Google Maps Had A Surprise For Users in Kolkata Last Week
The nine nights of Navratri are among the holiest, most festive nights in Hindu mythology and Indian culture. All of India is lit up and decorated to honor the mother Goddess. This festival is even more popular in Kolkata where Pandals are set up for devotees. These Pandals are basically elaborately decorated tents which are a real work of art. This year, Google Maps showed the location of some of the most popular Pandals of Kolkata in the city’s map.
This is a localized experience which has been noticed in the past when it comes to popular events across the US and other western nations but it is very rare in India. Google Maps really surprised us with these list of Pandals.
Google acknowledged the festival as one of the biggest events in Kolkata, and now helps users enjoy ‘pandal hopping’, which is basically visiting one pandal after the other on the trot. In Bengal, this is an all-night activity for nine nights. Pandals are made with elaborate decorations – resembling movie sets, resembling submarines, resembling forts and are really a work of art.
It wasn’t just Google which was offering such a customized experience. Apart from Google Maps, other major apps such as Ola, Uber, Swiggy among others too, were running customized offers and experiences during the nine nights of festivity.
It is good to see apps come out in support of tailored offering for local users. Personally, I used this feature of Google Maps to check out many pandals in Kolkata – the much hyped ‘Baahubali Pandal’ too can be seen in the screenshot – marked Suruchi Sangha. You might have seen extensive coverage about this in the media. All in all, a welcome move from Google and we expect to see more such tailored offerings for India over the years.