Pradakshina – Mapping India’s cultural heritage

By |2019-10-01T11:00:34+05:30September 2nd, 2019|Asia, Destinations, India|0 Comments
  • Pradakshina collage

Pradakshina is India’s first multi-disciplinary photo mapping project and cross-country expedition focusing on its cultural heritage.

I am Viraat Kothare, a former freelancer in software development, 2-time national record holder in hobbies & arts and International record holder in sports in group backward running. But now I am full time traveller and pursuing my passion of photography and travel research.  I want to travel across the length and breadth of India and World. And I intend to do so in a phase wise manner focusing on its rich culture, traditions and architecture. I have keen interest in documenting and indexing heritage sites and archaeological sites. And have been doing so for past few years mostly in the interiors of Maharashtra.


Viraat Kothare Traveler

Viraat Kothare – Founder of Pradakshina

Having more than a decade of traveling experience, I have visited 20+ countries including six solo international trips covering 5 wonders of modern world. My focus of travel being culture and heritage, I have hiked to more than 280 forts and 50 ancient caves. Having photographed these rare, ancient monuments, I decided to take my journey to next level. I have decided to research, document and index our intangible cultural heritage through photo mapping project. This project is named ‘Pradakshina’.

In past three years, Pradakshina has mostly covered Maharashtra documenting its forts, palaces, heritage houses, caves and historical monuments. Now, I have expanded to other Indian states in a phase wise manner.


The project has been created out of personal efforts and endeavour to document and index lost and forgotten monuments and places apart from the local tourist spots. The main objective of Pradakshina is to promote India’s rich cultural heritage through visual medium such as photographs and videos. Additionally, the objective is  also combining visuals with appropriate information about the artefact and index it appropriately.

Currently, information and knowledge is being scattered across the British Gazette, Tourism Board & ASI and lot of information is still undocumented. Hence, the main objective constitutes consolidation of data in a single format divided in separate sections. I started initially promoting my endeavor through our Facebook group while documenting work. The main artifacts covered are the following:

  • Forts
  • Caves
  • Temples
  • Monuments
  • Museums
  • Palaces
  • Tombs
  • Heritage sites/Memorials
  • Archaeology Sites
  • Stepwells
  • Tourist Sites
  • Natural sites/Wonders
  • Military Tourism
  • Intangible heritage
  • Cultural & Local Festivals
  • Tribes


  • Bringing heritage & cultural objects of interest into mainstream tourism
  • Propagating rich cultural diversity in giving all round tourism experience potential
  • Collection of data from various sources and consolidating in a single knowledge of each district of each state, hence save time in searching for public & future generations
  • Personal site visit for exploration and documentation & locating other smaller antiquities nearby
  • Publishing & Maintaining data across India state wise by creation of Encyclopedia
  • Publishing information via eBooks
  • Showcase of Heritage objects via photographs & documenting various heirlooms, objects, day to day belongings, documents etc
  • Geo-searching coordinates & publishing new places & updating old places on google maps
  • Study of various family clans,ancestors,family tree settled in various districts in the state
  • Making Pradakshina a National Project of interest for our invaluable heritage.
  • Exchange of knowledge within History & Archaeology groups


  • Challenge in documentation and segregation of information in an organised manner by geography (defining correct ontology)
  • Challenge in identifying and obtaining information on sources and references
  • Challenge in Identification of multi-disciplinary categories of heritage sites under 15 parameters
  • Challenge in combination work of photography, travelling, documentation & research
  • Challenge in establishing veracity of obtained information
  • Challenge in finding audience appreciation for promotion of our rich cultural heritage via online/offline social mediums
  • Collection of funds for further survey & research


  • Creation of a complete repository of data on Heritage objects & intangible cultural heritage segregated geography wise
  • Easy Reference of data and information by division geography wise
  • Easy location finding via geo-tagged on google maps & addition of data
  • Future further research and exploration of heritage monuments
  • Addition of new data collection of Heritage monuments apart from existing gazette or protected monuments data
  • Quantity measurement of heritage structures based on 12 parameters of each district
  • Analyse report of usage purpose and elements used in the past
  • Options for future preservation/protection undertaken by different bodies for tourism purpose
  • Vast Knowledge repository of our  lost rich forgotten intangible heritage
  • Reduction in search and identification indexing of various  for researchers, individuals & travellers
  • Generate popularity & interest to general public about various heritage places known & unknown offbeat of India via online and offline content such as ebooks
  • Develop understanding of various structures created by various smaller dynasties and clans’ family trees and settlement in each district
  • Creation, indexing and maintaining of still photography repository
  • International exposure of heritage monuments and intangible cultural diversity in Indian sub-continent via social media outreach


  • Mahisagar District, Gujarat Key highlight Balasinore Dinosaur Fossil Site
  • Champaner Pavagadh UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gujarat
  • Bidar & Basavakalyan, Karnataka
  • Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar, Rajasthan
  • Burhanpur-Vidisha, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh
  • Haridwar-Rishikesh-Nainital, Uttarakhand
  • Mangalore-Kasaragod, Karnataka, Kerala
  • Bharatpur-Alwar, Rajasthan


  • Built an inventory of 50k photographs of various artifacts [Sep 2019]

Interested readers can visit the official Facebook Page of Pradakshina here:

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