Spanning hundreds of acres, Film City (now officially known as Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri) has been a popular spot for Bollywood filmings since the state government built it back in the 1970s. The massive complex features everything from indoor studios to full-sized village recreations. More than 1000 sets can be used here at once.
Because Film City houses working studios, public visitors can't just show up and walk around—rather, you must be on an organized tour. Tours vary a bit depending on what parts of Film City are in use at any given time, but generally include the opportunity to see some of the sets and learn more about the industry in general. Often, visitors can even catch a glimpse of a filming in action.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Film City is large and you may have to walk outside a lot, so wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
- Travelers aren’t allowed to visit on their own, so make sure to sign up for a tour in advance.
- Bottled water and food are available for purchase on-site.
- Photos and videos are restricted in some areas of the complex.
How to Get There
Film City is located in the suburb of Goregaon in the northwest of Mumbai, at the edge of the gargantuan Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Getting there from the touristy heart of the city involves quite a trek, so it’s best to take a taxi. Without traffic, it takes at least an hour to get there from the Gateway of India.
When to Get There
Much of Film City is outdoors, so weather plays a big role in when to go. Mumbai temperatures are consistently warm throughout the year, but December through March are the most ideal because they’re the least humid. July and August mark the peak of Mumbai’s notoriously torrential monsoon rains, and can make visiting Film City uncomfortable, if not impossible.
What is Bollywood?
A portmanteau of Bombay and Hollywood, Bollywood refers to the Hindi-language film industry, accounting for nearly half of the Indian film industry's annual revenue. Most Bollywood films are considerably longer than Hollywood films, many lasting upwards of three hours, usually with an intermission in between. Nearly all feature some choreographed songs, often (but not always) used to drive a larger narrative.