The International Temples Convention and Expo (ITCX) will be held at the Rudraksha Convention Centre in Varanasi from July 22 to 24.
Developed by Temple Connect (India), it is the world’s first event solely dedicated to the management of temples across the globe and will focus on nurturing and empowering the administration, management and operations of temple ecosystems.
Conceptualised by Giresh Kulkarni, Founder of Temple Connect (platform dedicated to the documentation, digitalisation and distribution of information related to temples of Indian origin), along with Prasad Lad (Chairman, International Temples Convention & Expo 2023 and Member Of Maharashtra Legislative Council), and Show Director & Co-Curator Meghaa Ghosh — this three-day event carves a space for free-flowing exchange of ideas, learning and invaluable insight among like-minded dignitaries who are at the helm of temple management, in order to establish, enable and promote best practices for temple management teams worldwide.
It is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, under the “Incredible India” initiative.
ITCX aims to birth and nurture an ecosystem for networking, knowledge sharing, and peer learning that will pan out through expert seminars, workshops and master classes on various topics.
These include temple safety, security and surveillance, fund management, disaster management, sanitisation, and hygiene as well as optimal use of new-age technology like artificial intelligence (AI) for protection against cyberattacks and social media management to foster a strong and connected temple community.
The event will also touch upon subjects like crowd and queue management, solid waste management, and infrastructure enhancement under the umbrella of pilgrim experience.
The event is by invitation only and designed for temples and temple trusts of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism in its first season.
Representatives from Jain Dharamshalas, leading devotional charities, Associations in the Hindu Temples of the UK, ISKCON temples, Anna Kshetra Managements, Purohit Mahasangha of various pilgrim locations, and Pilgrimage Promotion Boards will participate in this meet.
Additionally, the convention serves as a platform to learn about diverse cultures, traditions, and arts and crafts of temples from around the world while also celebrating India’s rich temple heritage.
Mohan Bhagwat (Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) will inaugurate the convention. Prominent attendees at the event will include temple trustees, members of temple boards and trusts, along with visionaries such as the Prince of Travancore (Padmanabhaswamy Temple), Rohan A. Khaunte (Minister for Tourism, Information Technology, Electronics and Communication, and Printing & Stationery, Goa), Dharma Reddy (Executive Officer — Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams), among many others.
Key conversations around green energy, archaeological architecture, langar (community kitchen) management, illumination of lights for temples, etc., will also be addressed.
The line-up includes Tirupathi Balaji Temple experts who will share knowledge on their flawless queue management system and charity/social organisations that clean and maintain ghats in Varanasi. Giresh Kulkarni will lead a session on temple economics and its expanded role in tourism that can boost the local economy and promote a destination.
Other talks and sessions on relevant topics will be held by delegates of Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Mahakaal Jyotirling, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Patna Saheb Gurudwara, Chidambaram Temple, and Virupaksha Temple, Hampi.
The event is also supported by the Antodaya Pratishthan that largely works in the space of CSR in the space of sustainability, hygiene, health and community service in a large way in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.