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TOURING Rajasthan Through Bollywood's Eyes

By SUKANYA VERMA
Last updated on: May 05, 2022 13:04 IST
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Rajasthan's royal architecture and striking landscapes are a hot favourite among tourists and film-makers.

Its majestic beauty and history has coloured many a movies and their visuals to unforgettable effect.

Up next, the great Indian desert Thar forms the backdrop of Anil Kapoor and son Harsh Varrdhan's new film of the same name, all set to drop on Netflix on May 6.

Good time then for Sukanya Verma to help us tour Rajasthan through filmi eyes.

 

Padmaavat

Royal Rajasthan

Any mention of grandeur and aesthetics has to begin with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. For his lavishly mounted historical about valour, greed and sacrifice centring on Mewar's Rani Padmavati, the director shot extensively at Chittorgarh landmarks.

 

Bajirao Mastani

Royal Rajasthan

Jaipur outskirts attraction, Amer Fort forms the statuesque backdrop for Deepika Padukone's luminous rendition of Mohe Rang Do Lal in another Bhansali costume drama.

 

Goliyon Ke Raas Leela: Ram Leela, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Royal Rajasthan

Though these Bhansali helmed love stories are based in Gujarat, we did spot a scene or two in neighbouring Rajasthan. Like Udaipur's Gangaur ghat in Ram Leela or Jaisalmer Fort in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

 

Mimi

Royal Rajasthan

Kriti Sanon plays a Rajasthan local whose life takes a dramatic turn as she goes from wannabe actress to surrogate mother in the Hindi remake of Marathi drama, Mala Aai Vhhaychy. Be sure to catch quite a few attractions from Mandawa and Jaipur feature in her journey.

 

Dhadak

Royal Rajasthan

Shifting the setting to Rajasthan happens all the time in Bollywood remakes. Be it Karisma Kapoor's Shakti or Janhvi Kapoor's debut Dhadak, a remake of Nagraj Manjule's Sairat which spends its entire first half romancing in and around Udaipur.

 

Jodha Akbar

Royal Rajasthan

In Ashutosh Gowariker's inter-religious romance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays a Rajput princess and the splendour of her maternal home is fittingly noted across scenes of action and romance.

 

Khoobsurat

Royal Rajasthan

A modern-day fairy tale comes alive when a physiotherapist falls in love with a Rajasthani prince in Sonam Kapoor's Khubsoorat remake. And Bikaner's Laxmi Niwas Palace becomes her future home.

 

Dor, Dhanak

Royal Rajasthan

Two of Nagesh Kukunoor's heartfelt dramas form Rajasthan as their core.

In Dor, a woman travels from Himachal to Jodhpur to seek a young widow's pardon. In Dhanak, a pair of siblings set out on foot in search of Shah Rukh Khan on learning he's shooting in a nearby village.

 

Lamhe

Royal Rajasthan

Yash Chopra's age-defying romance shuttles between England and Rajasthan. Expectedly, there's no shortage of dreamy visuals.

Between Anil Kapoor's princely home, it's actually Jaipur's famous Rambagh Palace turned five-star property and Sridevi's Morni dance on Jaisalmer's sand dunes, Lamhe covers it all.

 

Mirzya

Royal Rajasthan

Discover a great deal of stunning Rajasthan once again in the star-crossed love story marking son Harshvarshan's debut opposite Saiyami Kher.

 

Tashan

Royal Rajasthan

Most hyped Kareena Kapoor's size zero debut in a lime green bikini, Tashan's masala premise spills over everywhere from Greece to Rajasthan.

 

Kachche Dhaage

Royal Rajasthan

Jaisalmer's Bada Bagh is a frequent sight in our movies.

Milan Luthria's siblings drama starring Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan, which takes place largely in Rajasthan, features it too.

 

Baadshaho

Royal Rajasthan

Luthria returns to the land of sand and castles once again in Baadshaho where Ileana D'Cruz plays chiffon draped royalty posing against Bollywood's go-to palace, Laxmi Niwas.

 

Paheli

Royal Rajasthan

Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji's magical Paheli tempts us to book a ticket right away and experience Rajasthan's exotic beauty and culture first hand.

 

Eklavya: The Royal Guard

Royal Rajasthan

Another slice-of-Rajasthan magnificence and mystery, Eklavya's star-studded demeanour is reflected in its sprawling cast and dazzling views of Udaipur and Jaipur.

 

Gulaal, Manorama Six Feet Under

Royal Rajasthan

Not all of it is about guts and glory.

Darker tales emerge from Rajasthan over matters of morality and murky business in the likes of Gulaal and Manorama Six Feet Under.

 

J P Dutta's Rajasthan

Royal Rajasthan

There was a time when J P Dutta was considered the last word on Rajasthan in Bollywood. Some of his most significant films since his first release Ghulami are set in the region and hailed for capturing its troubles and imagery in the most cinematic fashion.

Be it Sunny Deol's rebellious Yateem.

 

Royal Rajasthan

Friends turned foes equation in Batwara and Kshatriya.

 

Royal Rajasthan

Or Border, which recreates the 1971 War fought across the Thar Ddsert.

 

Karan Arjun

Royal Rajasthan

Rakesh Roshan's Rajasthan-based revenge and reincarnation tale shows Raakhee and sons Salman and Shah Rukh playing Bollywood style emotions to the gallery.

 

Shuddh Desi Romance

Royal Rajasthan

Shuddh Desi Romance's lively flirtations pay rich ode to Rajasthan's Pink City as well as offer a bird's eye view of its might from the towering Nahargarh Fort.

 

Rang De Basanti

Royal Rajasthan

Speaking of Nahargarh, remember Rang De Basanti and its idea of Masti Ki Paathshala?

 

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Royal Rajasthan

Rajasthan's world-famous hospitality makes it an ideal spot for destination weddings among the affluent, of which one gets a glorious glimpse in Ayan Mukerji's Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani.

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Highway

Royal Rajasthan

Imtiaz Ali's love for travel hits its peak in Highway, among Alia Bhatt's many, many, stopovers includes Rajasthan.

 

Gupt

Royal Rajasthan

When not flying off to the Alps in pursuit of Bollywood's ultimate dream sequence in songs, Rajasthan is more than happy to help.

Remember Bobby Deol and Manisha Koirala's glamorous shimmy to Mere Khwabon Mein Tu against Jaisalmer Fort in Gupt?

 

Rangeela

Royal Rajasthan

Urmila Matondkar's sensual entry amidst sand dunes in Hai Rama?

 

Ajnabee

Royal Rajasthan

Kareena Kapoor's Amber Palace moves in Ajnabee Ka Intezar?

 

Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke

Royal Rajasthan

Or Aamir Khan serenading Juhi Chawla to Ghoongat Ki Aadh in Udaipur?

 

Meera, Lekin

Royal Rajasthan

Both Gulzar's pen and direction has paid profound tributes to Rajasthan's folklore and saints.

Be it through his divine biopic on Mirabai or otherworldly encounters between an archaeologist and a restless soul in Lekin ensuing in awe-inspiring glimpses of its ornate temples and infinite desert.

 

Rudaali

Royal Rajasthan

After an impressive turn in Lekin, Dimple Kapadia's return to Rajasthan in and as Rudaali earned her a National Award for Best Actress.

Rudaali's bleak story and Rajasthan's arresting visuals are a match made in recce heaven.

 

Mera Saaya, Guide

Royal Rajasthan

Where Guide's Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna offers a wonderful peek of Chittorgarh Fort, Mera Saaya's Udaipur love overlooking Lake Pichola colours the tunes of Nainon Mein Badra.

 

Reshma Aur Shera

Royal Rajasthan

Sunil Dutt-Waheeda Rehman's ill-fated romance as lovers belonging to warring Rajasthan clans continues to be applauded for S Ramachandra's dazzling camerawork and Jaidev's soulful score.

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SUKANYA VERMA / Rediff.com