Historical movies are not only a great source of entertainment but also a way to learn about the past and gain a deeper understanding of the events that shaped our world. The locations where these historical movies were shot also offer a unique opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of the country.
Be it Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan or the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, these destinations offer a glimpse into the past and allow us to travel through time. If you’re a history buff or a movie lover, these historical bollywood movies and their filming locations are definitely worth visiting.
The 10 best historical movies are –
Perhaps, the first name these days when we talk about historical movies. This epic period drama, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, tells the story of the legendary queen Padmavati and her tragic fate. The movie was shot at the Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan, one of the largest forts in India.
Historical sites to visit when in Chittorgarh –
- Vijaya Stambha: Built in the twelfth century to commemorate Chittorgarh’s conquest over the Muslim invaderAlauddin Khilji, the 9-story Vijaya Stambha stands as a symbol of Chittorgarh’s remarkable history.
- Rana Kumbha Palace: One of the oldest fortifications in India, the stunning Rana Kumbha Palace was the residence of the Sisodia ruler Rana Kumbha. It is constructed out of sandstone and sits atop a lofty hill.
- Kirti Stambha: This seven-storeyed tower was constructed by a Jain merchant in the fifteenth century to honor Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. This awe-inspiring structure is made of solid red sandstone and carved with Jain images.
2. Jodha Akbar
One of the most epic historical movies, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, tells the story of the Mughal emperor Akbar and his queen Jodha. The movie was shot at the Karjat Fort in Maharashtra, a beautiful fort that sits on a hilltop overlooking the town. The fort is known for its stunning views and rich history.
Tourists attractions in Kajrat –
- Kondana Caves: These ancient Buddhist-style caves are located at the base of Rajmachi Fort, around 9 km from Karjat. This is the longest cave system in Maharashtra, with over 15 caves that were carved into a massive outcropping of basalt at the Kondana village.
- Rajmachi Fort: Situated on the two hills of Manoranjan and Shrivardhan, the Rajmachi Fort is one of the most prominent destinations in Karjat. The fort is surrounded by a series of smaller fortifications.
- Chanderi Fort: Located on a hilltop near Karjat, the Chanderi Fort offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. One of the most beautiful forts in the region, it can be accessed via an easy trek from Karjat.
This biographical drama, directed by Richard Attenborough, tells the story of the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. The movie was shot at various locations in Mumbai and Pune, including the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, which served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters during India’s struggle for independence. The palace is now a museum dedicated to Gandhi and is a popular destination for history buffs and tourists.
Know more about the Palace –
The Aga Khan Palace is a popular tourist destination and it has become a symbol of Gandhi’s life and philosophy, it also serves as an important place for research and study of Gandhian thoughts. Many historical movies are shot here. The palace is also a popular venue for cultural and social events. It is open to visitors on all days except on Monday and national holidays, it is also free of charge to enter the palace.
This sports drama also has its place in the list of historical movies, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, tells the story of a group of Indian farmers who challenge the British to a game of cricket in order to avoid paying taxes. The movie was shot at various locations in Gujarat, including the Fort of Bhuj and the Kanura village, which are known for their beautiful architecture and rich history.
Historical sites in Gujarat –
- Sabarmati Ashram: It is a place where Mahatma Gandhi started the famous Dandi March which was the foundation of India’s struggle for freedom.
- Lothal: This is an ancient port city and an important archaeological site that dates back to 2400 BC.
- Rani Ki Vav: This is a stepwell built by the Solanki dynasty in the 11th century.
- Dwarkadhish Temple: This is an important Hindu temple located at Dwarka, a port city in Gujarat.
5. Mangal Pandey
The prominent brave warrior Mangal Pandey was brought to the big screen in the year 2005 starring Aamir Khan and the movie was shot at the spectacular city of Lucknow. This historical drama tells the story of the Indian soldier Mangal Pandey and his role in the Indian rebellion of 1857.
Other historical attractions in Lucknow-
- Bada Imambara: Built by Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula in 1784, and considered one of the most iconic structures of Lucknow and the most popular tourist destination, this shrine is a classic example of Awadhi architecture.
- Chattar Manzil: This monument dates back to the period of Nawab Saadat Khan in 1799. This monument has a reminiscent Baroque-style and is renowned for enjoying grand displays of laser light, fountains and film shows now and then.
- British Residency: Also known as British Residency Complex, this place is a reminder of the tragic happenings of the war of 1857 when many British soldiers were killed.
6. Bajirao Mastani
Bajirao Mastani is one of the period historical movies depicting the story of the Maratha warrior-king Bajirao I and his second wife, Mastani. A striking backdrop for this movie was the Amer Palace in Jaipur which is a brilliant example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and the grandeur of Rajput kings of the bygone era.
Must explore historical sites in Jaipur –
- Amer Fort: An iconic Mughal-era fort with elaborate architecture, painted hallways & staircases.
- City Palace: A grand palace complex built by the Kachwaha Rajput dynasty that features a range of courtyards, gardens, and buildings.
- Hawa Mahal: A palace known for its distinctive honeycomb-shaped facade and bustling bazaars selling vibrant textiles, handicrafts and jewellery.
- Jantar Mantar: An observatory built in the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh II featuring 19 architectural and astrological instruments.
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7. The Legend of Bhagat Singh
This film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi is a biographical account of the revolutionary freedom fighter from 1922 to 1931, when Bhagat Singh was hanged by the British Raj. The movie was released in 2002 and was shot at various places around India. One of them was the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, a symbol of India’s national struggle for independence.
More facts about the palace –
The palace is a grand building with a mix of European and Indian architectural styles, with beautiful gardens and lawns. Inside, there are several halls, a library, and a museum that display photographs and personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, and Mahadev Desai.
Based on the Third Battle of Panipat and released as an epic drama in 2019, the film depicts the historic events leading up to the battle in 1761, in which the Maratha army fought against the invading forces of the Afghan, Ahmad Shah Abdali. The grand settings of this movie were the Fort of Bajirao Peshwa and Shanivarwada.
Interesting facts about Shanivarwada –
The fort has a unique architecture, it is a seven-storied palace with a total of nine gates, the main gate is called the Dilli Darwaza, which faces north.It was attacked multiple times by the British during the Third Anglo-Maratha War and the palace was destroyed in 1828 by a mysterious fire.Although multiple historical movies are shot here, the fort is said to be haunted by the ghost of the last Peshwa Narayanrao, who was murdered by his own cousins inside the palace. What do you think about this?
This 2019 action-war movie is based on the Battle of Saragarhi, which was fought between 21 Sikh soldiers of the British Indian Army and 10,000 Afghani invaders in 1897. This movie was shot in various cities in India including Wai, Maharashtra. The beauty of this town is the mountains, lakes, and winding rivers.
- Dholya Ganpati Temple: This ancient temple located in Wai is one of the most revered Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed to be more than four hundred years old and is visited by thousands of devotees throughout the year.
- Menavli Ghat: Menavli Ghat is situated in Wai, along the banks of River Krishna. It is believed that this was the spot from where the famous Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj departed for his journey to the island of Sinhagad.
- Dhom Dam: This man-made dam, completed in 1960, is situated along the banks of River Krishna in Wai. It is a popular destination for tourists, as the reservoir offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The story of Tanhaji Malusare, the unsung warrior of the Maratha army, who fought against the Mughals during the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670, was dest in Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior, which was released in 2020. A substantial amount of the movie was shot in Mumbai.
- Gateway of India: The iconic monument located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, the Gateway of India is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. It was built in the 20th century to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar of 1911.
- Elephanta Caves: Located on Elephanta Island, the Elephanta Caves are a collection of ancient cave temples carved from the rocky hills. It is believed that the caves were created between the 5th and 8th centuries and feature magnificent sculptures, including carvings of Hindu deities.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya: Also known as the Prince of Wales Museum, it is one of the most important cultural and educational institutions in Mumbai. It houses several galleries featuring artifacts and artwork from different eras, including archaeological finds and rare books.
Read More Places to visit in Mumbai.
All of the historical movies mentioned above paint the journey of India with extraordinary detail and accuracy, and the impressive settings of these films add to the beauty of their stories and make them even more spectacular. These films will surely transport viewers to the glorious past of India, and allow them to experience the grandeur and wonder of India’s history. The movies were shot at various locations which are known for their beautiful architecture and rich history making them must visit destinations.
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