It is common knowledge that many of the films that fill our evenings come from Hollywood. Few people, however, know that the film industry of its Indian counterpart, Bollywood, is about as old and at least as popular. Moreover, there is no film studio that releases more new productions every year than the one in Mumbai. Whereas everyone knows Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts by sight, Indian bedrooms are filled with posters of Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan.
Discover India without a visa
Apart from Mumbai, other regions of India have their own language and film industry. For example, films are shot in Telugu in Hyderabad, Punjabi films are released in Amritsar and actors in Chennai speak in Tamil. Each part of the country has its own film studio and house style. In short, India is a paradise for lovers of dance and stories. Bollywood films are therefore an ideal opportunity to discover the country without a visa!
Directors with their own style
A characteristic of Indian films is that there is a lot of singing and dancing, and the action and emotion is a bit more exuberant than many British viewers are used to. The stories are often set in traditional roles and costumes, which helps you get to know the Indians better. The characters sometimes behave very differently than one would expect, and this leads to surprising plot twists.
Every year, a prestigious award is presented in New Delhi for the best film of the year. Where an American or European actor dreams of receiving an Oscar, their Indian counterparts want nothing more than to receive the golden statue that holds up a film role at the National Film Awards. Whereas Europeans are proud when someone from their country wins the Eurovision Song Contest, Indians are thrilled when someone from their region and language area receives a national film award.
An active outing
Going to the cinema in India is an experience in itself. The audience is known to be very sympathetic to what is happening on screen. You can compare it more or less with a sports match.
The music scenes are also very popular, with some songs being more famous than the film itself. A personal favourite of the e-Visa.co.uk editors that makes us want to get on a plane is, for example, Nagada Sang Dhol (available on YouTube).
And if you want even more, you can spend a day at the film studios in Mumbai. This is often combined with a tour of Dharavi, a slum that is often the setting for the recordings. It is a neighbourhood where the people don’t have much, but can intensely enjoy all the stories from the film studio. With average ticket prices of between £1 and £2, a visit to the cinema is a leisure activity accessible to almost everyone..
Your visa is easy to arrange
To travel to India, you need a visa. To enter this ancient but also modern country, you can arrange an eTourist visa that allows you to fly to India as often as you like for a year, for a holiday of up to 90 consecutive days. There is no need to go to a ticket office as the visa is sent via email. If you leave at short notice, the visa can normally be arranged within three working days by means of an urgent application. Most British and Irish citizens meet the requirements. In any case, the country offers enough inspiration to make a nice holiday film!