Asiatic Society of Bombay


The Asiatic Society of Mumbai, a learned society in the field of Asian studies, is based in Mumbai, India. It was founded by Sir James Mackintosh. The library of the Society has over a hundred thousand books out of which 15,000 are classified as rare and valuable. It also has priceless artifacts and over 3,000 ancient manuscripts in Persian, Sanskrit and Prakrit, mostly on paper but some on palm leaf. The numismatic collection of 11,829 coins includes a gold coin of Kumaragupta I, a rare gold mohur of Akbar and coins issued by Shivaji. Its map collection comprises 1300 maps.

The collection of the Society include:

One of only two known original copies of Dante’s Divine Comedy, the manuscript of Vasupujyacharita (1242), a Sanskrit text on the life of the Jain Tirthankara Vasupujya, The manscript of Shahnama of Firdausi (1853), written in Persian, the Aranyakaparvan (16th century) manuscript contains illustrated text from the Mahabharat and is written in Sanskrit and

Five Buddhist caskets excavated in the ancient port town of Sopara near the suburb of Nala Sopara.

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