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Motilal Banarsidass (MLBD) is a leading Indian publishing house on Sanskrit and Indology since 1903, located in Delhi, India. It publishes and distributes serials, monographs, and scholarly publications on Asian religion, philosophy, history, culture, arts, architecture, archaeology, language, literature, linguistics, musicology, mysticism, yoga, tantra, occult, medicine, astronomy, astrology and other related subjects, and to date have published over 5,000 works.[1]

Its noted publications are the 100 volumes of the Mahapuranas, Sacred Books of the East (50 Volumes) edited by Max Müller; Bibliotheca Buddhica (30 Volumes in 32 pts); Ramcharitmanas with Hindi and English translation, the Manusmriti in ten volumes and the Sanskrit lexicon, and Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (7 volumes). It also brings out books based on research and study conducted at organisations such as ICHR, IGNCA, ICCR [2][3], and has a turnover of approximately Rs 5–6 crore, roughly 75% coming from exports [4].

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers was first established in Lahore in 1903 by Lala Motilal Jain, a descendant of the family of court jewellers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Amritsar. Motilal borrowed Rs. 27 from his wife's savings that she had earned from her knitting work, to start a bookshop selling Sanskrit books in 'Said Mitha Bazar' in Lahore. He named it after his eldest son Motilal Banarsidass Jain, who later took charge of the publishing business.

The interior of Motilal Banarsidass, in Delhi In 1911, MLBD opened a branch at Mai Sewan Bazar, Amritsar, under the supervision of Lala Sundarlal Jain, another son of Lala Motilal Jain, though after the untimely death of Lala Banarasidass in 1912, Sundarlal Jain, his only surviving brother had to close this establishment and relocate to Lahore to look after the family business. Soon he was joined by his young nephew Shantilal Jain, who had just finished school, who eventually became the company's chairman. Soon a printing unit was also set up and the publishing house was established.[5]

In 1937, a branch was started in Patna at the suggestion of Rajendra Prasad. Subsequently during the Partition of India a riot burnt down the Lahore shop. Post independence, the family moved to India and initially stayed at Bikaner and Patna, before moving to Varanasi in 1950, where it set up shop in 1951, and finally shifted base to Delhi in 1958. In 1992, Shantilal Jain was awarded the Padma Shri by Govt. of India, the first ever Padma award for outstanding community service through publishing [3]. Today Shantilal's son Rajendra Prakash Jain and his four brothers and their sons, along with their mother, Leela Jain, who is company's Chairperson, run the business [1][2].

In 2003, the company celebrated its centenary at a function in Chennai, where Kanchi Sankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswathi, honoured three Sankrit scholars: R. Balasubramaniam, B.M.K. Sharma and K.V. Sharma.[6], at function held at Bangalore, Governor of Karnataka, T.N. Chaturvedi, felicitated centenarian, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, S.M.S. Chari, and B.K. Krishnamurthy of Hyderabad for their contribution to Indology, and eminent astrologer, B.V. Raman, was honoured posthumously. [7]

Its main shop in Delhi is on Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar, in the University of Delhi North Campus area, behind Kirori Mal College. It houses Indological literature of around 30,000 titles. The company has branches at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Varanasi and Patna[8]
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South Asia Books, located at Columbia, Missouri - mid-way between St Louis and Kansas City, USA, has since its start in 1969 evolved from a supplier of rare volumes from India and Pakistan to the major supplier for India related monographs for bookstores, wholesalers, libraries, and individuals.
South Asia Books is known to be the best collection of books on South Asia available outside of the region itself! Its stock includes thousands of titles available for sale, plus thousands of other used and single title books, including a large selection of art history and language related texts.
South Asia Books adds approximately 1,000 new titles annually, representing most of the major Indian publishers, including Motilal, DK, Manohar, Abhinav, Vikas, Eastern Book Linkers, Rawat, and Satguru. Orders can be done from throughout the World.