In India a temple is not only a structure of religious significance and celebration, but it also plays an important role in the social, administrative and cultural life of the locality. Temples have served as centers for learning Indian scriptures. Music and dance were fostered and performed in the precincts of the temples. Built at the end of the 10th century, the Brihadisvara temple signified new design methodologies. We have access to a large number of images, audio and video recordings, architectural drawings and scholarly publications of this temple. A multimedia system for this temple is being designed which is intended to be used for the following purposes: (1) to inform and enrich the general public, and (2) to assist the scholars in their research. Such a system will also preserve and archive old historical documents and images. The large database consists primarily of images which can be retrieved using keywords, but the emphasis here is largely on techniques which will allow access using image content. Besides classifying images as either long shots or close-ups, deformable template matching is used for shape-based query by image content, and digital video retrieval. Further, to exploit the non-linear accessibility of video sequences, key frames are determined to aid the domain experts in getting a quick preview of the video. Our database also has images of several old, and rare manuscripts many of which are noisy and difficult to read. We have enhanced them to make them more legible. We are also investigating the optimal trade-off between image quality and compression ratios.