At proposed ‘Sholay’ park in Ramnagara, the fight is between movie memories and vulnerable vultures..

Superb piece from Archana Nathan of Scroll. One was excited to read earlier of an upcoming Sholay Park in Ramnagara, a town about 50 kms from Bangalore. This place was the iconic Ramgarh where the iconic Hindi movie Sholay was shot and made history.

However, the Park has run into difficulties with environment authorities:

Off the highway between Bengaluru and Mysuru, a patch of land surrounded by hills comes alive when Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay is mentioned. The 1975 blockbuster was shot there and curious tourists, especially from outside Karnataka, continue to visit the area to search for markers of the vendetta drama. There are none, but there soon might be. Early this year, the state government’s tourism department proposed a Sholay inspired theme park at Ramanagara, which is depicted as Ramgarh in the movie.

The theme park will include virtual reality recreations of key moments from the movie, adventure games and a crafts hub over a 120-acre stretch. The location seems perfect: packed with giant yet scaleable boulders and hills, Ramanagara is an ideal pit stop between the cities. But the proposal has been opposed by the state Forest Department, which has pointed out that it is illegal to construct a tourist hub in a reserved forest area. The parts of Sholay that fans remember – Gabbar Singh’s lair, Thakur Baldev Singh’s house, and the sequence in which Gabbar chops off Thakur’s hands – are part of the Ramadevara Betta vulture sanctuary at Ramanagara.

A case which makes for the eternal debate on growth vs environment..

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