DHF India Board


The Deccan Heritage Foundation India (DHFI) is a sister organization of the DHF. It is charitable organisation registered under section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 / Section 8 (Companies Act, 2013) and was launched in India in September 2011.


The Deccan is a place apart, quite distinct from the rest of India.

Replete with ancient cultures and rich history, the Deccan stretches across an enormous area covering Maharashtra in the north to Karnataka in the south, Goa in the west, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the east.

A major part of our mission is bringing the Deccan’s rich heritage to a new generation of Indians as well as foreign visitors. The Foundation sets out to make the rich cultural heritage more accessible to a wider public and create a greater awareness within the local communities so they learn how the monuments can be socially and economically beneficial.

DHF India Board

Ambassador Latha Reddy

Ambassador Latha Reddy, is the chairperson of DHF India. She served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975 – 2011. Her distinguished diplomatic career included positions as Ambassador of India to Portugal and to Thailand. She was also Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi and Deputy National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2011-2013. Latha is currently involved with several organizations and Think Tanks including the East West Institute New York and the India-Pakistan Water Dialogue of the Atlantic Council, Washington D.C.

Shamina Talyarkhan

Shamina Talyarkhan, Director of DHF India Board, is noted in the arts community as a collector and patron with diverse cultural interests. She was the principal patron for the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s ground-breaking exhibition on the historic 16th century Imperial Mughal manuscript, the Hamza Nameh. She is also a long-time supporter of the Islamic Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Shamina has run a design business in New York since 1978, and divides her time between India, Europe and America.

Sudhakar Rao

Mr. Sudhakar Rao, who is a Director of the DHF India Board, retired from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) as Chief Secretary to the State Government of Karnataka.

After initial postings at the field level in Karnataka, he proceeded on deputation to the Government of India and worked under various capacities in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Power, following which he was posted as Minister (Economic) in the Embassy of India in Washington for four years. On his return to the State Government in 2000, he held various assignments until his retirement.

Mr. Rao has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Mr. Rao is an Independent Director on the boards of several companies/ Institutions (including the Bombay Stock Exchange, L&T IDPL, USL, HCG and IFFCO-TOKIO). He is the current Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore and the Chairman of the Advisory Group of the Bangalore School of Music.

Mr. Rao was conferred the Kannada Rajyotsava Award, under Public Service category by the Government of Karnataka on November 1, 2010.

DHF Executive Team, India

Sarath Chandra

Sarath Chandra is the DHF’s Conservation Project Coordinator for India and a key member of our team on the ground. He holds multiple degrees in Architecture and Architectural Conservation from both the University of Gulbarga and the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, and has worked with UNESCO and ICOMOS on various projects including the preservation of the World Heritage Site at Hampi. He is currently helping coordinate our restoration efforts for the various 15th Century monuments and structures at Bidar.


Akhila Udayashankar

Akhila Udayashankar has been working in Architectural Conservation field for over six years now. She received her Masters in Architectural Conservation from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has worked on various projects consisting of listing, restoration and documentation work with organisations such as INTACH, ASI and IHCN-F. She has also helped author Rekha Rao in editing her indological publications. She has a keen interest in the heritage of the Deccan region and her Masters thesis entitled Integrated Conservation of Historic Island of Srirangapatna, Karnataka was a detailed work on heritage of Srirangapatna.


Working towards its goals DHF works in the Deccan through multiple initiatives under Conservation and Education and has several programmes under the same.

Education: DHFI believes in the importance of education as the means to promote a better understanding of the Deccan’s rich architectural heritage that represents all aspects of Indian cultures and civilisations.

As a part of its educational programme, the DHF has published several guidebooks aimed for the aspiring cultural tourist both local and foreign. These guidebooks are authored by professional with vast experience of working in and writing about the Deccan.
To view our Publications please click this link.

Conservation: The DHF selects monuments for preservation that are historically important, and economically, culturally and socially advantageous to local communities.

The Foundation has been developing detailed proposals and working towards restoration and rehabilitation of several significant monuments.

Other Collaborators

In Hyderabad and Telangana the DHF India collaborates with the Kalakriti Foundation of Prashant and Rekha Lahoti.

In Mumbai the annual DHF Mirella Petteni Haggiag lecture is hosted by Dr. Rashmi Poddar at Jnanapravahan. Both DHF and DHF India have developed close ties with Dr Poddar with whom many interests and activities are shared.

In Bangalore, the annual lecture is hosted by International Music and Arts Society.