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Bollywood Travels

Are you a fan of Bollywood looking for an interesting (and affordable) holiday in India centred around your favourite film? While interest in Slumdog Millionaire means that people are coming to Dharavi, the slum in Mumbai, on tours almost everyday—even now when the weather is so appalling, there are some other interesting packages launched to take you to the sites of, say, Sholay, the iconic Amitabh-Bachchan-Dharmendra starrer fashioned like a Western, or Rang De Basanti, the Aamir Khan film that truly caught the pulse of a young nation two years ago.

This summer gear up then to go to Ram Nagaram, near Bangalore, where Sholay was shot, or take spookier vacation at the Woodville Palace, Shimla, the site for horror flick Raaz 2. Or would you like to live out yet another cinematic dream– partake in the carefree spirit of Rang De Basanti, watching jets take off as the friends do at the Sahnewal Fort near Ludhiana? The fort has, since the film, acquired new-found fame as the “RDB Fort” and it is now being “packaged” (along with scenic day-long drives tracing the route of the RDB friends) for the benefit of middle-class Indians (and others) on a budget.

All these packages are being offered by a new travel site, India Hotels Review, run by a bunch of 20-something IITians.

Ankit Rastogi, one of the five co-founders of IndiaHotelReview.com, and its business head, elaborates on the concept of set-jetting that countries like Britain, New Zealand and Malaysia have made use of to enhance tourism. “Set Jetting is very popular in Europe and Australia. It means that potential tourists are likely to get influenced and visit the places, restaurants and so forth, because of its appearance in the films or on TV”, he explains. While tourism authorities in New Zealand, Switzerland, Britain and Malaysia have been cashing in on the popularity of Bollywood films, in India itself, this remains an unexplored territory.

Now, for the first time, travellers have the benefit of this smart packaging. “I remember the trip to Ooty, the song Chaiya Chaiya reigned heavily on my mind. Now, as an entrepreneur, I want to recreate the magic of the song on every traveler’s mind,” Rastogi points out.

Apart from a Dharavi tour (A day-long one starting with a pick up at the Churchgate station at Rs 800 per day), there is also a Kollam tour of the district near Allepy (Rs 1,500 per day, home stays), home to Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty, the sound mixer for Slumdog.

Other popular packages include the Rang De Basanti tour (Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jaipur) where you can relive the “jumping into the water from a wall” scene at the Nahargarh Fort and so forth; the royal Jodhaa Akbar tour with visits built in to the grand Mehrangarh Fort and City Palace in Jaipur; and a Lagaan tour in colourful Kutch.

The prices for all these are low. Amongst the highest priced packages is a stay at the Seven Mallay Bungalow at Munnar located within a tea estate where the Lolitaesque film, Nishabd, was shot. The package costs Rs 7,000 (less than $ 200) per night. IHR says that they are working on low margins and film locations is not the only thing that they are selling. Instead, packages for religious tourism are also very popular. Check these out on:



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2 Responses to “Bollywood Travels”

  1. priyanka says:

    Even now when the whether is so appalling : YOU have a spelling mistake there

  2. Anoothi says:

    Silly girl, shld I edit your blog?