Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting


heartthrob look
Protagonist Upendra - or Uppi - enacts looks of astonishment but, at the same time, seductive taken by camera operators for a lightning sequence of zoom in and zoom out.
Stretched
A classic Ambassador, a cow and other elements await their turn to enter the scene.
Facade Action
Visual of the filming of "H2O" taking place outside the old palace of the Maharaja of Mysore.
Lunch break
Filming team responsible for shooting "H2O" prepares for lunch.
I work seriously
Auxiliaries carry sacks to a cart during H2O filming.
england in indian fashion
Wing of British-built cottages in what was their favorite southern Indian mountain resort.
heartthrob look II
Protagonist Upendra - or Uppi - acts in the same determined way that made him one of the idols of Kannada and Indian cinema.
cinephile expectation
Film crew awaits closing some close shots with Upendra to enjoy lunchtime.
Human and animal extras
Pastor controls a small flock that would enter the scene next to the Maharaja's palace, after lunch time.
British colonial heritage
Wing of the Regency Villas hotel - today the Fernhills Palace Hotel and Regency Villas - one of the classic Ooty hotels used to hosting Indian cinema filming.
plan a plan
An iron frame frames the action taking place around Uppi, the famous Bangalore actor and director.
Backstage II
Extras roam the front of the palace of the Maharaja of Mysore, in the vicinity of a technical sight.
actor and do everything
The film crew focuses on the performance of the protagonist, writer, screenwriter, director, singer and lyricist Upendra, protected from the sun by an equestrian umbrella.
The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.

We didn't need much to intuit the origin of the decadent Welcome Heritage Royale Regency Villa in which we had settled.

We thought of the white and freckled skin, the fair or red hair of the British settlers in India and even their

u famous combative lip of stiff upper lip. As a result, there was an urgent need to take refuge from the oppressive heat that lashed the Crown Jewel for most of the year.

Organized and pragmatic, the sahibs Newly installed ones have wasted no time in providing a climatic retreat worthy of their supremacy and superb. They found Udhagamandalam at 2.240 meters above sea level, at the top of the Nilgiri Hills.

These are the highest lands in the south of the subcontinent, dominated, from 1789 until independence, by the East India Company, after great dedication by a governor of Coimbatore, John Sullivan, who had fallen in love with the place to the point of telling in a letter addressed to a counterpart that "resembled Switzerland more than any country in Europe."

When we discover it, we have difficulty identifying Udhagamandalam with anything from Helvetia. And only by effort we were able to visualize similarities with the south of England or Australia, as suggested by several travel books.

This, despite the chalets, now red, surrounded by flower gardens, the hippodrome, avenues flanked by large eucalyptus trees and stone churches.

england in indian fashion

Wing of British-built cottages in what was their favorite southern Indian mountain resort.

These elements and, above all, the architecture of the buildings spiced up the old Anglophilia of the mountain station.

They weren't enough to make up for the current reality around them, dotted with rubble, disorganized and, here and there, also dirty, starting with the city's large lake that housed the sewage of almost 90.000 inhabitants but where the Tourist Cafe's entrepreneur rented, with success, dozens of boats for rides on rowing or pedals.

The less dignified aspects of the village did little to shake the postcolonial confidence of the Indian manager of the Regency Villa. “It seems to me that you gentlemen will be ready for the visit, right?” he asks us with pomp, circumstance and the mouth-full intonation typical of the English aristocracy.

No sooner had we checked into the scarlet hotel-palace from far away Varkalla (on the coast of Kerala state) when the official forced a tour of the premises for us. Even exhausted by the troubled journey and upset, we ended up saying yes. O karma de Nilgiri was soon to reward us for our open-mindedness.

The host begins by revealing to us rooms, parlors and salons that a recent restoration had restored to Victorian elegance. When the objects of the visit are repeated and to our surprise, he suggests an extension to the former palace of the Maharaja of Mysore.

We didn't know that a Maharaja had also lodged in those parts, but we were already everywhere. We climb a staircase, cross the new hall, and look out onto a half-opened porch.

From there, we notice a chromatic and creative riot taking place in the courtyard below.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Cinematic Expectation

Film crew awaits closing some close shots with Upendra to enjoy lunchtime.

We questioned the manager. "It's footage." advances us. “They come here often and it's not just Bombay producers. They arrive from all over the country. Forgive my failure, I should have given you this information."

The attraction of Indians for alpine landscapes, in particular those of Switzerland, is well known. For several decades, the relative similarity of the Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh mountain backdrops have made them the preferred filming locations for Bollywood and competing Indian “studios”.

Until the dispute with neighboring Pakistan over Kashmir escalated and military skirmishes and threats of terrorism forced them to look elsewhere.

Since then, Ooty – so the British settlers abbreviated the intractable official name of the village – has proven to be the main alternative and has illustrated hundreds of feature films.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Plan of a Plan

An iron frame frames the action taking place around Uppi, the famous Bangalore actor and director.

From the moment you give us permission to be on our own, we forgive you anything and everything. We say goodbye with a thank you and see you soon diplomatic and descend to the level of action.

We cross a dark corridor that leads to rooms adapted to dressing rooms and backstage.

Once outside, we come across assistants who carry heavy sacks into an ox cart, positioned over a crosshair marked on the ground with colored powder.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Working for real

Auxiliaries carry sacks to a cart during H2O filming.

We admire the patience of a Muslim shepherd who controls a flock of sheep and we follow the movements of a number of other workers and extras distributed over the ocher soil.

They all depend on the representation of Upendra, the densely capillary-looking protagonist, a national idol who became famous for his appearances in several of the approximately one hundred Kannada or Sandalwood films – as Karnataka state cinema is called – produced every year, in a context quite different from Hollywood and European cinema.

After a career hiatus of nearly two years, Uppi, as the Indian people fondly treat him, had a cross-functional role in H2O, a bilingual feature film released in Tamil and Kannada that set the trend for Indian films named after molecular compounds .

Uppi developed the argument based on a famous secular dispute over the water of the Kaveri River between the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He also created the dialogues and lyrics for all the songs. He also sang two of them "Language Ilde Love"and "bid bede bida Different".

We saw him, above all, performing, under the sun protection of an equestrian umbrella that some assistant held above the plane.

We took advantage of the team's distraction, played tricks and placed ourselves behind the cameras. When we realize that no one repels us, we frame and record images of the main actor with as much or more zeal than the accredited operators.

These created the lightning plans of zoom in, zoom out with which they illustrated a certain astonishment of Karnataka (the character of Upendra).

The heartthrob's ego rises with the adulation of Western outsiders. Okay, try to adorn the tight plane of her furry face with a look as magical and seductive as possible.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye

Protagonist Upendra – or Uppi – enacts looks of astonishment but, at the same time, seductive taken by camera operators for a lightning sequence of zoom in and zoom out.

Determined to enhance the effect, the characterizer had given him deep blue contact lenses. But through our telephoto lenses, we can see that the ornament is irritating her eyes, which are almost redder than blue.

Enter the ox cart, the shepherd and the sheep and even a white Ambassador. The planned scene is successfully completed and the vast team takes a lunch break without ever leaving the filming location.

Right there, in the front garden, they are organized in two opposite rows – one for men, the other for women – each of the guests with their silver tray on the grass, ready to be served.

Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Lunch Break

Filming team responsible for shooting “H2O” prepares for lunch.

We don't want to appear rude to them, and we avoid photographing them eating. At that point, someone from the team takes us aside and surprises us:

“We've been watching you and your ethnic and figure contrast would serve wonderfully for a film we're going to shoot in two weeks' time, in Bangalore. Can we count on you?”

We don't have that much time to stay in India.

With airline tickets already purchased and no way to change dates, we are forced to reject the hypothesis of a lifetime of joining the fascinating world of Indian cinema, who knows, also a fruitful Asian stardom.

Stretched

A classic Ambassador, a cow and other elements await their turn to enter the scene.

To compensate, in the last days spent in the state of Tamil Nadu. we continued to ask for posters in the movie theaters we were passing through.

After giving several dozen to family and friends, we still keep many, including four or five of the most exuberant ones on the walls and doors of the house.

Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Dooars India

At the Gates of the Himalayas

We arrived at the northern threshold of West Bengal. The subcontinent gives way to a vast alluvial plain filled with tea plantations, jungle, rivers that the monsoon overflows over endless rice fields and villages bursting at the seams. On the verge of the greatest of the mountain ranges and the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, for obvious British colonial influence, India treats this stunning region by Dooars.
Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

Gangtok it is the capital of Sikkim, an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas section of the Silk Road, which became an Indian province in 1975. The city is balanced on a slope, facing Kanchenjunga, the third highest elevation in the world that many natives believe shelters a paradise valley of Immortality. Their steep and strenuous Buddhist existence aims, there, or elsewhere, to achieve it.
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Shows

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Lijiang e Yangshuo, China

An Impressive China

One of the most respected Asian filmmakers, Zhang Yimou dedicated himself to large outdoor productions and co-authored the media ceremonies of the Beijing OG. But Yimou is also responsible for “Impressions”, a series of no less controversial stagings with stages in emblematic places.
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Goa, India

The Last Gasp of the Goan Portugality

The prominent city of Goa already justified the title of “rome of the east” when, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, epidemics of malaria and cholera led to its abandonment. The New Goa (Pangim) for which it was exchanged became the administrative seat of Portuguese India but was annexed by the Indian Union of post-independence. In both, time and neglect are ailments that now make the Portuguese colonial legacy wither.
Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

On the northern edge of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is home to dramatic mountain scenery, ethnic Mompa villages and majestic Buddhist monasteries. Even if Chinese rivals have not passed him since 1962, Beijing look at this domain as part of your Tibet. Accordingly, religiosity and spiritualism there have long shared with a strong militarism.

Hampi, India

Voyage to the Ancient Kingdom of Bisnaga

In 1565, the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar succumbed to enemy attacks. 45 years before, he had already been the victim of the Portugueseization of his name by two Portuguese adventurers who revealed him to the West.

Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Jaisalmer, India

The Life Withstanding in the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer fortress was erected from 1156 onwards by order of Rawal Jaisal, ruler of a powerful clan from the now Indian reaches of the Thar Desert. More than eight centuries later, despite continued pressure from tourism, they share the vast and intricate interior of the last of India's inhabited forts, almost four thousand descendants of the original inhabitants.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
safari
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Full Dog Mushing
Adventure
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
Dragon Dance, Moon Festival, Chinatown-San Francisco-United States of America
Ceremonies and Festivities
San Francisco, USA

with the head on the moon

September comes and Chinese people around the world celebrate harvests, abundance and unity. San Francisco's enormous Sino-Community gives itself body and soul to California's biggest Moon Festival.
Mdina, Malta, Silent City, architecture
Cities
Mdina, Malta

The Silent and Remarkable City of Malta

Mdina was Malta's capital until 1530. Even after the Knights Hospitaller demoted it, it was attacked and fortified accordingly. Today, it's the coastal and overlooking Valletta that drives the island's destinies. Mdina has the tranquility of its monumentality.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Meal
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Bride gets in car, traditional wedding, Meiji temple, Tokyo, Japan
Culture
Tokyo, Japan

A Matchmaking Sanctuary

Tokyo's Meiji Temple was erected to honor the deified spirits of one of the most influential couples in Japanese history. Over time, it specialized in celebrating traditional weddings.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Sport
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
M:S Viking Tor Ferry-Wrapped Passenger, Aurlandfjord, Norway
Traveling
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
Meeting of the waters, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Ethnic
Manaus, Brazil

Meeting the Meeting of the Waters

The phenomenon is not unique, but in Manaus it has a special beauty and solemnity. At a certain point, the Negro and Solimões rivers converge on the same Amazonas bed, but instead of immediately mixing, both flows continue side by side. As we explore these parts of the Amazon, we witness the unusual confrontation of the Encontro das Águas.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Nelson Dockyards, Antigua Docks,
History
English Harbor, Antigua (Antilles)

Nelson's Dockyard: The Former Naval Base and Abode of the Admiral

In the XNUMXth century, as the English disputed control of the Caribbean and the sugar trade with their colonial rivals, they took over the island of Antigua. There they came across a jagged cove they called English Harbour. They made it a strategic port that also housed the idolized naval officer.
Blue Hole, Gozo Island, Malta
Islands
Gozo, Malta

Mediterranean Days of Utter Joy

The island of Gozo is a third the size of Malta but only thirty of the small nation's three hundred thousand inhabitants. In duo with Comino's beach recreation, it houses a more down-to-earth and serene version of the always peculiar Maltese life.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Nature
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Manatee Creek, Florida, United States of America
Natural Parks
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
UNESCO World Heritage
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Characters
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
Beaches
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
church, our lady, virgin, guadalupe, mexico
Religion
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Tombola, street bingo-Campeche, Mexico
Society
Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

On Friday nights, a group of ladies occupy tables at Independencia Park and bet on trifles. The tiniest prizes come out to them in combinations of cats, hearts, comets, maracas and other icons.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Hippopotamus in Anôr Lagoon, Orango Island, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau
Wildlife
Kéré Island to Orango, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

In Search of the Lacustrine-Marine and Sacred Bijagós Hippos

They are the most lethal mammals in Africa and, in the Bijagós archipelago, preserved and venerated. Due to our particular admiration, we joined an expedition in their quest. Departing from the island of Kéré and ending up inland from Orango.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.