For what it’s worth, Bollywood has some extremely talented art designers who pay attention to the tiniest detail. The lavish sets that are pretty to look at have loads of efforts put in. There is always so much more than what meets the eye.
Speaking of which, they cost way too much moolah along with the time, creativity and efforts. Here are some of the most expensive sets that gave the films a character and charm of their own, in no particular order.
The set for the song ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ cost ₹15 lakhs. The Sheesh Mahal took 2 years to build. The glasses were imported from Belgium. It took 6 months to make it at Mohan Studios and it wasn’t taken down for the next 6 weeks after the shots were over. The audience used to pay a visit at the set.
2. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
The set designers re-created Chandni Chowk in a film studio in Mumbai. The insides of the Raichand mansion were all made to portray the old-fashioned rich people collectives like the paintings, the vase, etc. 18-19 sets were designed by Sharmishtha Roy. She won the Filmfare for Best Art Direction for the movie.
Bhansali’s love affair with grand and beautiful sets is adored. The sets have always contributed to the narratives in his movies. Devdas was about passion and tragedy; the sets were speaking their own language. 12,20,00,008 pieces of stained glass were used to decorate Paro’s room and Chandramukhi’s Kotha was constructed near an artificial lake.
4. Jodhaa Akbar
Apart from Hrithik Roshan as Akbar, the other thing we loved about the movie were the beautiful sets.The set designed by Nitin Chandrakant Desai has been opened to tourists. The film which reportedly cost $10 million.
5. Bombay Velvet
Anurag Kashyap’s gangster saga was set in 1960’s. The entire city of Old Bombay was built on 9.5 acres land in Colombo. The movie was probably Anurag Kashyap’s most expensive one. The set took around 11 months to build and is now a tourist attraction in Sri Lanka.
6. Bajirao Mastani
The sets were one of the characters in the film from Kashibai’s villa to the Shanivaar vada; let’s take a look at them all.
Kashibai’s house was the first set they started working on. It took 25 days to build. The green color that dominated all over the room was to signify married women.
The place where we see Ranveer Singh become Peshwa was the Shahoo Darbaar. The set had 50 ft high pillars and had streams of water flowing on each side.
This required 4000 planks and mirrors that were sourced from Jaipur. It was inspired by the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ from ‘Mughal-E-Azam’.
The biggest set that was built for the movie with 45,000 planks with 550 workers. Over 13 art designers worked on this one.
7. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Rs 60 crores was spent on the sets of Baahubali 2. Designer Sabu Cyril created 1500 sketches for the city of Mahishmati.
The sets have been sprawled across 100 acres in Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
The 125-foot-tall statue of Bhallaldeva was made by 200 sculptors which weighed over 8,000 kgs and needed 4 cranes to erect it.