Must Watch Bollywood Movies


Bollywood The Name Came From 'Bo' of Bombay and 'Ollywood' of Hollywood

The highlight of every traveller visiting India or travelling to Mumbai, is watching a bollywood movie. Most of the travellers visiting India or Mumbai have only heard about Bollywood but have never watched any bollywood movie. There are so many to choose from. So we are here to help you on your quest to watch some of the best Bollywood movies which will teach you a lot about India and help you get familiar with our country and history before you visit Mumbai.

Mumbai is the entertainment capital of India and is also the home to the biggest movie industry in the world which is the Bollywood. Mumbai was previously called Bombay and hence the movie industry took the name as Bollywood, of course the 'Bo" from the word Bombay and "ollywood" from our famous American Hollywood Film Industry.

Bollywood produces around 1,200 movies every year and every big budget movie produced in Bombay is capable of reaping profits of around 100 Crore's. One hundered thousand rupees is one lakh, One hunderd lakh's is one crore and 100 crore is like one hundered lakhs. Thats a huge amount of profit.

We have listed some of the must watch Bollywood movies about India and history and culture which will prepare you for your India travel journey and make you familiar with our rich culture, history, customs, traditions and of course Indian Bollywood Music will make you put on those dancing shoes and dance all the way to India.

Bajirao Mastani 2015

Grand Mumbai Tours recommends this period epic film starring the highly energetic Ranveer Singh as Bajirao the Hindu Brahmin Maratha Peshwa of the 17th century, Deepika Padukone starring as Mastani who was Muslim and a girl born out of a concubine of the king of Bundelkhand and Priyanka Chopra who now stars in Hollywood TV Soap called Quantico.

The movie is based on a true life incident of Peshwa the most successful Prime Minister of Maratha King, who is Brahmin by Caste but a warrior or Kshitrya by karma and falls in love with Mastani who is a muslim princess. The amazing struggle of his life while capturing most of India under his rule and his fight with his family and wife who are not willing to accept Mastani since she is a Muslim. This film is a direction Genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and originally planned for 2001 with Salman Khan as Bajirao and Aishwarya Rai Bachhan as Mastani who were dating one another, but the movie got sheleved even before it could be made, when Salman and Aishwarya had an Ugly Break Up......

Finally after 14 years the film was made and stars the best bollywood film actors of today's generation. Must watch Bollywood movie as it won many awards at FilmFare which is the Indian Verson of American Hollywood Academy Awards.



Good Film which talks about Hindu Muslim love traingle, giving you insights into history of India and wars and warriors code and life of Maratha Kings and their subjects when the Maratha Empire was at its Zennith. Amazing direction, colourful costumes and great music and love....

Bajirao Mastani DVD (English Subtitles) On Amazon USD 15.75

3 Idiots 2009

I am a mechanical engineer. I never wanted to do engineering, I was forced by my mother to do engineering and this is the story of almost every single engineer in India. None of them wanted to do engineering. In India parents decide what their children should do in life.

This amazing fun movie had released exactly at the same time when I was in second year of my engineering. The bollywood film talks about how parents should not force their expectations on their children in today's highly competitive world.

I succeeded as an engineer even when i had to do it against my wish, but I was never happy doing engineering related jobs and what is most important in life is happiness and personal satisfaction of heart and soul.

I loved meeting people, talking about my countries culture, customs, traditions and making new friends, which is why, I quit engineering to start my passion which are Mumbai tours. The secret of success and happiness is in following your hear and working hard with honesty and determination and dedication.

3 Idiots Original DVD on Amazon from USD 14.72


PK 2014

There are lot of superstitions exisiting in India and when there are so many different religions there are bound to be different customs and traditions in India. While travelling to India, you will notice the coexistence of many religions and how some people take advantage of faith of people in God.

PK is a Bollywoof movie which talks about an alien who is stranded on the planet earth and cannot leave the earth unless he finds his device to contact his alient folks. Here on earth he notices many things and how he tries to teach people about reality then superstitions. This movie was banned and opoposed for a while by many religious leaders as they felt their religious sentiments were affected by this film..

PK (English Subtitles) - Full Movie On Amazon USD 14.90



Lagaan 2001

I remember watching this movie on the first day and first show in Eros movie cinema when I was only 18. This Bollywood movie is about the taxation system which was levied by the British on the villages in the 18th century. Lagaan means Tax. Villages had to pay Tax to the british in the form of grains, wealth and many other things.

Champaner is the village where this incident happend. The British Officer who was in charge of collection of Tax from this village and many other villages Captain Russel, gets into a ego filled battle with a local from this village called Bhuvan, who is played by Aamir Khan. Russel challenges Bhuvan to play a cricket match with against the british officers and if they win which was a very low probability considering that the villagers had never played cricket or knew about cricket, The British officer promised to cancel the Tax of all the villages for three years. There was a drought and Bhuvan falls into this trap. But he gets help from Russels sister played by actress Rachel Shelly and he forms a cricket team together and then plays an amazing cricket match with the British.

Lagaan is a movie which was India's entry to the Oscar awards as the Best Foreign Langauge Film and unfortunately it did not win. Lagaan, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and produced by Aamir Khan, was the only movie out of the five nominated that wasn't released in the United States before the 74th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, on March 2. The movie which won the oscars was the Bosnian movie No Man's Land.

Cricket is an alternate religion in india and is played like passion, even while watching the cricket match in the movie the cinema became like a stadium and people were cheering and whisteling and behaving as if they are watching a cricket match in reality. I am getting goose bumps while writing this article on bollywood films. Its nostalgic. Reliving those glorious days of Indian cinema. That time we had single screen's in movie cinema's and today we have multiplexes and also people have to stand up for the National Anthem before the start of the movie.

Only one problem which foreigners would face while watching a Bollywood movie in Indian cinema is that, there are no subtitles, but bollwyood films are so expressive and super easy to understand.

Lagaan (English Subtitles) - DVD On Amazon USD 14.72


Aligarh 2016

In Britian, Homosexuality and Gay Marriages are allowed. Today its 2016 and we still follow the laws laid down by the British in 1862 which form the Indian Penal Code. According to a particular section 377 in Indian Penal code, Homosexuality is termed as unnatural intercourse and is criminalised.

"Section 377, IPC reads as: “377. Unnatural offences.—Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine"

The movie Aligarh, talks about a very sensitive topic in India about professor called Siras who was victimised at his university for being a homosexual. Many professors and superiors at the university were against him, which is why they target his sexuality and do a sting operation on him and get him removed from the university. The movie is about the struggle of Prof Siras and is based on a real life incident.

I had tears in my eyes after watching this movie. As of February 2, 2016, the Supreme court of India has referrred the decision making about abolishing the section 377 to a bench of five judges. Verdict is awaited. But honestly i feel the section 377 will go away soon.

Aligarh (English Subtitles) - DVD On Amazon USD 19.80


2 States 2014

India is a collection of 29 states and 7 union territories. A country where 90% of marriages which happen are arranged marriages, there is definately an exception for love marriages. Usually there is a North and South Divide and while marriages are arranged caste, religion, class are taken into consideration.

But like they say, "LOVE IS BLIND". What happens when a North India boy falls in love with a South Indian Brahmin girl. A World War!!!!! A funny movie about one such couple and how much they have to struggle to get back together and make their families accept them. Comedy and Romatic Indian movie with lot of bollywood dancing.

2 States DVD on Amazon USD 9.53

Talwar 2015

India never used to make bollywood films or films on controversial topics, this bollywood movie talks about the infamous Noida Double Murder case where the parents of a girl called Arushi were charged with murdering their daughter as a part of honour killing for having sexual relations with their domestic servant called Hemraj.

When this movie was watched by masses, many people feel and say that the parents of the girl are innocent and were wrongly implicated for the crime of murdering their own daughter. Very touching movie and about a real life CBI offcier who was investigating the case and how he was opposed by his superiors for trying to bring out the truth. Must watch grey film.

Talwar (English Subtitles) - DVD On Amazon USD 12.84


Bhaag Milkha Bhaag 2013

The real life story of Milkha Singh, the Flying Sikh, the pride of India who won many awards in athletics and there has not been any other athlete in the history of Indian athletics who has surpassed his amazing feats.

His childhood was really sad as India and Pakistan had got partioned by the British and this led to voilence on the border and all over India and Pakistan where Hindu's and Muslim's started killing each other. Milkha was a Sikh and he witnessed his father, mother, two sisters and a brother were killed in front of his eyes, making him run which means Bhaag from his village inside pakistan and he fled to India.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a movie where the central character is runnign away from the voilent ghosts of his past where his family was killed. After a stint with indian army, he decides to become an athelete as he is blessed with natural excellent running skills.

Story of his transformation from a child fleding from voilence to joining Indian army, struggle to become a top athlete, and then killing his fears from past while visiting Pakistan to represent India. Amazing movie which stars Farhan Akhtar and won him Film Fare award.

Must watch movie, based on real life incidents of Milkha Singh and about one's determination to achieve something in life, Its like real life Indian Rocky Balboa in fact much stronger then that.


Swades 2004

Here comes the movie about Brain Drain from India to the United States of America. With Donald Trum saying he wants all Indians out of America and with Hilary Clinton defending Indian's. This is so true.

An Indian on an average earns USD 300 - USD 500 per month for working as an engineer. This makes many Indian's take up engineering and then go to the United States and New Jersey which is like a place where all Indians live. Better life, good salary and additional perks and eventually a Green Card, make thousands and lakhs of Indian's move to the United States for studying MS at many reputed institutes. The amounts of financial loans which people take to send their kids to study to USA are huge, even more then their salaries which is why this is like a one way ticket to better life where many Indians move to USA and become a part of USA.

Swades is a story of a character called Mohan Bhargave which is played by Shahrukh Khan the undispued kind of Bollywood. Mohan is an engineer and is working with NASA and happens to come back to India for a holiday after years of living in the US and feels he has to do something for India and he is an Indian.

The memories of Indian holiday make Mohan take extreme steps which in real life not many Indians take. Quitting a high salaried Job with a huge company in USA and coming back to India to bring about a change. Touching movie with many scenes showing the real picture of people's sufferings in Indian villages and how problems can be tackled.

The Attacks Of 26/11

Mumbai was attacked by 10 terrorists from Pakistan on 26th November 2008. These terrorists attacked Trident Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Jewish Chabbad House, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Victoria Terminus Train station which is now known as CST.

The movie is a very true story which talks about each and every detail of the terrorits move and their ultimate motive. One terrorist was caught alive, with the name Ajmal Kasab near Chowpaty beach where there is a memorial of Tukaram Omble who bravely sacrificed his life in order to protect his colleagues and catch this terrorist. The video above is the exact chain of events which happeend outsode Girgaum Chowpatty beach where there is now a statue to commemorate the sacrifice of this Police Braveheart.

Kasab was only 21 when he was arrested and then got a fair trial and finally paid for his deeds of killing innocent people. He was hanged in 2012.

This movie also faced a lot of criticism towards the director for getting inside the mind of the young terrorist who was brainwashed by Pakistani terrorists and people were a bit offended thinking that the director was trying to side with the terrorist.

The movie was directed by ram Gopal Verma.

Other Bollywood movies we recommend as must watch before travelling to India or after being in india are Chak De India, Dharam Sankat Mein

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I hope you liked our article, if you think we have missed out on any must watch Bollywood movie, please feel free to comment below and let us know..





About the author: Pranav is the founder and CEO of Grand Mumbai Tours. He left his job as a mechanical engineer to follow his passion towards Mumbai Tourism. In his free time he blogs about Mumbai and makes documentary videos. He loves his guests as he would love his own family.....

PRANAV DA, author




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