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Deepak Shimkhada

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Nationality  Nepali American
Role  Author
Name  Deepak Shimkhada
Years active  1968-present
Ethnicity  Nepalese

Deepak Shimkhada https0academiaphotoscom447061685853377400

Born  September 5, 1945 (age 70) (1945-09-05) Darkha, Nepal
Occupation  Educator, Artist, Art historian, Author, Community leader
Organization  Indic Foundation Himalayan Arts Council
Board member of  South Asian Studies Association
Residence  Claremont, California, United States
Books  How Arjun and His Dad Outfox the Wolves
Alma mater  Claremont Graduate University, University of Southern California, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Saraswati Puja 2015-2016 Tantric Hinduism Final Project

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) 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). 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.

Early life and education

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 attended 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. He is considered among the first few Nepalis to immigrate to the U.S. He earned his Master of Arts in art history from the University of Southern California in 1975. Shimkhada earned his PhD in Education from Claremont Graduate University in 2001. His dissertation was in art and religion using semiotics as a methodology to analyze them.

Fine Arts Career

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

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, 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

  • (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

  • (2014) Arjun Confronts Bullies at School , CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1499235234
  • (2013) How Ganesha Outwitted His Brother to Circle the Universe , CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1493692859
  • (2013) Thunder Rumbles in Preeti's House, CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1490966670
  • (2013) How Arjun and His Dad Outfox the Wolves, CreateSpace, ISBN 978-1484127612
  • Journals

  • (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

  • (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.
  • Awards and honors

  • 2016—CST (Claremont School of Theology) Fisher Adjunct Faculty Award for excellence in teaching
  • 2008--CGU (Claremont Graduate University) Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • 1979--AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) Research Award
  • 1972--Fulbright (U.S. Department of State)
  • Personal life

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


    Deepak Shimkhada Wikipedia