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On Satyajit Ray’s trail in Bengal

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) For the fans of the legendary Satyajit Ray the world over, here’s a treat. They will soon be able to visit the locations of some of his films in West Bengal, with the tourism ministry planning to prioritise a Rs.50 crore project.

The Satyajit Ray Trail will develop the sites of the Oscar winning filmmaker’s famous movies as tourist attractions, an official said Wednesday. Some of these are in Birbhum and its neighbouring district of Burdwan.

Under the project, the West Bengal government has proposed to recreate the scenes of some films shot at different locations with brief descriptions of the script and narration of some important events during the shooting.

Illumination of the shooting spots, landscaping, a tourist interpretation centre and building accommodation are also part of the proposed project.

Ray rose to international fame for his epoch making movie ‘Pather Panchali’.

‘The movie was partly shot at Boral, about 5 km from southern Kolkata. Many of the locations of his famous films before and after ‘Pather Panchali’ were in the red soil terrain of Birbhum district,’ the official said.

‘Many locations were around Santiniketan at Bolpur. Boral, however, has now become a victim of urbanisation and most of the sites related to Ray have vanished.’

Ray went on to make critically acclaimed films like ‘Charulata’, ‘Nayak’ and ‘Ghare Baire’.

The state government is in the process of identifying exact locations where Ray shot his films with the help of one of his erstwhile crew members, Ramesh Sen, and also in consultation with Sandip Ray, the son of the legendary film maker.

‘Primarily, it appears that the locations are spread over a vast stretch of Birbhum and partly in neighbouring Burdwan district. Apart from the filming locations, Santiniketan is already a major draw for both foreign and domestic tourists and authorities may start the trail from Santiniketan,’ the official added.

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