Inside India's first 'international' theme park
Billing itself as India's first and only theme park of an "international" standard, the $294 million AdLabs Imagica opened its doors to thrill seekers this week.
Inspired by the Indian legacy of storytelling, it's made up of six "lands": Viva Europa, Arabia, Asiana, Americana, India and Jambo Africa. The park is located in Khopoli, about 70 kilometers southwest of Mumbai.
There's no hiding who the target audience is -- Indians. Many of the attractions have a Hindu or Bollywood theme, the latter of which will go over the heads of those unfamiliar with India's cinema scene.
For instance, the "Mr. India" motion simulator is based on the popular Bollywood film of the same name. The "Curse of Salimgarh" is a haunted fortress filled with dungeons, torture rooms and a princess trapped for eternity.
"We had to set up a theme park which was affordable to Indian families," said Manmohan Shetty, chairman of Adlabs Entertainment.
"I think we have succeeded in doing that."
Spread over 80 acres, the park is big enough to hold 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a day. Planned additions include a water park and hotel.
"We have started with 21 attractions," said Shetty, who's credited with bringing India its first IMAX dome. "We plan to add one attraction every year. If people like it, this will encourage us more."
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