Our day was booked for an outing at Ramoji Film City (RFC) – the largest film studio complex in the world (certified by the Guinness World Records) as it is spread over 1,666 acres.
We started with an hour’s drive from Gachibowli. Due to unplanned logistics and the quick visit to Dino World Theme Park (15-20 minutes further from Ramoji Film City) where the kids enjoyed for an hour, we landed in the Film City at around 3 pm.
The tickets are priced at Rs 1475/- for adults and Rs 1235/- for kids. Entry for tiny kids (shorter than 33”) is free.
After buying the tickets, it took about 15 minutes for the internal bus to come and take us to the main city. From the entrance, we had to walk through the high door and to the Eureka Bus Stop to take the bus to the Bahubali film set. But that bus first took us to the ‘Foreign City’ and dropped us there. We then had to walk to the ‘Airport’ to catch the bus to the ‘Railway Station’. From there, the bus finally took us to the sets of the famous Bahubali movie. Phew! The whole travelling process was pretty stressful considering our aim to reach the popular film set before the last bus (around 1600 hours).
The time taken (from the moment you get off your cab, buy the tickets, wait for the internal bus and get to the main city) would be 30-40 minutes at the least.
So, though RFC is open till 2100 hours, here’s why we recommend that you enter Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad by 9 AM:
The welcome dance starts at around 1000 hours and you can join them and copy their moves if you like. There is a repeat every hour but perhaps not later than 1500 hours.
We missed all the shows (shadow dances, animations, garden scenes, etc.) at the film studios that our friends visited before we got there. All the shows had their last screenings at 1600 or 1730 hours.
We also missed the movie-making session where they showed the audience how they made fake animals look natural, the idea behind Ramoji and how it started, etc. They selected one volunteer from the audience, made them take a few shots and displayed the final short movie scene created then and there with behind-the-scene sounds.
Though we saw the Eiffel tower, we didn’t get to see the other Wonders of the World at Ramoji Film City. That is one of the agendas for the next trip.
This was a beautiful bus ride (on our way to the Bahubali film set) through the clean but pretend ‘foreign city’, ‘vegetable market’, ‘snowy area’, ‘rain’, etc. We were also shown the ‘Bengali house’, ‘airport’, ‘railway station’, etc. used in various Indian movies.
While we were on the way to the Bahubali set, we crossed the Sahas Adventure area where we would have gone if we were not short of time. They have ATVs, obstacle races, paintball, mountain biking, bungee ejection, shooting, archery and more. Oh! Not only the kids, even we, adults, were aching to go there! But, it closes by 1730 hours.
Finally, when we reached the most awaited set, we were in awe. The entry of the set itself was overwhelming with the huge bell, elaborate film set model, colossal door, and more. Then, when we went inside, it was massive. The horses, the chariot, the gardens, the throne, the statues, the tabla – all larger than life. Even the dosas and the puris were 4 times the normal size!
The last bus to this set was at 1600 hours.
Around the entertainment area at The Sun Fountain, there were only a few activities for our kids below 12 years, so they could only enjoy bungee jumping and the merry-go-round. The other rides were for kids above 16 years of age.
There is a lot of walking so we would advise you to wear walking shoes and not heels or any other uncomfortable footwear. On the way back, we had to walk through a beautiful waterfall, bird sanctuary, butterfly park, novelty shop and the make-believe ‘Mysore Vrindavan Gardens’ before we caught the bus back to the exit.
After enjoying the Bahubali set, we got back to the Eureka Bus Stop on the fancy red bus. The whole place was beautifully illuminated! The Angel Fountain was a treat to the eyes. The lighting was so well concealed that I wished the whole of India followed this concept.
Therefore, if you reach the Film City by 9 am and finish exploring all it has to offer, you will have ample time to walk through and admire the colourfully lit-up Film City after dusk. You can also sit and enjoy the carnival parade, dandiya night and other live shows that start by 1830 hours around The Sun Fountain.
We did all this in one day but if you are not a morning person or want to enjoy the place one day at a time, you can stay within the premises and choose anything between star luxury and economy accommodations. Next time, we plan to book a room in one of the hotels listed here so we can experience each and every part (including Fundustan, Adventure Land, Timber Land, Toyland, etc.) of the Film City at leisure.
Check out their Pick-Up and Drop service here.
Ramoji Film City is not only for movie buffs. There is also entertainment for kids, adults, bird lovers, butterfly lovers and adventure lovers all in one place. Though my kids were initially skeptical about joining me for the Film City Day-Out, they loved it AND want to go there again (because apparently, my 6-year-old son noticed some construction going on at the far end and decided that it was ‘to make the Film City more beautiful’ – exactly his words). But, that’s yet to be decided at a later date!
To conclude, I have to mention that this is my first visit to any Film City. When I saw the size and the record, I must say that I set the standard high. Not sure how I would feel visiting another (out of the Guinness Records) Film City elsewhere. There was one in Bangalore but I never wound up checking it in all my 11 years of living here and now it seems to be shut. Nevertheless, I’m glad I visited RFC because the place was clean, tidy and well-maintained (despite being closed for the pandemic and all that jazz).
Have you been to a Film City before? How was your experience? Do you suggest we check out another one and compare both?