About Founder


Prof. Awadh Kishore Narain
28 th May, 1925 - 10 th July, 2013

Awadh Kishore Narain, a man who was always full of ideas and zeal, felt an urgent need for a Society of Indian archaeologists. He founded the Indian Archaeological Society in the year 1967 alongwith his colleagues in the Banaras Hindu University, for promoting and spreading knowledge about archaeology in its all aspects. He organised the first conference at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi which was attended by B.P. Sinha, Head of the Ancient Indian History and Archaeology Department, Patna University, H.D. Sankalia, Director, Deccan College, Pune and some promising young archaeologists where journal of the Society Puratattva No. 1 was released on 4th February, 1968. On this occasion, the Department organised a seminar on ‘Problem of Megaliths in India’. Afterwards, A. Ghosh, Director General, Archaeological Survey of India and his colleagues in the Survey joined it. Slowly and gradually it grew in membership as well as in academic pursuits.

Narain needs no introduction to the fraternity of Indology. His multi-dimensional contribution to archaeology and other branches of Ancient Indian History is extremely significant. He was one of the few eminent scholars who had an impressive list of research publications. He has authored about two dozen books and monographs. He has also contributed more than five dozen articles in various prestigious journals and seminar proceedings. Narain, an alumnus of the Banaras Hindu University, had a brilliant educational record passing with distinction both Bachelor and Masters courses in the years 1945 and 1947 respectively. He obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, U.K. in the year 1954 and his thesis was published under the title ‘The Indo-Greeks' by Oxford University Press, London in 1957 which earned him recognition in the field of ancient history. As a result, he was offered the prestigious Manindra Chandra Nandi Professorship in College of Indology, Banaras Hindu University, as early as 1960. Narain was also the recipient of more than a dozen awards and honours. Along with his unparalleled individual contribution to Asian studies, his towering academic personality was further elevated due to his institution-building capacity.  


In 1970, the Society moved to New Delhi with B.K. Thapar of the Archaeological Survey of India being elected as General Secretary and K.N. Dikshit as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer. However, immediately after, Thapar proceeded to Germany on a Humboldt fellowship, at this stage S.P. Gupta took keen interest in the development of the Society and National Museum was declared as the headquarters. He edited Puratattva Numbers 4-6. The financial condition of the Society was in a bad state but as luck favoured, in one of the functions in 1972, Dikshit met T.P. Singh (junior) IAS, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development who sanctioned a grant of Rs. 3000/- for the publication of journal. After the return of B.K. Thapar, a regular grant of 15,000/- from the Archaeological Survey of India started for the publication to the Society. It may also be added that the present format of Puratattva was given by Thapar on the pattern of Indian Archaeology: A Review. In 1981, N.R. Ray took over as the Chairman of ICHR who had also given the grant of Rs. 5000/- to the Society for publication of journal.

S.P. Gupta played a key role in the allotment of a plot of land at B-17, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi and its acquirement made possible by donations from D. Devahuti and her husband D.P. Singhal. Now, Society has its own building from where it operates. He also provided a stronger base to the Society both in terms of organization, academic acclamation and leaving a WILL of financial support in the form of a strong corpus fund. He nurtured the Society as his own progeny and successfully established it as a renowned research centre, both nationally and internationally.

Thereafter the Society started getting donations from Government and individuals in the name of memorial lectures, awards, construction of building, library and museum.


Dr. Swarajya Prakash Gupta
22nd December, 1931 - 3rd October, 2007

Swarajya Prakash Gupta, a leading art historian, a distinguished scholar of museology and archaeology, earned his degrees of M.A., Ph.D. and D.Litt. from Allahabad, Delhi and Magadh Universities respectively. He was in the first batch of School of Archaeology (1959–61) and was awarded Maulana Azad and Centenary Commemoration Gold Medals.

S.P. Gupta contributed more than 100 articles on Indian Art and Archaeology which are still considered as the premier source of information for both scholars and students alike. He also wrote several books on Indian Art and Archaeology. Some of his pioneer books are: Disposal of the Dead and Physical Types in Ancient India (New Delhi, 1971), Archaeology of Soviet Central Asia and the Indian Borderlands (New Delhi, 1978), The Roots of Indian Art (New Delhi, 1980), The Indus-Saraswati Civilization (New Delhi, 1996) etc.

He also edited India's Contribution to World Thought and Culture (Madras 1972), Frontiers of the Indus Civilization (New Delhi, 1983) and a few other books.



Dr. D. Devahuti
22nd May, 1929 -19th September, 1988

D. Devahuti was an inexhaustible fountain of erudition; to others she was a warm and lovable person. She did her B.A. Honours and M.A. from the East Punjab University, Chandigarh and obtained her Doctoral Degree from the London University in 1956. She specialised in Ancient Indian and early Southeast Asian history and left her mark as a historian of repute. She authored a book on Harsha – A Political Study, published by the Oxford University Press and accepted as a hallmark of originality and excellence. She has contributed a number of research papers and edited many volumes on history and culture. A few Indians have received this coveted distinction. D. Devahuti and her husband D.P. Singhal provided the much needed financial support to the Society in getting the plot of land, B-17, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi, where the present building stands.

Office Address:

The Indian Archaeological Society
B-17, Qutab Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110016, India

Phone: +91-011-26523728, 26852695
Fax: +91-011-26960654
E-mail: ias_newdelhi@yahoo.co.uk             iasnewdelhi1967@gmail.com             iasnewdelhi@rediffmail.com

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