Some famous shooting locations in Mumbai

Even till date in Mumbai, there are some places, where the story of a film, if not shot on those locations is incomplete. In fact, despite being given of the raps of the studio system in Hindi cinema, there popular locations still present in Mumbai which not only compete with the locally built up sets but establishing Mumbai as one of key characters in films. Let's examine this finer side of Mumbai.

The well known places of Jaipur city were perceptible in the film ‘Bol Bachhan’ directed by Rohit Shetty launched recently alongside the famed pond Wai of Maharashtra which the audiences of Hindi cinema has been watching for decades together. Wai is the oldest city in Maharashtra. The well known pond of the Wai city of Maharashta too was visible in the film which the audiences have been watching since years together. Situated at the banks of River Krishna, Wai city is famous for the beatific banks built along the river. Enmeshed between the pune and Satara districts, it was at one most popular bank of Wai that some important scenes of hit films such as ‘Omkara’, ‘Dabbang’, ‘Swadesh’, ‘ Ishqiya’, and ‘Singham’ were shot. Earlier, the same bank was noticed in Praksh Jha’s film ‘Gangajal. This bank has also been the center of attraction in several Marathi films too.

In fact, there are numerous such shooting locations in abundance in Mumbai which are giving tough challenges to the film sets of Mumbai built up on whopping huge cost. These locations have come to rule the filmdom just like some popular film characters. These locations make Mumbai and the history of places around it live and kicking films after films.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Separating from Wai banks, if we talk of Mumbai city, not one but many such locations would crop up which the Hindi movie buffs have been watching for years past. For example, the outside scene of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal is very common for the Hindi films. It is well nigh possible if the hero is to come to Mumbai and the statue of Victoria does not appear in view to the audiences. Looking into the insides of the building constructed in Gothic styles, it transpires that some changes into its basic architectural designs have been effected owing to the newer constructions undertaken after it was originally built up. But one cannot resist from the temptations of snapping the photo of the station from outside in the yellow street light falling upon it. Some similar type of craze is also galore among people for Marine Drive.

Marine Drive

Marine Drive has appeared in several films of Amol Palekar. The super duper hit film of Raju Hirani, ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ as for that begins with the rocks situated at the Marine Drive. Marine Drive was not like this in the decades of seventies and eighties as it appears to be as on date. No triangular shaped rocks were put on the shorelines then nor were the foot paths as wide. As the result of the efforts put by the then CM of Maharashtra in 2002, Vilas Rao Deshmukh, not only the walls at the banks of the sea were widened but the works of shifting massive boulders from the Nariman Point to Girgaon Chaupati were also completed. Many scenes of the much discussed about film of Neeraj Pandey ‘A Wednesday’ to the film by Kabir Kaushik, ‘Maximum’ were shot at Marine Drive’ in which the characters were shown having dialogues with Mumbai.

Haji Ali Dargah and Muhammad Ali Road

If you are telling the story of the Mumbai Crime World, you will have to come over to south Mumbai after wandering all around. In case you came over to south Mumbai, the story shall not complete without mentions of Haji Ali Dargah and Muhammad Ali Road. The entire song of film by director Khalid Mohammad, ‘Fiza’ and Raj Kumar Santoshi’s ‘Halla Bol’ has been shot urging to shower blessings in the backdrop of Haji Ali Dargah.

The staircase of Asiatic library

Apart from the HajiAli Dargah, the ladders of the Asiatic Library have been a constant feature in form of the staircase of courts in numerous films. The recent much discussed about movie ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ was filmed at the stairs of the Asiatic library building from where Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty and Arbaz Khan have been shown climbing down the ladders.

Showing Mumbai locations in films- compulsory for directors

Trade specialists opine it is compulsory for the film directors to show scenes of ‘Bandra Fort’, Marine Drive and St Xavier’s College’ into their films to establish Mumbai in their stories. The rules and regulations for shooting films anywhere in India is same everywhere. Even in Mumbai too, film makers get shooting permissions easily on all the locations stated above. Bandra Fort is closed since years past where shooting could be done easily by anybody. Some portions of Salman kkan starred ‘Wanted’ were also filmed here. All the three characters of Farhan Akhtar were seen loitering here in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’.

St. Mary Church and Bandra- Worli Sea Link

On the lines of Bandra Fort, the St Mary Church in Bandra too has been an integral part and parcel of Hindi films which besides the meeting point of her- heroine duo, has been intermittently being filmed in no less a way than like the magical spell of God’s blessings. The producer- director Mahesh Bhatt has done shoots here in several films of his. In Sanjay Bhansali’s film ‘Khamoshi’, apart from Goa, most of the important parts of the scenes pertaining to Church were shot herein. In both these films, it was but imperative to show the Bandra-Worli Link. To show the splendor and vivacity of Mumbai, use of sea link is being resorted to without any compunction.

Gateway of India and Tajmahal hotel

  1. Gateway of India and the ‘Tajmahal hotel’ are two supreme land marks of the Mumbai city. Located on the waterfront in Apollo Bunder in south Mumbai, ‘Gateway of India’ is a testimonial built up by the British overlooking the Arabian Sea. Its basalt doorway is 26 meters(85 feet) high.

    The headstone has been the victim of three major terror attacks, since the beginning of the 21st century. It was attacked twice in 2003 and in 2008. Four gunmen attacked the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. This is the most widely spot seen in Hindi movies.

  2. The history of the Tajmahal Hotel palace and Mumbai is vividly entangled. This is Mumbai’s first harbor landmark having come into existence some 21 years before the Gateway of India. The Taj has been playing an inherent role in the life of the city as well as in the stories of Hindi films. Maharajas, dignitaries and eminent personalities from across the globe come to stay here. It is undoubtedly the treasure-trove of priceless memorabilia.


If the methods and styles of some years past film shoots are gleaned over, it would be found that popular film heroes used to shoot films in pre-decided bungalows as for example the ‘Bhalla bungalow’ situated at Bandra’s pali-Hills, ‘Daria Mahal’ located in Varsova, and ‘Arunodaya bungalow’ in Juhu. The villains of decade of seventies used to be shown residing in these bungalows against whom the angry young man opened up crusades in many films.

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Author: K Mohan20 Jun 2013 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Yes it is really fascinating to see some of the best locations in Mumbai while making films. While we are habituated to watch the famous Gateway of India and Haji Ali Dargah many a times, we are not taken into Navi Mumbai locations by any director so far. I know making a shoot in Mumbai is cumbersome and one cannot control the public, but for viewing pleasure, the producers and directors must shift to good locations of Navi Mumbai in future.

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