The Mohan Khokar



Patron: Dr. Karan Singh

Managing Trustee, Director and Curator: Ashish Mohan Khokar

Trustees: Dr. Nandan Khokar, Shanta Serbjeet Singh, Elisabeth Khokar & L. Subramaniam, Shri Chiranjiv Singh and Guru M.K. Saroja


In his lifetime Prof. Mohan Khokar collected every book written on dance, every journal, prospectus, brochure, poster, postage stamp, rpm disc, doll, sculpture, including Chola bronzes, painting, textile, print, postcard – just about everything on dance.

Today, this material, called The Mohan Khokar Dance Collection, is the single largest holding on dance, comprising over 1,00,000 photos, 50,00,000 press clips, 5,000 books and more. Rare manuscripts, including a signed copy of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah’s Najjo and Banni; rare bronzes, including the only known Ardhanarishwara statue, paintings by Jamini Roy, Shaivax Chavda, K.K. Hebbar and personal correspondence with many legendary dancers and many more legendary names are part of this archive.

Also in the holding are recordings of all national giants and gurus, dancers and divas which all the national bodies and Academies put together do not possess because they did not know the word documentation, till recently!


  • Thousands of books on dance, in all languages

  • Rare manuscripts, portfolios, biography of dancers

  • Thousands of photographs mostly taken by the Collector and some procured from dancers

  • Chola icons/bronzes, rare art pieces on dance

  • Popular art representation of dance containing handbills, posters, calendars, etc.

  • Dance dolls from the world over

  • Textile motifs on dance

  • Postage stamps, greeting and visiting cards

  • Programme brochures and souvenirs

  • Examination papers, dissertations, first prospectus of national dance institutions like Kalakshetra, Kalamandalam, Shanti Niketan, Bharatiya Kala Kendra and others

  • Masks, Costumes, ornaments

  • 78 rpm discs of dance of tawaifs and devadasis

  • Video tapes, films on dance

  • Dance puppets in leather, glove and marionettes

  • Paintings, etchings, drawings on dance and dancers

  • Press clips on all India basis from pre-Independence days to present times

  • Seminar and conference papers on dance

  • Personal letters of dancers to the collector

  • Extensive audio recordings on giants no more: Uday Shankar, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Gopinath.....

  • Many more items, some personally donated by dancers of their families, to the Collector.


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