Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology

About Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology


The Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology was established in 1961 with the specific objective of initiating study and research in the field of Ancient India. The justification of setting up a department distinct from History was that the study of Ancient India required a body of specialized skills with which the department would equip the students. Thus the department offers specialization in the fields of Archaeology, Epigraphy, Paleography, Ancient languages and Numismatics to aid in the reconstruction of India's rich ancient heritage and culture.

The founding of the independent department of AIHC&A sought to carry forward the rich legacy of scholars in this field associated with Panjab University, Lahore in the Pre-partition era like Aurel Stein and A.C. Woolner (Vice-Chancellor 1928-1936) who felt the need for establishing a centre for Indological studies. The setting up of the department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology in 1961 was therefore a fruition of a rich legacy going back to Panjab University's Pre- Independence past.

The department has had many illustrious faculty members since its inception and each one of them through their rich skills enriched India's Ancient past. Amongst the illustrious luminaries are the great Epigraphist, Numismatist and Sanskritist, Dr. Budha Prakash the founder head of the department who published Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab (1964) and other notable books on the ancient history of Punjab and Haryana. Also associated with the department was the great Sanskritist, Professor Jagannath Agrawal, the renowned scholar Dr. Amita Ray, Professor S.N. Chopra and Professor Suraj Bhan an archaeologist of international repute who excavated the famous sites of Mitathal and Sugh. The other great archaeologist and Epigraphist associated with the department was Professor Bhadur Chand Chabbra who had earlier served as chief Epigraphist and Deputy General of the Archaeological Survey of India. These noted personalities were followed by many other like Professor V.C. Pandey, Professor G.C.Mohapatra, Shri Devendar Handa, Professor Ashvini Agrawal, Prof. N.K. Ojha, Dr. Suchi Dyal among many others. At present the departmental faculty include Professor Renu Thakur and Professor Paru Bal Sidhu, Chairperson, Dept. of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology.

The department from the past to the present has established itself as a nodal department of the North-Western region for the study of India's ancient past. It may be pertinent to mention here that such a specialized department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology is unique to Panjab University and that no other University in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh or Jammu & Kashmir has such a specialized department pertaining to the study of Early India.

The department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology has made immense contributions to reconstructing the Prehistoric, Protohistoric and Early Historical periods of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The archaeological explorations and excavations form an integral part of the Department's activities from the very beginning. Amongst various sites excavated by the Department mention may be made of Sugh (ancient Srughna) near Jagadhari in Haryana, Mitathal in Dist. Hissar (Haryana), Chandigarh, Singh Bhagwantpur (Dist. Rupnagar), Moharana (Dist. Sangrur) and Pallanpur (Dist. Rupnagar) in Punjab. Each of these excavations has yielded important results and enriched the Department's collection of pottery, coins, seals and sealings, terracottas, sculptures etc. A number of new sites have been explored by the faculty and staff of the Department. The department of AIHC & A has its own Museum in which our housed its antiquities, a large part of which were recovered from excavations and explorations in Panjab and Haryana. The department is also one of the nodal departments which coordinates with governmental bodies of Chandigarh Administration like Government Museum, Sector 10 for acquisition of antiquities and art works.

At present we have a large number of Postgraduate Students and Research Scholars enrolled in the department. The syllabus and course structure of our department is different from that of History Department. The mandate and specialization of our department has been reflected in the varied, in-depth specialized International and National Seminars and Webinars besides special lectures & talks which are organized on a regular basis by the department.


Enquiry No(s): 1800-180-2065, +91 172 2534818, 2534866 (from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm & 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm on working days )

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