Mumbai: Scenes from Zero, Bollywood’s biggest and most expensive movie yet, were filmed in locations in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan, is a movie about a rich-and-charming, albeit vertically challenged who struggles to find his perfect match.  But a variety of experiences, including with an amputee and a superstar, help him become a more complete and purposeful man.

With six of the movie’s film locations in Alabama open to the public, Alabama Tourism Department Deputy Director Grey Brennan says the state is preparing for a rush of Zero movie fans.

“Viewers of hit Bollywood movies are passionate and want to experience as much of their favourite movies as possible,” Brennan said. “By visiting actual locations where scenes from the movie were filmed, these fans get a ‘Zero’ movie experience they will always remember.”

In Alabama, the experience can include visits to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Von Braun Center, Hindu Cultural Center of North Alabama, Huntsville Botanical Garden, Grille 29 and downtown Huntsville.

While it is easy to visit all six locations, must see for any ‘Zero’ film fan will be the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The largest space flight museum in the world, it holds more than 1,500 artifacts including a real Saturn V rocket. You can also walk amid 27 rockets in the rocket garden and experience thrilling space-flight simulations.

On the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is Space Camp. While best known for its weeklong programme for children, Space Camp offers a wide range of experiences including a special three-day Family Space Camp and Adult Space Camp programmes.

“The family-and-adult space camps would be a must for the most animated ‘Zero’ movie fans,“  Brennan said.  “You get to launch on simulated missions and train like an astronaut on the Multi-Axis Trainer and 1/6th Gravity Chair.” Advance registration is required.

Next door to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the Huntsville Botanical Garden where you can stroll through nearly 50 hectares of colorful gardens, tranquil trails and beautiful water features. Visit and you’ll see why Huntsville Botanical Garden is the perfect film setting. The children’s garden is full of whimsical statues and the seasonal, open-air butterfly house is the largest in the nation. The garden is a delight any time of year, with spring and summer being especially attractive.

Just a 21-minute drive from the Huntsville Botanical Garden is the Hindu Cultural Center of North Alabama in Harvest, Alabama.  A temple scene of the movie was filmed here. This religious site holds traditional Hindi services and features elaborate statues of deities and the symbolic architecture of centers in India.

The other three Zero film sites are all located in the Huntsville’s city center; the Grill 29 restaurant, the Von Braun Center and the general Huntsville downtown.

Visits to Huntsville are within a short distance to other interesting destinations, including two of America’s music cities, Nashville, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  To the south of Huntsville are Alabama’s waterfalls and nature areas of Fort Payne and Gadsden.

In the center of Alabama are the historical cities of Birmingham and Montgomery.  It is here that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr started America’s non-violent protest. King was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

Huntsville International Airport (HSV) offers easy access to the city. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is located just an hour and 20 minutes south and offers rental cars for the drive to Huntsville.

Categories: Experiences Travel