Abstract : Very little is known of the context in which much of ancient India's scholarly knowledge burgeoned. Part of this ignorance springs precisely from the fact that very little is known about elementary, higher or specialised education in ancient and medieval India. For ancient and medieval mathematics in the Indian sub-continent, most of the studied textual sources are in Sanskrit, a brahmanical language which became the scholarly language of an educated cosmopolitan elite. In the following three historical periods relevant to the history of mathematics in India are studied. The Vedic period (ca. 2500 BCE-500 BCE), Classical and Medieval period (-500 BCE-XIIth century), and Premodern period (XIIIth-XVIIIth century), in which oral transmissions and written practices, texts of elementary, vocational or specialised mathematics are examined for what they may reveal of an educational setting.