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Ramoji Film City:Movies, Make Believe & Gardens

Listed under Gardens in Hyderabad, India.

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I never get tired of visiting new places and have learned one of the most valuable lessons along the way – be flexible. Those two words will open up your world. Case in point…

An hour outside the southern Indian metropolis of Hyderabad, the Ramoji Film City sits. Now, this city is more famous for the film industry than for gardens…but you and I know that with films come film sets and scenery. Here in great and glorious abundance are both. When you first walk through the gates you really don’t know what to expect. This film production complex is huge – 2,000 acres and not only are Indian films made here but Hollywood films as well. Called Tollywood, 100 films are made here per year and one can walk in with a script and walk out with a film in the can. The sets are outdoor and indoor, but we will focus on just some of the outdoor ones because these are amazing and even though man made are sure to leave you spell bound.

As you walk through them you are transported to different places and times…these gardens are exquisitely landscaped with numerous plant material, statues, sculptures and trees including topiary. It really does take you to a different place in time and you have to remember that most of the statues and buildings are fake…so realistic are they – truly a man made wonder. The gardens are known as Shangri-La and for good reason. The dictionary defines this word as ‘An imaginary remote paradise on earth’ or ‘A distant and secluded hideaway, usually of great beauty and peacefulness.’

The gardens are peaceful and welcome you with open arms…come in and enjoy what man has created. The African garden has topiary elephants taking water at a small pond, the Japanese garden has a very peaceful feel to it as you stand in the pagoda and they have made such use of the hills and valleys, creating wonderful gardens in the shade and the sun. The Cacti garden was teeming with plant material as well as sculpture. With a team of horticulturists, botanists, and landscape artists, the gardens and its nurseries have thousands of country-specific plants to help in re-creating the spring in England, a Japanese garden and even the wilds of Africa. Palaces, mosques and temples, each with its specific garden can be found here. The gardens are full of exotic flowers, plants and shrubs..each in tune with its creator…each ready to soothe your soul as you wander along.

You are in a city of make believe but I can tell you that as I stood and watched a bus load of children going through, that I could only find happy smiling faces full of child like wonder. They had probably just been to Fundustan, a child fantasy area on site where they could tumble, slide, crawl and climb through a maze of fun.

If you want to stay there longer than a day or want your honeymoon here, there are hotels and restaurants and the film city's mini film crew, complete with a director, cameraman and make-up artist will assist you in filming your unforgettable precious moments to perfection in pictures of your honeymoon. I want to thank my friend Steve…who opened up my eyes to the beauty of India…I encourage you to visit and see my whole trip…the memories are in my photos of it.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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