Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata are often immortalised on the silver screen. But our good old Bengaluru has rarely captured screen time. Still, there are many Bollywood and regional films that celebrate the city on celluloid. Among them are cult classics and blockbusters like Sholay, Pushpaka Vimana, and 3 Idiots. LBB reels in the movies that have been shot in Bangalore.

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Bangalore Days

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Sholay

Pushpaka Vimana

Bangalore was the backdrop for India’s first full-length silent film. A cult classic, Pushpaka Vimana {known as Pushpak in the Hindi version} is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made in India. And is also regarded as one of Kamal Hassan’s finest performances. While you can’t see much of the city in the film, the story of a penniless man’s changing fortunes unfolds primarily in and around the elegant Windsor Manor Hotel {now ITC Windsor}. A set was also built near Race Course Road {near the erstwhile Highland Hotel} for the street scenes. 

3 Idiots

The beginning of Rancho, Farhan, and Raju’s inspiring journey starts off in Bangalore’s very own Indian Institute Of Management {IIM}. As the trio navigate the ups and downs of business school convincing everyone around them that ‘All Is Well’, the brick buildings of IIM{B} stand by stoically. Adapted from Chetan Bhagat’s Three Mistakes of My Life, 3 Idiots went on to break all box-office records and took home awards by the bags.  

Gori Tere Pyaar Mein

Never mind that it was a box-office dud, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein is worth a watch because it offers a Bangalore darshan without budging from your couch. After Sriram {Imran Khan} and Dia {Kareena Kapoor Khan} shake their legs {and other body parts} to the dreadful Tooh, they frolic around the city. Everything from Freedom Park to Hard Rock Cafe, Orion Mall, and the Sri Puttanna Chetty Town Hall make an appearance.

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak

The outskirts of Bangalore {Kolar, to be exact} is where the two star-crossed lovers — Raj and Rashmi — elope to after a fallout with their warring families. A small shack on a rocky, hilltop serves as the lover’s retreat. And they walk around the wilderness and gurgling streams living the good life while crooning Akele Hain To Kya Gum Hai. All this before meeting a very unhappy ending, of course.

Pallavi Anu Pallavi

The legendary, Mani Ratnam, debuted as a director in Bangalore. Pallavi Anu Pallavi, a Kannada film starring Anil Kapoor, was his first film and shot extensively in the city. It’s a must if you want a sneak-peek into vintage Bangalore. The empty, traffic-free streets with a lone Ambassador trundling along and trees everywhere — if only we could have that Bangalore back. Sigh!

Sholay

The blockbuster that inspired generations of filmmakers, Sholay put Ramanagaram, a tiny village outside Bangalore, on the map. An entire village was recreated there and the film’s stars drove out from Bangalore every day for the shoot that lasted for months together. Even today, the hills that surround the town and served as Gabbar’s lair are known as the Sholay hills.

Coolie

You probably won’t count Coolie as one of Indian cinema’s best films but the legend that surrounds it is phenomenal. It all began well. Amitabh Bachchan and Rati Agnihotri shook a leg to Accident Hogaya around Bangalore. The Seshadri Iyer Memorial Library, Nandi Hills, and the Big Banyan Tree all featured in the song. In Cubbon Park, Rishi Kapoor and Bachchan belted out Lambuji Tinguji. But all hell broke loose during the shoot at Bangalore University. During a fight scene, Bachchan was critically injured and had to fight for his life. This ensured mega sales at the ticket window and sealed Bachchan’s demi-god status.

Coolie No. 1

If you can tear your eyes away from the Govinda’s pelvic thrusts and Karisma’s tumkas, Main To Raste Se Jaa Raha Tha is all about Bangalore, you’ll realise. During the course of the five-minute song, the stars travel through the best spots in the city. The Bangalore Palace, Cubbon Park, and Vidhana Soudha get screen time. There’s also the erstwhile Lido theatre that is bound to give old Bangaloreans the feels.

Bangalore Days

The latest film to join the list, Bangalore Days is an urban film that revolves around three young people who move to the city. No wonder the director thought Bangalore would be a perfect setting for the film. The city’s hotspots — MG Road, Brigade Road, and Lavelle Road — feature in the film. So do Sankey Tank, Rasta Cafe {on the highway}, and Cafe Thulp.

Feature Photo: Upperstall