I was discussing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with one of my friends from Sri Lanka, who told me that the movie was filmed there. Upon doing some further research, I discovered that it was filmed in Sri Lanka rather than its initial location, India, because the Indian government refused to allow it. The government found the content to be racist and offensive, and even banned its release in the country. After viewing the film, it is no wonder that the Indian government refused to allow filming. Dark skin in this movie equates to a demonized ‘Other,’ with white skin symbolizing civility and heroism.
Here is an excerpt from an article [http://mentalfloss.com/article/56881/20-fun-facts-about-indiana-jones-and-temple-doom] with more information on India’s ban of the film:
All of the film’s locations were found in India—and then they couldn’t shoot there.
Producer Robert Watts and production designer Elliott Scott traveled to India to scout the interiors and exteriors for the film, which had a budget of $28 million. All of the exteriors—including the Maharajah’s palace, which was to be shot at an existing palace called Amer Fort—and most of the interiors—including the City Palace in Jaipur, which would also stand in for the Maharajah’s palace—were found fairly quickly. But the local government rejected their permits because they found the script to be offensive to Indian culture.
Some deals were made: The production initially agreed to change the locations in the script to a principality on the border of India, and they wouldn’t use the word “maharajah.” But the Indian government balked and demanded final cut of the film in order to censor what they deemed unworthy, which forced Watts and Scott to pack up and leave.
Later, the team decided to shoot certain exteriors in Kandy, a Sri Lankan city, while others—most importantly, the Maharajah’s palace—would be shot on the Paramount backlot and expanded using matte paintings. Further interiors, like the temple itself, would be constructed on soundstages at Elstree Studios in London.
After its release, Temple of Doom was banned in India, but the ruling has since been rescinded.