The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad has a reputation of being one of the largest treasure-houses of manuscripts relating to Jainism.
This institute, one of the finest museums in Ahmedabad , was established by Muni Shri Punyavijayji and Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai. The library which made a modest beginning from the generous contributions of the founders gradually turned to a priceless repository of manuscripts, books and other reference materials.
The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad houses the library consisting of nearly 45,000 printed books, and nearly 75,000 manuscripts including 500 illustrated ones. All of these cover a wide range of subjects from Buddhist religion, tantra, Jain darshana, Jaina philosophy, grammar, and poetics to Vedas, agamas, and systems of Indian philosophy. The institute has published seven volumes of tabular catalogues representing several languages like Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsa, Old Gujarati, Hindi, and Rajasthani.
The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad has been in collaboration with the National Mission as an MRC since 2003. So far the institute has documented around 50,000 manuscripts in the different Jaina Bhandars of Gujarat State and has catalogued 19,462 electronic data in the e-granthavali database. During the survey it has covered eleven institutions in eight districts and held many publicity programs for the preservation of manuscripts.
The museum in Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad houses manuscripts, sculptures and paintings whose numbers have been steadily increasing through the years. The magnificent building of the museum stands just next to the institute. The nucleus of the museum is formed by the institute's rich and rare collection of illustrated manuscripts, miniature paintings, painted patas, sculptures, and bronzes and wood work. The sculptures and paintings belonging to Kasturbhai family are on show here. Smt. Madhuriben Dhirajlal Desai was a great connoisseur of Indian Art and donated her collection of early stone sculptures, terracottas, wood work, and textile, for which a gallery has been named after her. From time to time objects are displayed which are on loan from reputed Jaina bhandaras. Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology in Ahmedabad also organizes lectures on art and museology, film shows and lecture demonstrations.
A visit to this rich cultural heritage is both informative and entertaining.