M.A. (Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology)

(This programme will be conducted in offline mode.)

Date of commencement:  8th August 2022
Days and timings: Weekdays; 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

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


1. B. A. in AIHC & Arch. or Graduate in any other discipline with Diploma in AIHC & Arch. 

2. Students from disciplines other than Ancient Indian History & Archaeology or History  must have cleared the Diploma in Ancient Indian History & Archaeology or History. Candidates with self-study of the domain will have to take an entrance exam.

3. Exceptional candidates with a score lower than 55% may be considered, based on an interview. In case selected, they will have to undergo the entrance exam.

4. A score of minimum 40% is required in the entrance exam.


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.


Download Curriculum
Semester I Semester II
State Wealth and Kingship Iconography
Cultural History-North India Ancient Indian Aesthetics (Rasa and Dhvani)
Trade and Religion Elective  1
Archaeology (Methodology/Material Culture) Rock cut Architecture
Workshop Prehistory
Mandatory Audit Course Elective  2
Sanskrit: Language and Literature II Travelling Stories
Pali Language and Literature II Proto History
Tibetan Language II Workshop
  Mandatory Audit Course
  Sanskrit: Language and Literature II
  Pali Language and Literature II
  Tibetan Language II
Semester III Semester IV
Historiography Epigraphy
Cultural History of India - Deccan and South India Ancient Mumbai: History & Archaeology
Elective 1 Elective 1
Critical Concepts in Religious Studies Performing Arts
Numismatics Ancient Indian Temples
India and SouthEast Asia Ancient Indian Literary Tradition: B
Ancient Indian Literary Tradition: A Ancient Indian Paintings
Elective 2 Elective 2
Indian Philosophy and tradition of debate Ancient Education Tradition
Archiving and Museology: I Archiving and Museology: II
Ancient India through Foreigner’s account Fables, Parables and Allegories
Genres of Ancient Indian Literature Dissertation
Workshop Workshop
Mandatory Audit Course Mandatory Audit Course
Sanskrit: Language and Literature II Sanskrit: Language and Literature II
Pali Language and Literature II Pali Language and Literature II


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”.