Sangam of technology and tradition at Kumbh
It was a rare sangam of technology and tradition on day one of Maha Kumbh 2013 with Google map integration, GPS and 'flying cameras' making their advent in the 55-day festival, the biggest religious congregation anywhere in the world that is estimated to draw tens of millions from India and around the world.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also spent about Rs 1.17 crore on 13 gigantic LED screens, which dot the mela premises at vantage points in this north Indian town that is playing host to the mega event.
The other attraction, also a first, are the ‘flying cameras’ that have been positioned by the mela administration to click high definition aerial shots of the tents, sadhu camps and the multitude.
Also, in a first, the mela administration has gone in for Google map integration of the whole township. Every inch of space, officials say, has been accounted for. Through the global positioning system (GPS), the employees are surveying the land and all information collated has been put up on the website.
The seers are equipped too. At many ‘akhadaas’, as each community of different sadhu sects are called, the holy men and their disciples are not only carrying the latest gadgets like Android mobile phones, tablet note books and broadband connecting dongles, some vehicles of these sects, including a fleet of Mercedes, have GPS technology installed “just in case they get lost”.
An interactive map has been made online wherein one can see how the 4,000 camps have been allotted in the 193.5 hectare sprawling campus. In these maps, details of the sector markets and important religious places has been given.