Rajasthan Through Eyes of Edie
Edie | July 25th, 2018
Udaipur’s Romance with Movies
Called the “most romantic spot on the continent of India” by British administrator Colonel James Tod, Udaipur has been a hotspot for movie makers for years now. Home to lofty palaces, imposing havelis, and narrow, crooked streets and cul-de-sacs, this city of unmatched romantic settings has been a regular feature in both Bollywood and Hollywood movies. The colorful bazaar coupled with a quaint old-world feel of the city’s milieu makes it a perfect setting for movies. In fact, so highly revered it is, that popular tourist destinations of Udaipur can be easily spotted on the big screen.
Reflecting the grey-blue hills of Aravalli on its serene, mirror like surface, Lake Pichola has been finding favor with moviemakers for a long time, especially with Bollywood’s American cousin Hollywood. Two of the most famous movies shot here are Octopussy (1983) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). For those who are unaware of “Octopussy”, this is the title of the thirteenth James Bond movie which starred Roger Moore. Much of Octopussy was shot in Udaipur, and one can easily spot the lake as Roger Moore gets off a boat. Octopussy also featured other Udaipur landmarks, with one of the trademark chase sequence from the movie featuring Jag Mandir. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was the other movie to feature the expansive Lake Pichola. While the movie was primarily shot in Ravla Khempur, which is around 50km from Udaipur, but the movie had numerous shots of Lake Pichola in all its glory with a setting sun providing a perfect background for the sequences.
Situated in the heart of the Udaipur, the Gangaur Ghat is located on the banks of Lake Pichola near Bagore ki Haveli. The ghat is the epicenter of festivities during Gangaur and Jal-Jhulni Ekadashi. The Ghat provides captivating views during the sunrise and sunset. In fact, you can easily catch a glimpse of Gangaur Ghat in Bollywood movies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.
The imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace. Surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas, the palace has a façade that’s 244m long and 30.4m high. The palace is a conglomeration of smaller palaces built and extended by various Maharanas, yet it manages to retain uniformity in design. The City Palace was featured in the movies Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and Mera Saaya, among others. The Dev Anand starrer Guide also had few scenes shot at the City Palace. When it comes to movies shot in Udaipur, Guide deserves a special mention. That’s because Guide was one of the first movies to showcase the beauty of Udaipur. The movie was shot extensively in the city, with scenes shot at Surajpole, Hathipole and Fatehsagar. The movie was not only shot at these landmarks places, it even showed by-lanes of Udaipur’s old city as Raju Guide (Dev Anand) led spellbound tourists from one place to another. The cinematic fascination with Udaipur continues to grow, with the most recent movie to be shot in the city being Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya. The city with its magnificent palaces and shimmering lakes is a sight to behold in person, and on the big screen as well!