The Puranas present a rich collection of materials for the study of Hindu rites and customs during the period ranging approximately from 200 to 1000 A.D. As the rites and customs were not the production of a single social dictator or of a particular period of time but were revised from generation to generation, the subject involves the perplexing problem of chronology not only of the individual Puranas but also of their chapters and parts. However, the Puranas contain evidences of their rites and customs. The present study is an attempt, on the basis of these evidences, to determine the chronology of the Puranas.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I comprises four chapters that deal with the problem of the Puranic chronology. Part II contains five chapters that describe the stages in the development of the Puranic rites and customs on the basis of the chronology.
The book has two appendices. These contain lists of traceable and untraceable Puranic verses cited by the commentators and Nibandha-writers. The lists are useful for determining the dates of the Puranic chapters from which the quotations were made.