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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ramoji film city, Hyderabad

The day after we reached Hyderabad we had almost the whole day on our hands, so we decided to go to Ramoji film city. Though it is advisable to reach early in the morning but we first went to register at the conference. It took us close to two hours to reach Ramoji. Soumya fell asleep on the way. Once there we took a special package of Rs.1200/- per adult and Rs.1000/- for child which included lunch at the buffet restaurant, free bottle of water, coldrink, free caps and some Snacks. We were allowed to take our private car farther inside. From there we were taken in buses. Each bus load of around ten guests had a guide allotted to them. Our guide Vijay took our mobile no. As we reached there at nearly 12noon. We went for the "Spirit of Ramoji" first. That was a stage show with some indian classical dancing. We caught it midway.
From Hyderabad 2011
Then we went for the "Stunt show" which was good with all the shooting and all. The wild west was made well.
From Hyderabad 2011

We then went for lunch, it was a great crush, especially with so many delegates from the conference. The lunch was at the restaurant "Superstar". Lunch was just OK. Met three of my postgraduate colleagues/friends here at Ramoji, more than I met in the conference.
Soumya did bungy trampoline jumping just outside the restaurant.

"Filmy duniya ka jadoo" was a ride on the lines of "it's a small world" of Disneyland. But it was good copy.
We went for "Movie magic" which was an excellent show, where they showed how behind the scenes, people are working hard to make the movies which we see. The selection of the famous scene of 'Sholay' in which Basanti is being chased by dacoits on her tonga, is interesting. We went for the earthquake experience which was also good. The falling elevator. Here they had made a mini Hollywood.
Then we were taken for a bus ride around the film city. There were lovely gardens where we could see the locales from many of the hindi movies. Esp. The gardens where Shah Rukh and Kajol shot for 'Kuch Kuch hota hai'. The building which was an airport from one side and a hospital from the other side. "Munnabhai MBBS" had been shot here. A village road, a street in London. Houses with different elevations from two sides, one side the hero's house from the other side, the heroine's house.
Many of Govinda's movies have been shot here. The guide told us that the director could walk in with script and walk out with the movie, all post production work could also be taken care off here.
In the end we went to see the caves which had closed down but the guide got it open for us, I really liked this place.
From Hyderabad 2011
From Hyderabad 2011
From Hyderabad 2011
After this we went back to the hotel, a long drive. There was some unrest in the city as there was the issue of a separate state for Telangana. We took a different route back and reached safely. We got biryani packed from 'Paradise' for dinner this evening, as we all wanted The takeaway was very fast. They provided disposable plates also for which they charged extra. They had a meal of chicken, and mutton biryanis, butter chicken and rumali rotis for Rs.350/- The helpings were extra large. Food was really good.

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The Westin mindspace hotel, Hyderabad

We were in Hyderabad in Jan 2011 for the annual OBGYN conference. It was a welcome escape from the chilly weather in Lucknow. FOGSI is always a veritable academic feast. We stayed at The Westin Mindspace.
From Hyderabad 2011

A lovely hotel in the high tech city. It has a huge central atrium into which all the rooms open.
Taj has three properties in Hyderabad, Krishna, Deccan and Banjara, of these Taj Krishna was the best. Taj Deccan was pretty run down. We initially checked into that hotel, then later decided to shift to Westin as it was closer to the venue of the conference.
The interiors of The Westin were uber modern, but the service was not that good. Once we had to ring four times to get our plates from room service cleared and in the end, we put the plates out before going to sleep. The staff is friendly. Breakfast was good everyday, though it was served separately for the conference delegates, than from their regular breakfast, on the last day we had the regular breakfast that was better than the one served for the conference but it was catering more to the international guests. The view from the room outside the window was nothing much.

But the twin queen beds were good for our family. If one is going to attend a conference in the convention centre then this is a very good hotel to put up in.
Taj would be a good choice if one wants to stay in the centre of the city near shopping areas.
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