Deepak Shimkhada

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Deepak Shimkhada
Deepak Shimkhada.jpg
Deepak Shimkhada in 2016
Born (1945-09-05) September 5, 1945 (age 73)
Darkha, Nepal
ResidenceClaremont, California
NationalityNepali American
Alma mater
OccupationEducator, artist, art historian, author
Years active1968–present
  • Indic Foundation
  • Himalayan Arts Council
Board member ofSouth Asian Studies Association
Spouse(s)Kanti Shimkhada[1]
ChildrenLeepi Shimkhada-Mahalingam
Riti Shimkhada-Relan

Deepak Shimkhada (Nepali: दीपक सिंखडा) (born September 5, 1945) is a Nepali American educator, artist, art historian, author and community leader. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the Claremont School of Theology and Chaffey College. He has previously held visiting and adjunct appointments at several universities in the United States, including Claremont Graduate University, California State University, Northridge and the University of the West. From 1999 to 2011, Shimkhada was a full-time visiting professor of South Asian religions at Claremont McKenna College.

He is the founding president of the Foundation for Indic Philosophy and Culture (Indic Foundation)[2] and the Himalayan Arts Council. He has served on the boards of several organizations, including Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast and the America-Nepal Society of California (the latter as president).[3] He served on the Board of Visitors of the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University as Chair of the Hindu Council from 2006 to 2012. He is also a founding board member of the South Asian Studies Association.

A well-published author of many journal and newspaper articles, book chapters and edited books, he has also exhibited his paintings and graphics in group and one-man shows in Nepal, India, Japan and the U.S. Notably, he has appeared as a commentator in several episodes of the History Channel series Ancient Aliens.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Shimkhada was born on September 5, 1945 in Darkha, Nepal to Ratna Prasad Shimkhada and Kausalya Devi Shimkhada. He attended JP High School in Kathmandu and completed SLC in 1960. He completed IA in Economics from Saraswati College in Kathmandu in 1962.

In 1962, Shimkhada left for India to pursue higher education. He studed at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and received a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in 1968. He received his master's degree in Fine Arts in 1970 from the same university. In 1972, he received a Fulbright fellowship to study art history and moved to Los Angeles in the United States.[3][6] He is considered among the first few Nepalis to immigrate to the U.S.[3][7] He earned his Master of Arts in art history from the University of Southern California in 1975.[2] Shimkhada earned his PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate University in 2001.[8] His dissertation was in art and religion using semiotics as a methodology to analyze them.


Fine Arts Career[edit]

Shimkhada's professional career as an artist began in 1968 when he had his first one-man show of paintings in Max Gallery in Kathmandu, Nepal. In 1971, in the second Triennale of World Contemporary Art held in New Delhi, India, one of his paintings was selected as best work from Nepal and was featured in its exhibition catalog. See catalog entry No. 31 of II Triennale India 1971 Lalit Kala Akademi.

Teaching career[edit]

Shimkhada began his teaching career as a lecturer of Asian art history at Scripps College in Claremont, California in 1981. At that time he had just returned from India after conducting his field research for his PhD dissertation under the aegis of American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS). Since 1980 he has lived in Claremont and has performed various duties as administrator and professor teaching art history at various colleges and universities in Southern California.

Although his articles in Nepali art, culture, philosophy and religion began to appear in various newspapers and journals in Nepal in the early 1970s, Shimkhada's major research writings about them took place in 1973 when his first paper was published by "Arts of Asia" followed by a series of articles by "Artibus Asiae" and "Oriental Art" in 1983.


Shimkhada has published four books: The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia, Popular Buddhist Mantras in Sanskrit, Himalayas at the Crossroads: Portraits of a Changing World, and Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity. He has contributed chapters to The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess, Bhagavata Purana: A Reader, Health and Religious Rituals in South Asia: Diseases, Possession and Healing, and Sangama: A Confluence of Art and Culture During the Vijayanagara Period. He is the author of many art historical articles published in journals such as NAFA Art Magazine, Arts of Asia, Orientations, Artibus Asiae, Oriental Art, The Journal of Asian Studies, The Himalayan Research Bulletin, Voice of Ulan Bator, Himalaya, Folk Dance Scene, The Overseas Times, India West, and The Rising Nepal. He has also written four children's books.



  • (2011) Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity, Marg Foundation, Mumbai ISBN 9789380581088
  • (2008) The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia,[9][10] Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle ISBN 9781847183903
  • (1987) Himalayas at the Crossroads: Portrait of a Changing World, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California
  • (1985) Popular Buddhist Mantras in Sanskrit, (co-authored with Shih Pei Lai), Mahayana Vihara Press, Taipei

Book Chapters[edit]

  • (2018) Sacred Grove: The Playground of the Gods in Modern Hinduism in Text and Context edited by Lavanya Vemsani, Bloomsbury Academic Publishing.
  • (2013) Nepali Hindus in Southern California, in Contemporary Hinduism, P. Pratap Kumar (ed.), Durham: Acumen, ISBN 978-1844656905
  • (2011) Kumari: Today and Tomorrow, in Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity, Deepak Shimkhada (ed.), Marg Publishers, Mumbai, ISBN 978-93-80581-08-8
  • (2010) Shamanic Healing: A Jhankri in the City in Health and Religious Rituals in South Asia, Fabrizio M. Ferrari (ed.), Routledge Publishers, UK ISBN 978-0415561457
  • (2008) Goma: An Embodiment of the Goddess in The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia, Deepak Shimkhada and Phyllis K. Herman (ed.), Cambridge Scholars Press, ISBN 978-1-84718-390-3
  • (2005) Being in Love with God is not Enough: Social Reform by Basavanna Through Bhakti in Sangama: Confluence of Art and Architecture, Nalini Rao (ed.), Originals, Delhi ISBN 978-8188629480

Children's Books[edit]


  • (2015) Deepak Shimkhada with Michael Reading, “Return to the womb: feminine creative imagery of arghya in a Tantric ritual” in International Journal of Dharma Studies (2015) 3:12.
  • (2014) “The Date of the Chandi Murals in the Hanuman Dhoka Palace: Where History and Faith Meet”,
  • (2011) Deepak Shimkhada with Adam Pave,“Expressions of Love: Images from the 1648 Bhagavata Purana Manuscript” , Exemplar: The Journal of the South Asian Studies Association.
  • (2008) “The Future of Nepal’s “Living” Goddess: Is Her Death Necessary?" Asian Art.
  • (2007) "Oil Lamps as Expressions of Devotion," Marg (Mumbai, India), pp. 102–103
  • (2005) "Book Review, Ethnic Revival and Religious Turmoil: Identities and Representations in the Himalayas”, in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.64, No.4, pp. 1059–1061, Marie Lecomte-Tilouine and Pascale Dollfus (ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
  • (2000) "Erotic Body & Exotic Costumes," in Proceedings of the 32nd International Congress on Research in Dance, Claremont, California, pp. 30– 36
  • (1990) "Wind Horses: Prayer Flags in the Himalayas," in Arts of Asia, (Hong Kong), Oct–Nov
  • (1989) Deepak Shimkhada with Muriel Reeves, "Narayana: The Sleeping Vishnu" in Arts of Asia (Hong Kong), Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jan–Feb)), pp. 152–155
  • (1988) "Forms of Nepali Folk Dance" in Folk Dance Scene, November, Volume 23, Number 8, p. 12–14.
  • (1986) "Interaction between Painting and Architecture in Nepali Art," in Himalayan Research Bulletin (New York: Cornell University), Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter, PP. 20–22
  • (1984) "The Masquerading Sun: A Unique Image from Nepal", in Artibus Asiae (Switzerland), University of New York, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 223–230
  • (1984) "Pratapamalla's Pilgrimage: An Historical Painting from Nepal," in Oriental Art (London), Vol. 30, No. 4, Winter pp. 368–70
  • (1984) "Museum without Walls: Wayside Sculptures in the Kathmandu Valley," in Arts of Asia (Hong Kong), Vol. 14, No. 4, July–August, pp. 97–100
  • (1983) "A Preliminary Study of the Game of Karma in India, Nepal, and Tibet," in Artibus Asiae (Switzerland: Institute of Fine Arts, New York), Vol. LXIV, No. 4, pp. 308–322
  • (1983) "The Sunken Bath of Siddhinarasimha Malla in Patan," in Orientations, Vol. 14, No. 7, July, pp. 46–49
  • (1982) "Measure of Karma: Origin and Iconography of Nagapasa in Nepali Painting," in Himalayan Research Bulletin, Cornell University: (Ithaca, New York) Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter, pp. 12–16
  • (1973) "Nepali Paintings and the Rajput Style," in Arts of Asia, Vol. 4, No. 5, Sept–Oct, pp. 38–43
  • (1973) "Appreciation of Nepali Folk Art" in Swatantra Vishwa (in Nepali), a publication of USIS (United States Information Service), Kathmandu, Nepal, p. 4–7
  • (1973) "Mural Paintings in the Hanuman Dhoka Palace," in Abstracts of the Conference on Nepal at Claremont, Claremont Graduate School: Claremont, pp. 28–30
  • (1970) "An Introduction to Nepalese Art" , in NAFA Art Magazine (Kathmandu, Nepal), Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 23–28

Exhibition Catalogs[edit]

  • (2014) Mother as Fertility, Mother as Goddess—The Female Torsos of Laya Mainali in The Sacred Feminine: Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • (1992) The Tibetan Rug: The Nepalese Connection, in Woven Jewels: Tibetan Rugs from Southern California Collections Pacific Asia Museum: Pasadena, California.
  • (1991) The Eye of India: Art of the people, an exhibition curated by Deepak Shimkhada at Palos Verdes Art Center's Beckstrand Gallery, Palos Verdes, California.
  • (1982) God, Man, Woman, and Nature in Asian Art, Scripps College: Claremont, California.
  • (1973) Exhibition of Nepali Art, Pomona College, Montgomery Art Gallery, Claremont, California.
  • (1973) USC Collects: A Sampling of Taste, University of Southern California: Los Angeles.


Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2018 Declassified Himself History Channel-Ancient Aliens (episode dealing with the Great Flood and underwater archeology)
2017 72 Dangerous Animals, Asia Himself Showrunner Productions, Australia. Distributor Netflix, USA
2017 Sushruta Samhita and Modern Science Himself History Channel, TV Series
2017 Nine Mysterious Men Himself History Channel, TV Series
2016 Akashic Records Himself History Channel, TV Series
2016 Man at Arms Himself El Rey Channel, TV Series
2016 Natural Histories Himself BBC London Radio interview
Ganesha and elephants in South Asian art, culture and religion
2016 History Channel's Shiva the Destroyer Himself TV Series (Season 9, Episode 15)
2016 History Channel's Decoding the Cosmic Egg Himself TV Series (Season 9, Episode 6)
2016 History Channel's The Visionaries Himself TV Series (Season 9, Episode 5)
2016 History Channel's Destination Mars Himself TV Series (Season 9, Episode 2)
2015 Natural Histories Himself BBC London Radio interview
2015 History Channel's The Alien Wars Himself TV Series (Season 8, Episode 9)
2015 History Channel's The Alien Agenda Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 12)
2014 History Channel's The Great Flood Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 5)
2014 History Channel's Alien Resurrections Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 8)
2014 History Channel's Secrets of the Mummies Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 5)
2014 History Channel's The Genius Factor Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 4)
2014 History Channel's Forbidden Caves Himself TV Series (Season 7, Episode 1)
2014 History Channel's Aliens and Superheroes Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 20)
2014 History Channel's The God Particle Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 18)
2014 History Channel's The Reptilians Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 16)
2014 History Channel's Mysterious Devices Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 14)
2014 History Channel's Treasures of the Gods Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 7)
2014 History Channel's The Star Children Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 6)
2013 History Channel's Aliens and Mysterious Mountains Himself TV Series (Season 6, Episode 3)
2013 History Channel's Emperors, Kings and Pharaohs Himself TV Series (Season 5, Episode 19)
2013 History Channel's The Crystal Skulls Himself TV Series (Season 5, Episode 14)
2013 History Channel's "The Power of Three" Himself TV Series (Season 5, Episode 13)
2011 History Channel's Aliens and Deadly Cults Himself TV Series (Season 3, Episode 12)
2011 History Channel's Aliens and Deadly Weapons Himself TV Series (Season 3, Episode 9)
2011 History Channel's Aliens and Mysterious Rituals Himself TV Series (Season 3, Episode 5) [11]
2009 Swaha: A Journey of Transformation Himself Documentary

Awards and honors[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Shimkhada married Kanti Shimkhada. They together have two daughters, Leepi Shimkhada-Mahalingam and Riti Shimkhada-Relan.


  1. ^ "President Klitgaard greets alumnus Deepak Shimkhada and his wife, Kanti". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "List of CGU Distinguished Alumni Service Award Recipients". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "One Night in Nepal – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. June 9, 1999. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "The Flames – Spring 2010". Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Ancient Aliens: Season 3, Episode 9 Aliens and Deadly Weapons (22 Sep. 2011) – IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Karen Isaksen. The South Asian Americans. Michigan: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313297885.
  7. ^ P. Pratap Kumar. Contemporary Hinduism (Religions in Focus). United Kingdom: Routledge. ISBN 978-1844656905.
  8. ^ "Deepak Shimkhada – School of Arts & Humanities – SAH". Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  9. ^ The constant and changing faces of the goddess – Google books. Google. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "The constant and changing faces of the goddess : goddess traditions of Asia- World cat". Worldcat. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Ancient Aliens – IMDb". Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "2008 Alumni Award Recipients to be Honored at 81st Commencement Ceremony". Retrieved December 20, 2014.

External links[edit]