S.R. RAO, b. 1922
S.R. Rao or Shikaripura
Ranganatha Rao (shikAripura ranganAtha rAv) (ಶಿಕಾರಿಪುರ
ರಂಗನಾಥ ರಾವ್) is
one of the most revered archaeologists in the country. His research regarding
the Indus Valley Script and his claims to have discovered the ancient city of
Rao was born in a small village
called Anandapura in Sagara talluk of Shivamogga district. He obtained a B.A.
(Hons) degree in History from the
Dr Rao has conducted excavations in
many parts of
The excavations conducted by Dr Rao
in Lothal in 1954 are very important. These excavations revealed many facets of
He has conducted quality research in deciphering the Indus Valley Script for a number of decades. He does not contribute to the view that the script is related to the Dravidian. He studied those seals in the backdrop of the Brahmi script and the Semetic script and arrived at the conclusion that they were written in Pre Vedic Sanskrit. This argument has found many supporters and an equal number of denials.
The works carried out by Dr Rao in Karnataka are many. He found the habitats of Satavahanas in Aihole and Pattadakallu. His discovery of a Buddhist inscription and the ruins of a building in Hampi took back the antiquity of that place by more than 1500 years. He has contributed his mite to the preservation of Aihole, Pattadakallu, Badami, lakkundi, Balligave, Belur, Bijapur, and Bidar etc. Archaeological museums also were established in many of the above mentioned places during his tenure.
He has received many awards and honors. He was the first recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship from Karnataka. He was awarded the Centenary Gold Medal of the Archaeological Department of Karnataka and the first World Ship-Trust Award for individual excellence in Marine Archaeology. He chaired the sixth conference of the Epigraphic Society of India. ‘Rangavalli’ is the name of the felicitation volume presented to him. (Edited by A.V.Narasimha Murthy and B.K.Gururaja Rao) “New Trends in Indian Art and Archaeology’ is another felicitation volume in English. A list of his publications is appended here.:
1. Dawn and Devolution of the Indus Civilization, 1991
2. The Lost City of Dvaraka, National Institute of Oceanography, 1999
3. Marine Archaeology in India, Delhi, Publications Division, 2001
4. Reminiscences of an Archaeologist, 2008, New Delhi, Aryan Books International.
An Integrated Approach to marine archaeology, 1997,
National Institute of Oceanography(
7. ‘New frontiers of Archaeology’, 1995.
1. New Trends in Indian Art and Archaeology: S.R. Rao's 70th Birthday Felicitation Volumes, edited by B.U. Nayak and N.C. Ghosh. 1992,