Ayurvediya Kriya Sarira: A Text Book of Ayurvediya Physiology (Volume 2)

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Item Code: NAC881
Author: Prof. Dr. Yogesh Chandra Mishra
Publisher: Chaukhambha Publications
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9788189798970
Pages: 779 (34 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.6 Inch X 5.6 Inch
Weight 720 gm
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Book Description

Late Prof. Dr. Jyotirmitra, former H.O.D. Dept. of Basic Principles, Faculty of Ayurveda, I.M.S., B.H.U. the torch bearer, has guided me at every step. He always inspired me to work for presenting the Ayurvedic knowledge hidden in Sanskrta literature in such a easy manner, which may prove useful to all, in this era of globalization. I have got no words to express grattitude to him. I feel sarrow that today he is not bodily present to bless me. My mute reverence in offered in his feets.

Dr. S.P. Gupta former director of Ayurveda and Unani services UP has been my honourable Guru, in the subject of Ayurvedic philosophy. His continuous inspirations have guided me to collect and explain the various references from Ayurvedic Samhitas and other ancient literature and the book ‘Ayurvediya kriya sarira’ took shape.

I am heartily indebted to my father late Vaidya Pt. Shrikrishan Kumar Mishra, who took the expansion of Sankskrta and Ayurveda as the mission of his life. The heartily blessings of my mother late Smt. Lavangashri Devi an embodiment of religion and culture have enabled me to serve Ayurveda and Sanskrta.

The time for social as well as for writting work is accumulated from the curtailment of the family duties and responsibilities only and any such work creates huge discomfort and difficulty to all the family members. I have been lucky enough in this field and can not dare to lessen the gratefulness of contributions and gratefulness and silent sacrifices of my life partner by expressing it in words, as her hidden support has been the greatest power of my successful life and especially in fulfilment of the present and so many other such works.

I pay my heartily blessings to my son Dr. Vivek, daughter-in-law Deepika, lovely grand sons Shaswata and Avyaya, and all others, who inspired me to work on this and various other social activities, even having so many discomforts by curtailment of time and so many other facilities, which were their right, but was stolen by me for my personal satisfaction.

I will not be performing my duties well if I would fail to remember my students and colleagues, as many topics and themes was discussed in class room discussions and departmental seminars.

Chaukhambha Sanskrta Samsthan family in the leadership of Shri Rajendra Gupta and Mr. Jeetesh Gupta deserve special thanks for encourging axe for writting work and for the proper arrangement for timely publication.

I am thankful to all the other persons from where I have received any type of help in this work.

Humble homage and prayers are offered to all those ancient and modern sages and scholars, whose works are the basis of the present work.

Prayers are offered in the feet of Almighty, for providing courage, wisdom and patience to complete this work.


The complete knowledge of normal attributes as well as activities of all the factors concerned to human body is essential for a person, who has selected the medical field as the mission of his life. Normalcy is health and its diversion is disease, generally known and described as dis = apart from the ease = easiness of the life. To abolish the ‘dis’ from disease and to establish the normalcy is the aim of medical science. Physiology describes the normal functions of the internal and external organs (cell-tissues-organs, system etc.) and warns us to maintain these factors in their natural and normal condition.

It was felt that the works available in the field of Ayurvediya kriya sarira does not quench the thirst of the learner of ayurveda, specially for those who are not well versed with Sanskrta and Hindi languages. As, the curiosity about Indian medical system (Ayurveda) is increasing day by day, in various developed as well as developing countries, the presentation of the well established facts regarding Ayuvedic physiology, which are indantly scattered in Ayurvedic texts like Caraka, Susruta, Kasyapa etc. Samhitas, should be collected and presented before the scholars of present and future, was felt and thus the work came into existence. One important question in this reference arises that whether the Bhartiya knowledge is in the position to add anything and to share the world wide modern knowledge explosion specially in the field of medicine and health.

In the end of last century our nation awoke from a long slumber. Some of the great sons of Bharata, like Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramtirtha etc. gave a violent jerk to the nation and asked to give up the political, economical and mental slavery. Swami Vivekananda was too much confident, when he called out insultingly to the world that realization of the heritage of Bharata in various fields like art, literature, philosophy etc. would definitely provide a huge amount of true knowledge of the world. It is also sure that if the health sector is taken in the consideration. Ayurvedic approach may serve the world and humanity, definitely in a better and easier way.

The present era is thought and known to be scientific age and no doubt there may be a few persons, who may think that the science and the philosophy are two different shores of a river, which never come together and Ayurveda being based on spiritual as well as philosophical back ground, is not capable to solve the problems of modern physical and mental ailments. Let us think for a moment that what were the sources of strength and power which sustained the Indian civilization and made it living over 5000 years (and more) through the endless historical obstacles of the past. Greece, as geographical land is present but the ancient Greek culture has gone. The same fate have been with the Roman, Egyptians etc. cultures. On the other hand, in Bharata Varsa (generally presented as India), even today the same millennia-old Vedic hymns are chanted with same enthusiasm and tune, in which they were chanted more than at least four thousand years ago. Normally the same story is with Ayurveda. Actually the civilizations, societies, sciences and philosophies survive on the foundation of universal truths only and the Indian system of science of the life i.e. Ayurveda is based on such basic universal factors. Caraka defines Ayurveda as saswata or eternal (C.su, 30/32.) According to Ayurveda, an individual is an epitome of the universe, as all the material and spiritual phenomena of the universe are present in the individual and all those present in an individual are also contained in the universe (Purusoayam loka sammitah C.sa. 5/3).

Swami Vivekananda, the modern interpreter of Vedanta philosophy repeats the same truth in 1895 when he says “Though an atom is invisible, unthinkable, yet in it are the whole power and potency of universe. That is what exactly vedanta says of “Atman’ (Complete works of Swami Vivekananda vol 7 PP 50). The world is homogenous and modern science shows beyond doubt that each atom is composed of the same material as whole universe. Man is the most representative being in the universe, the microcosm, a small universe in himself, (Vivekananda c.w. 4/PP49).

This holistic vision was expressed through the great Indian utterances like ‘yatha pinde tatha bramhande’ and the Ayurvedic texts describe the same theme as ‘purusoayam lokasammitah’, ‘yavanto puruse bhavah tavanto loke’ (C.sa 5/3), Is knowledge of this phenomena, any how relevant with the context of medicine? Yes, answering to Agnivesa, Lord Atreya clears, one who sees equally the en tire universe in his own self, and his own self in the entire universe is in possession of true knowledge (satya buddhi). Such a person experiencing the entire universe in his own self believes that none but his own self is responsible for happiness and miseries. As soon as he realizes his identity with the entire universe, he is in possession of true knowledge which stands him in good stead in getting salvation (C. Sa. 5/7) ‘He further describes detachment as salvation’ (nivrttirapvargah C. Sa. 5/11).

Acceptance of soul as separate entity

Ayurveda accepts happiness of the soul as an essentiality of ‘Swasthya’. The body associated with soul is the working area of a physician and as soon as the soul departs from the body, the task of the physician ends. While considering about health and illness of any individual, the soul must be given, equal importance with physical body. Generally the western philosophers and medicates think only about the physical body and the mind, but the consciousness is not taken in the consideration. About the consciousness, so many theories have been discussed. For example Karl Marx, the German philosopher advocates that various atoms and molecules are the primary factors of the universe and by the combination of these atoms, an attribute namely consciousness is developed. This consciousness reamins for some time and then disappears. This event is called death and after death nothing exists. A few Indian philosophers like ‘Carvak’ etc. for example also represent this theory. But the theist Indian philosophers and Ayurveda have accepted the soul as a separate entity. Bhagwadgita narrates ‘The senses are said to be greater than the body, but greater than the senses is the mind (maims). Greater than the mind is the intellect, and what is greater than the intellect is He, the soul or self.

(Indriyani paranyahurindriye-bhyah parani manah.

Manasastu para buddhiryo budhih pararastu sah)

Sarira shanas of various Ayurvedic samhitas are the places, where physiology of human body has been discussed and described in detail. Caraka Samhita describes ‘Purusa’ (consciousness) as causative factor and if the ‘purusa’ were not there, knowledge, ignorance, truth or false-hood, the Vedas, good and bad actions, the agent of action and knowledge could not stand. The happiness, misery, movement, immobility, speech, knowledge, scriptures, birth, death, bondage or salvation etc. depends on the existence of purusa or consciousness.

Modern scientists and the holistic ideas

Modern science has established this vision of a holistic universe which emerged out of the latest experiments of particle physics and quantum physics. California physicist Dr. Fritzof concludes his world best seller Tao of physics written on the convergence and synthesis of physics and the wisdom of the eastern sages:

“The physicist begins his inquiry into the essential nature of things by studying the material world. Penetrating into even deeper realms of matter he has become aware of the essential unity of all things and events. More than that he has also learnt that he himself and his consciousness are an integral part of this unity. Thus the mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion. The harmony between their view confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, that ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within,” (p. 323 Tao of physics: Fontana 1977)

Again, in his Schumacher lectures, Dr. Capra says:-

“Scientists will not need to be reluctant to adopt a holistic framework, as they are often today, for fear of being unscientific. Modern physics will have shown them that such a framework would be not only scientific, it would be consistent reality.” (Schumacher lectures: Abacas: p. 135)

Henry stapp of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission wrote:

“An elementary particle is not an independently existing analyzable entity, it is in essence, a set of relationship that reach outward to other things.”

David Bohm, the celebrated London Physicist wrote after his successful experiment of Bells Theorem, that the universe is interconnected at a deeper unifying level. He says.

“Parts are seen to be in immediate connections in which their dynamic relationships depend in an irreducible way on the whole system, and indeed on that of a broader system in which they are contained, extended ultimately into the entire universe. Thus, one is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical idea of analyzability of the world into separately and independently existing parts.’’

In another paper published in Foundations of Physics- 5 (1975. p. 94). Bohm writes with another physicist Basil Hiley that the experimental verification of non-local causality in physics. “leads to a radically new notion of unbroken wholeness of the entire universe” (Taking the Quantum Leap. Fred Allan Wolf. Harper & Row 1989. p. 177)

Austrian Noble physicist Dr. Erwin Schordinger writes in his book What is life (Cambridge University, 1948)

Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown.”

“What seems to be a plurality is... produced by a deception (Indian Maya).”

In his two essays on ‘My View of the World’ Schrodinger writes: “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence but is in a certain sense the “Whole”; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in once single glance. This as we know is what the Brahmins express in that sacred mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: Tat twamasi, this is you, or again in such words as “1 am in the east and in the west, I am below and above. I am this whole world” (Taking the Quantum Leap : Wolf, p. 189).

In his other book “Mind and Matter” (Cambridge university 1967 p. 92) he finally concludes:

“From the early great Upanisads the recognition of Atman = Brahman (the personal self) was in Indian thought considered far from being blasphemous to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world.”

In the ultimate analysis, modern physics has discovered a holistic universe behind the so called fragmented physical reality. In the holistic universe, all minds and matters are interconnected at a deeper level. The basic unity of life cannot be broken. Love and self-sacrifice, therefore, emerge as the only way for a meaningful living.

Holistic approach of Ayurveda

All the sciences and philosophies, in one way or the other, are engaged in searching the ultimate truth of the life. Health is essential to keep a person fit for working. Describing health (swastha) Susruta narrates that happiness of soul, sense organs, and mind is the pre-condition to remain healthy. It must be associated with the balance between various physical entities like dosas (vital entities or humours) agnis (digestive and metabolic process) dhatus (tissues) malas (excreta) and various mental, physical and vocal activities. Even being other factors normal, if the happiness of soul is not has been established, the goal of the positive health is yet far away.


Towards Quantum Biology

I enjoyed reading the prepress script of the book “Kriya Sharira” authored by the well known scholar and teacher of the subject Professor Yogesh Chadra Mishra. The book gives a vivid account of Ayurvediya kriya Sharira in a lucid language throwing enough new light on the current scientific validity of the unique holistic and pro nature approaches of Ayurveda to the understanding of the Ayurvedic physiology. Ayurvedic biology at large is based on its own three dimensional consideration integrating body, mind and the spirit in one sweep- ‘Sattwamatma shariram cha trayam etat tridandawat”. Such a consideration makes this science very unique and puts it on a distinct pedestal which is very different than the conventional modern biology. Because of this fact often one finds it difficult to undertake a comparative study between the two sciences attempting to give any counterpart interpretation which if attempted without due care leads to erroneous conclusions and bilateral conceptual distortions.

Hence it is largely felt that there is a need to develop new approach and new methodolgy to study Ayurveda “as it is” of course using scientific tools developed specially for this purpose.

Conventional western biology and biomedical sciences still follow the principles of classical Newtonean physics which has become obsolete in some of its major aspects after the advent of new modern physics after the work of Albert Eintine and his Quantum theories. Quantum physics, Nano science and United field theories display a new canvas of scienific thinking warranting quick akoption of real modern physics by the biosciences and medicine which has not yet been done.

I have a feeling as also pointed out by the author of the book under review closer comparisons would reveal that Ayurvedic biology matches more logically with quantum physics theory than with classical physics approaches. Conventional biology works largely in a structure dominated approach with emphasis on narrow structure-function relationship and cause-effect duality. In contrast Ayurvedic biology prefers to adopt a broad holistic approach irrespective of narrow cause effect relationship. Similarly subjective observation is an important dimension of knowledge in oriental sciences in contrast to western science where the very basic premise is adopted to reduce the “Reality” into a tentative formula which may be measured objectively. However it cannot be over emphasized that the “Reality” is so complex that it cannot be reduced in such a manner.

Thus the reductionist approach is not a realistic approach to know the whole truth. Unfortunately because of the lack of appropriate methodology most investigators in biosciences adopt the reductionist approach and claim that this is the only approach which is scientific and rest of everything is unscientific. This crisis of confidence in scientific investigation is a great hurdle in the real growth of countemporary biosciences. This issue is found more glaring in case of modern researches in oriental sciences such as Ayurveda which are more akin to quantum science warranting newer innovative methods of study.

The basic tenets of Ayurvedic physiology comprise of the theories of Triguna, Tanmatra. Panchmahabhuta, Tridosha, Saptadhatu, Ojas, Agni, Ama and Srotas which constitute an unique holistic model of biology very different from the conventional biology based on its organ-system structure-function relationship. It is imperative to examine the laws of the genesis of these two fundamentally different approaches to the understanding of the same body-mind system. To my mind this diversity is fundamental and is related to the very nature the “Reality”.

Often a question is raised as why the classical Ayurvedic schools projected the new theory of Tridosha-Vata-Pitta Kapha in spite of the possibility that structure-function of the physical body was not difficult to be explained through the already existing panchamahabhuta theory which existed since Vedic period. Many scholars believe that Tridosha doctrine is the biological dervation of the Panchamahabhuta theory for easier understanding of the Prakriti-Vikriti patterns of the living body-mind system. Many wonder what actually is the entity of the three Doshas. Are they structural entities or are merely a set of basic functions, are they materials or are energies or they are nothing (neither structure nor function) rather they just dictate a theoretic formula to explain the physiology of an individual in life time in a holistic way. Some critical observers ask a question how the three Doshas are physically and physiologically separate from the seven Dhatus, thirteen Agnis and innumerable Sroranisi. One of my own very brilliant students insisted to ask me, if we dissect-out all the seven Dhatus (Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Meda, Asthi, Majja, Shukra) what remains behind which one may like to identify as Tridosha. I was inclined to suggest that if each one of the seven Dhatus are separated what remains behind is the energetic life process in the Prana which is the coordinating force for all structural and functional attributes. However, this is a crude reductionist question. In living body nothing is separate from anything. Everything is the integral part of the organism. This is the quantum basis of the understanding of Ayurvediya kriya Sharira.


Introduction to Kriya sarira1-34
Key terms1
Scope of study1
Division of body9
Abdominal regions9
Descriptive terms12
Systems of the body14
Dosa dusya sammurchana18
Aim of the life Sukhayu21
Life, health and its aim23
Micro and macro constitutions of the universe29
Role of Prajna in happy and useful life30
Sukhayu, hitayu and Prajna31
Prajna and balanced life32
Srsti Srjana35-44
Jiva and Jivana35
The cell (Sariravayava)36
Mechanism of disease38
Parmanuvada in darsana and ayurveda41
Paramanus and tanmatras42
Avayava and Avayavi43
Rasa dhatu45-70
Key terms45
Tissue Vs dhatu46
Rasa dhatu47
Ahara and rasa48
Production of rasa and rakta dhatu49
Awasthapaka and rasa dhatu53
Types and attributes of rasa dhatu54
Importance and functions of rasa dhatu55
Rasa samvahana58
Quantity of rasa in the body59
Rasa ksaya59
Rasa vrddhi60
Diseases due to viliated rasa60
Dhatusara purusa61
Twaka (rasa) sara62
Rasa Vs lymph and plasma62
Rasayani Vs lymph and vesseles63
Lasika (lymph/or plasma)65
Blood plasma65
Rasavaha srotas66
Location of lymphnodes67
A few organs related to lymphatic drainage68
Disorders associated with lymphatic system69
Rakta dhatu71-104
Key terms71
Synonyms of rakta72
Suddha and dusta rakta72
Dosa and blood74
Process of blood formation75
Properties of blood75
Composition of blood78
Blood platelets85
Functions of blood87
Rakta sara purusa88
Rakta dhatu vrddhi89
Rakta dhatu ksaya90
Rakta visravana (blood letting)90
Rakta dhatu pramana (Blood volume)91
Blood groups and transfusion92
Rakta skndana (Blood coagulation)95
Applied physiology of blood97
RBC disorders97
WBC disorders98
Clotting disorders98
Raktaja vikara (diseases related to blood)99
Causes vitiating the blood101
Methods of preventing the blood102
Mamsa dhatu105-121
Key terms105
Synonyms of mamsa105
It’s importance106
Mechanism of contration108
Number of muscles109
Functions of muscular tissue (mamsa dhatu)111
Mamsavaha srotas113
Mamsa sara individuals114
Mamsa ksaya114
Mamsa vrddhi115
Mamsa dhara twak and Kala116
Mamsa marma117
Mamsaja roga117
A few problems concerned with muscles118
Myasthenia gravis119
Rigor mortis119
Muscle injury120
Muscular distrophy120
Medas dhatu(adipose tissue)122-135
Function of medas124
Upadhatu and mala of medas124
Medodhara kala125
Bhautika samracana125
Quantity in the body125
Medas dhatu ksaya126
Medas sara purusa126
Medas Vrddhi127
Undisirable constitutions of the body127
Patho-physiology of corpulence128
Aetio-pathology and clinical features of emaciations129
Comparative disadvantages of corpulence and emaciation130
Principles of treatment for obese and emaciated person131
Management of obesity131
Diseases due to vitiated medas134
Asthi and Majja dhatu (Bone and Bone marrow)136-151
Key terms136
Calcium and bone tissue137
Synonyms and types of asthi139
Functions of asthi dhatu141
Mala of asthi dhatu141
Upadhatu of asthi142
Asthi ksaya142
Asthi dhatu vriddhi142
Vitiation of asthidhatu-symptoms143
Majja dhatu147
Some common terms Introduction Quantity in the body147
Types of bone marrow147
Brain and Majja dhatu148
Properties of bone marrow148
Seasonal indications for the use of majja148
Functions of majja dhatu149
Indications for administration of majja150
Majja sara purusa150
Ksaya and vrddhi150
Bone marrow transplantation151
Sukra dhatu (the semen)152-168
A few common terms152
Place and cause of its flow153
Sukra in various ages and sexes154
Napumsaka and Sukra156
Role of Sukra (pumbija) in sex determination161
Sukra vaha srotas162
Vitiated Sukra162
Causes of vitiation of Sukra163
Qualities of Suddha Sukra163
Composition and analysis of Sukra164
Sukrasara individuals165
Sukra ksaya165
Sukra vrddhi167
Sukra and vajikarana167
Functions of ojas170
Ojas-a dhatu or not?171
Types of Ojas172
Characterstic features of Ojas173
Sites of Ojas in the body174
Bala, vyadhiksamatva and immunity174
Oja-Ksaya karana176
Importance of Ojas180
Chapter- 10
Sorotas and Kala182-199
Structure of srotas182
Thirteen srotas-caraka’s view185
Srotas-as described in Susruta samhita189
Upadhatu and mala(Additional or Subsidiary tissue and exereta)200-293
Upadhatu Artava200
Common key words201
Puberty and menarche201
Artava (menstrual fluid)202
Suddha artava laksana205
Functions of artava206
Diseases related to female reproductory system207
Dysfunctional uterine207
Infections and inflamations208
Yoni vyapat209
Rakta gulma209
Tumors and related conditions210
Artava vrddhi211
Artava and pregency211
Stanya (breast milk) 212
Location and size of breasts213
Mechanism of lactation213
Properties of Stanya213
Suddha Stanya216
Ksaya and Vrddhi of Stanya216
Stana/Stanya problems217
Vitiation of breast milk217
Functions of Sira221
Clinical importance of Sira vyadha223
Purisa (faces)231
Ama and pakwa purisa233
Vitiation of purisavaha srotas235
Arista laksana related to faeces235
Mala pariksa236
Applied physiology237
Mutra and mutravaha srotas238
Urinary system241
Vrkka (kiddeny) 242
Urine composition254
Mutra pariksa257
Mutra vaha srotas260
Mutra ksaya261
Mutra vrddhi261
Mutravaha srotas vikara262
Kiddeny failure264
Artificial kiddeny and dialysis265
Sweda (sweat)272
Sweda ksaya274
Sweda vrddhi274
Swedavaha srotas276
Snehana & swedana278
Swedana therapy282
Kesa and loman (Hairs) 284
Nakha (Nails)286
Pitta mala (bile)288
Kaphamla (mucous)292
Aksi, twak and vit sneha (mala)292
Jnanendriyas (The sense organs)294-392
A few key terms294
Kinds of Indriyas296
Indriyas and maha-bhutas297
Composition of sense organs299
Caksu-The eye301
Alocaka pitta and Visuality301
Synonyms of caksu303
Netra racana303
Netra kriya vijnana308
Drsti vijnana (The process of seeing)311
Drstidosa (disorders of vision)313
Visual acuity313
Refraction disorders314
Corneal transplantation316
Disorders of retina316
Retinal detachments316
Diabetes Mellitus317
Glucoma (Adhiniantha)317
Night blindness (Ratri-andhara)317
Rupa guna (the colour attribute)317
Medicinal utility of colour attribute318
Karna and Srotrendriya (The ear and sense of hearing)321
Srotra racana322
External ear322
Middle ear323
Inner ear or labyrinth325
Sravana karma327
Sence of balance329
Sabda (sound & word)330
Time related decaey factors331
Srotro-dusti (Disorders of ear and hearing)332
Auditory fatigue334
Masking (Abhibhava)334
Causes of non-perceptibility of the things334
Bidhirya (Deafness)337
Rasanendriya and rasa (Organ of the taste and taste)338
Rasagupa (the taste)341
Types of the taste343
Six taste346
Cause of pecularity of taste350
Rasa and dosa351
Medical utility of rasa351
Chemical senses356
Ghranendriya (sense of smell)357
Olfactometer and types of smell358
Compositions of sense of smell359
Medicinal utility of smells360
Abnormal smell sensations361
Diseases of nasika362
Gangha grahana arista363
Twaca and spartanendriya (skin sensation and touch)363
Twak sarira364
Twak prakara365
(Types/division of skin)365
Structure of skin368
Functions of skin371
Appendages of skin (twak vistara)374
Sparta and & twaca380
Utility of touch (sparta)381
Tactile faculty and skin382
Utility of sparta (touch) in medical science383
Skin disorders384
Boils or furncles384
Nidra and Swapna459-482
Atman (The soul)483-515
Nadi Samsthana and Vata dosa (Nervous system and vata dosa)518-605
Antah-sravi granthi Vijnana (Endocrinology)606-662
Paryavarana evam yoga (Environment & yoga)663-690
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