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Indira Gandhi National Centre For Art

The varied fields of interest of this centre include literature, sculpture, architecture, films, photography, music, dance, theatre and others. The centre has different divisions viz. Kalanidhi, Kalakosa, Janapada Sampada, Kaldarsana, Cultural informatics, Media centre, Rock art unit and Sutradhara. Kalanidhi division serves as the hub of information providing information related to research and technology. It has a huge Reference library and Cultural archives which store important resources of knowledge. The Kalakosa division is related to publication and research. This wing has been trying to encompass the fundamental concepts of India world-view and interlink philosophy and science. It has published around 175 titles through its publication series - Kalātattvakośa, Kalāsamālocana and Kalāmūlaśāstra. The Janapada Sampada division deals with the study of varied living traditions of India. The major subjects of its research are anthropology and archaeology. The Kaldarsana division arranges seminars, exhibitions, performances etc to present art keeping in line with the Jana Sampada. The team associated with the Cultural Informatics division is involved with documentation and analysis of cultural information under the guidance of subject experts. It is also involved in digitisation of books, manuscripts and other resources of information. The media centre division is involved with organization of film shows and documentation of films and videos. It has a Media library with more than 8000 audio footages and video footages. The Rock art unit is involved in documentation of rock art sites and the communities around it, identifying the hazards of conservation and practices of intervention, developing of site management strategies, organizing exhibitions etc. The Sutradhara division handles the administrative affairs of the organization.


This premier cultural organization was established in the year 1987 to commemorate Indira Gandhi. The founder Board of trustees constituted Rajiv Gandhi, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Shri R. Venkataraman, Shri H. Y. Sharada Prasad, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao and Smt. Pupul Jayakar. It was launched in 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi at a ceremony where articulation of the five symbols viz, vegetation, sky, water, fire and earth took place. Rocks from the five important rivers Narmada, ganga, Sindhu, Mahanadi and Kaveri were given sculptured forms and they remain at the sites to remind us about the auspiciousness of the rivers and rocks in our culture.  Five trees which are significant in Indian culture were planted by Mr.Gandhi. The five trees denoted the divisions of the centre. Asvatta symbolic of enlightenment represented Sutradhara. Nyagodhara symbolic of interplay between the past and renewal within the circle of life represented Jana Sampada. Asoka symbolic of interrelationships between different disciplines represented Kala Nidhi. Arjuna symbolic of course, clarity, firmness and purity represented the Kala Kosa division. Kadamba symbolic of joy, dance, play and music represented the Kala Darsana division. The organization has three regional centres. The southern Regional Centre at Bengaluru was founded in the year 2001 with the aim of emphasizing the research on the regional culture. The eastern Regional centre at Varanasi was established in 1987 and it is also a part of the Kalakosa wing. The North-eastern regional centre at Guwahati aims at fostering the growth of the regional culture of north-eastern communities.

Aims and Objectives

  • To serve as a centre of resource (oral, written and visual).
  • To continue research on dictionary, enclyopedia etc related to humanities and arts.
  • To create a division of folk arts and tribal art to conduct studies and presentations.
  • To create a bridge between arts and science in the perspective of Indian world-view.
  • To create a network of institutions (both international and national).
  • To conduct research in the fields of culture, humanities and art.


The Kala Nidhi reference library has been gifted by many scholars and eminent personalities of India from their personal collections. Collections of ten such natures are present in the library. Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterjee Collection consists of New Testament in Syriac, Homeric Greek, by Pharr, A Lexicon of Homeric Dialect by Richard John Cunliffe, Mahavastu Avadana edited by E. Senart , Divyavadana edited by E.B.Cowell and R.A Neil etc. Acharya Dr Hazari Prasad Dwivedi Collection consists of more than 13000 volumes of rare books Sanskrit, hindi, prakrit, pali etc. Thakur Jaideva Singh Collection has The Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics edited by J. Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Buddhism by G. P. Malalasekhra, The Dawn of Civilization: Egypt and Chaldaea by G. Maspero,A Critical exposition of Bergsons Philosophy, A Historical Study of Indian Music by Richard Pischel, Collected Works of Sir R.G. Bhandarkar : Comprising Early History of the Deccan by N. B. Utgikar etc. The other collections are Prof. Maheswar Neog Collection, Krishna Kripalani Collection, V. K.Narayana Menon Collection, Heeramaneck Collection, Lance Dane Collection, Dev Murarka Collection, Vinod Sena Collection, Dr.(Smt.) Kapila Vatsyayan Collection and Munish Chandra Joshi Collection. Apart from these they have manuscripts, audio visual footages, journals, magazines etc.

How to Reach

It is located at Janpath in New Delhi. The nearest metro station is Central Secretariat. The entry gate of the centre from Mansingh road is opposite to Rakshabhawan and it is well connected by all means of transport.

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