Biography of Rahul Sankrityayan

Rahul Sankrityayan, born Kedarnath Pandey on 9 April 1893, was a renowned Indian scholar, historian, polyglot, travel writer, and Buddhist monk. He is considered one of the most influential figures in the development of modern Hindi and Buddhist literature. Here is a detailed biography of his life:
Biography of Rahul Sankrityayan
Biography of Rahul Sankrityayan

Early Life and Education:

Rahul Sankrityayan was born in Azamgarh, in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India. He had a deep interest in learning from an early age. Despite facing financial challenges, he pursued his education and eventually earned a Master’s degree in Persian and an LL.B. degree.

Buddhist Monkhood:

Sankrityayan was deeply interested in Buddhism and eventually embraced Buddhist monkhood. He traveled extensively across India, Nepal, Tibet, and other Asian countries, studying Buddhist scriptures and the cultural heritage of these regions.

Scholarly Contributions of Rahul Sankrityayan:

Rahul Sankrityayan was a prolific writer and scholar. He wrote extensively on diverse topics, including history, philosophy, sociology, and literature. He authored several travelogues, essays, and novels. His work on Buddhism and Indian history, in particular, gained widespread acclaim.


Sankrityayan was proficient in multiple languages, including Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Persian, Hindi, and several other Indian languages. His multilingual abilities allowed him to translate and interpret a vast array of ancient texts, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Rahul Sankrityayan’s Contribution to Hindi Literature:

Rahul Sankrityayan played a significant role in the development of modern Hindi literature. He introduced a new style of writing that was more accessible to the common people. He experimented with various forms of literature, including novels, short stories, essays, and travelogues. His writing style was characterized by simplicity and clarity.

Political Activism:

Sankrityayan was also politically active. He was associated with the Indian independence movement and was imprisoned several times for his anti-British activities.

Later Life and Legacy:

Rahul Sankrityayan continued his scholarly pursuits until his passing on 14 April 1963. His contributions to literature, especially in the context of Hindi and Buddhist studies, remain highly regarded. He is remembered as a polymath whose works continue to inspire scholars, writers, and readers alike. The government of India posthumously honored him with the Padma Bhushan award in 1963, recognizing his exceptional contributions to Indian literature and culture.