Travel

Hit the dream route?

Take us to the Pine Forest, we told the travel agent-cum-guide. He smiled in approval. We hit the road to Thalakunda. Soon he stopped and pointed: “You see the forest up there? That's where a song from the Tamil film ‘Dheena' was shot.” We moved on. “The Wenlock Downs,” he said grandly. “Lots of movies have been shot here. I once saw actors Gopichand and Sneha with 40 dancers here for the film ‘Tolivalapu'. In fact, the film included other locations too — Peyimand, Doddabetta, School Mand, Pykara Dam, Emerald Forest, Botanical Gardens, and Dharma.”

Unsolicited, he braked at ‘Sixth Mile' and ‘Ninth Mile', the “designated” film-shooting areas outside Ooty. The rest of the trip went pretty much the same way — the guide reading from an invisible book of “Movies with scenes shot in Ooty”. The MRC Centre in “Roja”; Lookout point, “Thalapathi”, Pykara Road, “Iruvar”; and Mountain Rail, you guessed, the “Chaiya, Chaiya” number. What is Fern Hill Palace but for “Do Aur Do Panch” and the lovely Parveen Babi?

Pack your bags for movie tourism, aka “dream tourism”, as the tourist tide follows the Bollywood / Kollywood / Tollywood trail. And, for every popular spot, you discover a film spot. So, Hogenakkal Falls? Yes — ‘Chinna Chinna Asai' (“Roja”), ‘Mazhaiye Mazhaiye' (“Rhythm”), and ‘Moongil Kadugale' (“Samurai”). Athirapalli Falls? ‘Oru Dheivam Thandha Poove' (“Kannathil Muthamittal”) and “Raavan”. Walk around the courtyard of Maheshwar Temple humming “Snehidhane” and Chennakesava Temple singing “Sundari Kannaal Oru Sedhee”.

When you cruise around the crowded streets and beaches of Goa, you will discover that the opening scenes of “Bourne Supremacy” were shot here. Obviously, the movie “Goa” too. Sanjay Dutt jumped in front of a train at Goa's trainyard for “Luck”. A hot-shot destination for film shooting, nearly a 100 were shot in the last three years. The feni-famous fun spot is now IFFIdom, having hosted the International Film Festival of India since 2004. And, there's more — Goa is the preferred spot for ad-films, documentaries and music videos too. Apparently, producers pay Rs. 12,000 more for shooting on Goa Medical College premises. Also, the response to “Film Goa”, a CD identifying prominent locations for film shooting in Goa seems to be getting a good response.

Movie tourism is an amazing bait — You guys love movies? We give you just what you want. For instance, a five-day Kullu-Manali package to explore its movie-worthiness. The guide will tell you: “Highest point, madam. ‘Sakthi' was shot here — the first South Indian film made on highest locations. The unit came from Ladakh and motored up to Haridwar.”

Scotland, London (watch the Royal Mile in “Mausam” starring Shahid-Sonam) and Amsterdam are movie paradisos. As for Switzerland, well over 200 Bollywood fares have been shot here. Small wonder, you have a 12-day tour marketed as ‘Enchanted Journey' that covers places made famous by Bollywood blockbusters. Well, you won't need a guide to find places where Dilwale wooed and won his Dulhania, will you?

POPULAR SPOTS

* Yash Chopra went to Gstaad for his honeymoon and decided he would shoot one romantic song in Switzerland for every movie he made

* The Swiss town Thun held its first Bollywood film festival in May

* Theni and Pollachi are popular shooting spots in Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 7:37:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/hit-the-dream-route/article2701267.ece

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