Cunningham’s surveys and interpretation of the temple at Bodh Gaya, which he presented in The Mahabodhi, provides many examples of the ways in which he used photographs to physically fill in the ‘lost’ architectural details (Figure 12). Despite recognizing that local customs and rituals had made its marks within the body of this derelict Buddhist temple, and acknowledging the presence of many Hindu motifs on and around its periphery, Cunningham stopped short of offering any archaeological evidence for historical Bodhgaya’s heterogeneous religious traditions. Rather, he carefully distanced the history of the temple from its nearby village by stating that “Abul Fazl mentions Brahma Gaya as a place of Hindu worship sacred to Brahm. But the Great Temple of Mahabodhi stands a short distance to the north of the village of Urel or Uruvilwa, 6 miles to the south of Gaya, and has no connection whatsoever with the name of Gaya” (1892, p. 3, Figures 11 and 13). This distinction does not come as a surprise. For, Cunningham too, like Fergusson and his ilk of architectural historians, was engaged in creating essentialised religious identities that resonated on contemporary scientific theories on social evolution, migration, and race, which were being devised by scholars in the Western world. His understanding of the Hindu and Buddhist as two separate cultural phenomena substantiated his premise of a distinct materiality for the Buddhist religion. Yet, this premise could only compromise Cunningham’s implicit faith in the truth-value of his archaeological investigations. As it led him to overlook the palpable physical traces of worship and occupation by communities of different religions within and near sites and monuments he was to see, survey and record.