Rated among the top 3 things to do in Hyderabad on TripAdvisor and recommended by few friends as a one-time visit, we finally decided to visit Ramoji Film City. It is the world’s largest Film Studio complex as per Guinness World Records and you can see this being marketed everywhere including the pamphlets, the website, the tickets, the entrance gate and few more places within the film city premises. Obviously, we had very high expectations!
On a typical Sunday morning, we drove from Gachibowli, Hyderabad to Ramoji Film city. The 35 km drive on Nehru Outer Ring Road from Hyderabad to Ramoji film city was sheer pleasure. You can also take a bus from Hyderabad to Ramoji. You will find the bus details on Ramoji Film city website.
Once you enter the premises, you can park the car and buy a ticket at the counter. There is no rush at the ticket counter, so instead of buying online, it is better if you buy the tickets at the counter. Once you buy the ticket, a bus takes you from the entrance gate to the film city. It is a 10-15 minutes drive. Personal vehicles are allowed inside the campus.
After spending 1 day @ the film city, here are the things that we liked/ disliked about Ramoji and why we feel that it is highly overrated.
1. Film Shows –
We watched three shows – Dadajin Live TV show, Fort Frontier Stunt show and Spirit of Ramoji.
- Dadajin Live TV show was about how a magician named ‘Dadajin’ who comes out live from TV; dances with the girls, fights with villans, plays cricket and performs magic. It was a 20-minutes show in a dome shaped theatre.
- The Wild West Stunt Show was about the fight between heroes and villains in a typical cowboyish style. You hear the sound of guns and you see the actors fighting with each other in a hilarious way.
- Spirit of Ramoji was a great show reflecting the diversity of Indian culture and traditions.
The film shows are known for teaching you the magic of movie making! So, they are the heart and soul of Ramoji Film city. However, what was really disappointing about these shows was
- For Dadajin Live TV show and The Wild West Stunt show; the storyline was not very effective. There was nothing new or awe-spiring about it. We expected a lot more from the world’s largest film studio in terms of creativity.
- The sound system should be improved. It felt like the screen and the sound system has not been upgraded for a long time. The gun shoots and the fighting scene in The Wild West Stunt Show were actually noise to the ears.
2. Studio Tour – Bus Ride
This 20-minute bus ride was fun. Every bus has a guide who gives a live commentary on the surrounding places as the bus takes you from one location to another within the film city.
You can see a variety of gardens like the Japanese garden, the Mughal garden, the Bonsai garden and the bird park. You also see replicas of popular monuments and places of worship like the intricately carved Kripalu caves, Buddha statues, Temples, Churches, Mosques etc. The film city also has dummy hospital, railway station, airport, prison and shopping plazas. You can see the European neighbourhood, the US neighborhood and rural Indian areas; all in one place.
Every time the bus enters a new street, the guide will tell you which popular movie was shot at that location. We saw the French colony in Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal, the railway station of Chennai Express, the palace of the popular TV show ‘Siya ke Raam’, the famous Tihar Jail (Prison) and much more…
This tour was the high point of the entire day.
3. Bahubali Set
Bahubali, one of the highest grossing movies in India is known for its magnificent sets. Bahubali sets are definitely the focal point of all tourist coming to Ramoji. If you are a Bahubali fan, you will like this set.
4. Rides –
Most of the rides were closed from 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Few games/ rides that we wanted to enjoy like the Net Cricket, Bumping cars and the Virtual Reality games were paid. After paying a high entrance fee, we didn’t want to spend on rides.
From the looks of it, most of the rides were average and there was nothing new that we missed out here by not experiencing even a single ride. Also, a high entry fee should have ensured, all rides are free at least for one time. Disappointed with the rides!
Snacks- There are snack joints selling puffs, samosas and ice creams at every corner. The food is average. Ice creams and cold drinks are served at a price much higher than the MRP.
For lunch; Chanakya, Gun-Smoke, Alampana and Superstar are the popular restaurants. The Chicken curry/Naan and Biryani at Alampana is delicious. Must Try! The rates are reasonable but there is a long queue at the restaurant, first to grab a food token at the payment counter and then to get the food plate. That adds to the discomfort.
If you want to shop, go to Meena Bazaar for handicraft, imitation jewelry, and pearls; Mouryan and Space Yatra shop for Souvenirs and Magadha Shop for clothes. There are many pushcarts selling souvenirs in the film city. There is nothing unique about the products being sold here. Also, the products are overpriced (which is expected at a tourist place). Though we checked out the clothing, handicraft and jewelry collection, we didn’t buy anything from here.
7. Exploring a 2000 acres campus
A 2000 acres campus can’t be explored in the burning summer heat without proper directions/ map. It would be helpful if attendants are there at every corner to guide the tourists. Currently, there is no proper guidance for directions on how to go from one place to another.
Overall, this trip to Ramoji Film City could have been avoided. There is no unique experience that you will get here. During our last theme park visit to Disneyland Paris; we could clearly identify every street and every ride to the Disney movie we had seen. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride reminded us of Jack Sparrow and his adventures and the Fantasyland brings back memories of Disney Princess movies and stories. Not sure if Ramoji film City’s comparison to Disneyland is justified. But, there is no ride or a restaurant or a souvenir shop or a place that you can connect with (except for Bahubali Sets) even if you are a diehard fan of Bollywood movies. For us, Ramoji Film City was a place like any other. It is definitely not worth the ticket price!!!