By Ahana Bhattacharya
Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) Picturesque Himachal Pradesh has traditionally been a hotspot for Bollywood. With themes getting Indian again over the recent years, the Swiss Alps seem to have become out of place. Hindi mainstream filmmakers are back to the mountain state to create drama amid scenic beauty.
Makers of the horror comedy film “Bhoot Police” recently wrapped up shooting for the first schedule after shooting across various locations in Himachal Pradesh. Directed by Pavan Kirpalani, the film stars Saif Ali Khan, Yami Gautam, Jacqueline Fernandez and Arjun Kapoor.
Why shoot in Himachal? “We shot in Himachal Pradesh as our film’s story requirement is Himachal. We needed hill stations like Dalhousie and Dharamshala. As we did a recce for our film, the requirement and all the location we needed, and we found it in Dharamshala and Dalhousie,” explained “Bhoot Police” producer Akshai Puri.
Most producers would also say the shooting process in the state is a smooth one, on why they keep returning. “It’s always been amazing experience shooting in Himachal Pradesh. We have had full support of the government and local authorities, and shoot went smoothly. We have earlier done lots of films in Himachal Pradesh, Kullu Manali. It is nothing new for us to shoot in Himachal,” added another producer of the film Ramesh Taurani.
Several other Bollywood projects are currently being shot in the hill state amid the ongoing pandemic.
Recently, filmmaker Priyadarshan shot for his upcoming film “Hungama 2” with Meezan Jaffrey, Shilpa Shetty, Paresh Rawal and others in the hilly state. Shilpa, who has been left mesmerised with the natural beauty of the mountains, kept sharing photographs and videos on social media — at times from apple orchards in Manali, at times performing yoga in open air, which she described as “being able to connect with your inner self”.
Raveena Tandon, who is currently in Himachal Pradesh on work, is enjoying every minute of her stay, and the actress’ Instagram bears testimony. The actress, who is being accompanied by her children, has been sharing photographs of snow clad mountains from Manali, Kothi and other locations in the state, which she describes as “somewhere between heaven and earth”.
In one of her posts, Raveena mentioned: “Will miss this serene beauty once back in Mumbai.. born in, and love Mumbai, but my heart belongs to the mountains and forests.”
As far as filmmakers in Bollywood go, rediscovering the beauty of Himachal Pradesh with a new-age twist for the screen is where their hearts belong to right now.