Kashmir! The name of the beautiful yet tragic region has been etched into our minds owing to the unresolved territorial issue.
“Gar firdaus bar-rue zaminast, hamiasto, haminasto, haminast…”
We crave for its landscapes and yet cringe at the consistent political & religious violence going on for decades.
Many of us may not even have traveled to or explored the mountains and valleys, but we have surely heard of its tales and seen it in films and television.
It is a really daunting task to make a film on Kashmir due to the high stakes involved, and yet filmmakers keep re-visiting the place, making it play a large role in the films, telling its stories.
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List of Bollywood Movies shot in Kashmir
An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Basharat Peer’s Curfewed Night, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj is known for earlier Shakespeare adaptations, Maqbool and Omkara.
Set around 1995 in Kashmir amidst widespread civil & criminal conflict, the story revolves around Haider, a student, and a poet, who returns to Kashmir to find out the truth about his father’s disappearance.
The film is riveting, it doesn’t shy from portraying controversial emotions be it the politics of the valley or the infamous sexual tension fuelled relationship between mother and son.
It is beautifully crafted, the imagery going hand-in-hand with the tragic theme.
The most recent film in the list, it is a classic romance tale based on Dickens’ Great Expectations.
The film revolves around a 13-yr-old Kashmiri boy, Noor, who gets hired by a Begum as a stable boy. He begins to fall in love with the Begum’s daughter, Firdaus. Of course, the Begum is not happy with that due to social disparity and she sends off Firdaus abroad.
The story proceeds as the duo happen to meet years later in Delhi. Amit Trivedi’s music and Swanand Kirkire’s lyrics make the soundtrack perfect for the film.
A Mani Ratnam’s classic, this doesn’t need an introduction!
Its music, composed by A. R. Rahman is still celebrated by the young and the old, inspiring a lot of versions of the tracks.
The protagonist, Roja, is a traditional woman from a Tamil Nadu village; she tries to find her husband, Rishi, as he is kidnapped by Kashmiri militants during an undercover mission.
With its marvelous cinematography, the film very beautifully portrays the countryside, its simplicity, the beauty of the mountains and valleys of Kashmir.
Also Read: Best Tamil Movies of All The Time
Dil Se (1998)
Another seductive gem from Mani Ratnam’s terror trilogy!
Just like Roja, it is Rahman magic all the way for the soundtrack…
This film explores romantic passion and the morality of identity in a way no film ever has or will, probably!
The protagonist, Amar, is a journalist who falls for a beautiful mysterious woman, he stumbles upon at Haflong train station. His craze for her keeps increasing as he spots her multiple times and a chain of unexpected events follows raising stakes such that national security issues arise.
Also Read: Best Hindi Movies on Terrorism and Terrorists
This film was ShoojitSircar’s debut into Bollywood. And at the helm of the screenplay was the talented man, Piyush Mishra.
It is a love story set in Kashmir which is in turmoil, so the raging war and terrorism are the backdrop but essentially it is about the romance.
The visual experience of this film is unique as each frame is artful in its own way.
The plot revolves around Rehan, the character of whom has a lot of shades.
He comes to Delhi as a tourist guide & falls in love with a blind Kashmiri woman, Zooni. A terror attack triggers a sequence of occurrences which eventually takes the story to Kashmir.
It belongs to the era where romance was still alive and existed in all forms.
Tahaan – A Boy with a Grenade (2008)
Directed by Santosh Sivan, it is one of the rare films of Bollywood which works on the principle of simplicity.
The fable story film is based on Tahaan, an 8-year-old boy and his pet donkey as Tahaan try to understand aspects of life.
It is an honest attempt at depicting the beautiful innocent side of Kashmir. Tahaan is one of the Best Bollywood Movies on Kashmir.
Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)
It is a romantic drama film starring a young Shashi Kapoor.
The story revolves around Raja who is a poor boatman who ends up renting his boat to a rich young lady and her maid. As they interact, Raja starts falling for her and the class politics comes into the picture, as used to be the case in most of the films of the era.
The lyrics for the soundtrack of this film were penned down by Anand Bakshi, as it turned out to be a breaking point for his career. Jab Jab Phool Khile is one of the Best Films of Shashi Kapoor.
Valley of Saints (2012)
A winner at the prestigious ’12 Sundance film festival, it is a unique film that focuses on the famed Dal Lake in Srinagar.
It is a romantic film with the protagonist, Gulzar, who is a local boatman planning to escape from Kashmir but has to drop the plan due to the military crackdown.
A scientist, Asifa, visits the lake to research on its pollution levels. Sparks fly between this odd duo as Gulzar faces a life-altering dilemma.
Mission Kashmir (2000)
Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, it is an action drama film.
Set against the backdrop of Kashmiri insurgency, the story revolves around Altaaf, who loses his entire family as a young kid as a result of police firing but gets adopted by the very police chief responsible for the massacre.
When he grows up, the unresolved childhood issues eventually crop up and as he figures out the details of the massacre, the consequences are conflicting & drastic.
Again, the terrorism in the valley serves as the backdrop of the film.
It is directed by Piyush Jha & produced by Sudhir Mishra.
The film centers on Sikandar Raza, a 14-yr-old boy living with his aunt and uncle in Kupwara. He is passionate about football and keeping his foster parents happy.
But since this is Kashmir, things don’t go as smoothly as he picks up a gun one day and gets into an inner turmoil as he finds himself in unwanted deadly situations. His school friend, Nasreen, tries to channel his energy into his good side.
The Kashmir Files (2022)
The Kashmir Files is the latest addition to the list of Best Bollywood movies about Kashmir. It shares the other side of Kashmir, shares the story of Kashmiri Pandits and their suffering in the Valley in the 90s. It also shares the story of their exodus.
These are our favorite Bollywood Movies about Kashmir or sets in Kashmir, share which one is your favorite from the list, or you can share some films based on Kashmir which are missing in this List.