We have a load of masala movies coming out every year. And the staple for each one of them is foreign locales. And then they thought, while we are at foreign locales, why not shoot at some World Heritage Sites as well!
So, here is some World Heritage Site Masala for you
1. Machu Pichu in Robot
This super famous Rajinikanth movie, where he plays a robot and a scientist (yes, it is true!) has a song shot at the heights of the historic sanctuary of Machu Pichu, that epitomizes everything Shankar believes in filmmaking – extravagance with NO content! With what seems like well-designed versions of native American clothes, the song also has lyrics which say ‘Kilimanjaro, ladki parbat ki yaro’!
Machu Picchu, a mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.
But, all said and done, the locales are absolutely breathtaking and sanctioning for filming this song was granted only after intervention by the Indian government.
2. Darjeeling Himalayan Railways in Barfi!
The romance between Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra blooms along the train tracks of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways. The film was extensively shot in Darjeeling including the railways stations. In fact it supposed to have contributed a lot to Darjeeling tourism as well
3. The Pyramids in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
This is yet another piece of extravagance for what is a 5-minute dream sequence. But, then who are we to argue with Karan Johar especially when the Giza Necropolis is so wonderfully captured
4. The Hampi Monuments in Rowdy Rathore
This crass, loud and over the top song titled ‘Dhada Dhang’ was shot at Hampi. Apart from being shot in Hampi, the shoot carried a lot of publicity owing to the fact that their shooting license was canceled. Activists protested that the filming team did not abide by the rules – they were supposed to hire at least 30% local dancers, which they did not follow – and they started shooting a day before the actual permission dates. We definitely condemn such laxity in following rules at heritage sites, since they disrupt tourist activity and upkeep of the site.
5. Wadi Rum in Krrish 3
A good part of Krrish 3 was shot in Jordan. In fact, it was shot mostly in 3 parts of Jordon – Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum – Petra being one of the seven wonders of the world!
Wadi Rum also called The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km, the largest wadi in Jordan. Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Red Sea and the Saudi border from the top.
Krrish romances Kangana in the song Tu Hi Bata at Wadi Rum and apparently more people are rushing there as a honeymoon destination
6. The Trulli of Alberobello in Bachna Ae Haseeno
Alberobello is a small town famous for its unique trulli constructions and is one of the UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Sites in Italy. This movie which was shot in 17 different locations also includes this WHS for this song. Despite the difficult-on-the-eyes camera work, the song definitely captures the site fairly well.
7. Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus in Slumdog Millionaire
We know that Slumdog Millionaire is not strictly ‘Bollywood’. However, since we embrace everything about Indians as Indian, we have definitely embraced this movie as Bollywood. Who can forget the super fun, Oscar-winning Jai Ho! in Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus? Apparently the song was shot in the early hours of the morning to avoid the Mumbai-local rush.
Thanks a bunch to the GoUNESCO Campus Ambassadors who helped us put together this list.