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Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute Jodhpur

The Majesty of Jodhpur’s Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute

Of all the tourist attractions Jodhpur has in its charm list to enthral you, the mightiest is the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute. This institute is a little less than 60 years old and it enriches the Rajasthani heritage to the brim. Just take a stroll and you would be engulfed in the richness of its valuable manuscripts and rare calligraphy.

History of the Institute

The foundation stone of the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute was laid in 1955 by Dr. Rajendra Prasad and its doors were opened for the public on the 14th of September of the year 1958. Jodhpur is the headquarters of the institute and the other branches are at Alwar, Jaipur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Kota, Bharatpur and Bikaner. The Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute was established by the State Government of Rajasthan under the supervision of Purattvacharya Muni Jinavijayaji who was an associate of Royal Asiatic Society. The initial motive behind the establishment of this institute was to uplift Sanskrit studies and folk literature of Rajasthan.

A Brief Milieu of the Institute

The devotion towards education and preserving of the ancient manuscripts led to the establishment of this institute. The Nath sect and the Vallabh sect of the rulers and also the Jain clerics of Nagaur encouraged the conservation of the antique paintings and scriptures. The Rajasthan government in 1950 formed the Sanskrit Mandal with the aim to preserve the manuscripts and other ancient documents. The Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute was inaugurated by Mohanlal Sukhadia in 1958 who was at that time the Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan. There was a branch at Tonk that was later modified into Centre for Arabic and Persian Studies. The branch at Bharatpur was built with the help of 5000 manuscripts that were donated by the local scholars. The government recognised the institute in 1956 and the main aims and objectives of the RORI were set up.

Objectives of RORI

  • To conduct a thorough survey of the ancient Prakrit, Sanskrit and Aprabhamsha manuscripts so that the cultural heritage of Rajasthan is upheld.
  • To improve the Reference Library by either purchasing or getting books on donation
  • To make sure that the manuscripts that are preserved provide adequate research material for scholars or people intending to utilise them for studious purposes.
  • To edit manuscripts that are to be utilised for different research purposes
  • To collect devotional literature and folk literature

There is a series of books that were published by the institute. These books are on varied genre like Sanskrit manuscripts, Prakrit manuscripts, Musicology, Vedic literature, Philosophy, Medicine and a plethora of other genres.

The Art Gallery

The art gallery inside the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute is a gorgeous portico to watch. There are various styles of miniature paintings like the Western Indian, Pal, Rajput and different other regional trends. The most popular in the collection are the Bhagvad Gita that is in Jammu & Kashmir mode or in South Indian Tanjavur style. These miniature paintings have captured the world tourist’s eyes and have been broadcasted on international television in various travelogues.

Manuscripts

The archives of Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute are filled with rare manuscripts which total to 1.23 lakhs which are distributed amongst the headquarters at Jodhpur and also in the seven branches. In total there are 1, 23,728 manuscripts in eight branches including Jodhpur.

In Jodhpur (headquarters) there are 41,374 manuscripts. In Alwar there are 7559 manuscripts. In Chittaurgarh there are 5429 manuscripts.  In Jaipur there are 13003 manuscripts. In Udaipur there are 6910 manuscripts. In Kota there are 9924 manuscripts.  In Bikaner there are 29,429 manuscripts. In Bharatpur there are 10,100 manuscripts. The manuscripts include a plethora of miniature paintings, Prakrit, Apabhramsha and Sanskrit scripts, and Rajasthani vernacular manuscripts. The scripts mainly highlight the teachings of Ayurveda (Natural medicine), Dharma Shastra (Religion), Vedas, Astrology (Jyotish), Black Magic (Tantra mantra) and Philosophy.

Laboratory and Microfilm Unit

The laboratory was established in the institute in the year 1992 and the most ancient manuscripts are stored in steel cupboards that are locked. This laboratory takes care of the preservation of the manuscripts. In the year 1985 the microfilm unit was built in the institute and illustrated manuscripts are taken care of by this unit.

Reference Library

There are printed books that total to a number of 29,950 in this library. Almost all the books that are in the library’s collection are of publications that have gone out of print. The series of Sanskrit books that fall under Anand Mala or Chaukhamba or Kavya Mala are there in this library.

How to Reach the Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute in Jodhpur

The institute is situated in a very convenient position in the Jodhpur city. Airport is at a distance of 5 kilometres from the centre of the Jodhpur city. Daily flights are available from Mumbai, Udaipur, Jaipur and New Delhi. Trains from all major cities of the country run to Jodhpur almost daily or on alternate days. By road also you can reach Jodhpur from all major towns of Rajasthan and buses and hired cars are easily available. Buses also depart daily from the national capital and reach Jodhpur overnight.

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