7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch!


Source : Urban Asian

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! by Shravan K Acharya

What is going on in 2020? I had made so many travel plans for this year. But now, I find myself stuck at home with restrictions on travel making me dump all my plans. Since I cannot go outside freely, I have been watching movies, especially travel movies to keep myself hooked to the plans. Maybe, I can keep up with them once this pandemic comes to a standstill.

Well, who isn’t a fan of Hollywood travel movies like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Into the Wild and The Motorcycle Diaries ? There are quite a few that will multiply your love for travel. For people in India, good news is that more and more movies based on travel are being made lately and I feel Hindi movies connect with us better.

So, I thought I’ll share few of the best Bollywood movies based on travel that I absolutely adored watching. Few of these have been my all time favourites, mainly because of my love for travel. I am pretty sure that these movies will inspire you to make more travel plans.

Moreover, I happen to be a filmmaking enthusiast, so when I do watch movies, I look at them from a filmmaker's perspective, mainly aspects like storytelling and cinematography. That’s why you’ll see me praising these movies on similar points as you read on. Don’t worry, I’ll try my best to not give out any spoilers.

To make it easier for you, I have included links of where you can watch these movies at the end of the post.

1. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

IMDB Rating : 8.1/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 1/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source : Outlook India

First of all, let me tell you I have no count of the number of times I have watched this movie. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, also known as ZNMD in short is a must watch for all you travel buffs. The story revolves around a road trip plan of three close friends.

Childhood friends Kabir, Imraan and Arjun played respectively by Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar and Hritik Roshan, make a plan to visit Spain in their younger days, but life happens. With everyone dealing with their own things, the plan never happened until it turns into Arjun’s bachelor trip.

3 close friends. A beautiful foreign country. Lots of fun. Innumerable memories. Yes, this movie is all of that.

The movie’s director, Zoya Akhtar takes you on a compelling visual journey that features the ravishing city of Barcelona, scuba and skydiving in Costa Brava, the famous La Tomatina festival in Bunol and Bull racing in Pamplona.

The movie is well complemented with its songs. Khaabon Ke Parinday is my personal favourite, with the visuals of the song being so pleasing to the eye. The shot of horses running along during the road trip excites me every time I watch the music video.

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As the movie progresses, it picks up the theme of discovering one’s self and overcoming one’s fears, which is what travel is really about. At the end of the movie, you’ll find yourselves craving for a Spanish holiday with your best friends.

2. Tamasha (2015)

IMDB Rating : 7.3/10

Imtiaz Ali, the director of this complex, yet beautiful film is probably a travel fanatic himself. I’ll tell you why I am making this assumption. Almost all his films have the characters going on some sort of trip.

The movie sets off with the meeting of the leading characters - Ved, played by Ranbir Kapoor and Tara, played by Deepika Padukone. Two very distinct characters, yet make a charming couple.

The first half of the movie features Corsica, a French Island which I never heard of before watching the film. Corsica has got quite popular with this movie being made. The stunning island features blue waters, captivating landscapes of bays and craggy peaks. “What happens in Corsica, stays in Corsica!” is what the lead characters go by as they make a pact of not telling their actual names and not falling for each other and instead decide to make fun memories during their time at the island. But, that doesn’t go as planned.

The male lead’s character, Ved is quite complex which adds to the beauty of the movie. He takes you on his own journey of fighting the cage of emotions and hardships that we all might connect on a personal level.

Another reason why I absolutely love this movie is because of its unique storytelling. Imtiaz Ali adopts a non linear screenplay, which is quite rare in Bollywood movies.

The second half of the movie also features scenes from India, Hauz Khas Village in Delhi and few shots from Shimla.

The music album is composed by AR Rahman, with Agar Tum Saath Ho being the standout pick of music lovers. The song makes you feel a lot of emotions at once, I personally never get tired of listening to it. Rest of the songs in the album are truly underrated, you’ll know as you watch this exciting movie.

3. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

IMDB : 8.1/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 3/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source : OrissaPOST

A movie that was made in the starting of this century, Dil Chahta Hai made quite a revolution in two fields - Indian Cinema and India’s travel scene. Another movie about 3 friends going on a road trip, but this time to the party capital of India - Goa. Apparently Goa started getting huge amounts of tourist traffic after this movie was released, such was its impact!

Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna play the leading male roles while Preity Zinta plays the female lead role. The 3 friends discover the beauty of their friendship as they travel across various beach towns that showcases golden sand beaches, tropical coastlines, ancient forts and churches, delicious Goan cuisine. Moreover, Chapora Fort which features in the movie, is now popularly known as the ‘Dil Chahta Hai fort’. This rustic charm of Goa in the movie certainly proves the statement - Goa is not just a party destination.

In the later half, the movie carries the viewers to Sydney, Australia with glimpses into the Sydney Opera house. I’m pretty sure we all know about the Sydney Opera House but quite a few saw videos of the opera performance. You’ll witness that in the movie, very fascinating indeed.

The Dil Chahta Hai cast is what makes the film more special, with all the leads doing a phenomenal job in the portrayal of 3 different personalities.

The director of the film, Farhan Akhtar certainly set a benchmark in Hindi cinema during a time when movies on topics like travel were barely made. The movie has been a big inspiration to the younger generations to plan a trip to Goa. Let’s admit it, we all have made plans to go to Goa with friends, but only a few manage to make this plan happen successfully.

4. Karwaan (2018)

IMDB Rating : 7.5/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 4/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source : Live Mint

Another road trip movie, but quite different in terms of context and storyline. Avinash, played by Dulquer Salman (his debut Hindi movie) is stuck in a boring and unfulfilling 9-5 job. Suddenly strikes the news of his father’s death in a road accident. With this new already causing a stir in his mind, Avinash has more in his plate of bad luck as he discovers that his dad’s body has been replaced by another body of an old lady.

To sort out the misunderstanding and return this old lady’s body, Avinash along with his friend Shaukat, played by late Irrfan Khan take a road trip to Kochi from Bangalore. Enroute Kochi, they make a pitstop to pick up the old lady’s granddaughter, played by Mithila Palkar. You all know Mithila Palkar right? She grew to fame after playing the female lead in the well loved Indian web series - Little Things.

The movie has a light hearted story complimented well with aesthetic lush green frames. The story turns into a journey of self discovery, 3 very different personalities of the leads come together to understand each other and connect on common grounds.

This is one of the very few travel movies that is shot in South India, featuring places like Ooty, Coimbatore, Thrissur and Kochi. After all, South India is no less than North India when it comes to touristy places.

The storyline of the film has unexpected turns and hurdles, which is what life is all about. Sometimes you end up in situations with any plans and you just have to glide past these moments and come out with beautiful memories. Though the movie has a story that leans a bit towards a serious note, Irrfan Khan’s character - Shaukat, brings in the right amount of humour to make the storytelling even more captivating.

Songs from the movie is something that needs to be talked about. The music is very soothing. New age sensation, Prateek Kuhad also makes his Bollywood debut with 2 songs in his name - Kadam and Saansein. Overall, its one of those rare movies that really hits the right notes in your mind, while most of the scenes warms up your heart!

5. Queen (2013)

IMDB Rating : 8.2/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 5/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source : Three Chinguz

Queen, directed by Vikas Bahl is a movie that broke a few stereotypes in the country. Rani, played by Kangana Ranaut is from a conservative family and is ditched by her husband soon after their wedding. So, she decides to go on their honeymoon alone.

She goes on an exciting trip to Europe, mainly cities like Paris and Amsterdam. Rani finds herself alone and confused in this whole new world to her. In Paris, she meets Vijayalakshmi, an Indo-French girl played by Lisa Haydon who teaches her about love, lust and life. Later, Rani finds herself travelling to Amsterdam where she shares a hostel room with three other men who become good friends with her and they start hanging out as a group.

Kangana is the star performer of the movie as she takes us all on a journey of discovering one’s own identity and making a strong statement - “You don’t necessarily need a partner to travel.” It’s quite the film that will inspire us, especially girls to take up solo travelling. The music album by Amit Trivedi and Rupesh Kumar Ram has some decent songs. I really appreciate the work Vikas Bahl has put into, his first standalone movie as a director. The movie has a lot of exciting scenes and overall its a feel good movie that you shouldn’t miss.

6. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

IMDB Rating : 7.1/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 6/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source : Life Crust

In short know as YJHD, this movie sets off with a group of friends going on a backpacking trip to Manali. This is where the movie’s leads Naina and Kabir (aka Bunny in the movie) meet, played respectively by Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor. Bunny is accompanied by 2 friends, Aditi played by Kalki Koechlin and Avi played by Aditya Roy Kapur. In the starting half, the movie features the trekking adventures along the snowy peaks at Gulmarg, Kashmir, which in the movie is shown as Manali. With the beautiful visuals of the Himalayas, the movie is shot quite well adding value to the interesting script. During this trip, Naina discovers that she has fallen for Bunny but refrains from letting him know about it.

You will absolutely love Bunny in this film. His passion for travel and exploring the world is made clear with his job as a travel journalist. The movie later transports you to scenes from Europe, mainly Paris as you see Bunny’s exciting work life. The song Ilahi from the movie is all about Bunny enjoying the time of his life while doing what he loves, something that we all crave for.

Fast forward a bit and we are back in India, this time living the royal vibe of Rajasthan. The friends re-unite at Aditi’s royal wedding in the beautiful city of Udaipur. Here, you get glimpses of the Oberoi Udaivilas, one of the most stunning hotels in India. Most of you will definitely crave for a big fat Indian wedding in this stunning location as you watch the movie.

The Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani cast is what makes the movie exciting. Ranbir and Deepika’s chemistry on screen is phenomenal while Kalki and Aditya Roy Kapur do enough justice to their supporting characters. On screen, Bunny, Aditi and Avi are major friendship goals. I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing this movie in place of these actors.

The story is quite fresh with the visuals well complementing the script. The director of the movie, Ayan Mukherji has done a good job in making this movie something that people will keep watching and love it every single time. The music album is pretty good with songs for every occasion. Moreover, all the songs have been a major hit. The movie has a lot to offer, as the movie progresses you’ll find yourself wanting to catch up with your long lost school buddies and planning a trip with them.

7. Jab we met (2007)

IMDB Rating : 7.9/10

Photo of 7 Bollywood Travel Movies that every travel lover must watch! 7/7 by Shravan K Acharya
Source: Peeping Moon

Last in the list is this movie I have watched numerous times and in fact it is my favourite rom-com from Bollywood. The movie starts off with a train journey where the lead characters meet in quite a unique way. Aditya, played by Shahid Kapoor is quite depressed with his dad’s death and his breakup. Geet, played by Kareena Kapoor, meets him on her train journey back to her hometown as she finds him sitting on her seat. What follows next is a rollercoaster of a ride, that makes up the later part of the movie.

The story takes a journey through various towns of Ratlam, Kota, Bhatinda, Manali and involves all sorts of mode of transportation like train, bus, rickshaw, jeep, cycle and even a truck. In the later half of the movie, it features the snowy landscapes and narrow roads of Rohtang Pass. It also features the popular Naggar Castle in one of the songs. Most of the movie was shot in North India and each city acts as a step over for both the lead characters.

Geet is one of the most loved characters in Hindi cinema. With her bubbly attitude and a mouth that never stops talking, she adds warmth to Aditya’s life who is depressed in the first half of the movie and soon starts opening up to her. Shahid and Kareena who happened to be a couple back then, gave the movie one of the best seen on screen chemistry, which makes you love the movie with all your heart.

Sometimes the trips that are spontaneous, without any sort of plan, happen to be the best trips. The movie is about this - how a single trip can be life changing with a lot of good memories to take from. It will certainly inspire you to sometimes letting go off the planning mentality and going with the flow.

That’s all folks! These are the 7 movies that you shouldn’t miss if you are a travel lover. If you happened to be on LinkedIn, let’s connect on the common love for movies and travel.

Here are the links, where you can watch the movies (Netflix and Amazon Prime) : Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Tamasha, Dil Chahta Hai, Karwaan, Queen, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Jab we met.