The Hindu : "Panoramic shot of Brihadeeswara wins Wiki India contest"

 A panoramic photo of the Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, has won the first prize at the ‘Wiki Loves Monuments India 2013’ contest. Ten photographs were nominated from a pool of 11,786 images for the award.

The results were announced on Wednesday.

Karthik Nadar, Secretary, Wikimedia India, organiser of Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) India, and member, WLM International team, told The Hindu that the photo of the temple was taken by Mugilkv (username). The second prize was of Itimad-ud-Daula’s Tomb, Agra, taken by Amaninder, and the third prize was for Ibrahim Roza, clicked by Aanand.

The other seven winning photos at the national contest are of Mehtab Bagh facing Taj Mahal by G. Kaustav (fourth); Pushkarni tank opposite Krishna Temple, Hampi, by Dey.sandip (fifth); Jama Masjid Champaner by Hriya (sixth); Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, by Birsa Murmu (seventh); Jal Mahal at Jaipur by Sameer6303 (eighth); a row of saints by Zain Hashmy (ninth); and Sun Temple by Prayash Giria (10th). The website had only the usernames because it was yet to contact the winners.


Apart from getting awards, these photographs will be nominated at the international level, which has another jury. The main prize winner will get to attend Wikimania, the annual meeting where Wikimedians from all over the world meet, to be held in London in July or August 2014.

Kiran, jury member in 2012 and jury head in 2013 for WLM, said this year the jury reviewed 11,786 images, looking for photo quality and seeing if these were rare photographs. In case of a much-photographed subject, a different shot (for example, a shot of the gardens behind Taj Mahal), got importance. Emphasis was given to places that were not prominent.


A higher number of countries participated this year compared to last year (when Indians had participated for the first time and won the first and sixth places). Naveen Francis, former Secretary, Wikimedia India, organiser of WLM India 2012 and 2013, said 36 countries participated last year and 52 countries this year. This year the competition received photos, for the first time, from Antarctica.

In terms of number of photos uploaded, India is ninth this year with 11,786 entries from 1,485 people. Russia is 7th with 18,897 photos, U.K. is 8th (11,995 photos), Austria is 10th (11,074 photos) and the U.S. is 11th (10,191 photos). Poland tops the list with 49,976 photos and Ukraine is second with 35,674 photos.

Mr. Nadar said Wikipedians in Sri Lanka and Pakistan said they would organise similar competitions in their countries next year. He said Google had partnered with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for photos for Google Maps but Wikipedia photos are different as they are not copyrighted and anybody can use them. Also, those participating in WLM are volunteers.

He said this year, the competition has a parallel Asia-level contest with nine countries participating: India, Nepal, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines and Hong Kong. The results will be out on November 30 this year.

According to their website, WLM has been certified as the largest photo competition in the world by Guinness World Records. It says: “More than 15,000 photographers around the world participated in the 2012 edition of Wiki Loves Monuments, uploading over 350,000 freely-licensed images of historic buildings, monuments and cultural heritage sites in 35 countries to Wikimedia Commons.” The website also said, “More than 15,000 photos were uploaded from India in WLM 2012. In WLM 2012, 2,230 participants from India, making our country rank number one in number of participants.”

Tinu Cherian

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