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Shadakshari Settar (1935–2020)

A Never-ending Quest

Shadakshari Settar’s research covered various fields like history, archaeology, art history, Darshana Shastra, Jaina way of life, epigraphy, and classical Kannada, among others. More than 20 books and 100 research articles in these areas, besides several unfinished projects, speak volumes about his original contribution to historical studies in India.

Shadakshari Settar (1935–2020), bre­­­athed his last in February 2020 in Bengaluru. He was a committed rese­archer and Kannada writer, and a faculty in the Department of History and Arc­haeology at Karnatak University, Dharwad, from 1960 to 1996. Apart from a PhD from Karnatak University, he recei­ved another one from Cambridge University after working on the late medieval art and architecture of South India, the Hoysala temples in particular. He held distinguished positions as visiting professor at universities like Heidelberg, Chicago, Berlin, Harvard, to mention a few, besides heading eminent public ins­titutions, including Indian Council of Historical ­Research (ICHR), New Delhi. When he died, he was the S Radha­krishnan Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. In recognition of his scholarship and historical inquiries, more than 20 awards have been conferred upon him.

It is interesting to map the story of how a village boy in a remote corner of pre-independent India’s Kannada-speaking region became a historian and writer with a difference. Settar, the historian, was as much a product of his intellectual milieus as his own talent and ambition.

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Updated On : 24th Jul, 2020


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