This is the first somewhat comprehensive study of the sculpture of the Western Himalayas. Works spread over a period of one millennium and a variety of styles are discussed in this book.
This difficult hilly region, not conductive for the emergence of a big kingdom, had remained divided into numerous petty principalities and had escaped any external invasion and destruction of its cultural heritage. The valleys here have preserved a large number of great works and the reader will find in this study numerous examples not published earlier.
The author also discusses in some detail the sculpture of the neighboring areas; Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and the south-eastern parts of Himachal Pradesh including the hills of Uttar Pradesh, for tracing the stylistic development of the sculpture of the Western Himalayas. These additions have made the study more comprehensive and useful. Till now virtually nothing is known about this art in respect of the Punjab and much less has been written about other areas except Kashmir.
Discussion of the historical context of this art is also done with some detail and what is more important in this regard in the fact that certain unresolved problems relating to the history of the post-Gupta period of north India are discussed and some suggestions are offered. The matter discussed appears to be important for the development of the art of sculpture in the Western Himalayas. The book also draws attention to the role of the trade routes for the extension of the traits of the sculpture of north India to the Western Himalayas. Some of the important routes are also described in it.
This book would provide a deeper insight into this relatively uncovered area, sculpture of the Western Himalayas.