“Arrey o Samba, Kitna inaam rakhe hai sarkar hum par?” Gabbar Singh’s iconic dialogue in Sholay still appears to ricochet off the boulders of Ramanagaram, 40 years after the film was shot here.
The desolate, rocky terrain that added an element of eeriness to Gabbar Singh’s menacing dialogues has now become a trekker’s paradise with adventure-seeking youth making a beeline to the shooting locale, about 50 km from Bangalore.
In fact, adventure tourism companies and groups are promoting a trekking expedition to Ramanagaram as an opportunity to explore Gabbar’s hideout.
D.S.D. Solanki, founder of International Academy of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (IAMAS), a voluntary organisation that promotes adventure sports, said the terrain in Ramanagaram is “tailor-made” for rock-climbing and trekking, while films like Sholay have served as an eye-opener to adventure sports enthusiasts.
Shivu, manager of Freakouts, an adventure sports company, describes Ramanagaram as the “Mecca of rock climbers” as it offers climbs of various grades for budding as well as professional climbers. Enthusiasts can try not only rappelling along with rock climbing, but also river crossing and can watch sunset and sunrise from vantage points.
Many enthusiasts come for the sheer experience of rock climbing or trekking, but they make it a point to visit Gabbar Singh’s hideout.
Some adventure groups organise night trekking and a campfire also. “We organise expeditions to this area, which also covers a visit to Ramadevara Betta, at least once a month and many participants are curious to know about the film’s shooting and the locales,” said Mr. Shivu.
Shashikant K., employee of an IT firm in Bangalore, who was part of a 90-member group that went trekking in Ramanagaram about four months ago, had very fond memories of the expedition. “As part of the fun activity, we enacted some scenes from the film,” he said.
Locals may not have been around when the movie was shot.
But, they are aware of the interest and volunteer to give visitors directions to the places where the movie was shot.