K. M. Panikkar

Other names: 

Kavalam Madhava Panikkar


Christ Church OX1 1DP
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1894
Precise DOB unknown: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
11 Dec 1963
Location of death: 
Mysore, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 May 1914
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1914-18; 1925-6; 1930


K. M. Panikkar was a Dixon Scholar at Christ Church College, Oxford. He went to England in 1914 with the help of his elder brother who was studying medicine in Edinburgh at the time. He became a member of the Oxford Majlis and friends with the Suhrawardy brothers. Panikkar began to write articles whilst at Oxford which he sent to periodicals in India. He also read a paper on 'The Problems of Greater India' to the East India Association.

Panikkar returned to India in 1918. His ship was hit by a German torpedo but the passengers escaped and were taken by another ship. He joined Aligarh Muslim University in 1919 to teach history and political science. He became the first editor of the Hindustan Times from 1924. Panikkar then decided to read for the Bar and returned to England in 1925 for a year. He enrolled in Middle Temple.

Panikkar then entered the Princely Service and served as Foreign Minister of Patiala and Bikaner. He participated in the Round Table Conferences as a representative of the Princes of India. He held various diplomatic posts for India after 1947.

Involved in events: 
Published works: 

The Problems of Greater India (1916)

Educational Reconstruction in India (Madras: Ganesh & Co., 1920)

Indian Nationalism: Its Origins, History, and Ideals (London: Faith Press, 1920)

Sri Harsha of Kanauj (Bombay: D. B. Taraporevala Sons & Co., 1922)

(with K. N. Haksar) Federal India (London: Martin Hopkinson, 1930)

Asia and Western Dominance (London: Allen and Unwin, 1954)

The Afro-Asian States and their Problems (London: Allen and Unwin, 1959)

A Survey of Indian History (Asia Publishing House, 1960)

An Autobiography (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1977)

Contributions to periodicals: 

E. M. Forster, 'East and West', Observer, 21 February 1954 (Asia and Western Dominance)

Secondary works: 

Banerjee, Tarasankar, Sardar K. M. Panikkar: The Profile of a Historian (1977)

Copland, Ian, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917-1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Rahman, M. M., Encyclopaedia of Historiography (Delhi: Anmol, 2005)

Ramusack, Barbara N., The Indian Princes and their States (The New Cambridge History of India, vol 3) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Archive source: 

Ms Eng c.5308, correspondence, Edward Thompson Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford