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Where Were These Iconic Village Based Movies Set? | Dasara | Nani

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In the reinvigorated rise of mass cinema in India, the concept of movies based in rural settings is gaining much more traction than its counterpart. Setting up a movie in a rural setting has long been associated with the tag of a single screen or commercial cinema, but it has changed in the last few years, across the country.

Nani stepped on the PAN India bandwagon with his latest Dasara, which is another South Indian movie set in the backdrop of a rural setting. There are several other iconic Hindi movies that have majorly been shot in remote villages in the country, here is a list of a few of them:

Sholay – Ramnagar (Karnataka)

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The iconic Gabbar court in Sholay. Credits – Thrillophilia

Written by the legendary duo of Salim – Javed, Sholay is considered to be one of the perfect mass movies from the Hindi film industry. Even after almost 50 years of its release, the movie is remembered for several sequences and scenes which have gained a legendary status.

The Amitabh Bachchan – Dharmendra movie was set in a fictional town of Ramgarh and was shot in a real town by the name of Ramnagar, Karnataka. The success of the movie was so huge that the village, which is located at a distance of 50 km from Bengaluru, has become one of the major tourist destinations in the state.


Paheli – Abhaneri (Rajasthan)

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A still from Paheli. Credits – TOI

Shah Rukh Khan’s Paheli was the official submission to the Oscars from India in 2005. Directed by veteran actor and theatre personality Amol Palekar, the movie was a remake of the 1973 National Award-winning film Duvidha by Mani Kaul.

The movie tells a folk tale in a captivating manner and was short within the desert village of Abhaneri of Rajasthan. The aesthetic of the state provided a naturally colourful landscape to the movie.


Guru – Pollachi (Tamil Nadu)

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A BTS image from Guru. Credits – TOI

Mani Ratnam is one of the rare Indian movie directors to have ventured into several genres and yet come out successful in most of them. One of the director’s best movies in the 2010s was Abhishek Bachchan’s Guru. The movie which shows the story of a Gujarati man who dreams to make it big in the business world is originally set in a village near Pollachi, Tamil Nadu. A few sections of the movie are also shot in Karnataka.

The movie was a success, critically and at the box office.


Swades – Wai (Maharashtra)

The village where Shah Rukh Khan's Swades was shot - The missing link in Ram-Sethu

Wai, Maharashtra

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s dream project, Swades, is considered to be one of the finest Indian movies of the 21st century. The movie captures the change of heart of an NRI, who was leading a successful life in the United States, to leave all of his pleasures and settle in his hometown to work for the development of the same.

As is the case in several good movies, location does not merely have a geographic value in Swades, but it is more like a character in the movie. A village named Wai, en route to Mahabaleshwar, is the place where the fictional town of Charanpur was set.

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