Shah Rukh Khan’s meteoric rise to fame in Bollywood and his dream of owning land in Mumbai is the stuff of legends. As is the story of Amitabh Bachchan’s accident on the sets of Coolie (1983), which had the entire country on the edge and praying for his fast recovery outside his bungalow in Mumbai. Yes, star homes are at times as popular as their famous residents. And a new Bollywood tour app can take you on a self-guided walking tour down the bylanes of Bollywood and into a star’s life. Called Bollywood Star Homes, it has been created by Audio Compass.
“We have tried to keep the tour practical and structured and it mostly concentrates around star homes in Mumbai. So you can end up in Amitabh Bachchan’s house, Jalsa. You cannot have a Bollywood tour without Amitabh Bachchan in it,” says Gautam Shewakramani, CEO of the company.
Bollywood insider and TV personality Supreet Bedi takes over as your guide as you learn about the stars, their lifestyles and the background stories. There are over 20 points of interest with approximately 60 minutes of multimedia content.
Apart from the top Bollywood stars of yesteryear and today, the tour also goes into the beginnings of the Hindi film industry, explains why it is such a big deal today and dispels rumours associated with some filmy historic places.
“Like how one particular bungalow is rumoured to belong to the Bachchans. This is just an urban legend and there is no proof of it, and we say so through the app. We also talk about the history of the places where the homes are and how they became this glitzy neighbourhood, point out famous celebrity haunt, and the iconic Walk of the Stars which is based there too,” add Shewakramani.
In the future, there are plans to tie up with travel agents to make the app more accessible. “They can then offer rented devices
that run the app as well as offer transportation. We also want to come up with apps that cover more than star homes. These will eventually be a mix of two-three tours that we offer,” says Shewakramani.
To get the app, just search for Bollywood Star Homes on the iTunes store on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or the Google Play store from your Android Device. The tour is priced at Rs 100. It is also available as an iTunes MP3 album download, playable on any MP3 player or device and also includes an exclusive digital booklet and map. Touchscreen devices have maps with GPS functionality. The tours are available in Hindi and English for Android users.
Knocking at celeb doors
Star homes you visit while on the tour include those of yesteryear stars like Rekha, Rajesh Khanna, Dilip and Saira Banu, among others. The family homes of the Bachchans and Rishi, Neetu and Ranbir Kapoor can also be found here as is the residence of lyricist Gulzar.