The iconic Unesco World Heritage site Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), the Central Railway (CR)'s headquarters, is the most preferred shooting location for Bollywood films, tele-serials, documentaries and web-series, followed by Apta in Raigad and several more in Pune, Satara and other regions, officials said here on Thursday.
During 2019-2020, as many as 8 films were shot in the CSMT precincts followed by four at Apta station, barely two hours (75 km) from Mumbai, earning handsome revenues for the CR.
They include: "Panga", "Choked", "Surajse Mangal Bhari" (CSMT) and "Raat Akeli Hai", "Mumbai Saga" and "Shubh Mangal Zyaa Savdhan" at Apta, said CR chief Spokesperson Shivaji Sutar.
While CSMT's architectural beauty and old-world charm is world-renowned, Apta's natural alluring charms have been features in numerous films including blockbusters like "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengaa, "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Rang De Basant", "Baaghia, "Khaki", "Shaadi No. 1", "China Town", etc.
"Apta is known for its scenic locales, a hill on one side, a curvy track, good platforms, a road beside a river, easily accessible from Mumbai on the Panvel-Roha route, less crowded with passengers and has ample amenities including parking spaces," Sutar said.
The station has halts for very few trains, plus it also has an additional railway track which makes it doubly attractive for movement of special trains booked for film shootings.
As Bollywood stirs into action in the ongoing Unlockdown phases, the CR hopes that shooting activities will resume full-swing at CSMT, Apta plus Wathar (Pune Division), the railway yards in Turbhe and Wadi Bunder, Pune Station and other beautiful stations or locations on the CR networks.
A popular shooting destination, WatharAwasAthe locale for shooting "Dabangg 3", while "Lal Singh Chaddha" was shot between Mumbai-Pune route, and other prominent locales are Chouk, Lonavala, Khandala and Satara on the CR.
Last year, the CR earned Rs.1.33 crore from 21 film shootings, including the highest amount of Rs 22.10 lakh from the Rajanikanth starrer "Darbar" which was shot at Panvel station.
For film projects, the CR has recently introduced a single-window system to simplify and expedite all proposals to enable quick clearances to the film-makers, said Sutar.