History of Bishnupur, West Bengal
The history of Bishnupur can be traced back to AD 694. At that time Malla rulers were ruling the place and the land was called Mallabhum. It was much later in AD 994 that the place was named Bishnupur. The Malla rulers were Vaishnavites and built the famous terracotta temples during the 17th and 18th century at this place. The patronage of Malla King Veer Hambir and his successors Raja Raghunath Singha and Veer Singha made Bishnupur one of the principal centers of culture in Bengal. Most of the famous terracotta temples were built during this period.
How to reach Bishnupur, West Bengal
Bishnupur is well connected from Kolkata. Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) and South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) buses ply regularly between Dharmatala bus stand in Kolkata and Bishnupur. It takes about 4-5 hrs to reach there. You can also hire a car to reach there.
Number of trains is also available from Howrah station to reach there. You can get the Purulia Express, Rupashi Bangla Express departing from Howrah to reach there.
Where to Stay at Bishnupur, West Bengal
There are a number of hotels and lodges available in this place. Some are Bishnupur Lodge (3244-253749), Monalisa Lodge (9831031895), Hotel Bishnupur (3244-252243) etc.
But it is advisable to do the bookings in advance.
Attractions and places to see at Bishnupur, West Bengal
Temples of Bishnupur, West Bengal
Madanmohana Temple, Bishnupur
This temple, which was built in 1694 AD, is the best-known temple in Bishnupur. It was built by King Durjana Singh Dev and was built in the eka ratna style. It is a square flat-roofed building with curved comices surrounded by a pinnacle. On the temple walls there are impressive carvings that depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas.
Rasmancha, Bishnupur, West Bengal
It is the oldest brick temple. It was built in the late 16th century by King Beera Hambira. This temple has an elongated pyramidical tower, surrounded by hut-shaped turrets, which was very typical to Bengali roof structures of the time.
Jorabangla Temple of Bishnupur, Bengal
It is one of the fine examples of Bengali architecture. It was built by King Raghunath Singha Dev in the 17th century. The ornate terracotta carvings are set off by the roof in the classic chala style of Bengali architecture.
Shyamrai Temple, Bishnupur, West Bengal
Shyamrai Temple also known as Panch Ratna Temple, featuring Lord Krishna's life in beautiful terracotta carvings on the walls of it, is also one of the notable temples in Bishnupur.
There are also other notable temples like Nandalal temple, Radhamadhab Temple, Kalachand Temple, Madangopal temple and many more.
Bishnupur, Bengal music and cultureBishnupur is well known for its classical gharana. A school of music, root of the Bishnupur Gharana, was established here in 1370 AD. Bahadur Khan of Delhi, who was the descendant of the great Tanseen Bahadur Khan, started Bishnupur gharana of music. If you are a great fan of classical music then surely this place will not disappoint you.
Art and Craft of Bishnupur, West bengal
The most famous form of art of Bishnupur is its terracotta form. The marvelous craftsmanship of the terracotta artisans is evident in the Madanmohana Temple and the Shyam Rai Temple.
One of the most expensive sarees in India called the Baluchari sarees are created by craftsmen of this place. Wooven on unusual punch-cards looms, these sarees have episodes from the Mahabharata woven into the border and pallu.
Bishnupur is also famous for terracotta pottery, artifacts and many traditional types of jewellery.
Fairs and Festivals in Bishnupur, West Bengal
Poush Mela, which is also known as the Bishnupur Mela, is held every year around month of December-January near the Madanmohana temple. This fair is quite similar to the Poush Mela of Shantiniketan. During the fair people from nearby villages come together to celebrate the end of the agricultural season.