Travelling With Vishal Bhardwaj: Top 5 Film Locations

Though experiencing Bhardwaj's movies provides an exciting glimpse of different destinations, travelling to these places can create an unforgettable adventure
A still from Haidar
A still from HaidarCourtesy: IMDB

Vishal Bhardwaj, a name synonymous with cinematic brilliance and innovation in the Indian film industry, has carved a niche for himself with his unique storytelling and remarkable filmmaking prowess. Beyond just storytelling, Bhardwaj has mastered the art of using locations as characters in his films, making them an integral part of his narratives. His films are not only known for their compelling stories and powerful performances but also for the breathtaking locations that serve as backdrops to his cinematic creations. From the gritty streets of Mumbai to the serene landscapes of rural India, he has a knack for selecting locations that complement the mood and essence of his films. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the top 5 film locations that have played a pivotal role in shaping the visual aesthetics of Bhardwaj's movies.

Srinagar in "Haider"

Srinagar, Kashmir
Srinagar, KashmirShutterstock

The valley of Kashmir is expansively exhibited in the intricately curated shots of "Haider." While Shahid Kapoor set a new benchmark for himself with the film, it also became one of the most sober accounts coming out of "Paradise on Earth." The film includes delightful shots of the Jhelum, sanguine chinar trees, coniferous deodar, and the majestic weeping willows of the valley. Bhardwaj also brings the famous floral fabrics of Kashmir along with the decoratively brimming house interiors on the screen. For travellers interested in summer retreats and experiencing the aura of "Haider," undertaking a week-long adventure to Kashmir any time until August will prove to be a great move.

Srinagar and Coorg in "7 Khoon Maaf"

Coorg, Karnataka
Coorg, KarnatakaShutterstock

Irrfan Khan is introduced in "7 Khoon Maaf" as a poet reciting his poetry in the Shalimar Bagh of Srinagar. The medieval garden built by Emperor Jehangir is an exquisite example of Mughal architecture for leisure walks where you will find chinar trees and a beautiful expanse of flower beds including rare tulips. While Srinagar supplies tranquillity to the film, Coorg adds the much-needed evocative thrill. The dense forest thickets, loud waterfalls, and the omnipresent fauna of the place make it a promising adventure destination. For the upkeep of your ethical compass, sustainable homestays have been set up in Coorg that let you mix with the local people and learn their culture while assisting you in improving the ecologically fragile retreat.

Mumbai in "Kaminey"

Mumbai, Maharashtra
Mumbai, MaharashtraShutterstock

Witness the multicultural spaces of Mumbai that inhabit the Bengalis as portrayed in "Kaminey." The upcoming month of October will be a great time to visit Mumbai as several celebrations of Durga Puja stylised after Bengal’s rituals are performed across the city on a grand scale. While you savour the domestic dishes unique to the festival, explore the hidden treasures which offer several ethnic dishes from places across India. Visit the various colonial bungalows scattered around Mumbai and take a breezy walk by the shore of the Arabian Sea.

Lucknow and Allahabad in "Omkara"

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Lucknow, Uttar PradeshShutterstock

As a film shot in multiple locations, "Omkara" presents a gamut of sites and destinations. Taking a trip to Lucknow will allow travellers to experience the enchanting Mughal-era architecture spread in abundance across the city. The Lucknow University, seen in the film, is a magnificent example of Indo-Mughal architecture–a delight for urban and history buffs. Immerse yourself within the historical structures to hear the stories told by the Rumi Darwaza, Chhatar Manzil, Dilkusha Kothi, The British Residency and La Martiniere College. Lucknow is also quite prolific for its food, which will look after your taste buds and appetite. A similar chain of architecture can also be found in Allahabad with an addition of various ghats that stand along the bank of the Ganga. Enjoy boating at pocket-friendly prices at Triveni Sangam.

Arunachal Pradesh in "Rangoon"

A landscape of Arunachal Pradesh
A landscape of Arunachal PradeshShutterstock

Many scenes of the film "Rangoon" were shot in the lush forests of the Siang district. For travellers willing to take a trip to the far-east, it will come as good news that Arunachal Pradesh tourism is both welcoming and ecologically armed. Visit the various mountain passes of the region. Explore the tribal villages and stay in economical, sustainable homestays adding to the local businesses and government measures taken towards responsible tourism. Witness the Burmese-style Buddhist temples and monasteries while participating in the local monastic lifestyle.

Outlook Traveller