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30 Best Shooting Locations in South India

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Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016, 15:56 [IST]
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Places in South India are renowned for their picturesque landscapes. Flanked by the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian ocean on three sides, the places are unique in their own regards. The magnificent Western and Eastern Ghats add to the beauty of these places. The naturesque locales of South India has been a subject to countless Indian and International movies. Let's take a tour through some of the dazzling places which are the best shooting locations in South India.

Munnar

How can one not mention Munnar while talking about beauty! Munnar is a picturesque hillstation located in the Idukki district of Kerala known for it's luxuriant elegance. This narrow stretch of the land, flanked by the Arabian sea and the Western Ghats on both sides, Munnar is lavish with misty mountains, lush green rain forests, gushing streams, scenic beaches, palm trimmed backwaters and enchanting waterfalls!

Movies Shot here - Countless movies from Hollywood to Bollywood have featured the charm of Munnar in a gracious way! Some of them are Life of pie, Chennai Express , Nishabd, Before the Rains ,Kumki etc.

Did you know? The Parvathi Bungalow shown in the movies like Abhiyum naanum, Bachelor party, Nishabd etc. is available for a stay at Munnar.

PC: Bimal KC

Allepey Backwaters

Kerala backwaters are world renowned in the tourism circuit. Mirror like lagoons, picture perfect lake sides, palm trimmed canals and what not! Alleppey has everything to serve a feast for your eyes! The boat cruise along the Alleppey backwaters is definitely a lifetime experience.

Movies shot here - Many Indian movies have been shot here like Tashaan, Dilse , Madras cafe , Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, Autograph, Kadal etc.

Did you know? The Alleppey Backwaters is very popular for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is held annually. Tourists from around the world come to Alleppey to view the majestic fiesta!

PC : Lenish

Athirapally and Vazhachal Falls

Athirapally falls and Vazhachal falls are twin picturesque waterfalls located in the Thrissur district of Kerala. Athirapally falls is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is often called as 'The Niagara of India'. The Athirapally Waterfalls, falling from a height of 80 feet, offer one of the most bewitching sight to the tourists.

Movies shot here - Athirapally and Vazhachal falls have been framed in countless Indian movies and songs. Kannathil Muthamittal , Madras cafe, Raavan, Mudhalvan, Guru , Dilse, Iruvar , Alaipayuthey, Baahubali are some of them.

Did you know? Athirapally falls is a favourite spot for Mani Ratnam. Most of his movies have at least one shot of this falls!

PC : Dilshad Raushan

Vagamon

Vagamon is an exotic hill station located in Kottayam - Idukki border of Kerala. This picturesque landscape has a seamless blend of religious mysticism and European legacy! Scenic valleys, lush green meadows, enchanting pine forests, breath-taking ravines, meandering rivulets, grassy hills and cascading milky waterfalls galore this hill station!

Movies shot here - Malayalam movie 'Iyobinte Pusthakam' has profoundly featured this bewitching hill station in a ravishing manner. Many more movies and songs has been shot here like Alone, Paiya, The Blueberry Hunt, Puli etc.

Did you know? Vagamon has a chain of three hills - the Thangal hill, the Murugan hill and the Kurisumala - vital for Muslims, Hindus and Christians respectively.

PC : Anand2202

Thalassery

Thalassery is a beautiful and historic city located on the Malabar coast of Kerala. The majestic Thalassery Fort, the historic Thalassery Pier , Picturesque beach of Muzhappilangad, Overburry's Folly, Gundert Bungalow and palm fringed Dharmadom Island are some of the renowned tourist attractions here.

Movies shot here - Many Malayalam movies have been shot here. Thalassery is considered to be a lucky charm for actor Nivin Pauly as all of his movies which were shot here has turned in to hits, like Malarvadi Arts Club, Thattathin Marayathu , Oru Vadakkan Selfie etc.

Did you know? Thalassery is often called the city of 'three C's' in the state - Cricket, Cake & Circus! It is the place where British first played Cricket. The first cakes introduced by the British were baked here and Indian Circus had its origin in this town as well.

PC: Sunaina Kunju

Varikkaserry Mana

Varikkaserry mana is a grand old aristocratic Namboothiri house located at Manissery village in Palakkad.

Movies shot here- If you have watched the epic Malayalam movie 'Devasuram', you would not fail to notice the grand home of the arrogant feudal landlord Neelakantan depicted by the legendary actor Mohanlal! The 'mana' rose to fame after the movie's release and 100 plus movies have been shot here since then.

Did you know? It is considered a "lucky mascot" by select directors and superstars, especially Mohanlal.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary In Thekkady

Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India bestowed with a great scenic charm and rich biodiversity! The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of gigantic tuskers, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations.

Movies shot here - Many movies have captured the scenic landscapes of Thekkady such as Dil Se,Ijazat,Gupt,Kumki,Hiss etc.

Did you know? Probably Thekkady is the only place in India where you can watch and photograph animals in the wild, at close quarters, from the safety of a boat.

PC : Bernard Gagnon

Thodupuzha

Thodupuzha is a naturesque town characterised by the hill terrains with lush green vegetation! Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Thodupuzha is the gateway to major tourist destinations like Munnar, Thekkady, Peermade, Vagamon etc.

Movies shot here - The natural scenic beauty of Thodupuzha has attracted many Malayalam movie makers and has become a hot spot for Malayalam movies. Movies like Nasrani, Manassinakkare, Rasathanthram , Pappy Appacha, Evidam Swargamanu, Velimoonga etc. Are shot here.

Did you know? The Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam version of the blockbuster movie 'Drishyam' was shot here!

PC : Challiyan

Hill Palace in Tripunithara

Hill palace in Tripunithara is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala which was the administrative office of the Kochi Rajas. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across 54 acres.

Movies shot here - The famous Malayalam blockbuster Manichithrathazhu, which was later remade in most of the Indian languages, was shot here! Other movies include Manathe Kottaram, Mr. Fraud etc.

Did you know? The palace is home to a wide variety of medicinal plants!

PC : GokulVarma NK

Bekal Fort

Surrounded by a splendid beach, Bekal fort located in Kasaragod district of Kerala is one of the largest and best preserved forts in Kerala. The historic Bekal fort offers breath taking views of the Arabian sea from all its observation towers!

Movies shot here - Bekal fort is a favourite shooting locale for film makers. Many movies and advertisements have been shot here. Who can forget the majestic 'Uyire Uyire' song of A.R.Rahman from the movie 'Bombay'!?

Did you know? Built by the rulers of the Kadamba dynasty, the fort changed hands over the years to the Kolathiri Rajas, the Vijayanagar Empire, Tipu Sultan and finally, the British East India Company.

PC : Hari Prasad Nadig

Coorg

Evergreen, pleasant and charming these three words define Coorg! It is not just for the nature lovers but for those who love adventure activities. Trekking to river rafting, this hill station has it all. The smell of the coffee plantations, buzzing sound of insects, creepers twisted around big trees, waterfalls, hairpin bends and much more! It is not just a tourist place but also one of the top shooting locations in South India.

Coorg destination link - http://www.nativeplanet.com/coorg/
Lesser Known Places in Coorg- http://www.nativeplanet.com/travel-guide/unexplored-places-coorg-001744.html

Films Shot in Coorg

The regional blockbusters like Mungaru Male, Gaalipata and old films like Muttinahara were shot here. Some years ago, Priyanka Chopra starrer Saath Khoon Maaf was shot.

Did you know?

Coorg is fondly called as 'Scotland of South India'.

River Kaveri originates in Talakaveri which is in Coorg.

Click to Book Hotels in Coorg
http://www.nativeplanet.com/coorg/hotels/

PC : Pratheepps

Badami Cave Temples

How did they even carve such beautiful temples in such thick rocks? You will be awestruck by the architecture of the Badami Cave Temples in Bagalkot. The credit goes to the Chalukyas who were the prominent dynasty during the 6th century in Karnataka. One of the earliest known cave-temple architectures that gives an artistic background for any picturisation.
Badami destination link: http://www.nativeplanet.com/badami/

A Mystical Journey of Badami
http://www.nativeplanet.com/travel-guide/places-visit-badami-001282.html

Films Shot in Coorg

Hindi Films like Guru, Rowdy Rathore , Kannada Fillms like Veera Madakari, Sanju Weds Geetha, Telugu films like Magadheera, Vikramadu, etc. were shot in Badami.

Did you know?

Caves belonging to Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religions are found here.

These caves are carved out of red sandstone rocks.

PC : Dinesh Kannambadi

Shimoga

Shimoga, the 'Gateway to Malnad' is a tranquil destination in Karnataka. Serene towns, ghat sections, religious and historical places and even wildlife i s abundant in and around this region. It is known for the mesmerising Jog Falls which is one of the major tourist attractions in Shimoga district. Blissful vistas of Malnad region is a wonder to explore. And many regional films have got into the depth of this region to capture its hidden glory.

Films Shot in Shimoga

The teleserial Malgudi Days, Kannada film Kanoor Heggadati, Mungaaru Male and Tamil Film Kumki have shot many scenes in Shimoga.

Did you know? 

The name Shivamoga came from the words 'Shiva' and 'Mukha' (Face of Shiva). Shiva refers to the Hindu God whereas 'Mukha' in Kannada means face.

Kuvempu, Karnataka's greatest poet and writer was born in Thirtahalli in Shimoga.

PC : Brunda Nagaraj

Hampi

Hampi is a treasure trove of architecture in Karnataka. Every visitor is wonder-stuck looking at some sculpture or inscription at every nook and corner of Hampi. It is one of the top tourist places in Karnataka. Since it is a heritage site, shooting is only allowed in some locations and that too with a permit. However, many films have been picturised here.

Films Shot in Hampi

Movies like Rowdy Rathore, Kannada film Rana Vikrama, English film The Myth, Pournami (Telugu film), etc. films are shot in Hampi. You can see the backdrop of temples and other heritage structures in the song 'Dhang dhang' (Rowdy Rathore).

Did you know?

Hampi's famous Stone Chariot is not a monolithic structure but it was actually made out of big granite blocks.

Hampi also has musical pillars which make different musical notes when struck.

PC: Brunda Nagaraj

Nandi Hills

The fascination over Nandi Hills still exists even after so many years of its popularity. There was a time when Nandi Hills was the only major hill station near Bangalore (Bengaluru). Now times have changed and we have discovered many other weekend getaways from Bangalore. Nandi Hills has always been and is still a top tourist as well as shooting spot in Karnataka.

Films Shot in Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills has been one of the top shooting locations in Karnataka from ages. Apart from Kannada films like 'Potre Loves Padma' and various other old movies, Bollywood movies like Coolie and Kunwara has been shot in Nandi Hills.

PC: Brunda Nagaraj

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore is a common sight in many old Hindi films as well as Kannada movies. Bangalore Palace is one such destination that hasn't lost its popularity. It is one of the favourite Bollywood shooting locations in Karnataka. Even to this day, Bangalore Palace is one of the major landmarks of namm Bengaluru.

Films Shot at Bangalore Palace

You can see Bangalore Palace in the old movies like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (Amir Khan shows it as his bungalow), Coolie, Betab, Barsaat and recent films like Rowdy Rathore were shot here. Even in several Kannada movies (both old and new) Bangalore Palace is a common sight.

Did you know?

Bangalore Palace served as the private residence of Wodeyars (Mysore Kingdom).

Bangalore Palace is built in the Tudor Style of Architecture.

PC : SMit224

Ramanagara

The rocky landscapes of Ramanagara attract a lot of adventure junkies. It has become one of the famous weekend getaways from Bengaluru (Bangalore). Ramanagara is famous for rock climbing and trekking activities in Karnataka. The rustic charm of Ramanagara attract a lot of visitors.

Films Shot in Ramanagara

The famous blockbuster movie Sholay was shot in Ramanagara, David Lean's A Passage to India was also shot in Savandurga and Ramadevarabetta.

Did you know?

Ramanagara is famous for some of the oldest granite rock formations in the world.

Ramanagara is a haven for rock climbers and bird watchers.

PC: L.Shyamal

Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park is one of the main green patches remaining in Bengaluru (Bangalore). Thankfully, most parts of the park is preserved and it is still one of the major tourist spots in Bengaluru. This green stretch of land has often served as a famous shooting spot.

Films Shot at Cubbon Park

Cubbon Park has been a part of numerous regional films as well as some Bollywood films. Amitabh Bachan starrer Coolie, Pallavi Anu Pallavi (Kannada Film), Govinda's film Coolie No. 1 were also shot in Cubbon Park.

Did you know?

Cubbon Park was named after Sir Mark Cubbon who was the longest surviving British commissioner of Bangalore.

Cubbon Park was created by Richard Sankey in 1870.

PC: Aranya Sen

Balmuri Falls

Balmuri Falls is a man-made waterfalls which is one of the favourite weekend getaways from Bengaluru (Bangalore). It is created due to check-dam which was constructed over Kaveri River.

Films Shot at Balmuri Falls

Movies like Raja Hindustani, Pakeeza and many Kannada movies have shot some scenes at Balmuri Falls.

Did you know?

Balmuri Falls is one of the top offbeat destinations near Mysore.

Balmuri Falls is around 9km from the KRS Dam.

PC: Brunda Rao Nagaraj

Gangavati

Gangavati is one of the offbeat destinations on the banks of Tungabhadra. It is near to places like Hampi and Anegundi (Hanuman's birthplace). It is known for its agricultural economy and tranquil ambience.

Films Shot at Gangavati

Famous movies like Nayak and China Gate have shot some scenes at Gangavati in Karnataka.

Did you know?

Gangavati is known as the 'Rice Bowl of Karnataka'.

Gangavati Pranesh is one of the famous comedians and local celebrities in Karnataka.

Pollachi

Pollachi is one of the places in Tamil Nadu that enjoys a pleasant weather throughout the year, for its proximity to the Western Ghats. This scenic location has been a favourite among film-makers like Maniratnam, Priyadarshan, Shankar and Vikraman.

Movies shot here include Bollywood hits like Chennai Express, Barfi, Yuva and Guru; and Tamil hits that include Roja. Over 1500 films and several television commercials has been shot here.

Topslip, Aliyar Dam and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the places in Pollachi worth exploring.

Did you know?

Pollachi has Asia's largest jaggery market, and also the largest iron and cattle markets in South India.

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, popularly known as the Land's End, is a famous tourist spot of Tamil Nadu. This is the meeting place of the the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea . It is also one of the top honeymoon destinations in India.

Many popular movies were shot here. Malayalam films like Manichitrathazhu and His Highness Abdulla were shot at Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kodaikanal.

Some places that can be visited in Kanyakumari are Vivekananda Rock, Gandhi Museum, Kanyakumari Temple, Vattakottai Fort and Vavathurai.

Did you know?
Kanyakumari is famous for its sunrise and sunsets. Tourists flock here to see the change of hues during these times of the day.

PC : Ravivg5

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is one among the popular tourist destinations and honeymoon locations of India. This beautiful hill station has been a part of several movies for its unmatched beauty. The pleasant weather of the place makes it worth travelling to throughout the year.

Famous Bollywood flicks like Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander,popular South Indian movies like Guna and Naan Kadavul have been shot here. The Liril soap advertisement was also shot in this place and soon after which the waterfalls came to be known as Liril Falls.

http://www.nativeplanet.com/kodaikanal/

Did you know?

The man-made Kodai Lake here is in the shape of a star.

PC : Challiyan

Ooty

Ooty or Ootacamund, is often known as the 'Queen of Hills' and is also one of the best scenic locations in South India. The old world charm of this hill station has attracted several film makers across the nation.

Some of the famous Indian films shot here are Tezaab, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Se, Raja Hindustani, Barfi, Roja and Geetanjali.

http://www.nativeplanet.com/ooty/

Did you know?

Ooty is famous for home-made chocolates and fresh radish.

PC: Sankaracs

Karaikudi

Karaikudi is the land from where the famous Chettinad cuisine originated! The place is also one of the favourite shooting locations for South Indian movies. Chettinad Palace, 108 Pillayar Kovil and Aayiram Jannal Veedu are some of the popular attractions that is not to be missed here.

Some of the movies shot here are Vettai, Saamy, Arul, Vel, Jeans, Sangam and Jilla.

Did you know?
Karaikudi is known for the famous Chettinad chicken curry and the Biriyani that originated here.

PC : Joelsuganth

Chennai

Chennai, the most popular city of Tamil Nadu, is also a major tourist hub of India. From beaches like the Marina to the malls and streets for shopping, Chennai is a vibrant city.

Movies shot here are 2 States, Magadheera, 7am Arivu, Ayan, Nayagan, etc.

Did you know?
Chennai is where South Indian cinema originated, and has the second largest number of theatres in India.

PC : Jamal Haider

Coonoor

Coonoor is one of the places that can be visited along with Ooty, as it is quite close to this hill station. Being a scenic location, it is also a place where many Indian films were shot.

Some of the Bollywood hits include Deewana, Hum apke Hain Kaun and Saajan. Several South Indian films were also shot here.

Did you know?

Coonoor is known for their comfortable home-stays and home-made chocolates.

PC : Titus John

Mahabalipuram

This beach destination is famous for its impressive Shore Temple. Located quite close to Chennai, it is often visited by tourists and travellers alike.

The picturesque location has paved way for several Indian films like 2 States, Shalimar, May Madham, etc. Some of the places that can be visited here include Crocodile Bank and Tiger Cave among the rest.

Did you know?
The Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram was built from top to bottom, unlike other temples.

Madurai

Madurai is one of the famous temple towns in India. The Madurai Meenakshi Temple and several other pilgrimage sites make this place one of the most visited destinations of Tamil Nadu.

Many movies like Nanban, Ko, Kasdhal, Jilla, Guru and Bombay are shot here. Some of the attractions that can be visited in Madurai are the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Alagar Kovil, Gandhi Museum and Aruppukkottai.

Did you know?

The Meenakshi Amman Temple has around 30,000 sculptures in it, and around 50 priests to perform the rituals.

PC : Tamizhu

Courtallam

Courtallam is popularly known as the Spa of the South for its health resorts. It is also a popular tourist destination of Tamil Nadu.

Movies like Aravaan, Mirchi, Anjala and Vettail are shot here. Some places in Courtallam that are not to be missed include Thenkashi Kasivishwanathar Temple, Dakshinamoorthy Temple and the Boat Club.

Did you know?

Courtallam is fondly called as the 'Poor Man's Ooty'.

PC : MD Suhail

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