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Old 14th November 2016, 20:24   #1
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Default Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

Feeling bored on a winter Saturday morning? Had enough of sea, sand and hills recently?
Why not try something different – a Jurassic Park – for that matter ?

Konark Sun Temple in the Disneyland !
Petronas Towers beats Burj-Khalifa hands-down !
Mallya days are back again with Kingfisher Jet waiting for you !
How about a selfie with a famous sculpture of Michael Angelo !
5-D shows in the lawn of Buckingham Palace !
View of Sanchi Stupa from Burdwan station !

The list continues …and so does the list of words like eerie, spooky, haunted and adjectives galore. Rather than Prabhu Deva using his ABCD muscle on the dance floor or Rohit Shetty chasing the Chennai Express with the scorpios and Safari Stormes or a certain Farhan Akhtar canning the Don3 in Burj Khalifa in similarity with Petronas Tower in Don --- The Conjurings, The 31s and off course the Jurassic series can be best shot at Prayag Film City.

Walking through the head-high grasslands of Honey I Shrunk the Kids leading to the Star Resort to catch a sure-shot glimpse of Count Dracula whose chase forces you to run and then Creep into the lonely train compartment in the Burdwan station, only to be up and running when a group of bees are at you and ends in jumping to the Lake Placid.

Despite all the above factors, those who still believe that, Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, may choose to read on. I am making a humble and honest effort at that

Prayag Film City supposedly claimed to be the asia’s largest film city with a total area of around 2700 acres was inaugurated by Shahrukh Khan in 2012. It is situated in the Duki village near Chandrakona town in the Midnapore district and is around 170 km from Kolkata.
The Film City is divided into different zones – Film or the Shooting zone, Resorts and Restaurant area and the Rides and Entertainment park. There is also a park called Miniature World where miniature versions of the world’s famous structures are in place. However, after the Sarada scam, just like Rose Valley—Prayag group was also affected in some ways and the continual erosion of funds coupled with almost zero advertising marked the beginning of the fall of the Film City Empire.

The route:

NH6 from Kolkata till around 9 Kms before Kharagpur for the cut-out to Midnapore on right.
Continue on that road for around 4 Km and then take NH14 to travel for around 40 km to reach the diversion for Prayag Film City 3 Km before Chandrakona town. The village road through Duki continues for about 1.5 km to lead you to the film city

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I had heard about this Film City before. I also knew that it’s not being adequately maintained these days. However, the very thought of travelling to a new place just for the day-out and one of the Team-BHP taglines being in my head forever – I Live to Drive – on a super tarmac with our beloved Ertiga – all those were enough reasons to make it happen.

After a relaxed breakfast, we started at around 8 in the morning. Soon we hit NH6 and began to make a steady progress. Drive through NH6 till 9 Km before Kharagpur was nothing significant and nothing much to write. It’s just like a habit of sipping on one’s morning tea regularly rather than finding anything special about the drive.

Oh! How can I forget this extra-special drive !!

The Note episode (500/1000) took its toll on the toll and made sure our journey was toll-free.

After taking right turn from NH6 towards Midnapore

Excellent Roads

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-1.jpg

Driving through the forest areas of Bhadutala and Araibari range and zip past the Salboni zone, here’s some conversation between my better half and me.
“Ei jayga ta ki chilo ko bochor ageo ! Diner belay porjonto keu beroto na maobadider jonyyo”
Meaning – What a place this was even few years back ! Nobody dared to venture out even in day time due to the Maoists !

While the conversation between my twin kids was
“ Ei jongol theke Jodi haati beroy, Ma? Tahole ki hobe? Buno hatira rasta atke debe?”

Meaning – Ma, what will happen if wild elephants come out of the jungle? Will they block the road?

Jungle stretch near Salboni

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-2.jpg

We were approaching our destination
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Need to take a left turn and continue through the village road for about 1.5 km
Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-4.jpg

Despite a sedate driving style and couple of short photo breaks, we reached there in 3.5 hours.

The entry fee is 500/- and the kids were not charged. Let the photos do the talking

Signal is still red. Anyone like to board?
Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-5.jpg

Ohh! You just boarded-off it seems. Wanna carry your luggage through the “Jung Bahadur” foot-bridge?

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-6.jpg

Self-driven own zoooom-car is available outside the station

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-7.jpg

A mosque to start with

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-8.jpg

Front view

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-9.jpg

Chose specifically not to enter the palace of Count Dracula and opted for a different one

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-10.jpg

No worries ! Lord Jesus is there to protect us if anything untoward happens

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-11.jpg

Got stuck in the winding alleys? Want some fresh air beside the lake?

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-12.jpg

So that kids can also enjoy

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-13.jpg

Entry through the Royal façade

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-14.jpg

Different view

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-15.jpg

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Stop!! Give way..

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-17.jpg

A fun ride awaits. Unfortunately, there’s no driver.

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-18.jpg

The Restaurant. Quality is decent but stick to regular Bengali cuisine and need to order atleast 1 hour before
Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-19.jpg

Ertiga doesn’t excite the kids anymore. May be a custom made Limo! How about that?

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-20.jpg

The Mallya’s back in the business it seems.Can it fly again?

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-21.jpg

Off to the adjacent Miniature World.

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-22.jpg


The Dragons’ corner meet Disneyland, Hollywood, Christ the Redeemer. What not! Two small groups in an Alto and Eco Sport were the only visitors apart from us.

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-23.jpg

Inside view

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More greenery than the original Petronas Towers

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More greener-browner pastures

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-26.jpg

All that glitters on the Golden Temple


Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-27.jpg

The Sun Temple

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-28.jpg

The Sanchi Stupa

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-29.jpg

To be continued..
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Old 14th November 2016, 20:31   #2
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Default re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

How about posing a selfie with these two

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-30.jpg

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-31.jpg

Dilwara Temple and Buddhist Caves in the background

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-32.jpg

As we bid adieu to the Film City and started retracing our paths through the village road, three emotions were running through my mind. The sad emojis made some heavy attacks and compelled me to think that how such a big empire is now on the verge of collapse due to lack of advertisement and tourism initiative. The smiley emoticons made me cheerful thinking about the fact that we had a great drive, a great day-out to a new place where very few people have visited and most importantly kids feeling happy about the place. The hopeful and the positive emoticons put enough stickers and stamps in my mind to ensure that some other BHPians would also come to this place, would do their part so that the inflow of tourist is maintained and some day may regain its lost glory.

One final parting shot

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-33.jpg

On our way back near Salboni observed this signage
Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-34.jpg

And thought of having just a glimpse from outside

Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world-35.jpg

Few Information and Tips if anyone wish to visit the Film City

Route: Apart from the driving route mentioned at the beginning of the travelogue, one can also opt to go via train. Rupasi Bangla Express leaves Santragachi at 06:25 AM and reaches Chandrakona Road station at 9:09 AM. From there, the Film City is about 5 Km and rickshaws are available.
Aranyak Express and Purulia Exp are other few trains which halts at Chandrakona Road station.

Entry Fee: 500/- No other charges

Attraction:
Hit Bengali movie Yoddha’s and Badsha’s shooting was performed here.
The major attractions are
Studio Park, Imperial Garden, Chinese Garden, Formal Garden, Ivory Garden, Colors Park, Kids Park, Wonders of the World etc

During winter season, some large groups come to enjoy picnic. Five rides are generally operational then. 5-D shows are operational throughout the year.


Food: AC restaurant with reasonable rate

Stay: Staying option is present, but I personally do not feel safe due to low maintenance

Hopefully a triceratop would not await us if and when we visit next time

Cheers
Subhojit
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Old 17th November 2016, 10:39   #3
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Default Re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

Hey Subhojit.

Nice travelogue there and some very good pictures as well. While I have travelled across almost every state in the country, I have never been inside a film city. I didn't know what to expect in one and honestly, I never had the curiosity to find out either. So your report comes as an education for me. All those structures must be fascinating for the children. They seem to have had a great time.

Looking forward to more reports from you.
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Old 17th November 2016, 14:00   #4
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Default Re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

This is great initiative! Keep it up! Keep discovering more places where we Calcuttans or Kolkatans can take quick breaks. I never knew about this place and may just drive for a day outing with my family during this winter.
Thanks
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Old 18th November 2016, 11:32   #5
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Default Re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

It is indeed a lovely travelogue. I never heard of this film city before and I am sure I am not the rare breed. This story deserves accolade because, I think, it's going to contribute immensely in the resurrection of this almost forgotten / unheard of tourist attraction of the state. I am going to visit this place with my family, friends, fellow BHPians and Bullet buddies. This way this place will hopefully get the attention of the people as well as of the authorities it deserves. Keep up the good work!
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Old 18th November 2016, 14:17   #6
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Default Re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Hey Subhojit.

Nice travelogue there and some very good pictures as well. All those structures must be fascinating for the children. They seem to have had a great time.
Looking forward to more reports from you.
Thanks Aditya so much. Indeed, kids had a great time as it was a new experience for them. Sure, will try to live up to your expectation

Quote:
Originally Posted by prk265 View Post
This is great initiative! Keep it up! I never knew about this place and may just drive for a day outing with my family during this winter.
Thanks prk265 so much. Hopefully, if you plan in December, rides may be operational adding to more fun element for the kids. Also, being picnic season, maintenance might be better I believe. Do share your experience if and when you visit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
It is indeed a lovely travelogue.

I am going to visit this place with my family, friends, fellow BHPians and Bullet buddies. This way this place will hopefully get the attention of the people as well as of the authorities it deserves. Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much psurelia. I was really skeptical whether to write a travelogue after visiting the Film City as it can nowhere compete with Ramoji Film City both in terms of amenities and maintenance. However, the very thought that fellow TeamBHPians can only save it from being lost in oblivion propelled me to write the travelogue.Feeling nice that many BHPians are showing interest and expressing their desire to visit some day.

Wish other places of interest which are still not getting the attention they deserve may get unearthed by some BHPians in the forum and get added to Samba's invaluable thread
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-tourists.html (West Bengal - A treasure for tourists)

[Read: Every BHPian cannot find everything, for everything else related to West Bengal Tourism, there's Samba's thread ]

Cheers
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:08   #7
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Default Re: Drive to Prayag Film City, Medinipur. The lost “Film” world

Very interesting subhojitb. I am basically from a nearby place of the film city and distance of the place from my home is < 30 KM. Every months I go to my home. Sometime I stopped there for tea or to meet some old friend. But never thought of exploring it in this way. Thanks for sharing .. and thanks for pointing a place where I can go with relatives next time.
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