Pioneering researches into India's past began over two hundred years ago with the work of Sir William Jones and the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Since then Indology as a discipline has diversified into a wide range of highly specialized areas. Indian Art History, with its background of linguistics, philosophy, mythology, and political history, is today one of the most energetically thriving of those branches. It is not often that readers encounter a book in which specialists reveal their working methods at the very moment of discovery, and of interpretation. Eastern Approaches is such a book. It is a collection of twenty-two essays by leading Indian and Western scholars directly involved in the continuing work of understanding the art and architecture of the Indian past, and revealing the patterns of thought behind them. The reader is invited to participate in the intellectual excitement of their discoveries. Mediterranean contact with the north-western Indian borderlands - including the return voyage of Alexander's admiral, Nearchos, along the Makran coast - brings the reader into the subcontinent from the West. The Greek concept of the city-goddess in the Buddhist art of Gandhara then leads into three different perceptions of the Buddha image. Four chapters are devoted to the Hindu view of the goddess: from the discovery of missing links in the early development of her iconography to the religious background of modern Kali worship. The demons of the Kulu Valley, who largely refuse to inhabit conventional icons, are described in a unique piece of ethnographic writing from a long-term resident of Manali. Images of Siva and Visnu, the high gods of Hinduism, are subjected to minute analysis against their aesthetic and philosophic backgrounds. The concept of the city-goddess re-emerges in a pioneer study of medieval stelae, the North Indian deva-pattas; miniature drawings and paintings of the Krsna-lila and Dhola-Maru themes are scrutinized; Indo-Islamic city and tomb architecture, and its ornamentation, are described and examined in historical perspective. Many of the ancient buildings, sculptures, and manuscripts are written about here for the first time, and all the texts and figures are original contributions specially prepared for this book. In these pages, the reader enters a world of Greek, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim concepts, in India, where ancient and contemporary cultures meet.