Sanskrit and Malayalam manuscripts from the Thrissur monastic complex (EAP1039)

Aims and objectives

This project aims at providing a preliminary survey of the manuscript collection kept in the main Hindu monastic complex of Thrissur (Kerala, South-West India) and its partial digitisation, and to improve its conditions of storage. This collection consists of about 800 manuscripts on palm leaf, mostly uncatalogued and kept in precarious conditions in one of the four monasteries of that complex. It contains rare unpublished Sanskrit and Malayalam works, especially in the field of non-dualist philosophy (Advaita-Vedānta), Kerala history and hagiography. This collection therefore constitutes an invaluable resource for the study of the religious and social history of Kerala in the pre-modern times.

The expected outcomes of the project are a complete overview of the collection (approximately 800 manuscripts in the form of bundles of palm leaves), both in terms of content and extent, as well as the production of about 15,000 images of specific documents. Further goals are to ensure better conditions of preservation for the manuscripts by their relocation into a proper archive, and to set up a local professional team capable of securing the conservation of the manuscripts in the long run, and eventually a complete digitisation of the collection in the framework of an EAP major project.

Outcomes

A survey has been produced of all manuscripts that could be examined in the 10 months of the project, which amounts to approximately one third to one half of the whole collection (see
the survey below). 238 bundles have been fully examined and catalogued during the time span of the project. Most of them contain more than one text, so the total number of identified items (texts, lists, etc.) amounts to approximately 800.

The records copied by this project have been catalogued as:

EAP1039/1 Sanskrit and Malayalam Manuscripts from the Thrissur Monastic Complex ‎ (1600-1920)

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