Remember Sanjay Dutt shaking a leg at Mumbais iconic Dhobhi Ghat in Munna Bhai MBBS or Dev Anand cruising down Delhis Rajpath on his Lambretta in Tere Ghar Ke Samne? Locations have always played an important role in Bollywood. Similarly, films such as Salaam Bombay, Life in a Metro and Wake Up Sid have romanced Mumbai. Using Bollywood as an inspiration, Lonely Planet India will publish the travel guide, titled Filmi Escapes Travel with the Movies.
During our research, we realised there is a lot of interest in thematic travel guides. We thought that weaving in Bollywood with travel would work well, says Sesh Seshadri, Director, Lonely Planet India. Apart from popular shooting destinations such as Kashmir and Kerala, the guide also talks about lesser known tourist spots. For example, Umrao Jaan was shot in Lucknow, where director Muzaffar Ali chose the crumbling Jahangirabad Palace, Baradari, as well as the small havelis in Malihabad as locations.
The guide has interspersed anecdotes and factoids shared by actors with travel listings. One of them is about Shammi Kapoors association with the Dal Lake. Kapoors ashes were immersed in the lake to honour his love for Kashmir, where he shot for Kashmir ki Kali, Junglee and Jaanwar. As part of research, I spoke to hotel managers, film shoot organisers and film assistants to authenticate information that I had read somewhere or someone had passed on to me, says author Juhi Saklani.
The 344-page guide also includes travel experiences of Karan Johar, Nargis Fakhri, Dibakar Banerjee, Mahesh Bhatt and Raima Sen, apart from them listing places to stay at, restaurants to eat at and local attractions. The travel guide will be available at all leading book stores and is priced at Rs 595.