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The AVM Studios in Chennai (formerly Madras) are the oldest film studios in India and were founded in 1946, just one year before Independence. It is part of the South Indian film industry known somewhat jokingly as 'Chollywood' or 'Kollywood' and is home to the Tamil film industry. In 1948 the studios moved to Vadapalani in Chennai where they have remained and grown ever since. The studios produce films and TV serials, have indoor and outdoor sets and street scenes as well as all the supporting infrastructure of recording, dubbing and editing suites as well as preview cinemas. The studios are open to the public and entry is free. Opening hours are from 9.00 to 18.00 daily.
Lalbagh Botanical Garden is one of Bangalore's leading tourist attractions and one of the city's most popular green spaces. Creation of the garden was commissioned in 1760 by Hyder Ali who wanted to build a classic Mughal garden. However, he died before the work was completed and his mission was taken on by Tipu Sultan, his son. The gardens have a total area of 240 acres and contain more than a thousand different plants. The centrepiece of the gardens is a grand glass greenhouse which was modelled on London's Crystal Palace. Another highlight of the gardens is the tower's built by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore. The gardens open daily from 6 am to 7 pm and a small fee applies except early in the morning and for the last hour of opening when entrance is free to encourage joggers and walkers to use the park. The biggest event of the year is the annual flower show which takes place around Republic Day (January 26th). Regular entertainment events such as musical recitals, folk dances and plays are staged throughout the year.
The Shore Temple is believed to be the sole remaining temple from an ancient complex of seven temples which were known as the Seven Pagodas. The Shore Temple was built in the 7th century and is one of the oldest south Indian temples of Dravidian architectural style and is covered in intricate carvings. Because the temple stands so close to the sea, it has suffered centuries of corrosion from the sea-spray. Attempts to preserve it for the future led to the building of breakwaters and barriers. The Short Temple is included in the UNESCO World Heritage listing for the monuments of Mahabalipuram.
The Pondicherry Promenade runs for 1.5 km alongside the main beach and has several landmarks along the way including the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the War Memorial, the Town Hall and a statue of Joan of Arc (the city was a French zone pre-Independence). Other attractions include an old lighthouse and art-deco era buildings that face the sea. In this hot and humid southern city, the sea breezes attract large crowds of locals and tourists to stroll along the Promenade and visit the beach. The Promenade is open at all hours and all times and carries no entrance fees.