From Alia Bhatt’s Raazi and Kalank to Shah Rukh Khan’s Bard of Blood, Kashmir is the land of a director’s dreams
Jammu and Kashmir, which no more enjoys the ‘special state’ status post the scrapping off of Article 370, has always been one of the most preferred shooting locations for the Indian filmmakers. While the shooting schedules of upcoming films have been brought to a halt in J&K for now, the state will continue to remain the land of shikaras, boat houses, snow-clad mountains and lush green surroundings - as seen in films such as Raazi and Kalank.
In the recent times, several Bollywood films have been shot in the state. While storylines of some were set in the picturesque region, some simply picturised the surroundings for fiction. In fact, several films that released this year such as Kalank, Notebook and Romeo Akbar Walter were shot in Jammu and Kashmir.
Notebook marked the Bollywood debut of Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl through an old-fashioned love story. Zaheer played a Kashmiri Pandit whose fundamentalist father wants to push his academically brilliant son into militancy.
Describing the beauty of Kashmir, the Hindustan Times’ review of Notebook read, “There are perhaps only a few places on Earth that are as achingly beautiful as Kashmir -- the Dal Lake with boats snaking around, conifers calling out to the sky and a history that has blood splattered all over it. Set in the Valley, this is how Notebook begins as well -- with the death of an innocent, all seen through the haze of a dream.”
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Alia Bhatt’s Raazi was about a Kashmiri girl who is married to a Pakistani army man in order to spy for her country. Director Meghna Gulzar had flown to Pahalgam with the entire crew to shoot around one-fourth of the film. During the shoot, Alia had shared several pictures from her shikara ride with her friend, her mornings at a nearby hotel or her chat sessions with Meghna amid the snow-capped mountains.
Not only this, the film also featured a song Dilbaro with Kashmiri lyrics. It showed Alia’s Sehmat’s picturesque journey from her paternal home in Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan (created in Punjab for the film) via road.
Actor Alia Bhatt again returned to Jammu and Kashmir for the shooting of multi-starrer, Kalank. A very short portion of the film were shot in Kargil. While Alia had shared a picture from the airport bus with the caption, “Kargil Calling”, Varun Dhawan had posted a picture from the flight with the caption “KALANK Off to Kargil.” Kunal Kemmu was also seen in the picture, who was later seen in a cameo role in the film.
Romeo Akbar Walter
John Abraham’s spy drama, Romeo Akbar Walter was also shot in a few locations in Kashmir with Gulmarg being one of them. Many others films shot in Jammu and Kashmir include Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Fitoor, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Aiyaary, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Tubelight, Highway and 3 Idiots.
Bard of Blood, web series
Not just films, even a few recent web series have also been shot in the state. Emraan Hashmi’s upcoming web series, Bard of Blood, being produced by Shah Rukh Khan, has been shot in Leh. Emraan had himself shared a few pictures from the location with the caption, “What the HILL!!! #leh #BardOfBlood.”
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