Eyeing more revenue from tourism, the Haryana tourism department has decided to throw open its tourist spots for shooting films and commercials.
Haryana tourism minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the state’s picturesque tourist spots such as heritage sites, lakes, bird sanctuaries and golf courses offered ideal locations for filming.
The tourist spots have been classified into three categories — high, medium and low potential zones — and charges will be fixed based on the classification.
“The vast expanse of farmlands, rustic charm, diverse landscape and a slice of history make Haryana a perfect destination for shooting films. A scheme has been drawn to attract filmmakers and production houses to explore Haryana Tourism’s 42 tourist complexes and their picturesque backdrops located along all major national and state highways passing through the state,” Sharma said.
Principal secretary of tourism Sumita Misra said that filmmakers would now be able to capture the splendid Pinjore Gardens — the only Mughal Gardens outside Kashmir — and the pristine beauty of Haryana’s only hill station Morni, which houses Mountain Quail and Tikkar Taal resorts.
These destinations fall in the high potential zone along with the luxurious hotel Rajhans in Surajkund and the ethnically designed Surajkund Mela grounds that have semi-permanent thatched-roof huts and ceremonial gates depicting mini-India.
The cost of shooting in the high potential zone varies from Rs10,000 to Rs50,000 plus taxes for four to eight hours per day.
Gurgaon, which has a rich heritage and ample tourist attractions, will also benefit from this move.
Damdama Lake and Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Gurgaon offer a perfect backdrop for film and commercial shoots.
These tourist complexes fall in the medium potential zone and the cost of shooting for four to eight hours per day varies from Rs5,000 to Rs30,000 plus taxes, Misra said.
Besides, the Sohna tourist complex and the Pataudi Palace are also popular tourist spots in Gurgaon. Farrukhnagar, a town and municipality in Gurgaon district, is a less known quaint collection of historical and natural sites, including Dilli Darwaza (Delhi gate), Sheesh Mahal, Sitaram Mandir and Ali Gosh Khan Baoli. The Mughal and British era havelis of Farrukhnagar will be a perfect setting for period dramas.
Some tourism complexes in the neighbouring cities include the Karnal Lake in Karnal and Tilyar Lake in Rohtak.
The Sunbird motel, Surajkund and Aravalli Golf Course in Faridabad are spacious and scenic properties. The erstwhile Raja Nahar Singh Palace in Ballabgarh, dating back to the 18th century, is also a heritage property that might be of interest to filmmakers.