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.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
shadow vs light
Architecture & Design
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Adventure
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.
knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Nahuatl celebration
Cities

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi
Meal
Singapore

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
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.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Traveling
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Ethnic
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India
History
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.
Surf Lesson, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Islands
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Kukenam reward
Literature
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Nature
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
Natural Parks
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Robben Island Island, Apartheid, South Africa, Portico
UNESCO World Heritage
Robben Island, South Africa

The Island off the Apartheid

Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to glimpse Robben Island, when crossing the Cape of Storms. Over the centuries, the colonists turned it into an asylum and prison. Nelson Mandela left in 1982 after eighteen years in prison. Twelve years later, he became South Africa's first black president.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Characters
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Landing
Beaches
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Sanahin Cable Car, Armenia
Religion
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
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.
patpong, go go bar, bangkok, one thousand and one nights, thailand
Society
Bangkok, Thailand

One Thousand and One Lost Nights

In 1984, Murray Head sang the nighttime magic and bipolarity of the Thai capital in "One night in bangkok". Several years, coups d'etat, and demonstrations later, Bangkok remains sleepless.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Wildlife
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.