About Manuscripts

The Manuscripts are very important documentary source to know the ancient history, culture, art, etc. of a Nation. In the ancient period wisdom was passed on to others through the oral transmission. But this had a limited circulation because a knowledge-seeker had to come in contact personally. Also, with the depth of a wise person his knowledge had no further scope of being shared by others. Gradually it was felt that if the wisdom of the wise could be written down in the form of books, the scope for wide circulation of knowledge and also its durability would increase. Such works of wisdom will have their own mobility, in view of most of them being portable. Thus originated the conception of writing down of books.

This Department has a collection of about 2000 manuscripts in different Indian languages and scripts viz. Devanagari, Grantha, Maithali, Malayalam, Modi, Sarda, Tibetan, Gurumukhi, Persian etc. pertaining to the different subject of Indology i.e. Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Astrology, Astronomy, Ayurveda etc. on the materials such as palm-leaf, birch-bark, handmade paper and modern machine paper. We have conventional methods for the preservation of these invaluable manuscripts. The Department, in the past, edited and published several manuscripts but still there are so many old and important manuscripts are lying unedited. Perhaps, this is an important manuscript collection of North-Western Zone of the country.

In our collection, we have a photocopy of a manuscript entitled "Sancha" written in Pabuchi script perhaps which is at present not available in any other collection. This script is yet to be deciphered by the scholars. The language used, perhaps, belongs to 'Sirmour' and 'Jabal' regions of Himachal Pradesh. The subjects dealt therein are Yantra, Mantra, Jyotisa (Ramala), Sakun, Muhurta etc.

This collection has many illustrated manuscripts. The most important manuscripts are Asvaphalaprakarana and Sarvarogaharanagunagambhirata by Nakula. There are 147 pictures in these two manuscripts. In the first manuscript i.e. Agvaphalaprakriya, there are 47 pictures pertaining the different categories of horses viz. Uttamarva, Candraksa, Padmaksa, Hayaraja etc., different varnas of horses viz. Ksatriya-Varna, Brahmana-Varna, Vaisya-Varna, Odra-Varna and Raksasa-Varna, different diseases of horses viz. Vataroga, Chataroga, Vatadosa, Kampadosa etc. In Sarvarogaharanagunagambhirata , there are 97 pictures of horses. On the basis of colours different categories of horses are illustrated and explained. The importance of colours are also explained. The varnas of horses are also given such as Brahmana, Ksatriya, Vaigya, Sudra etc. The diseases of horses and their symptoms are also explained with pictures.

In our collection there are many Sanskrit and Hindi manuscripts in Gurumukhi Script. Prominent among them is Ramacaritamanasa by Tulasidasa. In this manuscripts there are 367 folios.