For centuries, the Indian subcontinent and a few other Asian countries were home to a few million temples (Mandir). The faith of followers of “Sanatan Dharma” (the eternal set of duties) has an emotional and spiritual connection with these sites of worship irrespective of their location or the period in which they are built. Hindu temples were at the centre of all important social, economic, artistic and intellectual functions in ancient and medieval times in the Indian subcontinent. Over the years, due to seasonal weathering and the ravages of time, several temple structures and complexes have decayed and become decrepit. Every year, we lose a few thousands of temples in the South Asian region. The magnitude of the loss is massive, and it cannot be quantified in terms of money alone. The young, the old, the rich and the poor, all flock to temples to seek solace and to find a part of their individual and cultural identity. Hence, a country loses a part of its history and its cultural identity every time a temple is lost to the point of disrepair. These sites of historical, archaeological, religious and cultural value need urgent attention, repair, renovation and maintenance.
MANDIRPEDIA.ORG is an effort to identify and collect, collate, verify, and publish information about temples around the globe through crowdsourcing data. Modern technology of cloud and mobile applications will be used to collect various information about temples of any size or condition. Cutting edge technologies of GPS data, geo-spatial fencing, and AI-assisted image processing algorithm will be used to reduce human errors, remove duplicate information, and to promote knowledge collaboration. Eminent scholars and researchers comprising of archaeologists, historians and Indologists will form the review and publication panels of MANDIRPEDIA.ORG. Come, join this revolution to restore and preserve history.
Document the temples which are endangered and need repair and maintenance.
Institute a workflow which manages the information received and subject it to verification.
Publish the verified content to the public portal for the purpose of drawing the attention of the concerned authorities who may come forward to repair and renovate the temple structures.
Restore a piece of cultural history and gift it back to society.
The important stakeholders are broadly divided in three categories. They are Contributors, Reviewers, and Publishers.
Contributors using the mobile app (Apple/Android) will capture the primary information (viz. photographs, GPS data, available history of the temple in English or any local language) about the temple and will push the information in the cloud repository.
Reviewers will receive this information submitted to the system as a “task to review” using a digital workflow. Reviewers may work and contribute from any location across the globe. Their primary job is to gather more information about the temple concerned by conducting additional research or engaging more contributors from the field/ same location and validating the same.
Publishers are at the highest level of this information workflow. They are tasked to raise additional queries, if required, to bridge the information gap. The publishers are to regulate information maturity so that it can qualify the standards set by MANDIRPEDIA.ORG. If the information about the concerned temple qualifies the required standard, it will be then published in the public portal.
The published data and photographic information about the temples can be re-purposed for the following:
Restoration and maintenance of the temples by NGOs, charitable trusts, religious institutes, or even by local governments.
Resumption of worship after the restoration work and deity placement, so that the operation and maintenance becomes self-sustainable.
The rediscovery of temples and their history can immensely help researchers and scholars working in the field.
Encouraging tourists from abroad to take a look at the consolidated information stacked in the user-friendly portal so they may feel enthused to plan a visit. Tourism from abroad can get foreign exchange for the country.
For some temples, the restoration or discovery can promote local tourism to the temple and its adjoining areas. Tourism can aid local employment as priests, guides and promote local businesses.
While the full site of mandirpedia.org will take some time to appear in public,
we would love to hear your thoughts about this movement.
Please share your ideas and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org