3 Idiots-inspired 'Rancho Wall' demolished by Leh school
If you've watched Aamir Khan-starrer "3 Idiots", you're bound to remember the scene where Chatur Ramalingam tries peeing on a school wall in Leh, and gets electrocuted by an ingenious, yet simple invention by school kids. Since 2009, owing to the movie's fame, that same wall had been attracting hundreds of tourists each year. But, alas. Now, it's been demolished. Here are the details.
After "3 Idiots" took the Indian box office by storm, becoming India's highest grossing film at that time, the Druk Padma Karpo School in Leh painted the wall used in the movie to immortalize the scene. However, that soon became a problem. The 'Rancho Wall', as it was called after Aamir Khan's character, Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad, became a must-see for tourists.
Aamir Khan's character, Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad or Phunsuk Wangdu as he later reveals himself to be, was inspired by Ladakhi innovator and education reformist, Sonam Wangchuk. Among other things, Wangchuk is credited with designing the fossil fuel-free, solar power-dependent SECMOL campus in Ladakh.
With hundreds of tourists, not to mention Aamir Khan fans, pouring in year after year, the school's functioning started to get affected. School kids became distracted by the inflow of tourists, and tourists themselves started littering the school premises. Left with no choice, the school's management then decided to demolish the wall and ban the entry of tourists on school premises.
The principal of the Druk Padma Karpo School, Tanzin Kunzang, has also said that other things within school premises associated with the movie will be taken down gradually. However, for the benefit of tourists and fans, a similar wall has been constructed outside of the school premises, which lies on the Leh-Manali highway. Well, at least something's better than nothing.