One of the must-visit attractions when in Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana State in India is the Ramoji Film City. Spread over 1,666 acres, this has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest studio complex in the world. And no – this is not the only reason why this should be on your BucketList. Read on to find out more.
The film city is the brain child of owner Ramoji Rao, who has been a producer of Indian films for long. It was designed by renowned art director Nitish Roy and opened to the public in 1996. Since then the film city has grown leaps and bounds thanks to developments and updates every now and then. It currently employs about 1000 people and plays host to about 1.5 million visitors annually.
Today, the film city has around 50 big and medium shooting floors. It includes some permanent movie sets such as a railway station, an airport, a pub, a temple, a gurudwara, a mosque, a central prison, the Delhi Gate monument, bungalows, a police station and so on…phew that’s a pretty big list. It’s a nice experience to see these life-size mock up sets. What’s nicer is when you can relate it to a scene in a movie that was actually shot here. For example, we were told their railway station set was used in the Hindi blockbuster movie Chennai Express.
The media team at film city told BucketList.Asia, that around 2,500 films had been shot here till date, including Bahubali, one of the highest grossing Indian films. “Bahubali was shot here for 600 days. The other blockbusters shot in Ramoji Film City include Lingaa, Robot & Sivaji starring Rajnikant and the Hindi blockbusters shot here include Krish-3, Chennai Express, Ra-One, Sarkar Raj, Ajay Devgan starrer Himmatwala, Golmaal- 3, Cocktail , Gajani, All the Best, Kaminey and more recently Dil Wale and Manikarneka”, the team said.
So watching these sets at which some of your favourite movies were made is an amazing experience. There are obviously a lot of selfie and insta-worthy opportunities, so make sure you have enough space in your smart phones. We personally loved taking pics at the Bahubali movie set – right from the throne to the larger-than-life horses, elephants and statues as seen in the actual movie, the experience was blissful.
The film city is not just about movie sets. There are a lot of fun things-to-do for kids as well. There is a whole section dedicated to them based on a cartoon character called Dadajin. In this section, kids can easily spend more than 4 hours playing various games, experiencing a live show, a horror maze, dancing in the rain and of course taking lot of pics with mockups of characters that they love such as Chota Bheem.
Apart from this, the film city also has a large aviary with exotic birds and a huge waterfall, which kids may find fascinating. There are also many well-maintained gardens where kids can just run around or relax.
And for the family as whole, there are a lot of live performances/shows. There is a show which educates us about the different stages of movie making. There is another where actors play out a bank robbery scene set in a wild-west background. There is also a 4D show as well which is very futuristic. What we liked the most was a glow in the dark show where performers show different themes in a movie such as romance, action, comedy and so on.
So ..when to go?? While the film city is open throughout the year, we suggest you visit in the months of December and January, during which they conduct their ‘Winter Fest’. The ongoing winter fest is said to be their longest at 45 days. It started on 14th December 2018 and is all set to conclude tomorrow (27 January 2019).
During this fest, along with the above mentioned things to do, the film city also organizes “a carnival parade with thematic tableau, dancing girls and boys, street performers, stilt walkers, clowns, jugglers walking alongside the colourful parade and making funny acts to amuse tourists”, the media team explained. An added advantage is that the weather in the city is more pleasant during these months as compared to others, so one will get less tired than otherwise while experiencing this huge place, during these months.
That said, the film city could see a lot of crowd during this period. According to their media team, the average turnout during the current fest has been between 4,000 and 7,000 daily visitors with the Christmas holiday of 25th December 2018 seeing the highest footfall of 15,448 people. (Well – so you know which day you can avoid).
Coincidentally, we actually visited this fascinating place on 25th December and though the numbers say it was crowded, we did not feel the same. One is because the place is so huge, it can easily accommodate these numbers. The other more important reason was the film city’s staff who were very professional and organized in handling the crowds.
To conclude – even a thousand word blog about Ramoji Film City will not do justice to the actual experience one can enjoy here. So do include this place in your BucketList and experience it first-hand!!
(Special thanks to Mr. Pavan of the media team for all the help in writing this article <> Follow us on our Instagram and FB pages to see more pics.)