The Department of Hindi Studies in the Faculty of Humanities is one of the oldest departments of the University of Kelaniya with its origins in 1959. Since that time period, separate departments were established for Sinhala, Sanskrit, Pāli and Hindi which were considered Eastern Languages. The Department of Hindi Studies commenced its degree programmes with the initiative of Prof. Ven. Ananda Kaushalyāyan Thero who was originally from Nagpur, India.

During that period there was much enthusiasm among Sri Lankans to learn Hindi. The young undergraduates of the 60s loved to watch Hindi films and listen to Hindi songs. It was during this time that the Vidyālankāra University was moved to the new building complex at Dalugama and also the Head of the Department returned to his motherland. Though the several remarkable Doctors and lecturers joined the department, the position of the Head of the Department remained vacant.

Meanwhile, the Vidyalankara University decided to establish a separate department called 'Department of Modern Languages' in 1974, replacing the Department of Hindi Studies which was situated in the Vidyālanakāra Mandapaya. In addition to the Hindi Language, languages such as Chinese, Japanese, German and Russian were also taught in that department. The Head of the Department, Prof. S. Weerathunga, the professor of Sanskrit, was appointed in 1975. Later, Hindi language studies were carried out in a fully pledged, independent department which taught courses on Hindi Language, Literature and North Indian Culture from 1995.

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