K. V. Ramesh (archaeologist)

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Koluvail Vyasaraya Ramesh
Born(1935-06-08)8 June 1935
Died10 July 2013(2013-07-10) (aged 78)

Koluvail Vyasaraya Ramesh (8 June 1935 – 10 July 2013) [1] was an Indian epigraphist and Sanskrit scholar who served as Chief Epigraphist and Joint Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Madras on 8 June 1935, Ramesh obtained a Master's degrees in Sanskrit and literature from the University of Madras and a doctorate from the Karnatak University, Dharwad.

In the ASI[edit]

In 1956, Ramesh joined the Archaeological Survey of India as epigraphical assistant and was posted to Ootacamund. He became Deputy Superintending Epigraphist of the Chennai circle in 1966, Superintending Epigraphist in 1976 and Chief Epigraphist in 1984. As Superintending epigraphist, Ramesh succeeded G. S. Gai as the editor of ASI's bulletin Epigraphia Indica and edited the last two volumes in 1975-76 and 1977-78.

Ramesh became a Joint Director General of the ASI in May 1992 and served till retirement in June 1993. Post-retirement, Ramesh served as Honorary Director of the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore from 1998 to 2006.

Views on Tamil-Brahmi[edit]

Ramesh believed that the Tamil-Brahmi script was pre-Asokan and that it originated as a South Indian script which was later adapted to write an Indo-Iranian language.[2] When pottery bearing Tamil-Brahmi script found at Porunthal was radiocarbon dated to 490 BC, Ramesh cited the discovery in support of his claim.[2]


Ramesh died at his home in Mysore on 20 July 2013.


Ramesh was fluent in Kannada, Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Tulu, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil. He was awarded the "Karnataka Purathathva Ratna" award in 2010.[3][4]

He has published four books in Kannada and nine books in English.


  1. ^ "Eminent Epigraphist Dr. K.V. Ramesh passes away". Inmysore.com. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b Subramanian, T. S. (29 August 2011). "Palani excavation triggers fresh debate". The Hindu.
  3. ^ "Awards for six archaeologists". The New Indian Express. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. ^ "The end of an era in epigraphy". The Hindu. 13 July 2013.