We are all ordinary people fascinated by movies, and would love to visit the places where our favourite movies have been shot. Trust us, this feeling is universal.
According to a survey by Champion Traveler, movies can increase tourism to the location of the film by a whopping 25-300%. Film-induced tourism, which emerged as a prominent form of tourism in the 1990s, is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism currently.
Here are some wonderful destinations in Kerala which were made popular through movies, including Bollywood & Hollywood movies, besides a large number of Indian language films.
Located in Pathanamthitta district, Gavi is an eco-tourism spot tucked away in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, inside Ranni reserve forest. The pristine forest of Gavi is home to exotic wildlife including endangered species and more than 260 species of birds. Gavi came to limelight after the 2012 film ‘Ordinary’ captured the scenic beauty of the place. Directed by debutant Sugeeth and starring Kunchacko Boban and Biju Menon, Ordinary tells the story of a driver and conductor of an only KSRTC ordinary bus playing between Pathanamthitta town and Gavi.
Kumbalangi village in Kochi became the centre of attraction after the success of the movie ‘Kumbalangi Nights’. Kumbalangi is the first tourism village in Kerala. It is a small island surrounded by backwaters and is blessed with picturesque locations, rich aquatic life and mangroves. Sea sparkle or bioluminescence (locally known as ‘kavaru’), caused by the high concentration of a micro-plankton called Noctiluca Scintillans, is a unique attraction along the backwaters here. This magical glow is brilliantly captured in the movie. The 2019 flick, the film revolves around four brothers who share a love-hate relationship with each other.
Meesappulimala, the second highest peak in the Western Ghats, came in the travellers’ radar after the release of the 2015 blockbuster Charlie, starring Dulquer Salmaan. Meesapulimala, situated 2,640 m above sea level, is a favourite destination of trekkers. The movie has also captured the charm and historic character of Fort Kochi beautifully.
With its long stretch of silvery sand and coconut palm groves, Payyoli beach has always fascinated tourists. Located about 40 kms from Kozhikode, Payyoli is also home to ‘Theeram’, the nature conservation centre, started by the local fisherfolk, to save the endangered Olive Ridley turtles. However, this beautiful beach triggered a renewed interest in people after the success of Tovino Thomas-movie Theevandi, directed by Fellini T.P. In fact, the movie was filmed at a small privately-owned islet called Pambinthuruthu, near Payyoli. The islet has since been called “Edison Thuruthu”, its name in the film.
Bhramaram,the suspense thriller, written and directed by Blessy, starring Mohanlal, was filmed in the picturesque location of Kanthalloor in Idukki district. Mohanlal’s adventurous jeep journey in the film was shot at Thuruvapetti Para in Kanthalloor. After the movie, the area became a bustling tourist destination and it later came to be called as Bhramaram viewpoint.
The Ranjith Shankar-movie, Ramante Edenthottam, starring Kunchacko Boban, Joju George and Anu Sithara, stood out for its scenic shooting location. In an interview, the director had revealed that the shooting was held at Vagamon Heights, a resort surrounded by a 250-acre estate.
Vagamon, a hill station in Idukki district, has long been a favourite destination for filmmakers. Amal Neerad’s Iyobinte Pusthakam and Sharukh Khan’s Chennai Express were also shot in the hill station.
Kerala’s top tourist spots are also the dream destinations of filmmakers. These include Athirappilly Waterfalls, Bekal Fort, Vagamon, Munnar, Kumarakom, the list is long.
Blockbuster movies like Bahubali, Dil Se and Guru have some of their most popular sequences filmed at Athirapally Falls. Major parts of Dulquer Salmaan’s Bollywood debut movie Karwaan were shot in Kochi and Kumarakom. Bekal Fort is another big destination. Films like Bombay and Rang De Basanti have some of their scenes filmed at this exotic location. Kerala’s charm is so alluring that even the Hollywood movie Life of Pi has shot some of its scenes in the mystic hills of Munnar.