Cultural Informatics               
Multimedia Research Centre

Turnkey Projects 


Multimedia CD-ROMs presented to
Ex-President Shri K. R. Narayanan
by Mrs. Neena Ranjan, IAS,
National Project Coordinator,
UNDP Project





The Cultural Informatics Laboratory (CIL), a Multimedia Research Centre, was established in 1994 with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) assisted multimedia documentation project titled “Strengthening National Facility for Interactive Multimedia Documentation of Cultural Resources”. Through the modern multimedia technology, IGNCA demonstrates the manner in which cultural heritage can be recreated virtually, so as to present and communicate the holistic vision of India.

Amongst the areas where the projects have broken new grounds are the creation of synergies between the disciplines of art and information technology leading to usage, development and demonstration of new technology and cultural documentation. This enabled the IGNCA to bring together scholarship and technology for facilitating communication in a modern world. The symbiosis of experts from the subjects extending from the archaeology, architecture, epigraphy, Sanskrit, rituals, photography and computer science on one platform, is the biggest achievement.

Under proper guidance from the subject experts, the team became trained in Interactive-multimedia-documentation and in-depth analysis of cultural information. New design-models, development-processes and reusable software tools, specially targeted at high-quality multimedia content-creation, have been conceived, evolved and applied in projects. Several projects have been initiated engaging a multi-disciplinary team of national and international scholars, computer scientists and designers. Our past legacy and vigorous present is captured in this lab in a computer-generated multimedia CDs/DVDs. These CDs/DVDs presents the content exploration systems to intensify cultural learning and visualisation.

The IGNCA initiated five very complex multimedia programs. These are :

Tanjavur Bṛhadīśvara Temple : A UNESCO World Heritage Monument from Tamil Nadu

The Bṛhadīśvara temple built by Rājarāja Cōḷa in 1010 CE, is acclaimed as the finest achievement of Cōḷa art and architecture. On account of its distinct form and beauty it has been inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Monument. Interactive multimedia DVD on Tanjavur Bṛhadīśvara Temple was completed and released on 6th December 2013 by Shri Jairam Ramesh, Hon'ble Union Minister for Rural Development.

Gīta Govinda: The Painting, the Music and the Dance

A multimedia experience on Gīta Govinda, a 12th Century epic by Jayadeva was developed with the objective to familiarise audiences on the fundamental concepts of Indian music, dance, art and their inter-relationships and interpretation. The content was conceived by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, a scholar of Gīta Govinda for over thirty years and an internationally acknowledged authority and pioneer of inter-and multi-disciplinary studies in the humanities, and the arts. Multimedia Presentation on Gīta Govinda was released on 27th May 2015 by Shri. Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati

Devanārāyaṇa: An Oral Epic of Rajasthan

Devanārāyaṇa is the name of a folk deity worshipped by the pastoral communities of Gujjars in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The main feature of the cult is the performance of individual episodes from a two-part, 45 to 50 hour long oral narrative which contains both sung and spoken section (gav and arthav). Devanārāyaṇa's epic is performed during all night vigils (Jagran), by pairs of male singers called Bhopas. The DVD-ROM will focus on this oral narrative which is painted on large scrolls.

Agnicayana: A Vedic Ritual

Agnicayana is probably to be the oldest surviving ritual of humanity. If offers extraordinary insight into Vedic times and highlights the origin of many features of South Asian cultures. It provides a unique opportunity for the study of oral tradition and transmission. Cross-culturally, the Agnicayana raises important issues such as the origin and production of fire, its transfer from one place to another and its worship; as also the art of burning of istaka (bricks) which is an expression linguistically related to Avestan "Istya".

Viśvarūpa: A Cosmic Form of Lord Viṣṇu

Viśvarūpa (Visvarupa) is the cosmic vision of Krishna revealed to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita before the Mahabharata war. Elements of this vision are traceable to very ancient Indian concepts of integration and disintegration such as Prajapati and Purusa. The word Viśvarūpa consists of two components, visva-and-rupa. Visva means "the universe" and rupa means "form, the shape of anything". Viśvarūpa as a concept means "all forms", "universal form".

The following interactive multimedia CDs/DVDs have also been released:

Mukteśvara Temple: A Twelfth-century Temple at Caudadanapura in North Karnataka

This CD-ROM has been published in 2000.  Caudadanapura is a tiny village of Karnataka in south India, where all facets of Indian civilisation, encompassing religion, art and poetry are exemplified in an exquisite temple with the highest degree of refinement. This temple is a jewel of architecture of 11th-12th century, in the style now commonly called after the name of the legendary sculptor, Jakkanacarya.

Rock Art Rock Art: The Oldest Legacy of Mankind

This CD-ROM has been published in 2000. Man's first awareness of the world around came through his primeval sense of sight and ability to hear. These two senses have stimulated artistic expressions - visual and aural, in the pre-historic past as also contemporary cultures. The twin programmes of Adi Drsya (primeval sight) and Adi Sravya (primeval sound) have been initiated by the Centre to trace the long continuities in the Indian arts.

Ajantā: A UNESCO World Heritage Site from Maharashtra

This CD-ROM has been published in 2005. The present CD-ROMs on Ajantā is an attempt to provide comprehensive knowledge and visual experience on Ajantā, a major heritage site of India, included in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage monument. The CD-ROM includes virtual walkthrough of all the caves, narratives of Jataka and related stories of Buddha, approximately 1 hour of Introductory video, approximately 1500 illustrated images, Articles from eminent authorities, Bibliography, Glossary, etc

Two Pilgrims:: The Life and Works of Elizabeth Sass & Elizabeth Brunners

This CD-ROM has been published in 2010. This is a multimedia database on a 20th century Hungarian painter living in India for over seventy years. Elizabeth Sass Brunner and Elizabeth Brunner, mother and daughter, two Hungarian artists travelled to India, Japan and Sri Lanka in search of spirituality in the 1920's.

Devadāsī Murai: Remembering Devadāsīs

This CD-ROM has been published in December 1997. This CD-ROM is part of IGNCA's endeavour to digitise the multidimensional performative rituals within the architectural space of Brhadisvara temple. The CD-ROM facilitates virtual experience of the spatial and temporal context of south Indian music and dance.

Man & Mask: Rūpa-Pratirūpa

DVD-ROM titled "Man & Mask: Rūpa-Pratirūpa" was released by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan on 26th October 2010 during her Inaugural Lecture "Masks Unmasked, Puppets Inanimate and Animate, Stories with Stories"

It also acts as a focal point of digitisation of manuscripts, slides, books, audio and video to preserve the entire repository of its present and future holdings in digital mode and to disseminate the contents in various digital formats (via Kalāsampadā and website) to the scholars, researchers and the people at large. In addition, the CIL executed several turn-key projects (in India and abroad) for cultural institutions and government departments.

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Digital Library

CIL Brochure

Digitization Standards

Audio & Video Digitization Standards



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