Skip to main content


  • Home
  • View Collection
  • About
  • Resources
  • Contact
photo of Meenakshi Sundaresvara Temple

Meenakshi Sundaresvara Temple

photo of Teli Ka Mandir

Teli Ka Mandir

About the Project

Image from the Beyond the Taj collection

Kapilar Temple in the Ponnaiyar River, Tamil Nadu, South India

This digital collection references the canonical works or “major moments” that have come to be regarded as important in the study of South Asian architectural traditions. Images of rites, festivals and customary practices enrich and clarify the material record and situate canonical architecture in broader understandings of landscape experience and artistic production. A sub collection of images from 89 Aiyanar temples in Tamil Nadu, South India is one special aspect of this database. It draws on Robert MacDougall’s unfinished study of a folk tradition. Another unique aspect of the database is a collection of images of domestic architecture and community life in Sri Lanka. These images are drawn from a joint ethnographic study conducted by Professors Robert MacDougall and Bonnie G. MacDougall in the Kandyan highlands. The Sri Lanka images are linked to a monograph from that community study, Sinhalese Domestic Life in Space and Time. It appears with other digitized written resources on South Asian architecture that have been developed as part of this overall project by Bonnie G. MacDougall. They can be found on eCommons as part of The MacDougall South Asian Architecture Collection.

This digital collection is a result of a long-term collaboration between Professor Bonnie G. MacDougall, Department of Architecture and Margaret N. Webster, Director of the George W. & Adelaide Knight Visual Resources Facility in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. It has been made possible by a 2004 grant from Faculty Grants for Digital Library Collections: Advancing E-Scholarship program (Danielle Mericle, Project Manager) and a 2006 Faculty Innovation Teaching Award (Noni Korf Vidal, Project Manager) from the Office of the Provost, Cornell University. Funds were provided in prior years by the President’s Fund on Educational Initiatives, Cornell University, the Dean’s Office in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning and the Cornell South Asia Program. These sources of support are gratefully acknowledged.

- Bonnie Graham MacDougall, December 2008