Otto Koenigsberger’s (1908–1999) work in India (1939–1951) complicates the idea that tropical architecture was a strain of European modernism that was dispersed to the colonial tropics along the imperial networks of the British Empire in the 1950s and 1960s. Koenigsberger, a German émigré architect, arrived in India in 1939 in princely Mysore – a state under indirect British rule. As the state architect in Mysore (1939–1948), he designed numerous buildings – schools, hospitals, offices, police stations, palace extensions, pavilions, colleges, factories, and bus shelters. In 1951, he emigrated from India to London and, in 1954, established the department of tropical architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. His treatise on tropical architecture, Manual of Tropical Housing and Building (1974) offers a critique of modernisation, which originated in Koenigsberger’s failed and successful projects in India. Yet, until recently the majority of his architectural work in India was unknown. This paper discusses the absence of Koenigsberger’s architectural oeuvre in South Asian architectural histories and argues that uncovering his work in India offers a missing link between colonial and post-colonial architectural cultures, and global networks of tropical architecture. His career illuminates how multiple actors outside the colonial state apparatus – such as the Maharajah’s regime with their sovereign ideals and independent entrepreneurial clients – shaped his ideas of modernism.