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Shaashi Ahlawat

PhD Candidate


M.A. History, Nalanda University (2016)

B.Tech. Information Technology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Haryana (2013)


Shaashi is currently working on her dissertation project titled 'Reimagining Medieval Magadha and its Cultural Encounters: Religious and Socio-political Landscape of Nalanda during the eleventh-fourteenth century CE'

She recently finished two years of field research in Bihar, funded by the University of Pennsylvania and the American Institute of Indian Studies, surveying 120+ villages and 430 sq km area in the Nalanda district of south Bihar.

Shaashi is now processing her field data and writing on the themes of decline of Buddhism from the institutions of Nalanda and Odantapuri Mahavihara and their adjoining rural-urban landscape; emergence of Sufi centers within the region and its encounters with an existing built landscape; longue durée nature of encounters across the traditions of Buddhism, Brahmanism, Jainism, and Islam through material culture.

Research Interests

Early medieval South Asia with focus on eastern Indian art and archaeology; landscape archaeology with application of recent digital and survey technologies; archaeology of religion – Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam; cultural encounters in medieval India.

Languages: Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Tibetan


Epigraphy: Brahmi (Asokan and Gupta), Siddhamatrika


Technical: geo-mapping, photogrammetry




Courses Taught

SAST/HIST/RELS: History, Culture, and Religion(s) in Early India | Teaching in Spring 2023