Department of Sanskrit

About the Department

The Department of Sanskrit owes its origin to the Presidency College, which appointed the first Professor of Sanskrit in 1868. The popularity of Sanskrit Department grew when Prof. Gustav Oppert became Professor in 1872. The first batch of students in Sanskrit Honours was examined by the University in 1914. During this period, the Senate Committee of the University of Madras resolved to appoint a Professor of Comparative Philology in Sanskrit. Accordingly, Professor Mark Collins was appointed as the first Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. He was also appointed as the Director of Sanskrit Studies and Ex-officio Chairman of the Board of Studies in Sanskrit. He was also involved in teaching the Sanskrit Honours courses for sometime and supervising the work of University Readers in the Dravidian Languages. He was also joint Editor of the Tamil Lexicon for sometime. Subsequently the most significant role was played by Prof. M.M. Kuppuswamy Sastri who was not only responsible for the framing of courses of study for the O. T. Siromani but was also personally responsible for training Sanskritists in both modern and traditional studies. During his period of nearly a quarter century, he held the Chairmanship of the Board of Studies in Sanskrit and is truly said to have presided over the destiny of Sanskrit Studies in the University. In 1914 as convenor, Prof. Sastri organised the O. T. Course under the Siromani regulation, which was adopted by the University in 1915. This Course included a study of comparative and historical method of literary criticism and comparative philology. To enable students of other degree courses, the University adopted at his instance more than one category of regulation. In 1918, BOL was introduced by the University as a measure to encourage the Siromani students of Sanskrit to gain proficiency in the modern methods of study as applied to Oriental learning. Much later, in 1933 the University introduced the Degree of Bachelor in Oriental Learning (BOL) with the same aim of giving an opportunity to the Siromani title holder to qualify for a Degree. The University research fellowships were held under Prof. Kuppuswami Shastri. He was also responsible for starting the Department of Oriental Studies in the University itself. After the retirement of Prof. Mark Collins (1914-1919) no new appointment was made for this purpose. After a lapse of five years in 1924 the Academic Council of the University appointed a Committee to look into the question of starting an Oriental institute under the University. The conduct of the third All India Oriental Conference in 1924 under the auspices of the University paved way for starting the Institute. With due concurrence from the Government, the University adopted the scheme for an Oriental Institute with provision for Sanskrit, Dravidian and Islamic Languages in 1926. Dr. C. Kunhan Raja was the first professor of Sanskrit (1927) in this distinguished institute with two scholars working under him. Under his stewardship, the Department started the New Catalogus Catalogorum (NCC) Project under the patronage of the University of Madras. Following his foot-steps, Prof. V. Raghavan headed the Department from 1950-1969, during which period the Department attained higher excellence. He took necessary steps to obtain the required materials for the NCC Project from various institutions both from India and abroad. He was also a member of the Sanskrit Commission, Government of India, in 1951. He brought out five volumes of NCC. For his scholarly achievement, he was awarded Padmabhushan in the year 1962 by the Govt. of India. Dr. K. Kunjunni Raja took the reins from Prof. V. Raghavan in the year 1969 and continued his efforts in maintaining the status of the Department in both teaching and research activities. He continued the NCC work and published almost six volumes in the greater interest of scholars. After his retirement in 1980, Dr. N. Veezhinathan became the Head and continued till 1997 and published about 3 volumes of NCC. Dr. Mrs. E. R. Ramabai was the Head of the Department from 1997 to June 2000. Prof. Siniruddha Dash took charge as the Head of the Department in July 2000 and is currently heading the Department. 

The New Catalogus Catalogorum (NCC) Project (A unique project from 1933):

(An encyclopaedic work on unpublished manuscripts prepared as an alphabetical register of Sanskrit and allied works and authors) India is a country that has a hoary past with a rich culture and great heritage. It has had highly developed indigenous knowledge systems, not just in religion, philosophy or literature but also in hardcore science like Astronomy, Mathematics, Medicine (Ayurveda), Architecture (Shilpa Shastra and Vastu), Metallurgy, etc. and in other branches like Yoga, Management, Governance, Polity, Town Planning, etc. In order to preserve these works for posterity, the act of copying and recopying the manuscripts went on with great tenacity all over the country, leading thus to the production of hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. Manuscripts not in thousands but in lakhs are available all over the country at different places like libraries, Mutts, Museums, and many other public and private collections. Many of these manuscripts have also travelled to different parts of world. Considering the magnitude of the manuscripts and the need to preserve them, enthusiasts in the 19th century thought of first taking stock of the available manuscripts, cataloguing and documenting them, so that information of the availability of manuscripts at different places of our country may be collected. However, these catalogues could only provide a list of manuscripts available at one particular place. This gave rise to the idea of preparing a master catalogue, i.e. a collection of all catalogues which would be immensely useful to researchers, students and other enthusiasts of Indology. Thus was born Aufrecht's "Catalogus Catalogorum", meaning a "(master) Catalogue of Catalogues" in 1891. Two more supplementary editions of this "Catalogus Catalogorum" were printed in 1896 and 1903. With an idea of making available information available regarding this vast treasure of manuscripts not only in Sanskrit but also in Pali and Prakrit, and to include works pertaining to Buddhism and Jainism, was born the "New Catalogus Catalogorum". By then scholars traced the availability of vast number of manuscripts available in South India, rich not only in quantity but also in quality. Hence at the suggestion of Dr. A. C. Woolner, the then Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University and Head of Sanskrit Studies it was decided to undertake this project of the "New Catalogus Catalogorum" in Madras, and naturally it was entrusted to the University of Madras which came forward to bring out this valuable work - the "New Catalogus Catalogorum". A special committee comprising Mahamopadhyaya Kuppuswami Sastri, Dr. Kunhan Raja and P. P. S. Sastri together with the then Vice-Chancellor Dr. A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar was appointed and an Editorial Board was formed with Prof. Kuppuswami Sastri as Editor-in-Chief and Messrs Kunhan Raja and P. P. S. Shastri as its members. At the end of 1935, the compilation for the New Catalogus Catalogorum (NCC) commenced with Dr. V. Raghavan and Mr. E. P. Radhakrishnan as Senior and Junior Assistants. Till 2000, 14 volumes of NCC were published, covering the letters from 'a' to 'brahmasukta'. Considering the importance and magnitude of the work, the National Mission for Manuscripts, IGNCA, Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, sanctioned Rs. 75 lakhs/- under the X plan, to speed up the project work. Under the leadership of Prof. Siniruddha Dash, the pace of the work picked up and eleven volumes of work were completed within a short span of four years, of which five volumes (XV to XIX) were released as the 150 the year special books during the valedictory function of the 150th Year Celebrations of the University of Madras and another six volumes (XX to XXV) are now published and released on October 2012. Other seven volumes (XVI to XXXII) are to be published shortly.Eight more volumes are planned to be completed during the XI plan, for which work is in progress.      


Landmark achievement:

In recognization of our performance the University of Madras awarded the Department with the maximum of 10 ?Credit point for 2003-04 under the scheme of PERFORMANCE LINKED INCENTIVES SCHEME (PLIS).  

Endowment Scholarships

PROJECT: The New Catalogus Catalogorum Project carried out in the Department carried out in the Department from 1935 is nearing completion. Till date 30 volumes work has been completed (19 volumes are published) and the remaining 10 more volumes are plan to be completed by 2012. The Department express to the gratefulness to the University of Madras and NMM (IGNCA), Department of Culture, Government of India for their continues support in this international enterprise. HEALTH CARE THROUGH YOGA: Under the auspices of the UGC (Xth Plan), the Patanjali Yoga Kendra has been established with generous grants for conducting health awareness programmes through Yoga. Even though Sanskrit is a language with immense potential, its usefulness has not always been fully appreciated, nay, it has even underestimate by us, Indian. The change of lifestyles, environmental degradation and distorted work habits, have given rise to unprecedented health problems. In order to make the benefit of the Yoga reach the common man, the Department also introduced Certificate Course inn Yoga for beginners and P. G. Diploma for any graduate. This is not only a career opportunity for the youth but also makes for a healthier society through such trained personal, we are proud to inform all, that in response to this course we have enrolled graduates from various discipline, like Medicine, Sports, Journalism, Engineering etc. UGC. Has now consider import of programme and sanctioned a post of Yoga Instructor under XI Plan.  

  • To read and teach Sanskrit texts written on different subjects like Science, Arts, Literature, Humanities, Culture, etc.
  • To carry out research in these fields in order to bring out the deep understanding of these subjects and compare them with modern science and technology, through the stream of Applied Sanskrit, introduced in the Department of Sanskrit.
  • To document the large number of unpulished manuscripts available anywhere in the world and bring them into light through publication. {The New Catalogus Catalogorum (NCC) Project is going on; 25 volumes have been published so far; 15 more to be published. The manuscripts recorded are in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit languages. The works and authors are arranged in Sanskrit alphabetical order. Attempts are also made to bring out unpublished texts}.
  • To conduct interdisciplinary research between Sanskrit and other Indian and foreign languages.
  • To bring healthcare and health awareness thorough teaching Yoga and Ayurveda and also through conducting research in these fields.
  • To provide information to the Indologists all over the world regarding manuscript details from NCC


  • To complete the NCC Project.
  • To bring to light real good unpublished texts in the form of manuscripts, available anywhere in the world.
  • To revise the old NCC Volumes, after the completion of the last letter -ha..
  • To launch a website and maintain a database of unpublished manuscripts.
  • To prepare a database for Classical Languages like Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Arabic and Urdu to facilitate interdisciplinary research in the field.
  • To conduct online programmes on Sanskrit through Sanskrit and English to reach the masses.
  • To conduct extension programmes in different educational institutions to teach and train the interested scholars working on various aspects of Indian Languages and Culture.
  • To provide health care to the masses through teaching and practice of Yoga and Ayurveda.
  • To train and equip students with adequate knowledge of grammar linguistics and computer, to face the modern world.


  •  To preserve and document our ancient Literary Heritage of India.
  • To disseminate the ancient Indian Knowledge System encoded in these Mss.
  • To share our expertise to establish the link with the rest of the world by providing reliable data for higher Sudies and Research.
Infrastructures on different projects
  • No. of Computers : 10  4 nos is not use 6nos in use
  • Laptop : 1
  • No. of Printers : 3
  • Scanner : 1
  • A/C. : 7  4 nos  in use and 3 nos is not use
  • Internet Facility


Name of the Faculty Designation View Profiles
Dr. P. Narasimhan Professor and Head Dr. P. Narasimhan
Dr. C. Murugan Assistant Professor Dr. C. Murugan

Courses offered by the Department

Post Graduate

  • M. A, M. Phil, and Sanskrit
  • M. A, M. Phil, and Ph. Applied Sanskrit
  • M. A. in Applied Sanskrit (private)

P.G. Diploma Courses

  • P. G. Diploma in Yoga Therapy

Diploma Courses

  • Diploma in Manuscriptology in Sanskrit

Certificate Course

  • Certificate Course in Yoga

Syllabus for the Courses Offered

Syllabus will be available soon

Fees Structure

Fee Structure will be available soon


Timetable for All Courses Download
Timetable for All Courses Download

Research Scholars

Name Guide Topic Year Joined Year Completed Email Id
No M.Phil Scholars
Name Guide Topic Year Joined Year Completed Email Id
No Result available
Ph.D Nil
M.Phil Nil
Ph.D Nil
M.Phil Nil