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Since 1st March, 1999
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Temple of doom
Feluda's Diary

We were waiting for Tintorettor Jishu to be shot and finished last year, when news came in that another Feluda story was being taken up for filming. It was Kailashe Kelenkari!

We were ecstatic as well as disappointed. We were happy about doing another Feluda film and sad that Tintorettor Jishu had got stuck midway. We were told that work on Tintorettor Jishu would also resume. Nevertheless, we moved on to Kailashe Kelenkari.

Haradhankaku (Bandopadhyay) played Sidhu Jetha in this film. Apart from me, there was Parambrata (Chatterjee) as Topshe and Bibhu Bhattacharya as Jatayu.

The shoot started with the Calcutta portions. A huge set was erected behind Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology in Salt Lake to shoot the vital aeroplane crash scene.

But before we could finish shooting, a sudden storm completely wrecked the set. It left a technician injured; he had to be hospitalised.

So, we shot in New Alipore, Bantala, Strand Road, Shakespeare Sarani, New Market and other places in the city. Then, Babuda (Sandip Ray) decided to go ahead with the Ellora-Aurangabad outdoor shoot. Sudip Mukherjee and Tota Roy Chowdhury had special appearances in this film.

The crew left for Ellora and we all got ready to leave too when Parambrata fell ill! He was a key player and the schedule had to be pushed back again. Everyone returned home.

With a string of strange incidents, we all began wondering if the Feluda projects were jinxed. But Babuda was unperturbed. So were our producers, T. Sarkar Productions and Innovative Multimedia.

Finally, in September, we were ready to leave for Aurangabad and Ellora one more time.

The Kailash temples are absolutely mind-blowing. We were mesmerised by the sheer size of Cave no. 16. Carved out of one huge rock-hill, the artistic and engineering aspects are just stupefying.

We had the privilege of staying at Ellora Hotel, a stone’s throw from the caves. The 1.5km-long hillside has 34 caves in total, consisting of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples. A great waterfall, called Sita Ki Nahani, flows by Cave no. 29. It is truly magnificent.

The 21-day shoot in Ellora, Aurangabad and Khuldabad, on the highways and by the wayside, had its share of difficulties and joys. But with Bibhuda, Parambrata, Dipankarda (De), Ardhenduda (Banerjee) and Biplabda (Chatterjee) for company, I had a great time.

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