4. Asoka popularised Bhedaghat, Jabalpur

Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s Asoka may haven’t been a superhit but its locations were so perfect. And Bhedaghat, popular for its huge marble rocks  and Dhuandhar Falls. Although many movies were shot at the location earlier, but Asoka’s Raat Ka Nasha featuring Kareena Kapoor has to be credited much more for Bhedaghat’s rise to fame.


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5. Rang De Basanti’s Doraha Fort

A movie which every millennial identified with, Rang De Basanti poularised the Doraha Fort of Ludhiana. The deep melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar in Tu Bin Bataye still resonates in the heart of every romantic and the location chosen was almost perfect.

6. Jab We Met and the importance of Rohtang Pass

Snow-laden Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh was quiet a craze with bikers and adventure-lovers but Kareena Kapoor singing Ye Ishq Haye in an open jeep driven by Shahid Kapoor in Jab We Met (2007) clearly drew attention of many tourists.  In fact, not just Rohtang Pass but the even Kullu, Manali and the Lahaul-Spiti Valley.

7. 3 Idiots and the saga of Pangong Lake/Pangong Tso

Phunsukh Wangdu (Aamir Khan) was finally found in a remote village of Ladakh by his college friends Raju (Sharman Joshi) and Farhan (R Madhavan). The last scene of the movie where all the friends reunite was shot at Pangong Lake and who can forget that beauty. Although the influx of tourist harmed the ecology of the place, this hidden gem of India was highlighted by the movie.



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