Mahabharata scroll digitised

A couple of years ago, when teaching a course on the Hindu Epics, I took my class to the Centre for Research Collections at the University’s main library to look at a late 18th century Mahabharata scroll. It was stunning. Housed in a glass-topped wooden box and mounted on rollers, the scroll was moved using a key in the side of the box. At around 70 metres long, it took some time to move through the manuscript, admiring the tiny tiny Devanagari characters and the beautiful illustrations.


I am delighted to say that now everyone with a decent internet connection can also scroll through the manuscript. While you may not get the thrill of watching the scroll move as you turn a key, you do get to see the scroll magnified, and without the reflections from the glass top. You can zoom in to the small text and read, or admire details in the painted miniatures. It really is a treasure.

You can see it at the following link:

A library blog post on the project giving some more details about how the conservation and digitisation came about can be found here:

Please do take a look, for idle pleasure or for research purposes!


About naomiappleton

I work in the Divinity School at the University of Edinburgh, where I research and teach subjects related to South and Southeast Asian religions.
This entry was posted in Academia, Religious narrative, Teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mahabharata scroll digitised

  1. Pingback: Digital scroll of the Vessantara Jataka | Naomi Appleton's blog

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