As the famed toy train chugs along the tracks I see unrestrained lush foliage waving back at me, fog clinging to their peaks, groves of Eucalyptus trees and its scent filling the air, and the cooling breezes of Nilgiris whispering sweet nothings to me. The word paradise is so overused these days that it’s almost become meaningless. Yet, I wonder if I might have discovered its true meaning while travelling from Connoor to Ooty .
As I was clicking pictures I overheard one of the local tourist guides regaling the tourists with stories on movies and shootings. He knew the names of almost each and every possible movie shot in Ooty. I got most of the names from him and the rest from Google. I hope you enjoy the list. Want to add more to the list? Yes, then drop a comment 🙂
1. Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani
The romedy starring Katrina Kaif & Ranbeer Kapoor was partially shot in picturesque locales of Ooty. Call it a coincidence Ranbeer’s dad, Rishi Kapoor had shot the classic thriller Karz in Ooty almost 29 years back.
2. Ram Lakhan
This blockbuster by Subash Ghai had all the filmy masala- emotional tussle between two brothers ( one is an honest inspector and the other a street smart badmaash), romance, fights, nice songs and last but not the least great locales. I remember the song mujhe tumse hay kitne giley which was shot in the scenic locations of Ooty. In fact, Ghai had shot a number of his films in Ooty – Hero, Karz, & Yaadein. It was in Ooty where Ghai penned the first draft of Karz and it was in the tranquil valleys of Ooty where he came up with the idea of Om.
Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan & Sanjay Dutt starer flick was an emotional roller coaster ride. The film’s music was infectious and back in 90s everyone around me danced and bobbed to the music of Dekha Hay Pehli Baar, which was shot in Doddabetta in Ooty. Another popular song Mera Dil Bhi kitna Paagal Hay was shot at Dolphin’s Nose.
Did you know Roja’s breathtaking Kashmir scenes were shot in Ooty?
5. Dil Se (Chaiya Chaiya)
You want to know the secret sauce of creating a quintessentially sexy song sequence? Well, ask Malaika & SRK to gyrate on the rooftop of a train amidst the backdrop of pristine Nilgiri Hills! Chaiya Chaiya was shot on the rooftop of Nilgiri Mountain Railway train, a UNESCO heritage facility.
6. Maine Pyaar Kiya
The popular song, Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Key, was shot in Ooty. BTW I stumbled upon an interview in Rediff where Bhagyashree talked about an incident that happened in Ooty while Salman & she were shooting the song.
We were in Ooty shooting for Dil deewana bin sajna ke mane na when Salman came to know about my relationship with Himalayaji. He began teasing me in the morning itself. He would come very close to me and sing in my ear, ‘Dil deewana bin sajna ke…’
I started wondering what had happened to this guy; he had never behaved so strangely before. Now, there were people on the sets and he was trying to flirt with me.
He harassed me throughout the day. In the evening, I told him the members of the press were on the sets and there were so many outsiders so why was he behaving like that and he said, ‘I know.’
I asked him, ‘What do you know?’
He said, ‘Why don’t you call him here?’
I asked, ‘Call who here?’
That when I came to know that, through a common friend, he had come to know I was seeing Himalayaji. He was singing the song because he knew I was missing him. He asked me to call Himalayaji to Ooty.
7. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
Did you know the movie’s shooting began in the marvellous locales of Ooty? Yeh Mausam Ka Jadoo song was shot in the Coonoor tea estate & Ooty.
8. Raja Hindustani
A lot of scenes of the imaginary place called Palankhet were shot in Ooty. The song Poocho Zara Poocho was shot here; also, the famous kissing scene which was one of the longest kisses in Hindi cinema was shot in Ooty. In the book I’ll Do It My Way: The Incredible Journey Of Aamir Khan, we find a couple of interesting details
Mani Ratnam & Santosh Sivan are famous for capturing the ethereal beauty of Ooty. From Raavan, Dalapathy ( Rajnikanth & Shobhana) to Dil Se & Iruvar ( Aishwarya & Mohanlal’s romance) – they brought the magical realm of the Nilgiris to life.
10. Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander
The super-romantic song Pehla Nasha was shot in Western Catchment area, Ooty. And Rajput college is Lawrence School, Lovedale.
11. Kuch Kuch Hota Hay
The summer camp in Shimla wasn’t actually in Shimla! It was shot at Wenlock Downs in Ooty.
12. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
Ghazab ka hay din was shot in Pine Forests. And it was for the first time Juhi Chawla visited Ooty and she instantly fell in love with the place. Remembering QSQT after the film completed 25 years of its release here’s what she told in an interview
It was the first time time I visited the place. I remember falling in love instantly with Ooty . The greenery, trees, clouds, mists…I’d wake up at 5 am and do makeup to report on location. It was great fun.
This tear jerker movie was shot in Ooty. Somu’s house is actually Hotel Taj Savoy. And do you remember the last scene where Somu tries to stop Reshmi from leaving? Yes, the one that’s guaranteed to make you cry; well, it was shot in Ketti Valley.
Mujhe Neend Na Aaye & Humne Ghar Choda Hay songs were shot at the exquisite locales of Ooty. I remember reading an interview of Madhuri Dixit where she said
About 95 per cent of my films have been shot in Ooty.
15. Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai
Some scenes were shot in Lovedale Station & the audience again fall in love with the Nilgiris Railway.
16. Shola Aur Shabnam
Do you remember the 90s hit song Tu Paagal Premi ? It was shot at Pykara Falls.
People remember the songs of the movie till this day. One of them Jaanejigar Jaaneman was shot in Ooty.
Some scenes of the song Main Kya Karoon were shot at Pine Forest.
Some scenes were shot in Wellington ( when Jai was court martialed) & Ooty Lake .
Two popular songs Teri Ummeed and Aisi Deewangi were shot at various locations in Ooty.
Want to add more to the list. Drop a comment 🙂