With Raanjhanaa releasing on June 21 and two more films Issaq and Mohalla Assi shot in the same city, it has become evident that Bollywood is indeed fond of Banaras as one of their favourite shooting locations. From Satyajit Ray to Raj Kapoor and latest, Anand L Rai to Chandraprakash Dwivedi all the filmmakers have explored and are exploring this place, each bringing out different facets of this beautiful city.
While the filmmakers contemplate shooting their next in Banaras, we explore why the city has been so famous amongst filmmakers:
To show a culturally-rich India
The city although has its cliches yet it is considered to be the cultural centre of India. It is not just a cultural hub but also an important spiritual place. Showing crowded city lanes and aartis on the ghats of Banaras is so very desi and so very crowd-pulling that a filmmaker cannot not include it in his film.
For the Dishoom-Dishoom factor
Although a spiritual and cultural hub, the city is still rustic in its mindset. Playing around the formula of dishoom-dishoom (as Banaras is also infamous for various illegal activities) and a love story with the usual family opposition, villains and chase adds depth to a love story and attracts the audience.
For its pristine beauty and history
Talking about Banaras’s history, Mark Twain said "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together." Filmmakers wish to capture this history in their camera lenses, show off the beautiful ghats and temples of Banaras to appease the viewers.
Love blooms in artistic environment
It is only logical! Love can bloom only in a place it’s respected. What better setting than Banaras which is the birth place of many poets, writers, philosophers and musicians!
For the love of Banarasi songs
Itihas gawah hai ki jab bhi Banaras pe koi gaana filmaya gaya hai, it has been a super hit! Recall Banarasi Babu (Banrasi Babu), Khaike Paan Banaraswala (Don), Banaras Ke Bhaiya (Kohram), Hum to aise hai bhaiya (Laga Chunari Main Daag) and the latest being Banarasiya (Raanjhanaa), all the songs have connected cords with listeners no matter how bad the film was!
So now when you plan to watch any upcoming film with the story based on Banaras, you’d know why is Banaras Bollywood’s baby!