Kahaani kuch bhi ho, exotic location pe gaane shoot karna toh banta hai!
Hindi cinema is known across the globe for its peculiarities such as the song and dance, unique style of romance and the dramatic sequences in the film. It’s however, the Hindi film songs which have been winning hearts and attention from a worldwide audience and hold as much importance in a film, as the entire film itself.
Typically, a Bollywood film through it’s 160 odd minutes includes at least 4 song sequences in the current times. (Earlier it used to be at least 8 songs per film).
It’s barely a surprise that massive budgets, extensive shooting schedules, and highly talented teams work to make this happen.
Songs are the primary selling pitch for films, prior to the release and are created to effect instant impact.
Hindi cinema for years now has gone lengths to create beautiful songs even visually. And here, I shall decode the filming locations of top Bollywood songs.
Gerua (Dilwale) Filming Locations
Starring Hindi cinema’s most iconic on-screen couple, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, Gerua was the first Bollywood song to be shot in the exotic locations of Iceland. Every frame looked picturesque and dreamy as the two actors romanced to the romantic number, Gerua in Arijit Singh’s vocals.
Choreographed by Farah Khan for Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, this song became even more popular than the movie.
The filming locations of Gerua include-
- Sólheimasandur in south Iceland, where the abandoned US plane is located
- Reynisfjara black sands in south Iceland
- Reynisdrangar rocks
- Skógafoss waterfall in south Iceland
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall
- Vestrahorn mountain, in southeast Iceland
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Diamond Beach
Check out our guide to exploring South Iceland
Suraj Hua Madham (Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham) Filming Locations
Another Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starrer, Suraj Hua Madham was a romantic number form Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. In this romantic track sung by Sonu Nigam, the picturization was set in the backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
Parts of the song were also filmed in the city of Cairo, the Bahariya White Desert and the Western Desert in Egypt.
Due to the lighting conditions, the filming could only take place between 7am-9am, with the number of costume changes, it took over a week to film this memorable song.
Swag Se Swagat (Tiger Zinda Hai) Filming Locations
The most viewed song on YouTube, Swag Se Karenge Sabka Swagat starring the of Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif was from their blockbuster release Tiger Zinda Hai. The song was shot extensively across the stunning Greek island of Naxos.
Khuda Jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno) Filming Locations
Ranbir Kapoor’s Bachna Ae Haseeno alongside Deepika Padukone had the romantic track of the year in Khuda Jaane. The song instantly became a chartbuster for its melody. But it also left many awestruck with its range of gorgeous filming locations.
The song begins in Venice, showcasing the popular gondola rides, the Grand Canal, the narrow lanes and the central attraction- St. Mark’s Square.
Goes through the streets of Trulli in Alberobello, the pristine beaches of Vignanotica Bay and the mid-sea rocks of Faraglioni di Mattinata all in the Puglia district of Italy. Combined with the chemistry of the leading pair, the song is quite a visual treat.
Matargashti (Tamasha) Filming Locations
Years later, the Ranbir-Deepika pair got back together for the film Tamasha and put the French Island of Corsica on the map for cine-goers. With director Imtiaz Ali’s love for new places, it was no surprise that a major chunk of the film had been shot here. A very popular track of this film, Matargashti, composed by A R Rahman was shot across Donjon in Bastia, Corsica.
The peppy number not just showcases the beauty of the island, but also showcases local celebrations in the song and later in the film too.
Khaabon Ke Parinde (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) Filming Locations
Earlier on the blog, I revealed the ZNMD filming locations in detail. Khaabon Ke Parinde, a beautiful melody from the film was picturized in Spain, on a road trip from Seville to Madrid.
Watch the song carefully, it inspires you to road trip across Spain with your friends.
Kaho Na Pyaar Hai (Kaho Na Pyaar Hai) Filming Locations
When Hrithik Roshan debuted in 2000 in the movies, his debut film Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai became a major hit. The title track and the hook step of the song also became extremely popular with the release of the film.
The title track was shot in Krabi, Thailand at various spots such as Miracle Bay, Phranang Beach & Cave, and Koh Poda island. It was no surprise that this resulted in Krabi becoming a favorite amongst honeymooners.
Yeh Dil Deewana (Pardes) Filming Locations
Known for his love songs, Shah Rukh Khan’s heartbreak song- Yeh Dil Deewana from Subhash Ghai’s Pardes became a sensation in itself. The song was shot across Sin City in Las Vegas and was a complete treat to all senses! (still is ;))
Dil Diya Gallan (Tiger Zinda Hai) Filming Locations
2017’s year-end blockbuster, had another song, a romantic number between Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif that won hearts all over. Dil Diya Gallan from Tiger Zinda Hai was shot across the pristine snowcapped peaks of Austria, across Innsbruck.
The Austrian Alps, the town square of Innsbruck are both covered in the outdoor locations of the song.
Ullu Ka Pattha (Jagga Jasoos) Filming Locations
In 2017, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif experimented with the musical Jagga Jasoos, directed by Anurag Basu. Like Basu’s earlier films, this one too explores some unexplored territories on screen. A key song in the film, titled Ullu Ka Patha was shot in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. The song choreographed by Shiamak Davar showcases Jagga and his accomplice Shruti, looking for Jagga’s missing father, trying to make some money by dancing off the street.
Some key locations of the filming of this song include Jemaa el-Fnaa and Essaouira Citadel in Marrakesh. Visuals of Marrakech’s gorgeous landscapes can be seen throughout the song.
Ilahi (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) Filming Locations
Ranbir Kapoor is surely traveling the world shooting all those pretty songs. Ilahi from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was all about Bunny’s (Ranbir) life as a travel cinematographer. The song is a wonderful travelogue of Paris combining culture and tourist attractions together, in the same song. The song showcases popular localities and attractions such as Eiffel Tower, Sacre Cour, Monmarte, Lock Bridge, Champs Elysees, and portions of Lyon in France.
Yeh Ishq Hai (Jab We Met) Filming Locations
In 2007, Kareena Kapoor won over the audiences with her endearing portrayal of Geet in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met. Geet’s character in the film was that of a dreamy, love-struck girl who wanted her fairy tale to come true. Towards the interval, Geet runs away from home with Aditya, to meet her lover in Manali.
The song is set amidst their journey and exhibits Geet’s excitement to reunite with her love. This fun and peppy song was shot at exquisite locations like the Rohtang Pass and the Naggar Castle near Manali. The portions shot at the castle include locals and customs practised their, quite a visual for cine goers.
Ude Dil Befikre (Befikre) Filming Locations
Chhaiya Chhaiya (Dil se) Filming Locations
Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora dancing on top of the train became the sensation for years to remember! The very high energy song, Chhaiya Chhaiya from Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se, composed by the Oscar winning composer, AR Rahman was winning hearts. On the top of a Ooty train, amidst the Nilgiri mountains, this very energetic number was shot by Santosh Sivan.
Both the song & the video will fill you up with immense energy!
Do Lafzon Ki Hai (Great Gambler) Filming Locations
One of the earliest Bollywood film song to b shot in Venice, Do Lafzon Ki Hai from The Great Gambler was filmed with Amitabh Bachchan and Parveen Bobby romancing in the gondolas in Venice through the Grand Canal.
This was one of the most popular songs and had many Indians wanting to visit Venice for the gondola rides.
Tauba Tumhaare Ye Ishaare (Chalte Chalte) Filming Locations
Is it even a surprise that we have a Shah Rukh Khan song yet again on the list? The romantic track, Tauba Tumhaare Yeh Ishaare from Chalte Chalte, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji was shot all around the sunny and gorgeous Greek island of Mykonos!
The Mykonos Windmills, Church of Panagia Paraportiani and the Island of Mykonos can be easily spotted across the song.
Chandni O Meri Chandni (Chandni) Filming Locations
The mention of songs with beautiful filming locations is incomplete without the mention of Chandni. Starring the romantic leading couple- Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor, the song was shot in the Swiss Alps, Jungfraujoch.
The director of Chandni, Mr. Yash Chopra was known for his love for Switzerland and filming most of his films in this beautiful country. Chandni was one of his earliest films to be shot here, in 1989 and ever since all his films- scenes/songs have been shot in Switzerland.
This helped in popularizing Switzerland as the key tourist destination abroad for Indians. Chopra’s films showcased this beautiful country which such consistency that there is a lake and a statue named after him.
Kal Ho Na Ho Title Track (Kal Ho Na Ho) Filming Locations
Shah Rukh Khan, great songs, and great filming locations is an absolute combination for years now. One of Khan’s career highlight songs, the title track of Kal Ho Na Ho was shot across New York City.
However, the most memorable visual of the song remains to be SRK in his signature pose at the Brooklyn Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Ladki Kyun Na Jaane Kyu (Hum Tum) Filming Locations
Hum Tum starring Rani Mukerji and Saif Ali Khan was quite a rom-com to celebrate with the crackling chemistry and the twist of girl vs boy cartoons in the film. Setting the tone right for the same was an interesting song comparing men and women in relationships shot between the leading pair.
The song is placed during a layover in Amsterdam and we can see Rani and Saif exploring the city of Amsterdam while making their point through this conversational song.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, Canal rides, Amsterdam Central station and Hard Rock Cafe are some of the easily noticeable visuals in the song.
Mitwa (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna) Filming Locations
Of the many collaborations between Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna was a film directed by Johar based on extramarital relationships.
The popular number from the film Mitwa, a falling in love song was shot at multiple locations in New York City like Park Avenue, Pier 17 where the original plot of the film was based. Interestingly, the stadium shots have been filmed at the Bulkit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lampur, in Malaysia.
Hawaa Hawaa (Rockstar) Filming Locations
Imtiaz Ali’s heartbreaking saga, Rockstar introduced us to yet another European gem, Prague. The peppy number Hawa Hawa highlighted the busker’s culture in the city. The leading pair, Ranbir Kapoor & Nargis Fakhri are seen dancing with the locals at popular attractions such as the steps of the Prague Castle overlooking regarding the view of the city, the most popular bridge in Europe- Charles Bridge, and portions of the Loket Castle, about a couple hours drive from the capital.
Chaar Kadam (PK) Filming Locations
Rajkumar Hirani’s PK, which became a sensation at the box office started with Jaggu & Sarfaraz meeting in the Belgian town, Bruges. Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput, break into a sweet romantic song Chaar Kadam which was shot across Bruges. The picturization of the song showcases the key elements of Bruges- bridge, cycling, river cruising and the walking around the little lanes.
Dil Toh Pagal Hai (Dil To Pagal Hai) Filming Locations
The title track of the Yash Chopra film Dil Toh Pagal Hai was shot in Europa Park and Baden-Baden in Germany. Starring all the key characters- Pooja (Madhuri Dixit), Ajay (Akshay Kumar), Nisha (Karisma Kapoor) and Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), this was the first Bollywood movie to be shot in Baden-Baden, near the Rhine River region and the German theme park- Europa Park.
Interestingly, in a scene before this song between Ajay surprises Pooja with the news of their trip. As per the scene, Ajay and Pooja are not going too far from India and should return by end of the day. Very cleverly, the makers have skipped the mention of the destination since it was not practically possible to take an elaborate day trip to Germany.
Tujhe Dekha Toh Ye (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) Filming Locations
Hawaayein (Jab Harry Met Sejal) Filming Locations
Guzaarish (Ghajini) Filming Locations
Based on a Tamil film by the same name, Ghajini was remade in Hindi with Aamir Khan and Asin. The popular romantic song from the film ‘Guzaarish’ was shot at the Skeleton Coast, Namibia desert with the leading pair.
This was the first Bollywood film to be shot here and has the glimpse of a desert by the coast.
Don’t these Bollywood songs look extremely gorgeous thanks to their beautiful filming locations? Tell me which is your favorite.
Also, let me know in comments below if there are any additional songs that you’d like me to cover for their filming locations.
PS. The songs have been listed in no particular order or rating
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