AJANTA - A MONK'S MISSION & A MAIDEN'S MYSTERY! is the first novel in English about Indian art history.
The story 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.