(Last Updated on : 01-12-2018)
The temples of Bishnupur are the most prominent examples of Bengali style of architecture, which are used on temples. Bishnupur
is situated in the Bankura
district of West Bengal
. This town is famous for the terracotta temples
, which are made from Laterite stones. This stone is locally available there. The Malla rulers were Vaishnavites and they built the famous terracotta temples
during the 17th and 18th century in Bishnupur.
Structure of Temples of Bishnupur
The temples of Bishnupur consist of a square building with a covered roof, with one tower rising in the centre, either alone or surrounded by other smaller corner towers. The temples face the south, and the walls are decorated on the front with carved brick panels.
Various Temples of Bishnupur
There are several temples of Bishnupur, which exhibit the Bengali architectural style. Most of the temples are dedicated to Radha
and Gouranga. Some of the temples have been detailed below:
This temple, built in 1600, is dedicated to Radha and Krishna. It is the oldest brick temple, which was built by King Bir Hambir. This temple has an unusual elongated pyramidal tower, which is surrounded by hut-shaped turrets; they are very typical of Bengali roof structures of the time.
Dedicated to Krishna and Gouranga, this temple was constructed by King Raghunath Singha Dev II in the year 1655. The ornate terracotta carvings of this temple are set off by the roof in the classic chala style of Bengal architecture.
Pancha Ratna Temple:
Pancha Ratna Temple was built by the King Raghunath Singha in 1643. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna. This temple stands on a low square plinth and consists of an ambulatory pathway with a porch. This porch is opened by three arches on the four sides of the temple. The central shikhara is octagonal, while the other four shikharas are square. The walls of the temple are richly decorated with terracotta carvings, which anticipate the aspects of the life of Lord Krishna.
King Durjana Singh Deva built this temple in the year 1694 and it is also dedicated to Lord Krishna. This temple was built in the ekaratna style; it has a square flat-roofed building with carved cornices, and it is surmounted by a pinnacle. The walls are decorated with astounding carvings, which exhibit the scenes from the epic Ramayana
and the Puranas
This temple was built in ekaratna style by Bir Singha II in the year 1658. It is constructed on a square raised plinth, which is consisted of ornamental stucco decorations on low relief carvings. This temple is dedicated to Radha and Krishna.
Radha Shyam Temple:
Built in the year 1758 by Chaitanya Singha, this temple also exhibits the ekaratna style of architecture
. It was built in a square plan, which consists of a dome shaped shikhara and stucco motifs. The motifs are depicting floral and geometric designs with the scenes from the Puranas. It is also dedicated to Radha and Krishna.
Other Temples of Bishnupur
There are several other temples in Bishnupur apart from the temples, which are mentioned above. They were also built in different times by different kings; they also exhibit different architectural styles. The temples are Nandalal Temple, Kalachand Temple, Radhavinod Temple, Madangopal Temple, Murulimohan Temple, Radha Govinda Temple, Radha Madhab Temple, Chhinnamasta Temple, Sanreswar Temple, Malleswar Temple, Mrinmayee Temple, Krishna Valaram Temple, Sarbamangala Temple, Radha Vinod Temple etc.
Visiting Information to Bishnupur
Bishnupur is well connected to all parts of West Bengal. Bishnupur Railway Station
is the nearest to reach Bishnupur by train. If one goes by flight, then Kolkata Airport
would be the nearest, which is 138.5 km from Bishnupur. This town can also be reached by road via State Highway 2 and National Highway 60.