• The seven-month-old Film Facilitation Office set up by the government of India is keen to promote the country as a preferred location for film shooting. In Picture: A cameraman films Bollywood actress Fareena Wazir during the shooting of Hindi movie "Sadiyan" (Centuries) inside Kashmir's tulip garden in Srinagar April 9, 2008.Reuters file
  • The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, is a preferred location for many films in India. In Picture: Tourists visit the Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra June 29, 2007.Reuters file

India offers a range of locations for shooting films, be it forts, lakes, ancient cities, historic landmarks or the breathtaking Himalayan mountain ranges. To promote the country as a film tourism hub, the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) was set up last November by the Narendra Modi government to make India a "film-friendly destination."

On Friday, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, minister of state for information and broadcasting, said that a new portal will be operational soon to enable online submission for film shooting, provide a ready reckoner of various ministries involved in the process of granting approvals and create a guide to give information on locations and service providers, according to an official statement.

He shared the information after inaugurating the India Pavilion at the Cannes Film festival.

Delhi alone has many locations such as India Gate, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Chandni Chowk, Purana Qila and Hauz Khas. Other locations where film makers have done their film shoots include the Mandovi River, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Goan beaches, the forts and palaces of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, and the beautiful gardens of Jammu & Kashmir, not to talk of the Dal Lake.

The mountain state of Himachal Pradesh has also many locations, ranging from the Rohtang Pass, monastries and villages in the upper reaches of the Himalayas and valleys.

The four south Indian states also have many locations including the Chennai beach, the Mysore Palace, the Charminar in Hyderabad and backwaters of Kerala.

Besides, the vast assets of Indian Railways including stations, trains and tracks also offer various options for film makers.

Read: Indian Railways film shoot earnings get a leg up from Apta railway station

There are, however, no statistics on revenues earned from film tourism in India.