There is something very magical about Rajasthan. Extravagant palaces that carry tales as mesmerizing as its architecture, towering forts that have witnessed numerous battles and victories, limitless sand dunes so many caravans have treaded and intriguing tales that invoke much curiosity and amazement; at some point, everyone has certainly been drawn to this region. After all, it is ever-so-rich in terms of its culture and geography, which dates back to ancient times. And, guess what? Even Hollywood, Australian and European filmmakers haven’t been able to resist paying homage to this colorful and exotic Indian state through films. Here are six well-known films from the West that were shot in our very own enchanting and regal Rajasthan –
1. The Darjeeling Limited
This 2007 comedy-drama features an eclectic mix of actors including our very own Irrfan Khan in a cameo role, and was shot primarily in Jodhpur. The Himalaya scenes were surprisingly shot, guess where? – Udaipur!
2. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Based on the novel These Foolish Things, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was shot extensively in Jaipur and Udaipur at locations such as City Palace, Tripola Bazar, Kanota Fort and the Step Well near Amer Fort.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
Which Batman fan doesn’t love The Dark Knight Rises? This epic finale to the Batman trilogy has several scenes, including the scenes with the prison pit, which were filmed in Jodhpur. This film put Mehrangarh Fort on the global filming map. Apparently Christopher Nolan and his team went nuts shooting in the 120 degree heat, though, but boy was it worth it!
All of you James Bond fans might recall the 1983 production, Octopussy which reaped $183.7 million at the box office off a budget of just $27.5 million – A huge chunk of the film was shot in Rajasthan as Bond follows Kamal Khan to his palace. Many scenes were shot in Udaipur at The Monsoon Palace, Lake Palace and Jag Mandir, as well as Shiv Niwas Paalce. And, it makes sense – Udaipur is completely picture-perfect for celluloid!
5. The Jungle Book (1994)
The Jungle Book went on to gross $43.2 million in theatres back in 1994, and we bet you probably didn’t know most of it was shot in Jodhpur and Mumbai. The fortress shown in the film is actually Meherangarh Fort, built way back in the 15th century!
6. Holy Smoke
The Kate Winslet 1999 Australian drama film Holy Smoke!, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, revolved around a spiritual awakening that happens on a trip to India. The team spent six days filming in Pushkar, and several scenes were also shot in Delhi.
Go ahead and revisit these six delightful films and let us know if you can spot each of the scenes shot in Rajasthan! And, if you want to explore these wonderful scenic locations that even filmmakers couldn’t resist incorporating into their projects, well look no further – you can hop on board our Best of Rajasthan, The Desert Special Rajasthan and Supernatural Rajasthan packages.
~ Amanda Sodhi