IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GLOBAL HINDU Herit age Foundation, the Savetemples organization held its first International Short Film & Documentary Festival in Hyderabad, August 22-24, 2014. Over 100 short, independent films were submitted. The videos are aimed at protecting, preserving and promoting Hindu temples, protecting cows, promoting the Vedas and improving the lives of temple priests. The top 40 videos have been posted to YouTube as a playlist, and can be seen here: bit.ly/savetemples
Though some of the films contain inadequate or illegible English subtitles, the majority of them are well conveyed and offer unique and artful perspectives from their creators. In one example (#9 in the playlist), the film tells the story of four boys that pick up an unusual hitchhiker, who later opens their eyes to the significance of traditional temple architecture, particularly in terms of harnessing cosmic energies. All this is conveyed through a delightful story, as opposed to a bland documentary. However, those that do take the documentary approach do a good job. The series is a testament to the quality of independent films in India, and does well presenting its many important issues.
Priceless: Ancient temples, like the Bhoramdeo Temple in Chhattisgarh, are often in need of protection and repairs
HAVE YOU EVER NEEDED TO FIND INFORMATION about a temple’s hours, events or location, or even just wondered whether there were any temples in your area? Thanks to an inventive aviation engineer in Melbourne, Australia, and a team of volunteers, all this information is now available in a single iOS app. The All Hindu Temples app lists more than 2,000 temples in some 50 countries, giving users all the information they need to find an open place of worship wherever they are.
While the free version of the app gives you temple names, addresses and websites, the paid version provides you with single-click driving directions, hours, contact information and more. It lets users save their temple details offline, so if they are traveling they don’t have to worry about reloading information on the go. Users can also register and leave comments and add photos to temple pages, thereby improving the information experience for other users. The funds raised by the $1.99 price for the paid version go towards running the All Hindu Temples website as well as the expansion of the worldwide temple database. Future plans include a release for Android as well as an expansion of the database’s Indian temples.
The application’s creator, Hari Iyer, told HINDUISM TODAY about his inspiration:
“It all started one day when my wife and I visited a local temple only to find it closed. I had tried to get their hours, but couldn’t find anything useful. Finally my wife and I had to pray from outside. I later checked online and found that they, as well as many other temples, didn’t provide any basic information such as hours or contact information.
A world of temples: This map shows the many temples in the application’s database
“I decided I could fix the problem by creating a directory—one with a primary purpose of providing devotees with easy access to temple contact details. With this app, I am hoping to help Hindus find God easily. I have been getting so much feedback from temple devotees. Some have been able to find temples in their area that they didn’t even know existed.
“I believe Hindu temples are the cornerstone of the Hindu way of life. Especially abroad where we might not have the backing of all our friends and elders in the family and community. Hindu temples are the one place where Hindus go to connect back to the spiritual world. They are also important places of religious and cultural education for the next generation of Hindu kids, who would otherwise grow up confused and without a clear sense of their religious identity.”
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For more information, or to add temples to the database,
For a video overview of app see: vimeo.com/94849649