Monday, August 30, 2010

FREE & FAST software to get books from the Digital Library of India (DLI)

The Digital Library of India initiative has scanned and placed online, over 250,000 books on various subjects. They are available free of cost from two separate collections housed at IIIT and IISc. About 20,000 books touch upon Indology, Sanskrit literature and Hindu religious texts, including the Vedas and other scriptures. A lot of them are rare and not available elsewhere and come from many places like the TTD/RSVP Sanskrit university at Tirupati, Sringeri Math etc. But, accessing the books has been extremely hard due to the terrible catalog and reading features provided by the DLI's servers. PR Labs has been providing free software to easily find and download rare books from the DLI. One click install- One click downloads. You can directly get neatly formatted Adobe PDF books using this program.

The most recent version is DLI Downloader 0.21. It has the same very basic user interface as its predecessors, so that it remains easy to use.  But, DLID 0.21 uses a much smarter downloading engine and is several times faster. It also has a number of new optimization, data integrity and fault tolerance features in order to cope with tough server conditions. You can download DLID 0.21 from: OR from here OR from here.

Be sure to read the user manual provided with the software. For more tips on using and troubleshooting info, see the FAQ page. If you have trouble installing or uninstalling, please see one of the download sites for help.

Catalogs listing the availability of scans of ALL Sanskrit books are built in. Use them to find books easily. DLI's own site doesn't provide this information.

You don't have to use the DLID 0.21 only for Sanskrit/Indology related books; DLI has books on all topics, mostly in English (200,000 of 250,000). DLID 0.21 can get those too for you. Do note that depending on traffic, the DLI servers can be flaky; if you have trouble downloading books, it is most probably due to DLI's server issues.

Feel free to share DLID 0.21 where you like, but don't widely redistribute it without informing us. DLID 0.21 is 100% clean and legitimate software. As long as you comply with copyright laws in your jurisdiction and download only out of copyright books, using DLID 0.21 is also 100% legal.

DLID 0.3 will support a few more libraries and not just the DLI; we are trying to decide which ones to support. We are also providing more hard-to-access books at "The Free Indological Collection" on (uploads/cataloging in progress). The project URL is
At the moment a few hundred books are available at TFIC. Eventually, there will be thousands available for ready download.

If you find any bugs, please email: dli.downloader[[at]]

NOTE: This is not a "real" blog with new posts on a timeline. This one post is updated as needed as also the FAQ page. Please check both often for the most current information.


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