Ancient Indian Culture

About the department

The Department of Ancient Indian Culture was established in the year 1971. The aim of the department is to impart both theoretical and applied knowledge to students with a holistic approach to the subject of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology. With a history of more than 50 years, the department has flourished into a centre of academic excellence in the last few decades.

Predisposed towards its aim, the department provides various opportunities for students to broaden their horizons through workshops, seminars, symposiums, and conferences. Apart from the external exposure, a multi-disciplinary approach is taken while educating students, which is also reflected in the syllabus of the courses offered by the Department. With an understanding of Ancient Indian Culture and archaeology, students are also equipped with the knowledge of sub-disciplines such as heritage management, tourism, and museology. This approach has played a vital role in giving the students a better understanding of the discipline of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology.

The Department houses a museum which facilitates the factor of applied education. The museum consists of some rare antiquities which include coins from the Ancient Period up to the colonial era, pottery pieces from distinctive cultures, ancient stone tools, a collection of crystallized rock formations, Chinese porcelain ware fragments, a replica of the foot impression of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, architectural fragments, manuscripts which were received by the department in the form of donation and many more artifacts and antiquities. 

Alongside the museum, the department library has a noteworthy collection of books, journals, magazines, and reports dealing with various subjects from prehistory to modern history, sociology, ethnoarchaeology etc. The department also has the entire collection of the “Journal of Asiatic Society of Mumbai”, “The Indian Archaeology Review”, “Indica'' and an assemblage of the volumes of the magazine “Puratava”. A voluminous collection of books on Indian architecture, literature, Buddhism, and Jainism alongside an extraordinary collection of Marathi books are available for students to refer to for academic purposes. 

With the vision of giving students exposure to the different facets of the discipline of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology, the department has numerous collaborations with various national and international institutes. The department has benefited from a number of courses and joint projects through these collaborations. 

Since the academic year of 2021-2022, the department of Ancient Indian Culture and Université Libre De Bruxelles have been jointly conducting a certificate course in ‘Heritage Tourism and Heritage Management’. This course allows students from both countries, India and Belgium to have meaningful interactions on various academic and non-academic topics, resulting in a fruitful cultural exchange. 

One of our department's most reputable collaborations is with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. The Department of Ancient Indian Culture and Buddhist Studies signed an MOU with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums in 2022. This collaboration is of immense importance in many ways as it facilitates a better learning experience for students by giving them access to government collections. The Diploma in Indian Archaeology is one such course which has benefited from this collaboration. The department has also collaborated with professionals such as Pradaya Heritage Management Services Pvt. Ltd. for joint projects such as the “Survey of Ulhas river valley for tangible and intangible heritage”, and for training students in applied factors of Heritage Management. We have also collaborated with institutes like the Horizons Center for Cultural Studies for academic courses. 

The department has acquired funding of around 50 lakhs over the years and has undertaken several research projects in order to provide research exposure to its students, these projects are an attempt to help students develop a research aptitude. One such activity the department has started since the year 2022 is the awarding of two fellowships to academically inclined students who wish to pursue research ahead as a career. Students are given the opportunity to research for three months on the topics of their interest and are supposed to present their work to the Members of the Board of Study at the end of the fellowship. Along with conducting research projects, students are prompted to present their work on diverse platforms such as department presentations, national conferences, regional conferences and seminars.
Some of the many projects taken up by the department include: 

1. The Documentation of Caves in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region

2. The Salsette project

3. Historical geography and Cultural ethnography of pre-Portuguese and early medieval Mumbai

4. Survey of Ulhas river valley for documentation of tangible and intangible heritage 

5. Website content development for the Directorate of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra 

The department of Ancient Indian Culture and Buddhist studies also runs courses tailored for archaeology, culture, history, and heritage enthusiasts. The following is the list of courses run by our department-

1. Diploma in Indian Archaeology

2. Certificate course in introduction to Jain Art and Archaeology

3. Certificate course in Ancient Indian Culture

4. Certificate course in Buddhist Art and Archaeology

5. Introduction to Intangible Heritage

More information on these courses can be found on the add-on courses page on the website of Sathaye College Autonomous.
With the motivation of giving students a holistic understanding of the subject of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology, the department shall continue to enrich and help students excel in academics. 


Prof. Dr. Suraj A. Pandit

Prof. Dr. Suraj A. Pandit


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Ancient Indian Culture FYBA SEM I Syllabus [Will be updated soon as per NEP 2020]

Ancient Indian Culture FYBA SEM II Syllabus  [Will be updated soon as per NEP 2020]

Ancient Indian Culture SYBA SEM 3 & 4- PAPER II Syllabus pdf

Courses Available

 Add-on Courses
  • 1. Diploma in Indian Archaeology

    2. Certificate course in introduction to Jain Art and Archaeology

    3. Certificate course in Ancient Indian Culture

    4. Certificate course in Buddhist Art and Archaeology

    5. Introduction to Intangible Heritage

F.Y.Sem.1  [Will be updated soon as per NEP 2020] 
F.Y.Sem.2  [Will be updated soon as per NEP 2020]
S.Y.Sem.3 India Through Ages
Social Organizations in Ancient India
S.Y.Sem.4 India Through Ages
Economic Institutions in Ancient India
T.Y.Sem-5 Introduction to Museology
Art & Architecture In Ancient India
Introduction to Heritage Management
Heritage Tourism
Religious & Philosophical Thoughts In Ancient India
An Introduction & Survey Of Literature In Ancient India
T.Y. Sem-6 Introduction to Museology
Art & Architecture In Ancient India
Introduction to Heritage Management
Heritage Tourism
Religious & Philosophical Thoughts In Ancient India
An Introduction & Survey Of Literature In Ancient India

UTSAV 2022

Utsav, an intra college fest of Sathaye college (autonomous), was organised on the 23rd and 24th of December 2022. The department of Ancient Indian Culture and Buddhist Studies had put up an exhibition of the department antiquities. A walk through of the museum was arranged for visitors. The exhibit consisted of artefacts from the department museum. A special corner dedicated to the artifacts found in 'Sopara' was displayed in the center of the room with a self-explanatory documentary about the 'Sopara corner' was shown.
For the rest of the artifacts in the museum, audio guide explanations were made available. Visitors had to simply scan the QR codes for the audio guides at each cupboard.
3 games related to the museum were organised at one corner of the museum. The games were quick and easy to play. The visitors enjoyed these games. On day 1 the department's annual magazine "Parampara" was inaugurated by principal Dr. Madhav Rajwade and Dr. Arvind P. Jamkhedkar. 
This two day long event was filled with excitement and enthusiasm on the part of both students and teachers. Although Utsav is an annual fest, it had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, in 2022, it was organised after a gap of 2 years. This lent an extra boost to the excitement of the students and an increase in student participation. Through this event, the students learnt resource management, basics of setting up a museum display and last but not the least, teamwork and team spirit.


On 29th, 30th November and 1st December 2022 8 students from first year and second year visited the Asiatic Society of Mumbai to assist for the technical work related to registering their antiquity collection. The students documented artifacts, manuscripts and numismatics collection in these 3 days. The students went to the Asiatic Society for 3 days from 11:00 AM TO 4:00 PM. It was later submitted by Ms. Nishigandha Parulekar on 6th December 2022 to the authorities.  


On the 14th of November 2022, the Department of Ancient Indian Culture arranged an interdisciplinary lecture on Thermoluminescence Dating and Carbon Dating Methods. This lecture was delivered by Ms. Sukruta Pethe ma'am from the Physics department of Sathaye College (Autonomous). Various dating methods from absolute and relative dating methods such as thermoluminescence method, stratigraphy method, carbon-14 method, Potassium Argon method, etc. were taught. This lecture helped students in understanding the various dating methods used in the field of Archaeology. 
In this highly educational and fun yet important guest lecture, the students learnt about Dating Methods in Archaeology'. This lecture was very useful in regards that the students had their exams soon and hence a refreshing overview was conducted so that the exam topics of 'Dating Methods in Archaeology' will be remembered by the students to write in their exams. This guest lecture presented the students with a more scientific view of Dating Methods rather than just theoretical and help understand them better.


From 8th - 14th October 2022 students documented the artifacts from the classroom museum of the department of Ancient Indian Culture. The department's museum is home to a collection of artefacts that range from the prehistoric period to the modern times. As per the directorate of Archaeology of the State Government of Maharashtra, the department was required to document these artefacts. This task was carried out by the students of the department with the guidance and help from their teachers. The activity was done as per the rules and format set by the Government. 
All the students of Ancient Indian Culture of SY & FY were divided into ten groups with each group made up of a group leader and around four members. The process of documentation included clicking photographs of the artefacts, measuring them and jotting down the history and description of the artefacts. All the information was then collected and compiled into a single document. On the 6th and 7th of December, 2022, each group presented the information they collected and the observations they had made in front of the teachers and students.
 Through this activity, the students learnt about the importance of documentation, the steps necessary for the same as well as skills such as teamwork and cooperation. The presentations helped them to develop confidence and overcome their stage fear.


A heritage walk of South Mumbai was organized by the students of SYBA on the 15th of September 2022. The tour was conducted by Second year students, Atharva Kandalgaonkar, Reshaa Dongre, Srushti Aitwade, Akanksha Gulwe, and Shruti Kendre, and was attended by 20 First year students and 16 Second year students. The walk started from CSMT at 12:00 PM and ended at Oval ground, 4 PM. The places covered in the walk were CSMT, BMC, War Memorial, Reserve Bank, Asiatic Society, Bombay Samachar building, Horniman Circle, St. Thomas Cathedral, Ready money Mansion, Flora Fountain, High Court, Mumbai University, and Oval ground. 

India Week 2022

The Department of Ancient Indian Culture and Buddhist Studies organized an event known as 'India Week' in the month of August, 2022 from 22nd August to 26th August. In this week-long event, four different games were organized. Along with Monopoly, a foreign game, Saripat and Mokshapat, two ancient Indian games, were played and an entirely new game, What The Fort, was introduced. The preexisting games were recreated by applying minor changes to the ground rules and adding new elements to the play. The programme was inaugurated by Principal Dr. Madhav Rajwade and Vice Principal Ms. Pramodini Sawant.
While all the games were being conducted simultaneously, they were being played at different locations. Saripat was conducted in the foyer of the ground floor. Two sets of the game were created which required four players each. On the first floor, a life-sized version of Mokshapat (also known as Snakes & Ladders) was created with 25 tiles on the board. The first tile being the start, represented birth and the 25th tile, being the end, represented moksha. Snakes were placed throughout the board and each snake was labeled with a vice at its head & tail. A similar pattern was followed with the ladders, which were labelled virtues rather than vices at the top and bottom. The other two games took place on the second floor. What The Fort, a rapid fire quiz game required students to answer questions related to forts from all over India in order to win. The other game, Monument Monopoly was played with a life-sized version of the board as well. This particular version used world heritage sites from India in place of cities. 16 different sites and monuments were selected which included temples, natural sites, Victorian & Mughal sites. Contestants had to answer questions related to a particular site in order to buy it. 
About a total of 1000 people registered for the games for the duration of the event. The students who won received unique prices. For Saripat potsherd replicas decorated with designs dating back to Mahabharat were given which were hand painted by the students itself. Winners of What the Fort and Mokshapat received a bookmark given upon which the names of the winners were written in Modi Script while those who won in Monument Monopoly got postcards with the winners’ names in Modi script. There were around 250 winners altogether by the end of day 5. The aim of this event was to educate people about the importance of our culture and heritage in a fun and interesting way by making them play various games, which was fulfilled successfully.



On the 6th of August 2022, Saturday a workshop on 'story writing' in collaboration with 'Mind Matters' was conducted by Mrs. Kalindi Kale, Founder Director, Mind Matters Institute . It was conducted in the department of Ancient Indian Culture and was attended by a total number of 21 participants. The lecture dealt with a variety of topics regarding story writing and creative writing, spanning over a time period of 4 hours. 


On the 3rd of August 2022, Wednesday Dr. Mahesh Kalra, an expert in Numismatics was invited to conduct a workshop on Greek coinages in the department. The lecture was attended by Second year and Third year students. Dr. Mahesh Kalra taught students the Greek script and how to read it on coins. The session was very insightful and spanned over a time of two hours. 


On the 23rd and 30th of July 2022, the departments alumni students Mr. Nishad Raut and Ms. Shwetal Patil were invited to lecture students on various topics dealing with tourism and world heritage sites. On the 22nd they gave lectures on 'World Heritage Sites' & 'Museology & Signage' respectively. This lecture spanned over 30 minutes each & was attended by TV & S⋅Y students. Whereas on the 30th of July they took sessions on 'MTDC-ITDC' and 'Museum Management' respectively. 


Pottery is like the jack of all cards when it comes to understanding multiple aspects of any archaeological site, from the kitchen to their burial sites we see our ancestors using pottery in many ways. It is extremely important for an archaeologist to be able to analyze the ceramics found at an archaeological site. In order to equip students with the knowledge of ceramic analysis, the Department of Ancient Indian Culture organized a two-day ceramics workshop on the 6th and 7th of June, 2022. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Prabodh Shirvalkar, who is an assistant professor at the Deccan College Post-graduate and Research Institute: Deemed University. The theoretical knowledge of methods and techniques used for ceramic analysis was given on the first day whereas the second day consisted of practical learning, participants tried their hand at technical drawings of the pottery and computer applications under the guidance of Dr. Shirvalkar sir and Mr. Shashank Babu.


With a view of giving back to society, the students of Sathaye College (Autonomous) participated in volunteering work under the aegis of the Teach to Lead foundation, for Teach for India. On 30th April 2022, they took about 40 underprivileged 6th graders of Rose Mary High school for an educational trip to the Kanheri Caves on a field trip. Cave numbers 1 to 4 were explained by the student volunteers of Sathaye from the Department of AIC. The student volunteers told them about cave excavation and explained Buddhist cave architecture in a story format, with an aim of developing their interest in archaeology and heritage. The curiosity and energy levels seen in the children were refreshing and helped our student volunteers understand the site on a better level. It was a learning experience not only for the students who were given exposure to the heritage and history, but also for the student volunteers who learnt how to educate children from various backgrounds. 


On completing 75 years of independence Swaraj 75 was an interdisciplinary seminar held on the 25th of March, 2022 under the theme “Redefining the narrative of freedom struggle in the Indian subcontinent (from 1498 to 1947)”. The seminar was jointly conducted by the Department of Archaeology, Centre of Extra-Mural Studies, University of Mumbai, Sathaye College (Autonomous), and Itihas Sankalan Samitee Kokan Prant, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, and Northern lights. The chief guest was Dr. Anuradha Ranade, the retired principal of K.V. Pendharkar college. The president of the session was Professor Dr. Arvind P. Jamkhedkar the Chancellor of Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute: Deemed University.
This seminar was an excellent learning opportunity for all of the students attending this seminar as it had both academicians and students presenting papers. The seminar consisted of an inauguration program, and four plenary sessions, and ended with a valedictory session, with a  total of 29 papers presented.



On the 22nd of March 2022, a field trip of the students of the Department of Ancient Indian Culture were taken to Mahakali caves from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The field trip's objective was to develop a better understanding of the Buddhist caves and their interpretation. The First Year students who were stuck in their houses during the Covid-19 pandemic enjoyed this outdoor learning activity where they freely interacted with their classmates, seniors and teachers. They observed the architecture, iconography, inscription and other aspects which are important to understand an archaeological site. Prof. Dr. Suraj Pandit conducted the field trip and gave insights into the living conditions of the Buddhist monks in Mahakali caves. With the help of Prof. Pandit, the students studied the caves and tried to understand the cave architecture, its functions, settlement pattern and religious aspects of Buddhism. 


With the theme of ‘Cultural Heritage of South Asia’ the Student's Seminar was hosted by the Department of Ancient Indian Culture and Buddhist Studies on the 3rd of March 2022. It was a collaborative event held by the Department of Ancient Indian Culture and Department of History from Sathaye College (Autonomous) and Itihas Sankalan Samitee, Kokan Prant. with Shri. Chandrakant Joshi as the chief guest. The judges for this seminar were Shri. Surendra Tanna and Dr. Prachi Moghe. A total number of 17 papers were presented by students on topics related to culture, literature, traditions, communities, heritage, etc. After the paper presentations, the judges and the teachers, Dr. Abhidha Dhumatkar and Prof. Dr. Suraj Pandit gave their remarks, and ranks were decided. The 1st rank was given to Mr. Sarath Sasi, the 2nd to Mr. Nishad Raut, and the 3rd to Ms. Shwetal Patil and Ms. Pranjali Sathe. It was a very proud moment for the department as the 2nd and 3rd ranks were secured by students of our department.   

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