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South Asian Institute of Fine Arts (SAIFA) is proud to be the official study center of Annamalai University from Chidambaram Tamilnadu India.


Students in Canada and the USA have had an opportunity since 2005 to be able to obtain a Diploma, Degree, Masters or PhD from India while living abroad. The distinctions you get are from India and are all Indian equivalency which you can use towards your studies here.


Over the past 17 years, we have had the best opportunities to provide to students to learn Tamil, Yoga, Dance and Music from some of the best teaches in the world. Click here to see who you will learn from!


Our alumni have gone on to become great teachers or utilize what they learned to western studies.

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Why Choose Us?

  • Learn from accomplished teachers and professors.

  • Solid and informative syllabi created by legendary artists in India

  • Live in class Music and Dance theory and practical classes by professors from India

  • Exams conducted by Annamalai University India staff only

  • Be part of history. Your alumni include G.N. Balasubramaniam, Dr. Padma Subramaniam, KS Narayanaswamy, , here is a detailed list of non-music alumni of Annamalai University (

History of Annamalai University

In the early 1920s, to serve the downtrodden and to promote Tamil Literature, Rajah Sir S. R. M. Annamalai Chettiar founded Sri Minakshi College, Sri Minakshi Tamil College and Sri Minakshi Sanskrit College in a rural setup at Chidambaram. In 1928, Rajah Sir S. R. M. Annamalai Chettiar agreed with the local Government to handover the above said institution for establishing a University. Thus, on 01.01.1929 Annamalai University was established as per Annamalai University Act 1928 (Tamil Nadu Act 1 of 1929).


Annamalai University Act 2013
The most significant development is the enactment of the Annamalai University Act, 2013 (Tamil Nadu Act 20 of 2013), which has come into force from September 25, 2013, after obtaining the assent of His Excellency, the President of India. The Act of 2013 has been amended by enactment of Act No. 32 of 2021 to render the University as an affiliating type. Consequently, the Colleges situated in the districts of Villupuram, Cuddalore, Kallakurichi and Mayiladuthurai has been affiliated to Annamalai University.


Annamalai University, accredited with ‘A’ Grade by NAAC in 2014, is one of India’s largest public residential universities with 10 Faculties and 55 departments of study. Sprawling over 950 Acres of land, the University does yeoman service in taking education to the doorsteps of the people who are otherwise far from access to centres of higher learning. The University has initiated several innovative teaching programmes over the years and has been a pioneer in distance education.

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Raja Sir Annamalai


Raja Sir MA Muthiah Chettiar

Shri MAM

Ramaswamy Chettiar

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Annamalai University Department of Music


Annamalai University Administrative Building


What is SAIFA?

SAIFA and Annamalai University students in Canada has had the opportunity to learn from Annamalai University India professors such as Dr. Uma Anand, Dr. N. Venkatesh, Dr. VLV Sudharshan, Dr. Thillai N. Muthukumaran, Shri G. Kamalakannan and many more. We have also had guest professors in Dance, Music and Tamil that has taught our students over the years. They include:


  • Kalaimamani Shri Thiruvarur Bhakthavathsalam, Mirudanga Vidwan

  • Kalaimamani Smt. Geetha Rajashekar, Vocal

  • Natuvanga Nanmani Pandanallur Pandian, Dance and Nattuvangam

  • Sangeetha Vidwan Shri Kolkata Vijayaraghavan, Vocal

  • Yuva Kala Bharathy Shri Karthikeyan Ramanathan, Mirdangam

  • Asthana Vidwan Shri GRS Murthy, Veena

  • Shri S. Nagarajan, Midangam

  • Dr. AR Sivakumaran, Tamil Professor

  • Dr. Krishna Manohar, Yoga Professor and Medical Doctor

Tamil Programs

In Tamil, we provide BA and MA programs. The classes are taught by qualified lecturers. The Head of Department, Professor Dr. Elayathamby Balasundaram has headed up this department since 2005 and has been a guide for PhD candidates as well. Under his leadership, we have been able to provide a comprehensive and dedicated classes for students over the years.


Aside from the BA and MA programs, PhD programs for qualified candidates are available as well. The PhD is to be done directly with Annamalai University in India with a guide in Canada and India. We are proud to have had a few PhD candidates who has successfully completed their PhD programs.


Classes for Tamil programs are conducted in person at our campus in Scarborough and Zoom classes are also available for those who are not able to make it.


The faculty for our Tamil program is our strength with great leadership and dedication to teaching our students and ensuring that our Tamil language is carried over to the next generation.

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Prof. Dr. E. Balasundaram


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Maayavan Ananthanadarajah

Yoga Lecturer

How about a Diploma in Yoga from a University? Annamalai University is the only accredited university that provides this program in the world.  As a yoga enthusiast who will like to take  your Yoga teaching to the next level, having a Diploma in Yoga from a University will go a long way.


Why? Because, you will not only learn practical aspect of Yoga, but theory as well. As the birthplace of Yoga, India can definitely teach us much more about yoga then we can realize. Syllabus of Yoga programs are created by highly qualified scholars in India.


Knowing the history of yoga, the science of yoga and the medical aspect of Yoga will be beneficial to you and your students. Programs are taught by qualified lecturers in Yoga.


Our Yoga program has the following programs:


Diploma in Yoga (1 year program)

PG Diploma in Yoga (1 year program, with Dip in Yoga)

M.Sc. in Yoga (1 or 2 years)


Some of our subjects include:


Diploma in Yoga:

Principles of Yoga, Physical Education and Value Education

Science of Yoga, Social Skills and Life Style Management

Practical Training in Yoga – Teaching Practice – Viva-Voce


PG Diploma in Yoga:

History and Development of Yoga and Yoga in Physical Education

Science of Yoga

Principles of Yoga Therapy, Social Skills and Living Value Based Education

Practical Training in Yoga - Teaching Practice _ Viva-Voce Preparing Yoga for Competition


M.Sc in Yoga

First Year

Fundamentals and History of Yoga

Anatomy and Physiology

Applied Psychology in Yoga

Methodology of Teaching Yoga

Basic Yoga Texts

Yoga Practical – I

Physiological & Psychological Assessment


Second Year

Research Process and Elementary Statistics in Yoga

Yoga Therapy

Hatha Yoga Texts

Traditional Systems of Medicine and Therapies

Yoga Practical - II

Physiotherapy & Naturopathy


As you can see, the subjects are in depth and will be one of the best beneficial programs in Yoga you can do. For more information, please contact us. 


Qualified candidates can also do their PhD in Yoga as well!

Yoga Programs

Music & Dance

Available courses:









Certificate (Min requirement: Grade 6 in regular stream)

Diploma (Min requirement: Grade 8 in regular stream)

Degree (Min requirement: High School Diploma or Diploma in Music or Dance)

MA (Min requirement: Degree and experience in music or dance)

PhD (Min requirement: MA and pass entrance test)


Our Music and Dance programs are an aide to your current programs you have been doing with your guru. Our goal is to provide students with an opportunity to obtain a University certificate in the field that they have done as a passion since a young age. There are opportunities to use the Diploma or Degree you earn from Annamalai University in Music or Dance that can use it towards their Canadian University programs.


Our programs are taught by professors from Annamalai University India that travel to Toronto and teach in person during the summer seasons. During these classes, you will learn the theory and practical aspects of your program. Examinations will be conducted in August or September of each year.

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Grade Level Examinations

Available courses:









For those younger students who are learning our culture, what a better way to identify their talent and to encourage them to continue to learn their arts then having a Grade Exam Certificate from Annamalai University?


Our syllabus is created by Annamalai University India Department of Music and Yoga professors. Each grade is carefully curated to enrich the students. All certificates will be issued and authenticated by Annamalai University India.


Ask your guru about our programs or contact us to learn more.

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