Heritage sites in India to give immersive experience for tourists via technology

The culture ministry is working to finalise a technology to recreate the past and enable visitors to travel to bygone eras virtually by using a mobile application.

Published: 29th January 2023 09:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2023 09:10 AM   |  A+A-

The ruins of Nalanda University

NEW DELHI: Tourists visiting selected heritage sites in India will get to know the history of the place through an immersive experience that will take them back in time. The culture ministry is working to finalise a technology to recreate the past and enable visitors to travel to bygone eras virtually by using a mobile application.

The ministry has chosen Nalanda, 5-6th century site in Bihar for the pilot after which a similar facility will be introduced at four prominent sites such as Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Hampi (Karnataka). The officials said that the project aims to bring life to our monuments.

If things fall into place, the facility will be launched at Nalanda by the end of April, said officials. Until now, a similar virtual reality experience is only available in Japan, where visitors have experienced the bombing and destruction of Hiroshima before.

“We are planning to introduce Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology at 4-5 centrally protected heritage sites within three months. It will first start at Nalanda, which is in ruins. We are working on technology so that one can see, through mobile, how the site would have been during 6-7th century; how Bakhtiyar Khilji invaded and destroyed it. With the help of historical references, we will reconstruct the entire area. Chinese Hiuen Tsang has written about Nalanda. We will use that,” said a senior official of the ministry, privy to the matter.

Brainstorming is underway to pick other sites to introduce the AR/VR experience, said the official.
“The whole point is to understand and recall our cultural heritage which has almost been forgotten. We always appreciate historical sites abroad but our country’s cultural heritage is richer. However, we haven’t marketed appropriately. The efforts are to fill that gap. How this history could be told to a common man in simplest form,” said an official.

The ministry officials have already held a meeting with the private service provider, which may be roped in for the project. “Rakhigarhi is one of the best sites to do this. We don’t have written accounts about Rakhigarhi or Dholavira but we may use our imagination based on our findings. Research has already begun... Later on, based on the success, this feature may be added to other sites with the help of ‘monument mitra’ (friends of monument),”official informed. 

India Matters


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