Gabbar Singh to ride again in Ramanagaram

MANDYA: Forty-two years after Sholay and Gabbar Singh etched themselves into cinematic history on the rocky terrain of Ramanagaram, where the blockbuster movie was shot, the ravines are getting ready to recreate the experience of Ramesh Sippy’s film opus.

Karnataka’s Tourism Department is working to establish ‘Sholay-the 3-D Virtual Reality Village’ on a 42,184 sq. ft. locale at Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagaram district, where the film was shot over a two-and-a-half year period.

A Rs. 7.5-crore plan was recently submitted to the government to take it forward either as a public-private partnership (PPP) venture or as a State project.

The ‘3-D village’ will recreate the dacoit-gangland setting to bring the film’s characters to life through three-dimensional (3D) printing and Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

The actors will also “come alive” for visitors and give them a chance to do role-play and deliver dialogues, a senior officer at the Department of Tourism said.

“When Thakur says Yeh haath nahi…, phaansi ka phanda hai ,” the visitors can immediately mimic the dialogue that follows, and chorus “ Yeh haath humko de de Thakur, ” the officer says, recalling the violent scene in the film where Sanjeev Kumar is trapped and his hands cut off by ‘Gabbar’ the dacoit, memorably played by Amjad Khan.

B. R. Mamatha, Deputy Commissioner, Ramanagaram, said the experience was planned to thrill visitors using VR and 3D, audio and visual equipment, multiple screens, virtual reality headsets, goggles and laser disc-based systems.

The visualisation using technology would give the visitors the feel of lead actors Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Amjad Khan being ‘present,’ the experience augmented by sound effects, she explained.

The Ramanagaram district administration is planning to partner Sippy Productions or other private agencies under the PPP model.

If not, the government will implement the project on its own by September.

Amitabh, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and others who either acted in or were involved in the movie would be invited to inaugurate the virtual reality presentation. Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge and Energy and Ramanagaram district in-charge Minister D.K. Shivakumar are pursuing the project.


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