Diploma in Archaeological Sources of Buddhist History

(This programme will be conducted in online mode.)

Date of commencement: 12th August 2022
Days and timings: Fridays; 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Buddhism disappeared from most of the country by the 14 th century, with only small pockets in the northeast and Ladakh continuing to remain Buddhist. The rich art and archaeological heritage was also lost, overrun by forests and human settlement. Archaeology as a discipline in India began as a colonial project and India’s Buddhist heritage was unearthed largely by a group of intrepid explorers and scholars, whose efforts were key to the discovery of our Buddhist heritage. These include sites such as Ajanta, Nalanda and Sanchi.

In this programme students will be introduced to the principles of archaeology and the entire second semester will be spent studying one site: Kanheri caves in Mumbai. Our objective is to equip students with tools that will assist them to look at a heritage site in ways that reveal its importance from all perspectives: geographical, historical, sociological, as also religious, economic and philosophical significance.

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Key Information


HSC or equivalent examination (e.g. 10+2)


Teaching-learning occurs in lecture format in the first semester and the second semester is dedicated to on site learning, offering an intensive engagement that enhances the ability to pursue heritage studies.


Semester I Semester II
Archaeological Sources of Buddhist History Rock-cut Architecture: Kanheri


The Centre for Buddhist Studies has led the field in innovative curriculum design that addresses the learning needs of students who can engage full time, as well as those who pursue their passion part-time, at their own pace.

The Diploma in Archaeological Sources of Buddhism is a unique programme, offered specifically to address the learning needs of students who have an interest in history and heritage. It incorporates two courses that are key features of our M. A. programme, making this learning opportunity available to those who may not have the time to commit to a rigorous Master’s programme.

The K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies has a library with over 30,000 books, which is an important resource.

In addition to the workshops that are an integral part of this programme, students can attend seminars, workshops and field trips that are offered by the institution across the various disciplines. This creates opportunities of learning beyond the classroom and permits interaction with students pursuing different interests: this is a key feature of the learning experience on our campus.

Programme Outcomes

At the end of successful completion of the course the student will be able to

  • Observe archaeological objects as text and study recent discoveries and debates. 
  • Analyse different aspects of Buddhism through archaeological sources.
  • Become aware of Buddhism beyond the scriptures and rituals and influence of changing social, economical, political landscape of Buddhism. 
  • Have an understanding of the basic feature of Buddhist art and architecture. 
  • Be able to identify elements and basic iconography. 
  • Have gained the skills to seek out the key features that reveal information about  the site and its connection with society at the time.
  • Be able to identify the trends and different phases of the evolution of Buddhist art and architecture.