With the launch of the theme-based mall Grand Venice, Greater Noida adds one more tourist attraction.
Remember the romantic number Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani from The Great Gambler where Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman take a Gondola ride in Venice?
Well, you can also do that now without even flying all the way to the eternally romantic Italian city. Just drive down to Greater Noida. That's it.
That's where a brand new mall, The Grand Venice, is recreating the Venice experience. Complete with canals that meander its way within the mall, here you and your beloved can take a leisurely ride, even as the boatman rows you crooning the perennial favourite, Do Lafzon... Never mind, sometimes it sounds annoying - you see our boatmen here are not trained singers, but you can't blame them for trying.
MALL OR IS IT A MANSION? The grand Italy-inspired interiors of The Grand Venice
As you sail, you can throw your eyes up and take in the opulent architecture that's a straight copy of Venice: Gold paint, grand staircases, massive crystal chandeliers, marble statues and so on. And oh, what's that? Yes, there is a leaning tower of Pisa too. All crafted within a sprawling 3.2 million sqft area that makes it easily the largest mall in Greater Noida.
AND HOW COOL IS THAT! A section of the 50,000 sqft food court, Terrazzo
As of now, there are just a handful of showrooms - Big Bazaar being one, but we are told by next month the other big brands are moving in. But then you don't go to mall for shopping only - the high-tech movie hall Cinepolis is already operational and just yesterday they launched the food court, Terrazzo. Spread over 50,000 sqft with a seating capacity for 1,300, restaurant chains such as Karim's, Moti Mahal, Dakshin Xpress, Long Noodles, Chicago Pizza, are already functional. And soon there would be street food too - chai to thupka, dhoklas to dosas, meenmoily to malai curry! And for those lovers of global cuisine, there would be regular world food festivals offering German bratwurst to Belgian Mussels, Nasi Lemak to Mulled Wine!
ITALIAN JOB: Sculptures like this one greet you at the entrance
Lots of events are on the pipeline and that includes handicrafts village, folk dances, music and street theatre. The World Market will sell Tibetan tankhas to Balinese masks, Italian leather ware to Turkish lace. "The fun has only just begun," said Satinder Singh Bhasin, Managing Director, The Grand Venice.
A bowling alley and a hotel next to the mall are coming up too, as it gears up to be a hub of cultural events, brand promotions, product launches, movie screenings and live shows.
MERRY GO ROUND: Climb the spiraling steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
With all of that, The Grand Venice seems more a tourist destination than a mall. And it won't be surprising if people come all the way from Delhi for a weekend outing.
So there, now you have one more reason to visit G. Noida apart from those F 1 races and auto events. And if you happen to enjoy long drives, the leisurely drive on the traffic free Expressway is a bonus.