Lights, camera, Alappuzha

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Beaches, waterways and houseboats — these are the charms of Alappuzha that has always been referred to as the 'Venice of the East'. Add in a couple of old quaint churches and old mansions and lo and behold, you have a picture perfect movie shooting location. Bollywood has turned to this picturesque landscape for romance, ghosts and old mansions, though not always in the same order. Bhushan Patel’s 2015 release 'Alone', starring Bipasha Basu in a double role and the TV hunk Karan Singh Grover, was shot extensively in Alappuzha.

The movie opens with a shot of an old mansion in Alappuzha. It is a stormy night as the camera pans in on a waterfront facing house in Alappuzha. A tree falls on part of the ceiling, setting a spirit free. The swing in the lawn moves on its own as if to say that you are not 'Alone'. And then, the movie unfolds it dose of terror and haunting. The house looks menacing in the night, and bright and lovely in the mornings. But more than the house, Bhushan Patel has concentrated on the chiseled bodies of the lead pair of Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu. The couple ups the heat as a houseboat cruises down the backwaters. A shirtless Karan and a sizzling hot Bipasha sets the backwaters on flame as they ride a jet ski in the song ‘Awara.’

But, when it came to Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, which had Trisha playing a Christian girl from Kerala, the nature of the scenes changed. The St Mary's Forane church by the waterfront caught the attention of many and the small island of Pulinkunnu found a place in the hearts of thousands of movie goers. As did the backwaters of Alappuzha.

In Tamil, Autograph, Kuselan and Kadal were also shot in these backwaters. Bollywood flicks Tashan and Madras Café have scenes shot here on the houseboats too.

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Alappuzha is well connected by road and railways The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport

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