Locations of South India are known for their scenic beauty. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal & Arabian Sea, these locations have their own uniqueness. The Western Ghats on one side and the Eastern Ghats on the other, these locations have attracted many Indian and International film-makers for a long time. Let’s go ahead and venture into some of these awesome locations, which have been top shooting destinations.
It is a scenic hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala known for its natural beauty. It is also a very unique landscape since it is in the middle of the mountains, the seashore is also not very far away from here. In winters, this place surprisingly can get freezing cold. There are estates, lakes, mountains and adventure trails all around the place. It is also less commercialized compared to other hill stations around.
Movies filmed – Both from Hollywood and Bollywood film-makers have shot their projects here. Some of the popular ones would be Life of Pie, Chennai Express, Nishabd, Kumki, and Before Rain Comes.
Good to know fact: The Parvathy Bungalow used in Abhiyum Nanum, Bachelor Party, and Nishabd is available for tourist’s reservations.
The backwaters of Alleppey are known across the country and outside for its tranquility. One cannot miss the boat cruises and the houseboat stays in Allepey, as these are one of their kind. Movies Filmed – Tashaan, Dil Se, Madras Café, Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, Kadal, and Autograph were shot here.
Good to know fact: The yearly Snake boat race of Aranmula is popular across the world and is one of the biggest events.
Athirapally and Vazhachal Falls
These are the largest twin waterfall of Kerala. The water actually falls from a height of 80 feet and what encapsulates is a boundless beauty of nature. This falls is located in the district of Thrissur and is also known as the “Niagra” of India.
Movies Filmed: Although there were numerous movies and movie-songs shot here, however, to summarize a few famous ones would be Kannathil Muthamittal, Madras Café, Raavan, Mudhalvan, Guru, Dil Se, Iruvar, Alaipayuthey and the blockbuster Baahubali.
Good to know fact: This location is mega movie maker Maniratnam’s favorite spot, and he ensures at least one scene of his movies is shot here.
Kottayam-Idukki border and its beauty molded in the form of another exotic hill station. Vagamon is known for its pine forests, water bodies and greenery of the hills. It gives a feel of mysticism and European heritage.
Movies Filmed: Iyobinte Pusthakam is one of the acclaimed Malayalam movies shot here. Other well-known movies are Alone, Paiya, Puli & The Blueberry Hunt.
Good to know fact: The three hills Thangal, Murugan, and Kurisumala are dedicated to three religions, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
Stunning and historical city on the coast of Malabar. The major attractions are Thalaserry Fort, Muzhappilanagad beach, Overbury’s Folly, Gundert Bungalow, and Dharmadom Island are not to be missed.
Movies Filmed: Numerous Malayalam movies are shot here. Actor Nivin Pauly believes this place to be his lucky charm as most of his movies shot here turned out to be blockbusters. These were Malarvadi Arts Club, Thattathin Marayathu, and Oru Vadakkan Selfie.
Good to know fact: Thalasherry is also known for its three C’s of origin. The British first played cricket in Thalasherry, they baked their first cake also in Thalasherry and circus was originated in this town itself.
It’s a legendary Namboothiri house located in Manissery village of Palakkad.
Movies Filmed: The famous movie ‘Devasuram’ in which Mohanlal plays the lead is shot in this house. It became so popular post this movie, that hundred plus movies have been shot here since then.
Good to know fact: Mohanlal along with many other actors and movie makers, consider this house to be a lucky charm.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary In Thekkady
One of the best-preserved wildlife sanctuary of India. Rich in scenic beauty with flora and fauna. The thought of Thekaddy brings hills, plantations, and tuskers to one’s mind. It depicts ‘God’s own country’ claim of the state very well. Heaven for nature enthusiasts.
Movies Filmed: Famous movies and song locations of projects like Dil Se, Gupt, Ijazat, and Kumki have been shot here.
Good to know fact: Viewing wild animals in their natural habitat is a common fact in Thekkady.
Now Idukki district seems to be scoring 10 out of 10 in greenery and natural beauty. Small town, set up close by to other major hill stations like Munnar, Thekaddy, and Vagamon, this place has its own charm.
Movies Filmed: Dozens of Malayalam movies have been shot here. Some of them are Nasrani, Manasinnakkare, Rasathantharam, Velimoonga, Pappy Appacha, and Evidam Swargamanu.
Good to know fact: All the version of ‘Drishyam’ in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam have been shot in this town.
Hill Palace in Tripunithara
Wow! Would escape your mouth if you see the grandeur of this traditional palace. This was an administrative place for Kochi Rajas (Kings) and is spread in 54 acres of land. Forty-nine buildings inside one compound in 1865 was quite an achievement.
Movies Filmed: The biggest Malayalam hit which was shot here was ManiChithrathazhu. This movie had remakes in different Indian languages. The other talked about movies were Manathe Kottaram and Mr. Fraud.
Good to know fact: This palace is known for plantations of Ayurveda herbs.
Located in the Kasargod district of Kerala, this is one of the well-preserved forts of south India. It provides a breathtaking view of the Arabian sea from most of the places in the fort.
Movies Filmed: The timeless super hit track from the movie Bombay ‘Uyire-Uyire’ was shot here.
Good to know fact: This fort was originally constructed by the Kadamba dynasty, then moved under Kolathiri dynasty to Vijayanagar empire to Tipu Sultan and finally ending in the hands of British colonists.
Mesmerizing mountains, trails, and plantations are what this destination in the state of Karnataka is known for. The people here not only have a startlingly different culture but are also very welcoming. Wildlife and nature adventures are a must-do when you are in Coorg. This location is popular with the Sandalwood industry too. It is also gaining recognition around the country now.
Movies Filmed: Mungaru Male is a blockbuster Kannada movie which was shot here. The other acclaimed movie of Bollywood starring Priyanka Chopra, ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ was filmed in Coorg too.
Good to know fact: Coorg is known as the Scotland of the East and Talakaveri is a location in Coorg from where the major river of the south Kaveri originates.
Badami Cave Temples
You would be overwhelmed if you look at these structures carved out of huge monoliths. These caves are located in Bagalkot, Karnataka and were constructed rather carved out during the reign of the Chalukya dynasty.
Movies Filmed: The structure is so grand that it could be easily used as a background for shooting numerous type of scenes and song sequences. Hindi films like Guru, Rowdy Rathore, Kannada films Veera Madakari, Sanju Weds Geetha, and Telugu films Magadheera, Vikramadu were all shot in Badami caves.
Good to know fact: The red sandstone rocks are built with the impressions of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
The Gateway of Malnad, Shimoga’s beauty is highly appreciable. It has Ghats, beautiful water bodies, wildlife, and the world famous Jog falls. It can be considered as a hidden gem of Karnataka since not much is known about the actual beauty of the town.
Movies Filmed: Kids who grew up in the 80s can never forget ‘Malgudi days’ which sparkled our TV screens. It was shot in Shimoga. Other Kannada movies like Kanoor Heggadati, Mungaru Male and Tamil movie Kumki have scenes from Shimoga.
Good to know fact: The state administration has restored its name back to the original ‘Shivamogga’ meaning the face of Shiva. Famous Kannada poet Kuvempu was born in Thirthalli of Shimoga.
Once the epicenter of the famous Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi is an architectural marvel. It is a UNESCO heritage site and attracts visitors from all around the world. It is still considered a very important place for art and architecture enthusiasts. Only some of the locations of Hampi are open for movie shoots.
Movies Filmed: Rowdy Rathore in Hindi, Rana Vikrama in Kannada, Hollywood movie The Myth, and Telugu movie Pournami were shot here.
Good to know fact: Hampi is known for its monoliths and musical pillars, which resonates musical notes when struck.
Nandi hills are the closest hillock for Bangaloreans to hang out. It is still popular for a weekend drive; however, it has lost a bit of popularity due to other upcoming getaways around the Garden city. It is still a scenic destination for sunrise and sunset viewing with a lot of small restaurants and eateries available at the summit.
Movies Filmed: Many movies are shot here. Kannada movie ‘Potre loves Padma’ is a popular one. Hindi movies like Kunwara and Coolie no.1 were also shot here.
Bangalore Palace has been popular with both Bollywood and Sandalwood movie makers for a long time. Even till date, there are a lot of movies which shoot their scenes at the Palace. It is also a historical landmark of Bangalore city.
Movies Filmed: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Coolie, Betaab, Barsaat and Rowdy Rathore were shot here. In the old Kannada movies, the palace was a hot spot of film-making.
Good to know fact: Built in the Tudor style of Architecture, the Palace belongs to the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore.
It’s a rock town, with huge hill sized rocks popular among the climbing enthusiasts of Bangalore and other cities. The place has an appeal which pulls a lot of crowds.
Movies Filmed:“Kitne Aadmi The?” yes the legendary dialogue of Gabbarsingh in Sholay was delivered on the rocks of Ramanagara. Some scenes from the Hollywood hit A Passage to India was also shot at close-by locations.
Good to know fact: Ramanagara’s rocks are one of the oldest granites in the world and it also attracts many migrating birds.
Located in the heart of Bengaluru city it can be compared with the Central park of New York City. It is a landmark and houses the famous Vidhana Soudha, Central Library, and Karnataka High court.
Movies Filmed: Coolie of Amitabh Bachchan, Coolie no. 1 starring Govinda and famous Kannada movie Pallavi Anu Pallavi were shot here.
Good to know fact: Richard Sankey created this park in 1870 and named it after the longest-serving British Commissioner of Bangalore, Sir Mark Cubbon.
Balmuri is a small-time getaway from Bangalore. It is a man-made dam created on the river Kaveri and is more popular among the locals.
Movies Filmed: Raja Hindustani, Pakeezah, and many Kannada movies have been shot here.
Good to know fact: It is located at a distance of just 9 km from KRS dam.
One of the low profile destinations in the banks of Tungabhadra, it is in close proximity from Hampi. Known for its tranquility and farming it is popular among movie makers.
Movies Filmed: Nayak and China Gate are among famous Hindi movies shot here.
Good to know fact: It is known as the rice bowl of Karnataka.
Pleasant location in the state of Tamil Nadu, due to its geographical location. It is a favorite spot for big names of the movie industry like Mani Ratnam, Priyadarshan, Shankar, and Vikraman.
Movies Filmed: Bollywood movies like Chennai Express, Yuva, Barfi, and Guru have been shot here. Tamil blockbuster movie Roja was also shot at this location. Coming across a movie or a TV crew is a common scene in Pollachi.
Good to know fact: Known to be the largest jaggery market in Asia, it is also the largest iron and cattle market of the country.
The end of the land in India, it is the southernmost point of the country. The meeting place of three oceans Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea, it is popular among kind of tourists.
Movies Filmed: Manichitrathazhu and His Highness Abdulla were some Malayalam movies shot here. Vivekananda Rock, Gandhi Museum, Vattakottai Fort, Kanyakumari Temple and Vavathurai are some famous spots here.
Good to know fact: Sunrise and Sunset could be both seen here.
One of the most popular hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is undisputedly the top hill station of the state. It again is filled with plantations and covered by Eucalyptus brought by the British in the colonial era.
Movies Filmed: Bollywood blockbuster from the yesteryears “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” was shot here. Tamil superhit ‘Guna’ featuring Kamal Haasan and another Tamil movie Naan Kaduval was filmed in Kodaikanal.
Good to know fact: The center of attraction, the Kodai lake is made in the shape of a star.
This hill station is somewhat special. Located in the scenic Nilgiris, its town which has attracted major film-makers from all across the country.
Movies Filmed: Some famous movies shot here are Tezab, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Se, Raja Hindustani, Barfi, Roja, and Geetanjali.
Good to know fact: Ooty is known for home-made chocolates and fresh radish.
This is the birthplace of famous Chettinad cuisine. There are many popular places to visit in Karaikudi, some of them are 108 Pillayar Kovil and Aayiram Jannal Veedu.
Movies Filmed: Some popular movies shot here are Vettai, Saamy, Arul Vel, Jeans, Sangam, and Jilla.
Good to know fact: Chettinad chicken curry and Biriyani also originated here.
The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is known for its vibrant culture. There are numerous places of interest in and around the city. Marina beach, malls, and many eateries and shopping places.
Movies Filmed: Magadheera, 2 States, 7 am Arivu, Ayan, and Nayakan are some of the movies shot in Chennai.
Good to know fact: Chennai was the pioneer to south Indian cinema and the city has the second largest number of theatres in India.
This town can be considered as a twin hill station of Ooty, as it is a few minutes’ drive from there. The difference is, Coonoor is less commercialized and a lot more preserved.
Movies Filmed: Bollywood movies like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Saajan and Deewana have been shot here. There are numerous south Indian movies also shot in Coonoor.
Good to know fact: Coonoor is known for its comfy home stays and chocolates.
This town is located close by to Chennai and is known for its temple and beaches. There are many history enthusiasts who visit Mahabalipuram to browse through its heritage.
Movies Filmed: 2 States, Shalimar, and May Madham are some movies which were shot here.
Good to know fact: The shore temple of Mahabalipuram was built from top to bottom, unlike many other Hindu temples.
Madurai can be considered as one of the most important temple towns of south India. The Meenakshi temple of Madurai is famous all over the world and people from all corners of the globe visit this temple.
Movies Filmed: Nanban, Ko, Kasdhal, Guru, Jilla, and Bombay are some movies which were shot here.
Good to know fact: Meenakshi temple has thirty thousand sculptures in it and fifty priests perform rituals here.
This town is known for its spas and health resorts. Thenkashi Kasivishwanathar Temple, Dakshina Moorthy temple, and Boat club is a must go in Courtallam.
Movies Filmed: Aravaan, Mirchi, Vettail, and Anjala are popular movies which were shot here.
Good to know fact: It is called the “poor man’s Ooty”.