About us

Motilal Banarsidass Publishing House (MLBD) is a leading Indian publisher on Sanskrit and Indology since 1903, located in New 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 25,000 works.

MLBD 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.

 In 1911, MLBD opened a branch at Mai Sewan Bazar, Amritsar, under the supervision of Lala Sundarlal Jain, another son of Lala Motilal Jain, after after the untimely death of Lala Banarasidass in 1912.

Soon a printing unit was set up and the publishing house was established.

In 1937, a branch was started in Patna at the suggestion of former President Dr. 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 the Govt. of India, the first ever Padma award for outstanding community service through publishing.

 The company celebrated its centenary in the year 2003.

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 the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).