Ramoji Film City
Ramoji Film City is a truly unique place. This is the world's largest integrated film studio complex, which basically means it's a massive grouping of buildings on a similarly massive plot of land that is capable of churning out a stunning amount of feature-length movies on a yearly basis. Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad is also a first-class tourist site that offers the inside track on movie-making. Consequently, taking a Ramoji Film City tour is one of the more quirky things to do while exploring India, and visitors unanimously report that the Ramoji Film Studio provides a fun and comprehensive experience for the day-tripping traveler.
The Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad was opened in 1996 by the Ramoji Group, which is at the forefront of Indian movie production. It was intended to be a catchall for filmmakers, a place where you could conceive of, shoot, and edit a movie without leaving the compound. Consequently, the array of cinematic paraphernalia here is simply astounding. Among other things, the Ramoji Film City includes 500 set locations ranging from the American West to the Indian East, 50 studio floors, post-production wizardry such as film stock labs and editing studios, and more cameras than you can shake a stick at. It all goes to support the suggestion that the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad can even outdo Universal Studios in America when it comes to sheer size and scope.
While the Ramoji Film City tour won't take in all of this—such a task would require weeks of dedication—it will allow you a glimpse into various parts of the filmmaking process. It's important to stress, however, that this is no expert's tour. Instead, the Ramoji Film City tour has been designed with a theme park atmosphere in mind. Vintage coaches shuttle you around the various sets and studios, with a tour guide offering a convivial narrative as you go. A Wild West song and dance number completes proceedings.
There's a three-star hotel and a five-star hotel located on the complex, should you want to live the live the life of a movie star for a day or two. However, most chose to visit the Ramoji Film City on a day trip from nearby Hyderabad. The two cities are separated by a mere seventeen miles, and they are well connected by public transport and tour groups. Buses arrive and depart throughout the day from Koti station in Hyderabad; the journey takes around an hour.
Hyderabad itself is a fascinating place to visit. This is the home to India's burgeoning technology industry, and as such it's a more obviously moneyed place than Chennai or Kolkata. That's not to say Hyderabad is all sheen, however; its Muslim Quarter is an incredibly charming and genuinely authentic place, where breathtaking Islamic architecture awaits around what seems to be every corner. This is a wonderful place to spend time uncovering, and you'll find plenty of hotels in Hyderabad to put you up for the night, with options for every budget and taste.
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