6th February 2016
It’s almost here. Just a week to go. Well yeah, for Valentine’s Day too, but more importantly – MY FIRST TRIP TO KERALA BECAUSE I WON THE KERALA BLOG EXPRESS 2016!!!
Q. What’s better than winning a 2 week, all-sponsored trip, to a state you’ve always admired, by the State Tourism Board?
A. Being the only blogger from India, among 27 travel bloggers from across the globe! Isn’t that super exciting?
So, being the only Indian on this trip, I felt it is my moral duty to give my fellow-participants a small sneak-peak of Kerala (Hey NaMo, see I’m trying!), by showing them a glimpse of Kerala from our movies!
You’re probably wondering what level of crazy does one have to be to build a travel bucketlist from Bollywood references. Well, you’re talking to a girl who left Mumbai to live in the mountains after watching Highway! So yeah, call me crazy, but trust me I’ve done worse.
So here it is, my Kerala wishlist / bucketlist, as compiled through any / every Bollywood movie I have ever seen with the tiniest Kerala connection!
PS: I’m sorry I included GUPT, Karma will come get me one day! On the bright side, I didn’t include Nishabd.
PPS: Crazy “north-Indian girl sees South India” stereo-types coming your way. Filter kaapi, anna. Pardon me, Kerala’ites.
Location: Alleppey Backwaters
Movie: Dil Se
EVERYONE has to agree – Preity Zinta dancing on that Alleppey houseboat raised the bar of hotness in Bollywood, matched only by Malaika Arora Khan dancing on the train, in the same movie! This is also my first memory of Kerala on celluloid (Even though Bombay released before Dil Se, I watched this first!)
Location: Athirapally Falls, Thrissur
All my personal hatred towards Aishwarya Rai aside, this is possibly the most beautiful picturisation of Athirapally waterfalls, which also turns out to be the most common / famous shoot site in Kerala. (The village scenes are not from Kerala)
Location: Malayatoor Reserve Forest, Idukki
Guess I should just rename the article to “My Kerala bucketlist via Mani Ratnam“. Here’s another masterpiece!
Remember Abhishek Bachchan’s secret hideout in the middle of a forest, a river passing by, with that huge Vishnu (or was it Buddha?) idol in the middle? I would kill to camp there for a night, or ten. Shot in the Silent Valley Forest Reserve in Kerala, that one place gave me Kerala wanderlust goals for life. I doubt we will be allowed to visit though (It’s supposed to be a restricted forest zone).
PS: I couldn’t find a video of the said hideout, but here’s a song from the movie shot at the Athirapally Waterfalls. How gorgeous is this place 😀
Location: Munnar Tea Plantations, Munnar
Movie: Chennai Express
Dream Sequence: THAT drive along the winding road, surrounded by the beautiful Munnar Tea Estate on one side and spectacular backdrop of the Western ghats on the other! Now Darjeeling sure is my second favorite place in India, so hey Munnar, you really have big shoes to fill!
Location: Periyar National Park, Kumily
Warning: The dance in the below mentioned video is performed by thorough unprofessionals. Please DO NOT judge us Indians by the dance moves in the video below. But do judge us from the beauty of that national park. It’s something about those tree stumps in the middle of the lake, and the simple boat floating over the quiet waters, that got my attention!
Location: Bekal Fort, Kasargod
Hands down THE BEST song of the century! This song has been my favorite since childhood, even before I had watched, or heard, about the movie. And guess what? It’s shot at the largest fort in Kerala – Bekal Fort in Kasargod. C-a-n-n-o-t-W-a-i-t!
Location: Meesapulimala, Idukki
Movie: Chennai Express
Forgive me Lord, for I have sinned. I have recommended two Rohit Shetty songs in one article.
But I couldn’t stop myself. This song might have very few shots from Kerala, but you see, it has colors, culture, sarees, filter coffee (I did warn about the stereo-typing), traditional dance, a glimpse of South India’s spectacular temples, in short – it’s everything I’m looking forward to on this trip!
This could be the first (and possibly the last) time I’m saying this: I can’t wait for Valentine’s Day! 😀