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Bhandarkar InstituteOn July 6, 1915 at a meeting of people interested in Orientology, it was decided to found the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in commemoration of Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar's outstanding work in the field of Orientology. 

The Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Pune was founded on July 6, 1917 to commemorate the name and work of Ramakarishna Gopal Bhandarkar, who may be justifiably regarded as the foremost pioneer of scientific orientology in this country. The event was intended to synchronize with the savant's eightieth birth-anniversary. The Institute is a public organization registered under Act XXI of 1860, and is administered by a regulating council. It is partially supported by annual earmarked grants from the Maharashtra Government which nominates five representatives on the regulating council and two on the executive board. The Institute has also received grants from the Government of India and the University Grants Commission for specific research projects. 

The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute normally works through its four main Departments: 1.  Mahabharata and Research Unit. 2. Manuscripts. 3. Publication and 4. Post-Graduate Teaching and Research.


In 1919, the Institute undertook to prepare and publish a critical edition of the Mahabharata. This enormous literary project (19 volumes containing 13,000 demi quarto pages) was completed in 1966, and this historic event was formally announced by the then Rashtrapati Dr. S. Radhakrishnan at a special function held at  Mahabharata Institute on Spetember 22, 1966.

Subsequently, the Institute also prepared and published a critical edition of the  Harivamsa (2 volumes containing 1,711 pages). This was followed by the  Pratika-Index  (6 volumes containing 4,805 pages) and the Critically Constituted Text of the Great Epic, and the  Harivamsa (5 volumes containing 3,150 pages). The Institute is now occupied with the last item in the great project of the Critical Edition, namely, the  Epilogue , the Institute is preparing an exhaustive Cultural Index of the  Mahabharata,  of   which Vol. I (containing viii + 506 pages) has been published last year.


When the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute was founded in 1917, the then Government of Bombay handed over its entire collection of manuscripts (nearly 20,000 manuscripts) to the Institute. The Institute has, all these years, been looking after the preservation, lending out, and cataloguing of these manuscripts, and, as the Government reports would testify, the work of the Institute in this connection has been most exemplary.

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