The scenic locations of Jaisalmer can be seen in many Bollywood movies. These are such wonderful places for shooting songs, emotional dramas, action scenes, and climaxes that even Hollywood movies turn to Jaisalmer for their movie shoots. This has helped tourism in Jaisalmer to such an extent, that not only Indian, but international travelers arrive in ever greater numbers to the exotic locales of Jaisalmer. Let’s look at some of the famous movies that have captured the beauty of Jaisalmer and promoted its tourism.
This 1997 Indian war film was based on the Battle of Longewala that was fought with Pakistani forces during 1971. The small border village of Longewala, near Jaisalmer was the actual location of this movie. The sandy desert landscape is seen in all its beauty during the entire film. There are songs and scenes that show the Thar Desert and its golden sand dunes. Tanot Mata Temple, which escaped being destroyed during the war, is shown in the movie. Today, you can still go and see actual unexploded bombs and other weapons used during this war in Tanot Mata Temple.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
This romantic drama by Sanjay Leela Bhansali was high in emotional appeal and starred Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan in lead roles. It’s become a classic with its melodious songs, unforgettable cinematography, stellar performances and exotic locations of Jaisalmer. The top attractions of Jaisalmer are shown in all their illustrious beauty in songs like ‘Albela sajan’, ‘Tadap tadap ke’ and in its dream sequences. Bada Bagh, Gadisar Lake, Khuri sand dunes and Sam sand dunes are the major tourist landmarks of Jaisalmer that are shown in this film.
Out of the long list of movies shot in Jaisalmer, there is none that shows rustic Jaisalmer better than Rudaali. Rudaali was extensively shot in the small village of Barna, just 40 km from Jaisalmer. Dimple Kapadia played an unforgettable role of a Rudaali (professional mourner). A typical village life of Thar Desert is captured beautifully in the film. Visuals of camel caravans moving through the arid desert landscape, earthen huts with their thatched roofs, rolling sand dunes, are devoid of glamour, but the raw beauty is touching. The costumes in the movie are typical of those worn by tribal women of villages near Jaisalmer.
If you want to see the glamorous side of Jaisalmer, then watch Lamhe. This Yash Chopra film had Anil Kapoor and Sridevi playing lead roles. Sam Sand Dunes are shown in magnificent beauty. There are shots of camel rides in the Thar Desert and rolling sands at Sam sand dunes. The famous song ‘Morni baga ma boli’ shows tribal musicians gathered around a bonfire in the midst of the rolling sand dunes.
Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)
With such stars as Bobby Deol, Manisha Koirala and Kajol, and Om Puri, Gupt was a suspense thriller that became a blockbuster hit. The song “Mere khwabon me tu” has stunning shots of rolling sand dunes and Kuldhara, the abandoned village near Jaisalmer.