The M.A. students and the research scholars of the Department of Sanskrit Studies, led by Prof. JSR Prasad visited National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH), Hyderabad on 27th February, 2023.

The institute, which is only of its kind in South East / Asia has been contributing towards digitization and archiving of ancient Indian medical texts as well as running major projects in the historical aspects of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy and Sowa Rigpa (AYUSH) along with Modern Medicine. The institute is the only branch of the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India.

The Director, Dr. G.P. Prasad himself guided the students around the campus, informing them about its multifarious activities, most importantly the two museums preserving the history and long tradition of medical practices in India and the world. The museums also contained rare illustrations, engravings and models of operational tools used by the ancient Indian medical practitioners.

Observing the interest of the students Dr. Prasad took the students to the library which houses more than 20,000 rare medical books, journals and manuscripts from all over India, across Indian languages. He informed that the institute has been actively engaged in digitization and translation of these rare texts. Many projects have been undertaken in this regard, most notably the publication of 3 volume Ayurveda Encyclopaedia. The students were amazed as they could actually visit the places where the palm-leaf and paper manuscripts were being digitized.

Towards the end of the visit, Director emphasized on the collaboration between UoH and NIIMH and welcomed any student of the UoH community to access their library based on applications through proper channel. He encouraged the Sanskrit students and scholars to engage in research dialogues across disciplines as any research in ancient Indian medical heritage cannot be executed properly without a sound knowledge in the Sanskrit language.

—Contributed by Sayantan Lahiri, IoE Research Intern, Department of Sanskrit Studies