Temple Connect is an initiative to connect the Global Hindu Temples and offer its digital format of information to devotees for better documentation, digitalization and distribution of content.
In a spiritually rich landscape like India, where temples hold great significance for the people, there is still a need to focus on a more knowledgeable aspect of these shrines. Temple Connect helps bridge the gap between the accessibility of information and devotees by providing a directory of various shrines and temples in India and around the world.
As the founder of this initiative, Giresh Kulkarni, a regular visitor of temples, noticed a lack of knowledge and information regarding these religious places. He decided to offer the digital format of information about global Hindu temples to devotees for their benefit. He was closely working with the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai and had a fair idea about the temple ecosystem and the need for its digitization.
“Through Temple Connect, our aim was to document, digitize, and distribute content about the temples. The model uses new-age media, digital space, and technology for the convenience of pilgrims, addressing all their questions at a single point in time,” said Giresh during an interview with Local Samosa. He adds that this is a Wikipedia of temples for local residents and tourists alike. It helps devotees understand the religious significance, history, architecture, temple timings, book rituals & pujas, find information on how to reach, where to stay, and offers some general trivia about the temple.
This is not only helpful to the visitors but also empowers better management, creates improved SOPs, and enhances interactions for the temple management. Various aspects such as safety, security, surveillance, disaster planning and management, funds management, sustainability, water sanitization, food distribution, and multiple topics are addressed under the 'Smart Temples Mission' by Temple Connect. This initiative contributes to environmental sustainability by efficiently managing resources like electricity and water. 'The mission is committed to bridging gaps in temple ecosystem management, starting nationally and extending globally to all places of devotion and spirituality,' says the founder of Temple Connect.
Temple Connect has reached over 9,864 temples in 57 global locations, making temple information accessible digitally. The initiative also introduced the International Temples Convention and Expo to bring together temple stakeholders for the benefit of pilgrims. The event included masterclasses, workshops, presentations, and panel discussions on numerous topics such as green energy, langar management, infrastructure enhancement, queue management, solid waste management, hygiene and sanitation, artificial intelligence, disaster management, temple illumination, social media, financial management, and protection against cyber-attacks.
Representatives from Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Uttar Pradesh, Takhat Patna Saheb in Bihar, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams in Andhra Pradesh, Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, Virupaksha Temple in Karnataka, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling in Madhya Pradesh, Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu, temples affiliated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness - ISKCON, and Jain Dharamshalas spoke during one of the sessions at the expo. All these efforts make Temple Connect an aggregator in the devotional and spiritual space, bringing pilgrims and devotees closer to the roots of Indian culture, heritage, rituals, and traditions digitally.