Jejuri temple is Wikipedia monument of the year

Updated: Dec 18, 2017, 19:47 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Nashik photographer takes home top Wikimedia award for Khandoba Temple shot

A Nashik-based photographer, Prashant Kharote, has clinched the top prize at this year's Wiki Loves Monuments contest, organised in September by Wikimedia -- the global movement behind the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. Kharote's colourfully-vibrant photograph of Khandoba Temple in Jejuri, taken during the Bhandara festival celebrations a few years ago, won the first prize, beating entries from across 52 countries in the world.

Kharote's award-winning photograph of Khandoba Temple in Jejuri
Kharote's award-winning photograph of Khandoba Temple in Jejuri. 

An ecstatic Kharote, 42, who lives with his wife, two children and parents in Nashik, was informed about the win, late last week. "The picture was clicked during a festival at the temple that happens only once a year. I had sent in other photos too, but this picture appears to have won the hearts of everyone around the globe," he said. "I cannot explain how I feel. I am over the moon. I have received 41 prizes and awards till date, but this one feels very special because my work is finally being recognised internationally, too."

Kharote has won a Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark IV plus Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens and a printed copy of his winning photo signed by Plácido Domingo, the president of Europa Nostra, pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage. This year, India contributed over 7,700 images. These images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, which is an online repository of free-use images and other media files.

Prashant KharotePrashant Khatote, CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons

This isn't the first time that a heritage photo of an Indian monument has won a contest. In 2012, when India had participated for the first time, an image of the Tomb of Safdarjung, shared by Pranav Singh, had won the top prize.

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How it all began

A pilot run of the contest was first initiated in the Netherlands in 2010, which resulted in 12,500 freely licensed images of monuments being uploaded. Since then, the project helped collect information on 1.5 million monuments, with pictures submitted by over 60,000 people.

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