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Sanskrit Sources of India's History
A guide to online/offline resources

India’s history is being explored and investigated through a variety of sources dating from various ages. While literary or textual sources abound, among them are the texts written in Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages of the region. Sanskrit may not have been the most popular language as access to its knowledge and treatises was limited to certain elite classes of people. Also, besides being preserved in inscriptions and manuscripts, much of its literature was also remembered and passed down orally. We begin by listing here some useful articles, books, archives and resources that might help a student of history. This is an evolving list and will grow as times passes. If you know of some useful source that’s missing here, do let us know. We try to list here the most authentic sources that are trusted by scholars worldwide. However, does not guarantee the authenticity of the information provided on these links.

SanskritIndian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages (Richard Salomon) OUP, 1998.

Epigraphical Studies in India - Sanskrit and Dravidian: Preservation of Inscriptions (Archaeological Survey of India)

Scanned Books from Archaeological Survey of India ( collection. Digitized at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)
Sanskrit books are listed here:

Indian Historical Sources (
Useful source for secondary school students

Literary and Archaeological Sources of Medieval Indian History (Ajay Goel)

Historical divide: archaeology and literature, The Hindu
N.S.Rajaram on the origin of Indology and its problems, Jan 22, 2002

Early History of the Vaisnava Faith and Movement in Bengal: From Sanskrit and Bengali Sources
By Sushil Kumar De

The death of Sanskrit, Sheldon Pollock (Comparative Studies in Society and History) 2001
You may also download this here.

Rāmāyaṇa and political imagination in India, Sheldon Pollock, The Journal of Asian Studies, 1993

On Indian Historical Writings - The role of the Vamçâvalîs, Michael Witzel
(Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies 2, 1990)

Combined methods in Indology, D. D. Kosambi (Indo-Iranian Journal, 1963)

Internet Indian History Sourcebook (Fordham University)
An exhaustive list of links on the history of India, divided into several eras. Compiled by Paul Halsall.

Representing the Other?: Sanskrit Sources and the Muslims (8th-14th Century)
Aug 1998, by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya

General resources of interest to indologists

Literary Sources for study of Ancient Indian History (Jadavpur University)

The Skanda Cult in India: Sanskrit sources by K.V. Sarma

New Intellectuals in 17th century India, S.Pollock (Indian Economic and Social History Review, 2001)

Sanskrit literary culture from the inside out, Sheldon Pollock (from the book: Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia, University of California Press, 2003)

History of Civilization in Ancient India, based on Original Sanskrit Sources, R.C.Dutt

Mīmāṃsā and the Problem of History in Traditional India, Sheldon Pollock
(Journal of the American Oriental Society)

The Social Aesthetic and Sanskrit Literary Theory, Sheldon Pollock
(Journal of Indian Philosophy, 2001)

Sources of Ancient Indian History: Archaeological and Literary Sources (By S.Priyadarshini)

Source, Exegesis, and Translation: Sanskrit Commentary and Regional Language Translation in South Asia, Deven M. Patel (Journal of the American Oriental Society)

V.S.Agrawal: Scholar (by Devendra Swarup) Dialogue, April-June, 2012, Volume 13 No. 4.
V.S.Agarwal represents a rare breed of scholarship in the field of Indology.

Kalhan: As a Historian of Indian History
A very basic short text about the author from Kashmir who wrote Rajtarangini

India on Verge of ‘Cultural Ecocide’: Sanskrit Scholar (Wall Street Journal blog)

The Historical Sense: What Sanskrit has meant to me (Aatish Taseer)

DU ropes in Sanskrit scholars to reconstruct India's history, Shradha Chettri, Hindustan Times

Indo-Persian translations, Audry Truschke (Seminar)
"The rendering of Sanskrit texts into Persian constitutes one of the largest translation movements in world history."

Fact check: India wasn't the first place Sanskrit was recorded – it was Syria (

Setting the record wrong: A Sanskrit vision of Mughal conquests, Audrey Truschke
(South Asian History and Culture, 2012)

Between history and mythology, Harbans Mukhia (The Hindu, 17 July, 2014)

Indology (Wikipedia)

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