Gujarat played a significant role in the first war of independence in 1857. The Sabhamandapa of the Shri Swaminarayan Temple, Ahmedabad, built over a span of fifteen years (1856-71) stands as an important testimony to this historic movement. At a casual glance, all the carvings on the wooden pillars appear just as beautiful motifs. However, a careful examination, keeping in mid their contemporary historical background, reveals some remarkable and hidden facts beneath the outer lustre. The wooden carved symbolism gives the impressions of the events of the First War of Indian Independence of 1857.
The book is thus a first authentic account of the attempt of the artists who dared to record their own version of the event. It is hoped that by illustrating not only the pillars but also the symbolic meanings that underlie, the reader will be helped to understand the deepest essence of India's struggle for independence.