Movies to Watch before Visiting India

Travel movies often fuel your inner wanderlust like nothing else and inspire you to travel to the desired country and explore its beauty.

If you are like any other wayfarer, you will fall in love with the picture-perfect locales and stunning destinations portrayed in the movies.

India is truly a unique destination with a huge diversity of experiences worthy of exploring. The following films are a must-watch for every globetrotter considering their travel to India or wishing to know more about Indian culture. 

Some movies depict Indian life in its most raw form, while some dramatize Indian history, and others show the urban and rural landscapes. Nevertheless, these movies will introduce you to the sounds and sights of an incredible India.

It will help you understand more about India and feel connected to the nation while you travel and witness things in real life that you once saw in the movie.

However, this is not an exhaustive list, but these movies best capture the inner beauty and essence of the nation.

So, without waiting any longer, let’s scroll through the list and feel free to choose your ideal movie to watch after reading this article.

10 movies to watch before visiting India.

1. The Lunchbox
This movie depicts a simple yet profound story of two strangers, enduring in their own ways, who come together thanks to the mistake of the inspiring lunchbox delivery system in Mumbai, India. The story paints an accurate picture of the vital role food plays in the everyday lives of Indians.
2. Bride and Prejudice
This movie showcases a pleasant and exciting spin on the full-bodied Bhangra centred on Indian marriage etiquettes.  Bride and Prejudice is a good movie to begin with especially for travellers visiting India for the first time.

3. City of Joy
If you are a travel aficionado, you cannot afford to miss out on this one. With an epic tale about Kolkata’s City of Joy slum, the 1992 blockbuster propelled Kolkata—then Calcutta—onto the big screen.

While India’s poverty is extreme, the irony of the film’s title is overshadowed by the starring characters’ touching big-hearted humanism.

Many sequences were shot on an extensive set that meticulously mimicked Calcutta’s temporary dwelling districts, even down to the tin doors and television aerials. The film also includes scenes of vibrant street life.

4. Octopussy
A classic spy picture featuring an uncomplicated James Bond and an action-packed trip through a particularly mystical India complete with a beautiful floating mansion.

It beautifully captures the numerous nods to Udaipur’s Nostalgic majesty and many of its sequences are shot on the sparkling waters of Lake Pichola.

5. Monsoon Wedding
There’s a buzz of anticipation across the nation before the monsoons arrive in July, and nowhere is this more evident than in Monsoon Wedding. Everyone is aware that Indian weddings are no joke and Monsoon Wedding does a fantastic job of confirming this very true image, much to the amusement of the audience.

A staggeringly jewelled spectacle with stellar ensemble casts and an inevitable dramatic build-up, the nuptials culminate with an epic rainstorm in this classic Indian movie

6. Life of Pi
This movie is a beautiful tale of a man, a beast and the will to survive. It depicts the story of a handsome youth’s incredible journey at sea with the most unlikely companion, a Bengal tiger. With its incredible special effects, the movie brings to life the fearsome power of India’s wildest creatures and the Pacific ocean. If you plan to go on a wildlife safari in India, then this movie is a must-watch.

7. Eat Pray Love
This movie has inspired hordes of spiritual seekers to follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Gilbert, a divorced lady who arrived in India in search of spirituality. 

Her voyage shows a peek into the bustling city of Delhi and then the quaint and rural atmosphere of Pataudi, Haryana. 

It’s an attractive window into the serene simplicity of ashram life, shot at the majestic HariMandir Ashram outside Delhi.

8. Slumdog Millionaire
The magnificent Taj Mahal Palace and The Oberoi in India tend to outshine Mumbai’s shadowy underbelly—its slums. In the startling but ultimately feel-good 2009 award-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle shines a bright light on the city’s famed Dharavi area, which is home to 1,000,000 people.

Danny Boyle’s British drama chronicles the strange circumstances in the life of a young boy known as Jamal Malik from Mumbai’s slums who gets the chance to be on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.

9. The Darjeeling Limited
The Darjeeling Limited is a film about three brothers who travel to India following their father’s death to find serenity and resolve personal family issues.

The film, which stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Irrfan Khan, takes us on a journey around India, showcasing the splendour of the Indian Himalayas in the hilly setting of Udaipur.

10. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
A lovely fairy tale set in the Pink city of India called Jaipur that doesn’t require too much of its audience other than to be completely and utterly enchanted.

One of the most popular movies among the aspiring tourists eager to visit India, the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British pensioners who, for various reasons, opt to spend their retirement in an Indian hotel run by an ambitious up-and-comer local, portrayed by Dev Patel, the star of Slumdog Millionaire.

After watching any of the movies listed above, you will agree that India is undoubtedly a cinematic experience in and of itself. Embrace the beauty of splendid locations in India on the big screen by indulging in our list of must-watch movies before planning your trip to India.

Let the cinematic universe inspire your next trip to India. So, which one of the above movies would you like to begin with and prepare yourself for an unforgettable holiday?

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