The plan for Sunday included only one destination – the Ramoji film city, which my mom said was a must visit tourist spot in Hyderabad. It was quite a distance from Secunderabad, so Uma aunty packed up a boxful of bread butter jam for us to eat enroute to our destination. We began our journey in the same chevrolet car, and the traffic was not a problem at 8.30 in the morning. The two girls began singing songs and playing the ‘word building’ game in the back of the car, and I paid attention to them; being with kids gives you the pleasure of revelling in their innocence and carefree abandon. The ride stretched over 1 hour and 10 minutes roughly, and we had our bread butter jam, along with some popcorn and fryums which the two girls demanded to be taken.
At around 9.45 am, we arrived at the film city. The entrance fee was 300 bucks for adults and 250 bucks for children below 13 years of age. The actual location was quite a distance from the entrance, and we alighted a bus to the film city. The trip upwards gave us a view of the sprawling acres of land enclosed within the bounds of the film city, with low hills dotting the background, against a clear blue backdrop.
Soon, we arrived at the centre stage of the film city, where a huge statue of a man riding a chariot drawn by five horses greeted us. The bus dropped us in front of a row of rides commonly found in amusement parks, though smaller in scale – the disco(where you keep rotating haphazardly in alternate directions), the ranger(where you sit in a carriage with goes up and down in the air, and leaves you suspended upside down for a minute at the highest point!), the commonly seen bumper cars and other rides. The two toddlers dragged me with them to the disco ride and the bumper cars, and their enthusiasm rubbed off on me.
There was a throng of visitors waiting in queues at a stop, where a red bus halted to pick up the tourists for a guided tour of the film city, and we joined them.The red bus took us around the various sets in the city, with the guide explaining the buildings which had been erected – Mughal gardens, an airport, a railway station, a row of villas, a hospital, the huge bungalow where Chandramukhi(the tamil version of Bhool Bhoolaiya) was shot, and many other buildings.To the credit of the designers, every false building looked lifelike, and the mannequins placed in some of the houses were natural too. Our guide also had a sense of humour, and made the passengers chuckle with one liners. When showing a village set, he saw some mannequins and also three girls sitting on one of the village porches. He commented on his mic – “You can see the beautiful village set here. It also has three beautiful girls” 😀 This evoked a hearty laugh from all the passengers.
The bus dropped us in front of a garden, and I took some snaps of the other folks. There was a beautiful statue of a lady mounted at the end of the garden; I took photos of the girls stationed on either side of the figurine, then asked the elder one Shruti to take a snap of me. As the other tourists waiting their turn watched, Shruti held the cam, while I waited straight to the statue, and hugged it! Shruti and the other people began laughing, and my mother was red in the face. As I came to her after checking my snap, my mother chided me for doing such a thing, and I cheekily replied I was like that, and she could do nothing about it. 😀
We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting the remaining parts of the film city, which included some cave, the Ramoji film magic area which constitued life size statues of famous movie characters like Charlie Chaplin, Batman, Superman, the mask, the terminator and Lara croft 😀 I posed with each and every one of these, and my mother was not so amused by this. Sigh. And did I mention the Wild West Stunt show they staged at 1 pm? The plot was pretty simple, but the stunts were realistic and the gunshots and bombs effects were very natural. It was 15 minutes of faltoo entertainment, and I could see the commendable efforts these stunt artists had put in even for such a short span of time.
We were too hungry after the show was over, and had buffet lunch at the vegetarian hotel, Dil Se. The food was really tasty and the variety suited my taste, This made me more impressed with the Ramoji Film City, and also seemed to justify the high entrance fee charged to us. 🙂 We adults were tired after walking for too long, but the kids were adamant we visit a attraction called Filmi something. We went there on their persuasion. Inside the building, a small train took us around, and we came across puppets and scenes from different parts of the worlds, with the life like puppets seemingly waving to the passerbys in the train. The attraction was really attractive despite the apparent childishness of the design and the stage pieces used.
Our sojourn at the film city finally ended, and we trundled back to our car like battle weary troops. Naresh mama asked us if we would like to visit the Hussain Sagar lake and go by speed boat, but our legs would not carry us further. We decided to take a drive through to the lake and have a glimpse of it. After another hour of driving, we arrived on Necklace road, and the sheer expanse of the lake awed us; we could see speed boats gliding across the sparkling surface of the water body, and we continued to marvel at the lake which separates the twin cities, till it was out of sight.
We arrived at home, and I was totally exhausted from the adventures of the day. I however, made use of Naresh mama’s PC and uploaded the photos and videos onto it, and brought the girls along to see the snaps. For half an hour, they scrolled through the snaps, laughing at the snap of me hugging the figurine, and the photos of my face and Naresh mama’s face filling up the hole in the Mona Lisa painting at the film city. It was a very good day, and the memories of the history class at Golconda fort was erased. 😛
To be continued.