Sondekoppa Srikantha Sastry (ಎಸ್. ಶ್ರೀಕಂಠಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ) was a well known historian and a polyglot scholar who has contributed profusely to the area of historical research in Karnataka. He was born in Sondekoppa a village in Kolar district. He studied in the Maharaja’s College, Mysore under the tutelage of eminent scholars such as B.M.Srikntaiah, N.S. Subbarao and M.H.Krishna and obtained a Master’s degree in History. He spent his entire professional career in that college starting as a tutor in 1930 and retiring as the professor and the head of the department in 1962.

His was a life devoted to teaching and research. He started writing at an early age and has written more than four hundred articles in the areas of Indian history, culture and literature. He has written extensively on the Ganga dynasty, Proto Indian culture, Harappa and Indus valley civilization and the nature of Indus script. He has contended that the Aryans were the original inhabitants of India, rejecting the theory that they were migrants from either Central Asia or Central Europe. He was one among the few historians who showed keen interest in the problems related to history confronted by the students of Kannada literature. He was not the one to be deterred by controversies. His opinions about the relationship between Purandaradasa and the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire were once a topic for heated debate. His article about the time of Basaveshvara and veracity of the miracles performed by him was equally controversial. He opened another Pandora’s Box when he opined that Chavundaraya was not the builder of the monolithic statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola.

He knew many Indian languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. He was acquainted with foreign languages such as English, French, German, Japanese and Chinese. His books on ‘Indian Culture’ ‘Archaeological Research’ are well known text books. 112 articles written by Srikantha Sastry were published by the University of Mysore with the title ‘Samshodhana Lekhanagalu’. “Srikanthikaa’ is the felicitation volume in Kannada presented to him.

Following is a list of publications by Prof. Srikantha Sastry:

a.      Kannada: 1. ‘rOman cakrAdhipatyada caritre’, 1949 (History of the Roman Empire)

2. BAratIya samskruti’, 1954, (Indian Culture)

3. prapanca caritreya rUpurEKegLu’ 1957, (Outlines of World History)

4. purAtatva shOdhne’ 1960, (Archaeology)

5. hoysaLa vAstushilpa’ 1965, (Hoysla Architecture)

6. samshOdhana lEKanagaLu’ 1973, (Reasarch Articles)

b. English: 1. ‘Sources of Karnataka History’, 1940, University of Mysore, Mysore .

2. ‘Early Gangas of Talkad’, 1952.

c. Felicitation Volume: Srīkanhikā; Dr. S. Srikantha Sastri Felicitation Volume, Published by Geetha Book House on behalf of Dr. S. Srikantha Sastri Felicitation Committee, 1973

SR Ramaswamy - The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society (
Bangalore ), 2004

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