Monday, September 5, 2016

A day tour in Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

Ramoji Film City day tour is a very good option for a one-day family outing in Hyderabad. Here, you can explore a number of picturesque gardens, artificial caves, bird and butterfly parks, beautiful monuments, buildings and sites that are used during movie shootings, a wide variety of shows that would be enjoyed by one and all and a fairly decent amusement park.
Fundustan, Ramoji Film City

Recently, my parents were in Hyderabad and apart from other city attractions, we visited Ramoji Film City as well. We had picked a public holiday for the tour, and did bus bookings a day before. We started early in the morning with buses scheduled to depart from Gachibowli at 6:40am. The buses however were not on time and we started an hour late from Gachibowli. The place is around 61 kms from Gachibowli and after a pleasant one-and-a-half-hour journey (for most of which I slept), we reached Ramoji at around 9am.

This was our first stop. If you go in your personal vehicles, you would be allowed to take it only till this point. Before getting off the bus, I checked with the driver the time and place where we would get the bus for our journey back.

After purchasing the entry tickets from the ticket window, we went through the security gates. We then boarded a bus on the other side, that took us till Eureka (marked as 7 on the map).
Ramoji information booklet (available at ticket counter)
From here, you can start with a Red Vintage Bus Tour that takes you around the world’s largest film studio (as per Guinness World Records) sprawling over more than 1500 acres. The guide tells you about the movies that have been shot there and you can easily relate if you’ve seen them. Some of the gardens and sites are actually breathtaking and one goes in sheer wonderment over the grandeur and beauty of these locations.
Red Vintage Bus

Sanctuary Garden (with Hawa Mahal in background)

Kripalu Caves

Vaman - Bonsai Garden
The highlight of this tour was the Bird park which has a wide variety of birds from all parts of the world. There were birds that I’ve not seen in the biggest of zoos. Their splendor and beauty simply mesmerizes you. We spent a fairly good amount of time clicking these birds and learning about them.
Bird Park 1
Bird Park 2
After the tour, the Red Vintage Bus drops you at Movie Magic, where a number of performances and shows are lined up. The timings for the shows are mentioned in the information booklet. These happen in different theatres/auditoriums and you can choose from them according to your taste and preference. We went for Lights Camera Action (marked as 10 in map), Filmy Duniya (marked as 3), Spirit of Ramoji (marked as 8), Dadajin Live TV Show (marked as 11) and Fort Frontier Stunt Show (marked as 9) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Movie Magic

Lights Camera Action 
Spirit of Ramoji
Fort Frontier Stunt Show
We had lunch somewhere in the middle of the shows. There are a number of restaurants and food courts and the food was pretty descent.

In the evening, you can spend time in the amusement park and enjoy the rides, some of which are complimentary with your entry ticket.

Amusement Park, Ramoji

A dinosaur model in Fundustan

The reporting time for the journey back is 5:30pm and the buses start at around 6:00pm for Gachibowli.

Some considerations and what not to miss

  • A day tour ticket costs Rs1000 per person for adults and Rs900 for children and includes a guided tour of Ramoji Film City, Ramoji Movie Magic, Entertainment shows at Eureka and complimentary rides in the amusement park.
  • The bus bookings from Gachibowli to Ramoji should be done in advance. It can be done online or booked over phone on Ramoji Help Line number 1800 4250 9999. The buses start from Punjabi Rasoi near Gachibowli flyover and costs you Rs 300 for a to and fro journey.
  • There’s a lot to explore in the guided tour followed by a good number of shows and performances. Make selections depending on your preferences. Information booklet is your friend here. Also, there are good hotel options inside the film city in case you planned to spend more than a day in the film city.
  • For the journey back, the AC buses start from a stop that is located behind Ranger (marked as 18 in the map). Don't forget to take your drivers contact number to coordinate for the pick-up.
  • What not to miss
    • Bird Park
    • Amusement Park
    • Filmy Duniya and Fort Frontier Stunt Show

Edited - I recently went for a day tour a second time. Check out the Vlog.

Happy Travelling!