A heritage and historical town, Bishnupur derived its name from the Hindu God Lord Vishnu is located in the district of Bankura in West Bengal, which is just about 132 km from Kolkata. With its rich architecture, handicrafts, glorious history, craftsmanship like pottery, jewellery and weaving, Bishnupur had flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries. Under the rule of the Malla dynasty, Bishnupur became famous for its rich and amazing architecture, especially the aesthetic terracotta temples that have withstood the sands of time. Illustrations depicting stories from Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata are found on the tiles of these terracotta temples, which are a must watch for the tourists. Bishnupur is also famous for its traditional handloom sarees, Baluchari. Hindustani music along with Bishnupur School of Painting also excelled during that period.
Why To Go
Though Bishnupur is a great spot to visit around all seasons, the best time to visit is during the winter. With pleasant and cool weather, you may enjoy a happy stay during the winters. Summer can be scorching, while monsoon can be dreadful with lot of humidity, and sudden showers can make your stay uncomfortable. Make sure you carry a camera as the wide range of terracotta temples will encourage you to become a photographer. The famous temples like the Shyam Ray Temple, the twin shrines of Jorbangla and the Rasmancha are a must visit. Apart from these terracotta temple attractions, there is a Snake Festival and Rath Yatra Festival in the month of August and the famous Bishnupur Fair in December have special attractions. Durga Pujaand Kali puja like any other places in West Bengal are also celebrated with grand and pomp. The Rajbari Durga Puja, popularly known as the puja of Mrinmoyee Maa began during 994 AD makes it the oldest Durga Puja in the entire Eastern region.
Things To Do
With some fascinating temples of great historical importance including handicraft items, pottery, music and architecture get soaked in the glorious past of the city. Dalmadal Kaman or Dalmadal Canon: The Dalmadal Kaman or Canon was built in 1742 by Raja Gopal Singh to protect the Malla kings from the invasion of Marathas. Measuring about 3.8 metre in length and a barrel of 28.5 cm, this eminent canon is a symbol of pride. Placed near Chhinomasta temple, this canon was built with iron material where no rust has been formed, since its construction though exposed to rain and sun. Jorebangla Temple: The Jorebangla Temple that showcases two thatched huts joined together in laterite brick structure was built in 1655 by the Malla King Raghunath Singh. Erected on 1metre high platform, the outer surface of the temple is decorated with terracotta plaques displaying various aspects of human life and culture, gods and goddesses, animals, floral and geometrical designs. Madan Mohan Temple: The Madan Mohan temple (another name of Lord Krishna), dedicated to Lord Krishna is a famous Hindu temple in Bishnupur. Built by King Durjana Singh Deva of Malla Dynasty in 1694, the temple is one of the largest temples of Bishnupur. The temple is constructed with bricks and terracotta tablets that cover the walls, portico and pillars. Rashmancha: The Rasmancha pavilion sound and historical structure of bricks is used to house the idols of Lord Krishna during the Rash festival. Built by King Veer Hambir in 1600 A.D, the Rasmancha is the oldest brick temple in Bishnupur. Designed as an elongated pyramidal tower surrounded by hut-shaped turrets, the structure is elegantly surrounded by Bengal hut-type roofs and stands on a high platform made up of laterite blocks. The floor is also paved with bricks. The terracotta plaques used in the construction of the structure bear decorative images. Bishnupur Handicrafts: Besides enjoying the beautiful and historical structures and temples you may relish in the stunning terracotta pottery, handicraft items, jewellery and the metallic crafts named Dokra. Rediscover the famous Baluchari sarees, one of the most elegantly designed sarees is from Bishnupur. One sari may depict entire episode from the Mahabharata, woven in the border and pallu.
Bishnupur is very popular for its rich culture and heritage. The best way to explore in and around Bishnupur is to take auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws. With these convenient, affordable and environment friendly modes of communication, you can easily reinvent the illustrious past of Bengal’s history and culture across the various parts of the town. Move from one temple to another, learn the history of the temples’ and traverse back into the past…Visit some of the amazing places for retreat.
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Biharinath Hill – Situated app. 97km from Bishnupur, Biharinath Hill is considered to be the tallest hill in this region. An ancient centre of Jainism and known for its beautiful sceneries, the hill is a must place to visit. Joyrambati – The birth place of Maa Sarada, the spiritual consort of Sri Ramkrishna, who is worshipped as our Holy Mother, Jairambati has become a place of pilgrimage for all. Besides a place of eternal peace the village is surrounded by greens, and is a place where your eyes may take a deep relaxation. Hadal-Narayanpur – Located at a distance of just 50km from the main Bishnupur town, the twin villages of Hadal-Narayanpur on the banks of Bodai river is famous for the Mandal family terracotta temples. Jhilimili – Famous for natural beauty and wilderness, Jhilimili is a forest area with a watchtower that offers a scenic and extensive view of the entire surrounding area. Located 97km from Bishnupur, on the banks of river Kangsabati this place is ideal for a short visit and picnic. Mukutmanipur – A must visit in the surrounding area of Bishnupur, Mukutmanipur is famous for its 2nd largest Earthen Dam in India. Located 70km from Bishnupur Mukutmanipur has a vast bluish tract of water enclosed by vivid greens with the hillocks that showcase a picturesque view which you cannot resist. Lalji Temple – Lalji temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Sri Radha and was built by Bir Singha II of the Malla dynasty in 1658. The laterite Eka-Ratna temple was built on a square raised plinth and in front of the temple is a Natmandir. A place of eternal beauty, this temple is flocked by tourists all round the year.