The recently released novel, Ajanta: A Monk’s Mission & a Maiden’s Mystery! has become the number 1 Amazon Kindle Bestselling book in Indian History! In addition, the book has become the number 2 Amazon Kindle Bestselling book in Asian Art History and the number 3 Amazon Kindle Bestselling book in Historical Asian Fiction.
The novel by Dr. Kalpa Srivats, a former professor at Delaware College of Art & Design, is a fascinating look at fifth century India and the creation of the Buddhist cave art at Ajanta. The Kindle edition is richly illustrated and embellished with numerous full-color images that help tell this extraordinary story.
Ajanta: A Monk’s Mission & a Maiden’s Mystery! begins on the day of Buddha-Poornima, a sacred day for Buddhists, in the fifth century CE. The protagonist Nandhini Devi, a charming girl in her 20s, encounters a soothsayer in her village and is perplexed by his predictions. Unforeseen circumstances put her in a Buddhist monastery where she gets special treatment from its head-monk, Buddhabhadra. The drama intensifies as she is sent to a royal palace to interact with the mighty Vakatakas. The plot unfolds through the interactions of the head-monk with the royal family, ministers, feudal kings and the girl. Unraveling her mysteries and fulfilling the mission of the Buddhist monk (bikshu) become the crux of the plot. Buddhist monastic life and the creation of the Buddhist cave-art at Ajanta, a World Heritage Monument of UNESCO, form the backdrop for the drama.
This art historical novel places its fictional narrator in an accurate historic setting. Fifth century CE Jambudvipa, now India, marks the waning of the great Guptas and the apogee of the Vakatakas. Embedded in the socio-political climate are the cultural phenomena of India’s religions and arts.
The author’s website is http://www.kalpasrivats.com