New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) Forget the Swiss Alps or the Himalayas, it's the Indian capital that has become Bollywood's favourite shooting destination. Whether it's a farmhouse in Chhatarpur, Lutyens' Delhi or good old Chandni Chowk, the city which has been ruined and rebuilt time and again through history is being romanced by the dream merchants.
Filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Mahesh Bhatt have either been shooting for their projects or scouting for locations here, as the city offers myriad choices at a cheaper cost than Mumbai and good infrastructure too.
Bhatt's next movie "Informer" is based on illegal arms trading in Delhi; so no wonder he was in the capital to hunt for locations for the movie.
"Jab We Met" director Imtiaz also flew down with his cast and crew for Ranbir Kapoor-starrer "Rockstar", while actor Saif Ali Khan too chose the city backdrop to shoot the climax of his next, action-packed "Agent Vinod".
In fact, Mehra, who captured the essence of Delhi in his films "Rang De Basanti" and "Delhi 6", has planned to return to the city for his next "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", a biopic of iconic Indian athlete Milkha Singh.
Delhi is a city of grand old monuments, beautiful greenery, 16 million people, a most modern Metro rail and also the seat of power - all of which blend to give it a unique character.
Every filmmaker has individual reasons to shoot in Delhi, but it turns out that shooting in Delhi is easier than in entertainment capital Mumbai, according to line producer Ravinder Pal Singh.
"Mumbai is now over-exposed. As a result, a lot of filmmakers are looking for something different, so they are scouting for newer locations such as Delhi," Singh of Sahib Productions told IANS.
"Around seven to eight years back there were only one or two films that were shot in Delhi, but ever since the support system has improved, we are now getting the charge of 20 to 25 films," he said.
"Shooting in Delhi is cheaper than Mumbai. While renting a bungalow in Mumbai would not cost less than Rs.200,000 to Rs.250,000, in Delhi they are available at Rs.15,000-20,000," added Singh, who has helped in arranging shoots for films like "Khosla Ka Ghosla", "Hum Tum" and "Chala Mussaddi Office Office".