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Dikshit, Rao Bahadur Kashinath Narayan


Dikshit, Rao Bahadur Kashinath Narayan (1889-1944) Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1937-1944. Rao Bahadur Kashinath Narayan Dikshit was born in 1889. Before this Assignment at archaeological survey of india, he worked as Superintendent of Archaeology in indian museum and in several provinces as Government Epigraphist and Deputy Director General of Archaeological Survey of India. Endeavors were made during his tenure to carry out the excavations of Archaeological sites by encouraging Indian Universities and institutions to participate in exploration work. For Dikshit believed that an indispensable condition for advancement of the study of India's unknown past was the widespread extension of archaeological researches from the confines of a mere official organisation into the academic activities of the universities and learned societies, from the monopoly, so to say, of the civil servant to the free initiative of the educated public. He issued license to the university of calcutta to excavate the ancient site of Bangarh in south Dinajpur (Malda, West Bengal) district and thus making it the first Indian University to take active part in Archaeological excavation operations.

Dikshit also endeavored to multiply the contacts of his Department not only with the provincial museums, but also with Archaeological departments in the Indian States. He contributed his mite in the development of the Rajputana Museum in Ajmer by means of sparing antiquities and also allocating financial assistance to the institution. Dikshit helped the launching of Kannada Research Society at Dharwar (or Dharwad in Kornataka state, India) and the prehistoric research expedition in Gujarat.

A large-scale excavation of the site of Ahicchatra in the district of Bareli (Uttor Prodesh, India) was undertaken during 1940-44 under the worthy direction of Dikshit, in which a special attention was directed to the typological classification of ceramic finds, which ranged over fifteen centuries. He was also one of Sir John Marshall's collaborators in the well-known excavation of Mohenjodaro. He excavated the paharpur mounds (Rajshahi, Bangladesh), which brought to light one of the most important, and large-sized temples embellished with numerous terracotta plaques of Gupta and Pala era. The large size terracotta plaques found at Ahichhatra with those of Paharpur have revealed a new school of art in burnt clay. K.N. Dikshit's died just after retirement in 1944, marked the end of an era, which had begun with Sir John Marshall.

Some of his important publications are; Six Sculptures from Mahoba, 1921; Excavations at paharpur, Bengal, 1938; The Progress of Archaeology in India during the Past Twenty-five Years, 1939; Prehistoric Civilization of the Indus Valley, 1939. [Saifuddin Chowdhury]'