Wiki Exploration Program – Documenting the Cultural Heritage of Eastern India

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The Wiki Exploration Program started from the need to document the lesser-known and rarely visited heritage sites in West Bengal and other parts of Eastern India. Many of these are located in remote areas, some on the verge of obliteration. With support from the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group, a group of local travel bloggers and heritage enthusiasts started documenting the sites in phases. In November 2017, the first phase was launched with an exploration program to Purulia. Since then, 29 explorations have been completed in the past seven years. 

Broken panels of old temple in Krosjuri, Purulia – Sumitsurai Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Video Documentation

Video documentation of the sites started in 2021. Drones were used to cover excavated mounds and Semaphore Towers. From 2023 an effort was put into video documenting all the sites covered during a program. Wiki Explores Darjeeling I and Wiki Explores Bihar II were two such explorations.

Interiors of Semaphore Tower at Parbbatichak near Arambagh, Hooghly – Amitabha Gupta Attribution 4.0 International


Museums were a part of the exploration program from the beginning. But in the last one year efforts were made especially to cover them. In the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal, and in Bihar, a total of 16 museums were covered. While most of the museums didn’t require prior written permission, The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum in Darjeeling required one. The permission was arranged with the help of the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group. 

Buddha – Varada Mudra – Bodh Gaya ASI Museum – Sumitsurai Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

You can learn more about the Wiki Exploration Program on Meta-wiki.

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