M.A. (Ancient Indian History Culture & Archaeology) | M.A.AIHCA

This programme emphasizes the development of analytical and critical thinking skills as students engage with different aspects of ancient Indian culture from historical, philosophical and anthropological perspectives. Trade and transmission of ideas across the sub-continent, rock-cut architecture, iconography, and Indian aesthetics are themes developed in year one that are sustained in the second year with in-depth learning.

As with all our programmes, there is a strong focus on developing research skills. For this, an audit course is compulsory in each semester, and students can study any of other classical languages we teach – Prakrit, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan.

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Key Information


Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, or in History; for candidates with degrees in any other discipline an entrance exam will apply.


Teaching-learning occurs in a combined lecture and seminar format. For courses in Rock-cut Architecture, learning is site-based and students are encouraged to explore different ways of seeing, as we equip them with tools that help them engage with any site of ancient heritage thereafter. Students also have the opportunity to select electives from the M.A. (Buddhist Studies) programme, to broaden their understanding of Indian religious texts and history. Assessment occurs throughout the semester and most courses require an end-semester essay instead of an examination.


Semester I Semester II
Core Courses Core Courses
Critical Concepts in Religious Studies Travelling Stories
Trade, Religion & Culture Ancient Indian Aesthetics (Rasa & Dhvani)
Historiography Elective 1
Archaeology (Methodology/Material Culture) Elective 2
Workshop Workshop
Audit Course Elective 1
Sanskrit: Grammar & Literature Rock-cut Architecture
Pali Language and Literature Pre History
Tibetan Language: Basic Elective 2
Examination Scheme Iconography
Critical Concepts in Religious Studies Proto History
Trade, Religion and Culture Audit Course
Historiography Sanskrit: Language and Literature II
Archaeology (Methodology/Material Culture) Pali Language and Literature II
Workshop Tibetan Language II
Audit Course Examination Scheme
  Travelling Stories
  Ancient Indian Aesthetics (Rasa & Dhvani)
  Elective 1
  Elective 2
  Audit Course


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 faculty have diverse specialisations, which is reflected in the syllabus.

Recognising that Buddhism is a living tradition, eminent members of the Sangha are regularly invited to or campus. This gives students an opportunity for experiential learning. The institution has had the privilege of hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama four times. ven. Dhammadipa, a Buddhist monk from the Czech republic, is an annual visitor who has taught several key programmes on meditation texts as well as led retreats.

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

Upon successful completion of the programme, a student will:

  • Be equipped with methodological tools that are key to future research in this discipline.
  • Be able to link narrative literature to art as well as to transmission of ideas across cultures, thus learning on a wider canvas that questions ideas of authenticity and purity of the “original”.