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.
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.


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.

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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

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Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Architecture & Design
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The Design that Came from the Cold

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Full Dog Mushing
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

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cowboys oceania, rodeo, el caballo, perth, australia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Nahuatl celebration

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.

Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Porto Santo, view to the south of Pico Branco
Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

In its northeast corner, Porto Santo is another thing. With its back facing south and its large beach, we unveil a mountainous, rugged and even wooded coastline, dotted with islets that dot an even bluer Atlantic.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
Santiago, island, Cape Verde, São Jorge dos Órgãos
Santiago, Cape Verde

Santiago Island from Bottom to Top

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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.
Walk on the coast, Villarrica volcano, Pucon, Chile
Natural Parks
Villarrica Volcano, Chile

Ascent to the Villarrica Volcano Crater, in Full Activity

Pucón abuses nature's trust and thrives at the foot of the Villarrica mountain. We follow this bad example along icy trails and conquer the crater of one of the most active volcanoes in South America.
Women at Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India.
UNESCO World Heritage
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.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Glass Bottom Boats, Kabira Bay, Ishigaki
Ishigaki, Japan

The Exotic Japanese Tropics

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One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

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The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

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View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

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The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.