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The Inspiration Behind Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom Will Surprise You

The "Indiana Jones" movies started in the '80s and are now a well-known classic action-adventure franchise directed by Steven Spielberg. Over the years, the films follow the archaeology professor Dr. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as he embarks on a multitude of death-defying escapades with friends and allies, gathering some of the world's most valuable and legendary artifacts while someone is inevitably trying to kill him and take the priceless item for their own gain.

Each movie has gathered bits of inspiration from different cultures and pieces of history, whether exaggerated or not. This helps create an immersive experience for the viewer as Jones braves enemies in human, animal, and even supernatural forms to save the world — or at least put ancient artifacts in a museum where they belong.

The second "Indiana Jones" movie, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," hit theaters in 1984 and remains one of the darker movies in the franchise. The storyline of the film is somewhat scary, with Jones trying to avoid becoming a sacrifice and freeing enslaved children. What many may not know about the movie is that it has some unique influences, and where these influences come from may be surprising.

The cult in Pankot Palace was real

In "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," Mola Ram (Amrish Puri) is the leader of the Thuggee cult that operates out of Pankot Palace. He commands the Thuggees to kidnap, attack, and assist in the attempted sacrificial rituals of Dr. Jones and his companions throughout the film, even almost succeeding in taking out the beloved adventurer at one point.

While many details have been added and exaggerated for the movie, the Thuggee are a very real part of history, and they murdered hundreds of thousands of travelers in India as sacrifices (via Biography). The choice to portray the Thuggee in the movie forced the filmmakers to choose a different location for production, however, since India would not allow them to make the movie there with the plot as it was. It was instead filmed in Sri Lanka.

The Thuggee are estimated to have started around the 16th century, although the group operated in complete secrecy and wasn't found out for hundreds of years (via Encyclopedia.com). While the Thuggee in the movie are very loosely based on the ones in real life, they are one part of the plot of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" that is derived from a very dark reality.