Friday, April 18, 2014

Part V: Ramoji Film City- A Pictorial Journey

When our Hyderabad trip (December 2013) was being planned, if there was one place which was on top of my priority list of Places to Visit, it was the Ramoji Film City. I had heard a lot about it, seen the ads on ETV for so many years, my maternal aunt had been there few years ago and it would be my first real ‘film city’ visit! I was superbly excited and we scheduled one entire day of our 3-day trip for it.

As it turned out, one full day is just not enough for seeing everything at Ramoji! Yes, it is that vast! Spread across 1666 acres, it holds the Guinness World Record of the largest film studio complex in the world. I wanted to see each and every bit of this entire studio on my visit, and if luck might favour, catch the shooting of an actual film there.

Now I wouldn’t want your experience to be spoiled by descriptive details about the tour and everything at Ramoji, because I think not knowing what and how exactly things are around there, was the best part of my Ramoji experience. It’s a place that requires a real visit to satiate one’s sense- in all senses! No, I am not telling you how it feels to walk right from the Mughal streets of Agra to the American Wild West, through haunted houses to Jaipur's Hawa Mahal, all in a few moments! Also, how can I forget the four-sided building with four different looks from all sides including an airport and a public library, and the railway station which looks like a city station from one side and a village station from the other and has a train with rubber wheels on road and not rails?

That is why I decided to take you through a huge pictorial journey with little tid-bits from me here and there, which would, I am sure, attract you to this amazing place. All pictures courtesy: My family and me. And I have hugely reduced the picture sizes, so I hope they don't take much time to load.

The ticket counter. We got the regular Rs.800 tickets, although I wonder what the premium tickets would have entitled us to.
It was Christmas time and the winter decorations were up. (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Super-Star? On getting down from the bus from the ticket counter to the main studio complex. (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

On time for the Opening Ceremony. The main-entrance to the tourist complex.
It was so amazing to see thousands of people entering through those gates, all eager to find out what's on the other side (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The added spectacle for the Winter Carnival on entering through the main gates. (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

New Year 2014 Celebrations (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The main gates from the inside. Now who would say that this is India and not one of the South-East Asian countries? (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

And you thought you needed to be in LA to check that sign out! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Yes, it's the Kali-Yug. Look at the queue of people (after me), everyone so eager to be Ravan! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

France gifted it to the USA. And the lady preffered moving to Ramoji! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Superman, Batman and their Masked distant cousin (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

If I dial 6-2-4-4-2 will I be transported to the Ministry of Magic? Aaah...no! Mr.Ramoji apparently
made a portkey out of the booth and transported it from London to Hyderabad! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad) 

One of the many tourist attractions at Ramoji Movie Magic- This one actually takes you through the cinematic experience around the world.
(Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Straight out of one of the old cowboy films? Check out the sign above the door! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The big attraction- 'Action!' While you make Basanti run for her life, within 20 minutes you get to see some magical effects and tricks
 that go into making films and are left awestruck at the magic. "Wow! They do it like this?", my father asked. I laughed. I was the
only one in the 200 odd audience from a filmmaking background and who knew exactly how to make the onlookers 'awe' while actually
fooling them! That's the magic of visual effects! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Someday, yeah someday, this reel might be a blockbuster! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

And what would I be doing at a Gun Factory? Believe me when I say that the only guns I have ever held are the
 ones that produce the 'trrrr...' sound and the ones in Holi and Diwali! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Who do you think lives in there? At the Wild wild west! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Walking through the Mughal lanes, somehow I managed to tone up my muscles and get into Akbar's,
well ok Hrithik Roshan's costume! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Walking on the Agra streets through the Meena Bazaar (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Now what do you think this might be? (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

And this? One of the many restaurants at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

Don't they look so classy? I was so eager to climb on these vintage buses. Add a floor, they become London's double-deckers. Add another, we have the Knight Bus!
Tip: Be prepared to stand in really long queues at almost all places. The crowds are huge and the attractions would be worth the wait! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Inside the single-floor Knight Bus, we have our guide. And the studio tour begins! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Looks familiar? Something Golmaal 3? (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The Hawa Mahal yes! Jaipur no! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The town hall or the court. Call it what suits your film! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Q: How do we know that this is not in Japan?
A: Just look at the crowd- it happens only in India! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

That's really wax? No! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The boulder-me struggle! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

And the relic-Buddha-nose! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

All the walking is making everyone tired. Time for a quick round of 'penance for a photo' before we move on! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The sun's chariot. You have to see this fountain to appreciate its sheer enormous size! And no, it's not black. It's pure blue! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The Great Ramoji show. Some good dance and magic tricks here. Although I personally found the laser-show at the 'Extravaganza show' the best. (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

If I could be tired at the verge of the end of the day and still not lose the enthusiasm to see
the rest of the place, there is no reason why you should! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

That's the Ramoji mascot- I don't know what they call him! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The huge stunt show set. Check out some real explosions, buildings falling, guns firing in the show- Not at all for the faint-hearted! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Borasura! Don't just give it a miss thinking it's for the kids. There is so much inside it, I loved it!
And in case you decide to visit it first with your kids, be rest assured, your kids wouldn't leave the place! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Time for some souvenir hunting at Magadh. Make sure nobody can hunt you down! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

A big game of snakes and ladders for the big boys and girls! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

3D painting. And I almost fell through! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

It's going to be a bumpy ride! Not the most stable bridges to cross! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Be careful, the books are falling off the shelves! Wait, no! The shelves are falling on you! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

I so want to get lost in this celestial maze! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Everything is possible. Including skeletons beating drums! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

Now who said that a 22 year old wouldn't do this?
(Sorry little kid, at the right end, for making you wait for pictures) (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

We were there at the right time- the Winter Carnival. And so, the extended festivities! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

The beauty lights up in the evening. DO NOT LEAVE BEFORE IT GETS DARK! (Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad)

I now look forward to yet another visit to Ramoji Film City, but this time with a little difference. I don’t want to take the regular tours. I would rather go on my own free will and check out the sets at close proximity and without any hindrance. May be I shall put up at the Tara or Sitara luxury hotels inside the filmcity or may be I would go and get lost for sometime inside the huge maze and seek the Triwizard Cup!

PS: I just ran a graph search on facebook ‘My friends who have been to Ramoji Film City’. While I wasn’t expecting to get a huge number of results, I was surprised at receiving very less number of results- 5, out of which the majority are my family members. Of course this only accounts for people who went to Ramoji and ‘checked-in’ on facebook tagging this particular ‘Ramoji Film City’ page, but still, the number of my friends who have visited the place is surely a very small number! And this resulted in me getting a kick to write this long-delayed post.

PS: The disclaimer at the end of this page, applies to all these photos as well- they are my exclusive intellectual property and I wouldn't want to sue you for unauthorised use of them elsewhere.

Check all the posts in my Hyderabad series: 
Part I: 5 ‘Little-known’ things about Hyderabad
Part II: 5 Must-Do’s when in Hyderabad
Part III: The Amazing Autowallahs of Hyderabad
Part IV: The Autowallah with the Most Inspirational Story

9 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Oh yes Ankita, you must and then share your experience! :)

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  2. Now that's some story :) Pictures says it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. I hope it inspired you enough to visit it Vinesh! :)

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  3. This is the best post in the series. I want to go too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I seriously doubt that you have read all the other four, still thank you! :P
      ANd yes, you ought to see the place Sharmaji! :)

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  4. Hyderabad Magazines
    SMART CITY English Weekly Tabloid Magazine is a city focused,citizen-oriented magazine covering city public affairs,community, politics.http://www.smartcitymag.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing. Ramoji Film City is India's very own version of Disneyland, with a twist that only Indian cinema can bring! The film city is owned by the Ramoji group, which is headed by Ramoji Rao, a famous director of the Telegu film industry. Check out more fact about Ramoji Film City.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed the post. Full of beautiful and amazing pictures. Ramoji film city is world’s largest integrated film city and for more pictures check Ramoji film city images.

    ReplyDelete

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