A long drive out of the city found us at the location which is known as the place the epic Bollywood movie Sholay was shot, Ramanagaram – a land of seven hills. Ramanagaram is a small town known for its silk industry on the Bangalore- Mysore route. Movie aficionados know the town as Ramgarh where Veeru met Basanti, Gabbar ruled over scenic rock formations and dacoits went looting villages on horses. Another notable movie that was shot in these locales was David Lean’s movie ‘ A Passage to India’.
Temple on Ramadevara Betta , do you recognize it from Sholay
Ramanagaram has a temple on top of Ramadevara Betta, where most people who go searching for ‘the place Sholay was shot’ find themselves. Ramadevara hill is a sanctuary for long billed vultures. The scenic view from atop the mountain is quite refreshing with tall boulders emerging from the local shrubbery. The temple makes for a good trek and there are other trekking routes around Ramanagaram.
The temple on top of Ramadevara Betta is a steep climb of 400 steps which seems like forever to climb but actually takes only about half an hour to go up and climb down. The boulders provide great backdrops for photos and the terrain is much more greener than you would remember in the movie. While we were climbing up a group of boys came asking for the spot Sholay was shot and asked if this is Ramgarh. A lone priest at the base of the temple corrected them that Ramgarh exists only in the movie. I wonder how much of the movie fame rubbed off on the residents as the priest later turned to a lady sitting nearby and exclaimed, ‘hindi movie’!
After the climb, we drove to Kamat’s Loka Ruchi near Janapada Loka another attraction nearby and indulged in some authentic snacks. Kamat’s is pretty well known for travelers on the Mysore Bangalore route as it offers some authentic dishes such as akki roti, Mangalore bhajji, Mudde Idly which is idli wrapped and steamed in a leaf. There is also the allure of good filter coffee which happens to be my favorite indulgence.