The hilly terrain of North India provides a mesmerising sight. These hills, especially those in Himachal Pradesh, are among the must-visit destinations for tourists. What’s more, places in the state have also served as filming locations for countless Bollywood movies. So, movie fanatics, here’s your cue to plan your next trip to Himachal based on these filmy suggestions! By Anushka Goel
Every visit to Himachal Pradesh takes one to someplace new. Whether it is the more crowded hill station of Shimla, the higher altitude Manali, or destinations such as Kalpa and Spiti Valley, the state has something new to offer with each visit.
The scenic beauty of these Himachal mountains have been captured in several documentaries, travel shows and blogs. They have also featured in movies, either as North Indian destinations themselves (for example in movies such as Highway and Shershaah), or as a stand-in for other hill stations in the country (for example in Lootera and Mary Kom). Whatever the case may be, these hill stations have provided one of the most stunning backdrops for Bollywood movies – so much so that they’ll make you want to pack your bags this very instant and go on a trip here!
So, what are you waiting for? Journey with us to these stunning Himachal destinations that you’ll recognise from your favourite Bollywood movies!
Locations in Himachal Pradesh that have been featured in Bollywood movies
The capital city of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is known for housing several tourist attractions such as Mall Road and Christ Church. The destination, which once served as the summer capital of the British Raj, has featured in several Bollywood movies, including Jab We Met, Black, 3 Idiots, Raju Chacha and Tamasha.
When in Shimla, you must visit the Church, Town Hall, Jakhu Temple, Ritz and Lakkar Bazaar to feel like you’re in scenes from your favourite movies. Oh, and, hop on the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train for a fun (and filmy) ride through the mountains.
Manali is probably among the most popular destinations for adventure junkies. The quaint hill station has been featured in countless movies like Bang Bang!, Krrish, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD), Dev.D, Ghulam, Badrinath, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye and many more.
When in Manali, do visit Span Resort & Spa, where the ‘Jumma Chumma’ scene in YJHD was shot. Other popular travel destinations in and around the town are Old Manali, Hidimba temple (dedicated to the Pandava brother Bheem’s wife), Manu Temple, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley and Jogini Falls.
Chamba is a district acclaimed for its untouched natural beauty. Surrounded by Jammu and Kashmir on one side and Kangra, Gurdaspur and other regions on its other borders, the scenic place is heavenly. No wonder that Subhash Ghai chose this lush green area as the home of Mansi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) in Taal!
Also called The Land of Shiva, Chamba district has several popular hill stations within it. Spend a late afternoon or evening at Khajjiar Lake, after going on a morning safari in Kalatop. Other places you must visit are the Chamunda Devi Temple, Chamera Dam and Champavati Temple. These destinations feature some intricate carvings and architecture, and will also provide you scenic views of the mountains.
Dharamshala and McLeodganj are extremely popular destinations with the youth, thanks to the availability of many hostels and adventure activities such as treks. Thus, the hill station in Himachal Pradesh also found a place in movies such as Rockstar and Raja Natwarlal. This is not all – Some scenes in Mary Kom have also been shot in this hill station, making it look like Manipur, the boxer’s home town.
Dharamshala has a lot of Tibetan influences too, thanks to the Dalai Lama who came here. Spend your time visiting the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, war memorial, Dal Lake, Triund Hill (great for a trek or a picnic), Gyuto Monastery and Dal Lake.
Himachal Pradesh is filled with scenic places, and among them is Dalhousie. The hill station, once a retreat for the British, has seen movies such as Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Lootera, and 1942: A Love Story, be shot here.
Be sure to walk past the Sacred Heart School, which was Sakina’s (Ameesha Patel) school where she and Tara Singh (Sunny Deol) first met. Other places to visit are Panchpula, Sach Pass, Daikund Peak, Satdhara Falls, Khajjiar, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Chamera Lake, among many others.
Palampur was the home town of late Captain Vikram Batra (PVC). The destination has been mentioned several times in the movie Shershaah, a biopic on the martyr. The funeral sequence in the film was shot in Palampur, at the actual location where the late Captain’s last rites were held, according to Times of India.
If visiting this stunning place in Himachal Pradesh, be sure to visit the tea gardens. Other touristy places here are Tashi Jong Monastery and Baji Nath temple. Also, explore the markets for some local Pahadi food and gifts, inlcuding Andretta pottery.
Located 40 kilometres from Manali, Kullu is another popular hill station among adventure travellers. The town houses Naggar Castle, which was featured in the song Yeh Ishq Hai in Jab We Met.
Trek to Tirthan Valley, or visit the Jalori and Hamta passes for some of the best views of the valley. Manikaran Hot Springs and the Great Himalayan National Park are other popular places you must visit. Also, Manali and the attractions around it are just a couple of hours away.
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