Mumbai and Bollywood are like the conjoined twins, inseparable in every way. You can’t picture one without the other. Like the legendary Jay and Veeru, their paths are intertwined for posterity. Read on to find out the 10 popular shooting locations in Mumbai.
One can’t imagine the number of movies and serials which have been shot here. Every movie will have at least one scene which is shot at Film City. Spread over 500 acres of land, It is located at Goregaon near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It has a lot of studios, makeup rooms, dressing rooms, recording rooms, theaters and gardens. In fact, there are tour operators who arrange a day of sightseeing at this picturesque venue where visitors can see the sets of films in progress.
The iconic marine drive also known as the Queen’s Necklace has been the backdrop of many a romantic car ride and a police chase in the films of yesteryear. The old fashioned Chevrolets zipping down this scenic locale is forever etched in our memory. Scenes of films like Dhoom, Muqaddar ka Sikander and Munna Bhai have been shot here.
Any college scene that needs to be shot in this city is most probably done at the renowned Sophia College complex. The enchanting old world campus lends itself most convincingly as an educational institute in a myriad Hindi flicks. Major portions of films like Ishq Vishq (2003) to Murder (2004) and Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) have been filmed here.
Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi has carved a niche for itself in Hindi films whenever the city’s underbelly has had to be portrayed. Films like Deewar, Salaam Bombay, Sarkar, Traffic Signal and Footpath have had Dharavi as a prominent backdrop. Dharavi rose to international recognition with the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionare.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The erstwhile Victoria Terminus, lovingly dubbed VT station, has been the building of choice that is almost a compulsory shot to denote that the hero has arrived in Mumbai. The archaic stone building, that symbolizes Mumbai, is in fact a very significant railway station with thousands of passengers commuting daily. Even the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire showcased this spot for some of its scenes. Bollywood films like Bunty aur Bubly, Ek Deewana Tha, The Attacks of 26/11, Shootout at Vadala, Ra One and Chennai Express (to name a few) had scenes of this gothic structure.
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is the world’s largest open air laundry. Hundreds of washermen carry out their mundane task of manually washing clothes using huge ugly-looking steel washing contraptions. The colourful hues from the clothes hanging all over make it a photographers delight and a tourist attraction on most Mumbai itineraries. This is the very reason why director Kiran Rao made an entire film “Dhobi Ghat” as a tribute to this place and its people.
Although I can’t name many of the films which have been shot here besides Gippi, I know for a fact that Madh Island is a favourite scenic shooting spot for most directors for movies and ad films. It comprises a serene beach, Versova fort and many empty bungalows available for film shoots. If you’re lucky you just might encounter some ongoing shoot at this location while you’re on your visit.
Although the film makers of today prefer to go abroad and shoot at exotic beaches of Thailand and Malaysia, Juhu Beach was a popular shoot location for the films of yesteryear.Classic films like CID (starring Johnny Walker), Anand (starring Rajesh Khanna) and Seeta Aur Geeta (starring Hema Malini) have had many of their scenes shot at this location. Juhu being home to most of the biggies of Bollywood, it has always been a sophisticated locality and its proximity to the beach adds to its charm. The beach is a long stretch of hot property shoreline lined by coconut trees on one side and many stalls serving all varieties of Mumbai chaat on the other.
Gateway of India
This is the one architectural monument that symbolizes the city of Mumbai. Located at Colaba, the buzzing end of South Mumbai, the Gateway has played a leading role in many films like Ghajini, Bombay, Kalyug, Hero No.1 and Mann. The structure that overlooks the Arabian Sea offers a beautiful view of the harbor on one side and the splendid Taj Mahal Palace hotel on the other. Many regional films also have scenes on this promenade.
Recently, many film makers have started to explore Mumbai’s younger sibling, this side of the harbor for their shoot locations. To name a few, Ashiqui 2 had its suicide scene shot at Vashi bridge, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein made the streets of Kharghar look like that of Delhi and even the Fortis hospital in Vashi has had films like 3 idiots and Krrish3 shot here. Locations here have their own charm that distinguishes them from the overcrowded and overplayed spots of Mumbai.