Iskcon Chowpatty Flower Festival to be telecast live in 360 virtual reality
Kalpnik Technologies, a start-up leveraging VR and AR technology, today launched the world’s first Virtual Reality App– VR Devotee App, specifically targeted towards delivering immersive and interactive religious and spiritual experiences. The first ever such live streaming of a religious event will now happen with the ISKCON Chowpatty flower festival to be held on January 27, 2018 in Mumbai.
The VR Devotee App is available for download across mobile platforms. This app allows users to watch the live telecast of ‘Pushpa Abhishek’ the first festival of the year celebrated in January at the ISKCON Chowpatty, temple in Mumbai, through an immersive virtual reality experience.
Most festivals celebrated in the temple involve the Abhishek of the utsava murtis (small brass Deities); but on this special festival, the mula vigrahas or the main Deities of Sri Radha Gopinath of ISKCON Girgaum Chowpatty Temple are showered with one ton (1000 kgs) of colorful flower petals. The best flowers are procured from different parts of the country specially for this occasion – Roses from Vrindavan, Jasmines from Coimbatore.
In all, a few thousand assemble at the Temple. CEOs, PhD scholars, Heads of Departments of Universities, lawyers, Sanskrit scholars, simple railway workers, farmers, the poor, the rich, Indians, Germans, Americans, Australians, Ukrainians, Russians, Africans, etc. Now millions more can view and participate in this festival from their homes, offices or from anywhere via the VR Devotee App.
VR Devotee App is available on Google playstore or the Apple App store. One can buy a VR Devotee headset at a highly discounted price @ www.vrdevotee.com. Live streaming of the Flower festival will start from 7:00 pm (IST) on January 27, 2018.
The VR Devotee headset is also available at the Gift Shop at ISKCON Chowpatty. For those who do not want to invest in a headset, they can watch the live telecast on their smart phone.
Radhanath Swami, ISKCON Spiritual Leader said, “At ISKCON, we have always embraced technology to spread spiritualism and this is another initiative to ensure Lord’s message reaches maximum people in this technology age, where the medium is as powerful as message.”
Dr. B.C. Shah - Director of Hare Krsna TV Channel said, "Thousands across the world watch the event live through Hare Krsna TV. But watching the event on TV is not as enriching an experience as Watching it in 360 using a VR headset."
Dr. Shah added, "ISKCON CHOWPATTY as a pilot got Kalpnik Technologies, a technology VR company head quartered out of Bangalore, a project to record the 2017 Flower festival in VR mode. Using 16 cameras and a unified rig the company produced a video that was truly immersive. ISKCON then decided to go ahead and do a 360 LIVE TELECAST of its Flower Festival 2018. This is the first time that such an event is being live streamed in VR mode worldwide".
Ashwani Garg – CEO & Co Founder of Kalpnik Technologies Pvt. Ltd stated, "Our extensive research both in India and US made us realize that Devotees across the world face many problems in their engagement with their Spiritual Gurus and temples. Many people are unable to visit highly desired religious temples, meet with their gurus or attend special occasions due to distance, costs, physical inability and time constraints making it either once in a life time visit or an inconvenient impersonal experience. We spent close to 18 months in developing a very user-friendly APP and VR headset that delivers a highly immersive experience for Devotees. The experience is almost as good as physically being there at the temple. For NRIs and people outside India this is a God send since they can now engage deeper with their faith from overseas. Our company has already produced VR experiences for several well-known temples and Spiritual leaders in India. The APP is live on Google playstore and will be available on Apple App store shortly.”
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