Reel to Real: 5 Iconic Film Locations you Must Visit

Reel to Real: 5 Iconic Film Locations you Must Visit
The scooter from 3 Idiots is now a photo location at Pangong Tso, Photo Credit:

From Doraha Fort in Rang De Basanti to Naggar Castle in Jab We Met, the films shot in these locations will inspire fans to seek out these places

Vishnu Mohan
August 23 , 2020
06 Min Read

In a Bollywood flick, the location plays an important part, often leaving a lasting memory in our minds. We have all wished at somepoint that we were right there with our favourite stars, sharing the sights at those beautiful places. We wished we could have been part of the gang sitting on the walls of Chapora Fort in Dil Chahta Hai.  We wanted to sit around a campfire on the mountains with the folks in Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. Many of these locations have become a part of film lore and people visit these places to relive the stories.

Pangong Lake now has a ‘3 Idiots’ spot after people started coming in to see the place where Farhan and Raju finally caught hold of Rancho. Some locations remain close only for the cult fans of a particular movie. Some remain unknown, while some live on for eternity, their identities now is derived from a movie. Here are 5 locations in India that you must hit up to revisit moments from cult movies. 

Wai Village, Swades

Wai village comes alive on the banks of Krishna river

The fans of Swades will never forget the village of Charanpur where Mohan found his calling. Inspired by the village and its people he quit his job at NASA and decided to settle here. However, in reality, the fictitious village of Charanpur said to be in Uttar Pradesh was set up in the mystical village of Wai which lies a 4-hour drive away from Mumbai. Wai is scattered with temples and lanes that remind you of the glorious years of the Peshwas. The dilapidated forts here are a trekker's paradise as they offer panoramic views of hills and valleys on the Sahyadri ranges. Head over here and relax on the steps of the ghats just like Mohan.

Doraha Fort, Rang De Basanti

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Nothing short of iconic, Rang De Basanti had multiple locations where DJ and his gang hung out. Doraha Fort in Ludhiana, Punjab, was the location for a beautiful scene where the gang ran around in a field, jumping as a jet flew above them, with the dilapidated fort in the background. Ever since the movie released, people from parts of the state have rightfully claimed it as a getaway to spend their evenings and try and imitate those scenes is their own photo-shoots. Known as Mughal Sarai or Doraha Sarai, it was built by the Mughal ruler Jahangir to support road caravans. Today the majestic fort is partially destroyed, yet it remains picturesque with beautiful flower beds surrounding it.

Naggar Castle, Jab We Met

The castle was built in Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu in AD 1460

Admit it, we all wanted to dance like Kareena Kapoor does to the numer, 'Yeh Ishq Hai' in Jab We Met. Shot across different places, and in different costumes, Geet in that song was a treat to watch. From the fields of Punjab to the Rohtang Pass, it had many special locations, yet it was Naggar Castle in Himachal Pradesh which was the most remarkable location for some reason. A medieval mansion made of wood and stone, overlooking the scenic valley of Kullu, it is a tranquil stop on a regular Himachal trail. With  a unique blend of architectural styles including Himalayan and Western, the ancient masterpiece today hosts an art gallery with many collectables on display. The Garhwali food at the restaurant located in the castle complex is another treat on offer here. 

Bekal Fort, Bombay

Enjoy the perfect sunset on the Bekal beach shores

Remember 'Tu Hi Re' from the movie Bombay? The Mani Ratnam film had a stunning setting in Kerala for this gem, with a fort facing the sea and continuous rain. The scenes where Aravind Swami sang his heart out were set in the beautiful Bekal Fort in Kerala. Overlooking the big waves in the Arabian Sea and providing a mesmerising view with a well-manicured garden on the periphery, the fort is indeed a stunner. Standing at a height of 130 feet from sea level, the gigantic fort built by Tipu Sultan is the largest in Kerala. With cannons and other artifacts from the Sultan’s era still intact, the fort is one glorious blast from the past. Visit during the monsoon  to replicate the scenes from the iconic song.

Ramadevara Betta, Sholay

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" Arrey o Samba! Kitne aadmi the?" I bet you tried to do that line in Gabbar’s voice. The iconic 1975 film with Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra is considered to be one of the greatest hits of Indian cinema. From the memorable characters to dialogues that people have learnt by heart, each element of this cult movie has a separate fan base. However, not many people know where the villainous Gabbar carried out his brutal acts. His stage was the Ramadevara Betta, a rocky hill located near the town of Ramanagara in Karnataka. You have to climb 400 steps to reach the top which offers a stunning view of the town. The hill is surrounded by forests and at a distance of 48 km, it is a perfect getaway from Bangalore. Visit here to relive that jab-tak-hain-jaan scene of Basanti dancing for Gabbar and gang.

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