The present book is a culmination of twenty-four years of research on Ajanta Paintings. It is a pioneering attempt to provide a true picture of Ajanta Paintings, mainly on the basis of literary sources. All the murals of Ajanta are based on episodes from Pali Tipitaka, Atthakatha, Ceylonese chronicles, H. B. S. books-Mahavastu, Divyavadana, Asvaghosha's treatises - Buddha Carita, Sundaranand Kavya, Saddharma Pundarika; which have been carefully studied. The author has collected the findings and evidences from Ancient Indian History and Culture, Buddhist art and architecture, archeology and inscriptions. All these have been scrupulously tallied.
Nearly thirty unidentified murals have been identified for the first time and seventeen murals which were misinterpreted, have been rectified. Besides, thirty-one murals are acquainted with brief information. The plans of the caves and locations of the murals have been attested neatly for the convenience of the readers and visitors. The monograph contents fifty coloured plates photographs taken on the site, of eleven caves namely, Cave Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 19 and 26. Nearly hundred plates of Line-drawings of the murals and the images will help to give a clear idea of the cave paintings. The purpose of line-drawings is to assist the photographs and reveal the differences in past and present conditions and make murals more knowledgeable.
The monograph will reveal a new panorama of Ajanta Paintings and enhance the joy of their beauty, especially when one is informed about the literary sources.