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7 ways to learn about Hindu heritage with Google

An illustration of a family enjoying Diwali

October is Hindu Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and learn more about the cultural, intellectual and spiritual legacy of Hinduism. Hinduism is one of the oldest and most diverse religions in the world, with a rich heritage that spans thousands of years. This history has played a part in contributing to science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, arts and celebrations like Diwali, Holi and Ganesha Chaturthi. To better understand the wide range of Hindu traditions — or to just get you in the celebratory mood ahead of Diwali — Google is here to help.

1. Explore Hindu temples

You can visit Google Arts & Culture to learn more about various Hindu temples throughout India through a virtual tour. Or check out a deep dive into the largest temple complex in Indonesia.

A gif of the virtual tour experience in the Google Arts & Culture, starting on a landing page that scrolls down to pictures of historic temples in the virtual tour followed by a “tap to explore” button. This takes the viewer to a street view of a temple where you can click arrows to move around the area.

Indian temples featured on Google Arts & Culture

2. Learn about Hindu festivals

Diwali – also known as Deepawali (row of lights) – is one of the most widely celebrated festivals among Hindus. Google Arts & Culture can help you learn about the history of Diwali and many of its legends. You can even scroll through a Diwali coloring book to create your own artwork or try your hand at solving some Diwali-themed puzzles.

A gif of the Diwali coloring book. On the bottom is a selection of colors that you can click on to color a black and white photo pulled from the coloring book.

Diwali coloring book on Google Arts & Culture

3. Browse books about Hinduism

Google Books has hundreds of texts on all aspects of Hindu heritage. Search for Sanskrit literature like Kālidāsa’s Kumārasambhava and Rtusamhara, books on ancient Hindu contributions to science, spiritual texts like Bhagavad Gita, stories for young children, or books about the basics of Hinduism and its tenets.

4. Use Lens to search what you see

Did you see a festival decoration at a Hindu celebration and want to know more about what it was? Google Lens can help. Just open the Google app, take a photo and Lens will search for the exact item so you can learn more or even shop for it online.

A gif showing Google Lens to capture a photo of a Diya. After which Lens show results for similar items and shop it online

Learn about festival decorations with Google Lens

5. Send holiday greetings with Google Translate

Last year, Google Translate became available in Sanskrit, the language of many of Hinduism’s most revered texts. Whether it’s “wishing you a very happy dussehra” or “Ganpati Bappa Morya! May your path be obstacle-free,” Google Translate can help you easily express yourself in Sanskrit and other Indian languages.

A picture of the Google Translate platform. On the left you see the words “wishing you a very happy dussehra” and on the right, the text is translated into Gujarati.

Dussehra greetings translated from English to Gujarati language using Google Translate

6. Illuminate Search with Diyas

If you want to learn more about Hinduism on Google Search, you’ll find a special surprise. Search for “Diwali” and you’ll see a golden diya, a traditional oil lamp typically made from clay. Click on the diya and you’ll find an Easter egg that will illuminate your screen, signifying enlightenment and prosperity.

A gif of the animated diyas appears on the screen. As the cursor moves to each diya, they light up and are illuminated at the very tip.

The Diwali easter egg on Google Search

7. Get in the festive spirit on Meet

On your next Meet call, try out our Diwali background — you’ll find yourself transported to a living room decorated for Diwali, and even get a virtual sparkler in your hand. This effect is rolling out over the next few weeks and will be among a variety of new scenes and backgrounds which include more holiday-themed and timely backdrops and filters.

A gif of a woman sitting in a virtual living room that is decorated with candles and garlands for traditional Diwali celebrations. When the woman moves her hand a sparkler appears.

The new Diwali decoration theme in Google Meet

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