Written by Ashwin Dewan and published on 13 July 2021.
Fight crime with Batman, take a trip to Malgudi, join Alice in Wonderland and experience Narnia. All this and more in this list of popular fictional places every kid and parent would love to visit.
"If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats."? Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.
Fiction is far from the truth. It describes imaginary people, places and events. But, the beauty about fiction is that it allows you to get away from the drudgery of everyday life, to forget your troubles and escape into a world filled with magic. A world where the common man is the hero, where there are tea parties given by a mad hatter and where magnificent, talking lions rule.
Over the years, many fictional places have appeared in books and in movies too. These places have been so realistically portrayed that they have managed to find their way into the hearts of children and parents alike. These are places where fantasy and reality merge into one.
In fact, so fantastic and realistic are these imaginary places that they are sure to be on the secret travel bucket list of the young and old alike. So, here are 10 such glorious fictional places that we're sure you and your child would love to book a ticket to and where, perhaps, you'd want to stay forever. Happy reading!
"Fiction is based on reality unless you are a fairytale artist." Hunter S. Thompson
From: Malgudi Days
Malgudi Days is one fictional world that evokes instant nostalgia. Such is the popularity of the fictional town of Malgudi and so meticulously and realistically has author R K Narayan described it that most children (and their parents) believe there is actually a town by this name. And, why not? Unlike most other fictional places that are magical and beyond the ordinary, Malgudi Days depicts everyday life in a South Indian village in the British era and has such lifelike characters that it is difficult to believe they are not real. Little boys running around in dhotis; Austin cars, donkeys, servants and ayahs - these have made the town come alive, both in print and on the screen.
From: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Based on Roald Dahl's classic, this 2005 musical brought to life (on the silver screen) a fantasy of most children, not to mention their parents - a chocolate factory. Imagine a place where each and everything is made of delicious chocolate - from the floor to the trees, from the river to the waterfall! It is the ultimate fantasy of chocoholics everywhere.
And here is an interesting and delicious fact - the chocolate river shown in the movie was actually real! A staggering 1,50,000 gallons (5,67,811 litres) of water, real chocolate and cream were used to make the river. Wouldn't you love to take your child for a swim in it?
From: The Harry Potter book series by JK Rowling
When JK Rowling set to work on the very first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, published on 26 June 1997, little did she know it would mark the start of an era in which millions of readers would lose themselves in an enchanting world of magic.
A series of fantasy novels, the Harry Potter books chronicle the magical lives of the main protagonist, young wizard Harry, and his friends, Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. Mind you, this is no ordinary school!
To begin with, it houses the Chamber of Secrets; the portraits hanging on its walls actually move and talk. You could meet a hippogriff (a magical beast that is a combination of a giant eagle and a horse) here; and you have rooms that tend to move around along with the grand staircase.
There is also a large, dense, dark forest outside called the Forbidden Forest and a courtyard where one can play the famed game of Quidditch (a sport played by witches and wizards riding on flying broomsticks).
From: Star Wars
From time immemorial, humankind has been fascinated by space. From actual space voyages to movies and books based on space, the outer world has been immortalised in many mediums for the curious public. And, Star Wars is one name that immediately conjures up images of a galaxy where space travel is an everyday affair, where space denizens battle it out with futuristic guns and light sabers and where humans get to fight alongside characters such as Yoda and Chewbacca. If this is not cool and right up there among the fantasy places you and your child would love to visit, what is?
From: The Batman series
One city, albeit a fictional one, we are sure every superhero-adoring child and parent would love to be a citizen of is Gotham. Who would not like to live in a city where you would have Batman to protect you? Yes, the fictional city of one of the most popular superheroes is a place that starry-eyed children and their parents would surely love to get a green card to.
Although Gotham has often been depicted as a crime-infested city, it is nonetheless an exciting place to be. Apart from the awe-inspiring caped crusader that you could run into anytime, Gotham is also home to Wayne industries, the Wayne Manor and the popular Gotham City Police Department.
Plus, wouldn't you love to witness the Bat Signal hovering over the city skies at night? We bet you would.
From: The X-Men series
At some point in time, every child and his parent would have harboured the secret fantasy of attending a school where everyone is different from everyone else and each has a unique talent of his or her own. Well, Graymalkin Lane, a fictional street near the very real hamlet of Salem Center in New York, would be the ideal destination. Why? Because 1407 Graymalkin Lane houses Xavier Academy - the fictional private academy of Charles Xavier, a character in the X-Men comics.
The school's motto is "mutatis mutandis" (a Latin phrase which means changing only those things that need to be changed) and the school is a private one for mutant children, teenagers and older mutants. Here, everyone is taught to harness his or her special energy in a positive way. Imagine visiting the Academy with your child - you could even end up meeting Wolverine or Jean in the hallway!
Now, wouldn't that be an X-cellent experience?
From: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Mad Hatter's tea party from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is sure to bring back happy memories for many children and their parents. If there is one fictional place guaranteed to be on their travel list, it would be Wonderland from the adventures of Alice.
After all, there can hardly be anyone who is not acquainted or familiar with this enchanting place where you could fall through a rabbit hole and enter a world of talking caterpillars, a grinning Cheshire cat, a mad Hatter, a living Queen of Hearts and many other such interesting characters.
Over the years, there have been numerous adaptations of Lewis Carroll's work both for the theatre and for movies - a testimony to the universal and timeless appeal of this fictional world.
Note: Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
From: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
A lot of children have been raised hearing the magnificent tales of Dorothy and her adventures in the magical land of Oz. The sheer thrill of taking a perilous journey via a yellow brick road to the famed Emerald City is one that has enthralled generation upon generation of readers and movie-goers.
With a merry band of fellow travellers - the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow - Dorothy decides to fight the Wicked Witch of the West. Their adventures during the journey to the Emerald City and the eventual triumph of good over evil are sure to leave readers eager to take a walk down the yellow brick road.
From: The Chronicles of Narnia
A series of fantasy books and movies much loved by children and parents alike, The Chronicles of Narnia describe the world of Narnia - a fictional place of stunning beauty full of mystical creatures, where there is a surprise at every twist and turn. Written by British author CS Lewis, the series has seven books. Of these, three - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Trader - have been adapted for the silver screen.
The fictional world of Narnia is characterised as being full of lush green hills and deep forests. It contains famous landmarks like Beaver's Dam, The White Witch's Castle, Aslan's Camp, and Cair Paravel. The inhabitants of this wonderful world are talking beasts such as the wise Lion Aslan, centaurs, unicorns, dwarfs and nymphs. Now, wouldn't you love to take your child on a jaunt to this magical world?
From: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Admit it - at one time or the other, you would have fantasised about living in tiny dwarflike houses and staying happy all day long. The Shire is one such place where JRR Tolkein's Hobbits reside. This is a place where food is available in plenty and there are smiling all around. Besides, there is always the smell of adventure in the air. The Shire is so minutely described that it comes alive and invites a visit.
So, here you have it - a list of 10 places that would provide the perfect getaway to you and your child. So, fire up your imagination, take her by the hand and step into a world of fantasy!
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Dewan on 14 May 2020.
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