Vrishnis: Evidence of Bhagavata Tradition in Early Indian Art - Dr VInay Kumar Gupta - 5:30 pm, Apr 6, 2024

In the Mahabharata, the Vrishnis were an important clan in which Bhagavan Vasudeva- Krishna was born along with his siblings Samkarshana-Balarama and Ekanamsa as well as other great warriors. The Bhagavata tradition is understood to have developed from the Vrishnis. The spread of the Bhagavata doctrine in a vast area of ancient India and beyond is significant and provides important information about the development of the dharma not only in northern India but southern India as well. In his Talk, "Vrishnis: Evidence of Bhagavata Tradition in Early Indian Art", Dr Vinay Kumar Gupta, Superintending Arcaheologist at ASI, Jaipur, examines the evolution of the Bhagavata tradition from the early images of Vasudeva and other Vrishnis that can be identified in rock and sculptural art. Do join us at 5.30 pm IST on Saturday, March 2, 2024 for this on-line talk in English. About The Speaker: Dr Vinay Kumar Gupta is Superintending Archaeologist, Jaipur Circle in the Archaeological Survey of India. He was earlier Assistant Professor in Dr HS Gour Central University, Sagar, M.P. His Ph.D. thesis was on “Braj: An Art and Archaeological Study – Based on Archaeological Explorations in the Region of Braj”. His areas of specialization and interest include north Indian archaeology and early Indian art and religious studies. Dr Gupta has directed excavations at Bewan, a site dating back to the OCP-Ganeshwar culture period, Barnoli-ki-Dhai, a PGW site and co-directed excavations at Rakhigarhi. He has also participated in excavations at Khirasara, Bhiranna, Baror and Hansi. At present, he is conducting excavations at Bahaj, a proto / early historic site in the vicinity of sacred Govardhan hills, Mathura. During his posting in the Antiquities and Customs Section, he played an important role in retrieval of various Indian antiquities from foreign lands and in preventing illegal export of antiquities. Dr Gupta has authored and edited half a dozen books and has published about fifty research papers. His major publications include “Mathura: An Art and Archaeological Study” and the write-ups of “Mathura” and “Vraja” in the Oxford Bibliographies on Hinduism.
How can one begin to write a history of Tamil food? What can we learn if we read the archives for clues about how people lived, cooked, and ate instead of telling tales of rulers, wars, and power conflicts? What did spice mixtures taste like in the Tamil region before the introduction of hot chillies? And who must we really credit for the invention of that most iconic of Tamil dishes: sambhar? The fortunately vast historical record of texts in Tamil language, from the ancient period through the modern, provides ample food for thought. In her Talk, "Tastes of the Tamil Land: Recipes and Culinary Practices from History", Dr. Andrea Gutiérrez of the University of Texas at Austin, utilizes various archives of written material, from sangam poems and inscriptions to manuscripts and print cookbooks, in order to assemble a better picture of the culinary history of this region so well-known for its varied and delectable dishes. les of the era. She will also explore the relationships between the various Buddhist sites in the region. About The Speaker: Dr. Andrea Gutiérrez is Assistant Professor of Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her two research priorities are food history of South Asia and historical animal studies for the region. Her most recent publications include “Toward a Better Understanding of Medieval Temple Food Practices: The View from Srirangam” (Journal of Hindu Studies) and “Elephant Education, Linguistic Articulation, Punishment? Gajaśikṣā as Interspecies Communication in Elephant Care Manuals of Early India” (Bloomsbury). Dr. Gutiérrez is presently finishing her monograph on Royal Pleasures of the Dining in India’s History and is actively researching her project on captive elephant history of India. She was recently awarded a Getty Library Research Grant for work on food history (Getty Research Institute, 2022). Dr Gutierrez's work has been awarded a number of prizes, including the DK Award for the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis on Sanskrit (International Association of Sanskrit Studies) and the Specialist Accolade for Dissertation in the Humanities, from the International Convention of Asia Scholars.

The Buddhist Patronage Networks of Early Historic Andhra. Prof Suchandra Ghosh. Feb 3, 2024.

Andhra is dotted with the remains of dozens of Buddhist stupas and monasteries starting from the early centuries BCE. The fertile plains of Krishna and Godavari deltas provided the rich agrarian hinterlands for these Buddhist sites, located along the coast as well as in the interior hinterlands. What were the social and economic linkages that sustained these early sites? And what were the interactions between the sites themselves? How did these centres influence the regions on the other side of the Bay of Bengal? In her online Talk, "From Amaravati to Salihundam and Beyond: The Buddhist Patronage Networks of Early Historic Andhra", Dr Suchandra Ghosh will utilise the numerous donative records at Amaravati to give us a glimpse of the lives and times of the people of that period as viewed through the lens of the Gahapatis who were wealthy agricultural notables of the era. She will also explore the relationships between the various Buddhist sites in the region. About The Speaker: Dr Suchandra Ghosh is Professor of Ancient Indian History in the department of History, University of Hyderabad. Her interests include Politico-Cultural History of Indo-Iranian Borderlands, Linkages between South and South-East Asia, Indian Ocean Buddhist and Trade Network and the history of Everyday Life. She is a recipient of the Charles Wallace Visiting Fellowship, Nehru Trust UK Travel Award, ENITAS Scholarship, Chulalongkarn University, Bangkok, Lowick Memorial Grant, Royal Numismatic Society, London, Director de Etudes Associe fellowship from Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’homme, Paris (2018). She was awarded the Savitri Chandra Shobha Memorial Prize of Indian History Congress, for the book From the Oxus to the Indus: A Political and Cultural Study in 2017. She has co-edited several books and published numerous essays and papers in international journals.

Patterns from the Past: How Science & Technology aid Archaeology in Unraveling the Mysteries of History

In her Talk "Patterns from the Past: How Science & Technology aid Archaeology in Unraveling the Mysteries of History", Dr M B Rajani, Associate Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, will introduce us to the recent scientific advancements and technologies that have become invaluable tools for unraveling historical mysteries. She will explain how these tools, data sources, and processes have helped in better understanding archaeological settlements using examples from sites such as Nalanda, Agra, Mahabalipuram and Srirangapatna. About The Speaker: Dr M B Rajani is Associate Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. Her research has two inter-related facets: analysing cultural landscapes using geospatial data to identify new features of archaeological interest and advancing the usage of such analysis towards preservation of built heritage in the face of rapid urbanization. Her primary scientific contribution has been to develop a methodology for detecting tell-tale signs of past human activities on landscapes from satellite imagery and integrating these findings with other spatial data to generate new inferences and novel hypotheses about the past. Her work has expanded the field of archaeology to include the study of human impact on landscapes. Her recent book Patterns in Past Settlements aims at imparting this knowledge to larger research and academic communities. Dr Rajani was a member of Indian National Young Academy of Science 2018-2022, a Young Affiliate 2019-2023 of The World Academy of Sciences and recipient of Rachapudi Kamakshi Memorial Young Geospatial Scientist Award 2011 and P.R. Pisharoty Memorial award 2019 awarded by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing.

Upcoming Events in 2024


Monthly Heritage Lecture                               Every month, 1st Saturday @ 5:30 PM (IST)

Indology Festival                                            June 2024 

Venkayya Award                                             July 2024

Swaminathan Award                                       Sept 2024

Pechu Kutchery                                              Month and date to be decided 

Site Seminar                                                  January 2025

How To See A Temple                                     April - July - Sep, 2024

How To See A Museum                                    May - Aug - Oct, 2024  

Mallai Study Tour                                           Aug and Dec, 2024

Alamar Avai                                                   Monthly