07 March 2008

Akshardhaam, Delhi --- A brand new Amusement Park concept

Recently I had this opportunity of witnessing this amazing concept. Let me start from describing this place. This place is stretched over acres of land, with a parking lot bigger than the car park at any of the Indian Aiports I have seen. So u can imagine the total size of the complex. Its just humongous. So I enter the gate and am there inside this really huge open area. Now time for the first surprise. We need to deposit all out bags, cameras, mobiles, handsfrees and basically everything that is there with you except of course you cash and other valuables. Anyways proceeding from there I moved on. At another point I was told to take off my belt. Yo Baby. This is amazing. Never seen this thing happen anywhere. I believed that Airports and Red Fort also dont have this amazing security. Then a 'proper' security check and we are now allowed to proceed and put on the belt over the falling pants. Obviously the complex people dont want to visitor with their trousers falling every now and then. After entering the main area you will realise the beauty of it. Its wonderfully done with loads of rocks and PoP. You just have to keep walking to reach the stairs of the temple. But before that you have several entertainment options like the boat ride, a movie and the museum, all in a package deal of Rs145 at the counter though they announced it as Rs125. I did not understand anything of that and did not poke as I was least interested in it. Then finally we enter the main temple complex after leaving the shoes outside. Inside we have the main idol of Swaminarayan ji and all other devtas around it. WTF!! Never seen such a sight. Though the interiors are fabulous, but I dont think u can get any religious feelings inside. You can at most admire the beauty of carving and the multiple gumbajs at the top. There are these people carrying the board which says, keep silence. Another of the first. After you have felt 100% crap if you carried any religious feelings. Then in the evening u have those awesome musical fountain. Its good and they charge a nominal amount for it. But if you think its not an amusement park then tell me what is that doing there. Then they have this awesome cafetaria where u can spend rest of the time. Its actually on the way out, so its ok. In conclution what I would like to add is that after looking into all those malls, parks and other concepts, I feel this is another cool one. Probably the rest of India too will be bit by it soon.

Some ideas in this regard.

Some of the bigger organisations can sponsor it. It would be good to see Lux Cosy ABCdhama, Pepsi XYZdhama and others. Another idea that I have is that we can also allow people to enter for free but we make it so large that the people have to buy something inside to eat. You can charge a real premium like they do at the airports, where you get that useless Rs5 coffee/tea for Rs25 among other things. Any more ideas guys??

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