Still from 3 Idiots© Vinod Chopra Films

5 Scenic Indian Locations Made Popular By Bollywood

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Whether it’s an intricately choreographed dance sequence or a climactic confession, some of the most iconic movie scenes wouldn’t be as memorable as they are now had they not been set against scenic locations around India. Remember how hard it was to take our eyes off the pristine blue lake waters at the end of 3 Idiots? Or the majestic falls that played the perfect foil to Aishwarya Rai’s broken spirit in Raavan?

From stunning lakes to rolling hills, if you’re a movie buff, these stunning locations are a must-visit for you….

Nubra Valley, Ladakh

The sparse landscape of the Nubra Valley in Ladakh was used as the set for the fictional location of Kaza city in Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera. Situated 10,000 ft above sea level, the stark, cold desert looked beautiful on-screen. The Nubra Valley is also home to the popular destination of Hundar village.

Athirapally Falls, Kerala

Known as the largest waterfall in Kerala, it’s no surprise that filmmakers choose the grand location for their movies. Some of the most iconic movies shot here include Raavan, Guru, and Baahubali. The lush green forest and the waterfall add the perfect amount of drama to any narrative.

Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh

Pangong Lake in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India©Getty Images

One of the country’s most visited tourist destinations was made popular after it featured in movies like 3 Idiots and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Located at a five-hour drive away from Leh, the stunning lake and the postcard-worthy landscape make the harsh climate and rough travel worth it.

Rohtang Pass, Manali

Often used to symbolise the character’s journey towards (perceived) freedom in Imtiaz Ali movies, Rohtang Pass is a popular destination for road trip enthusiasts. The snow-capped mountains and clear skies offer breathtaking views and the narrow stretch of road, flanked by snow piled several feet high, is the perfect way to live out your Geet from Jab We Met fantasies.

Munnar Tea Plantation, Kerala

The rolling hills covered with lush tea gardens have inspired many a filmmaker to use it as a backdrop for their movies. These include Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer Chennai Express and the Hollywood biggie Life of Pi. It’s also a popular destination for honeymooners in the country.