Rasmancha is an ancient brick temple constructed by King Bir Hambir in 1600 CE. It is located in the Bishnupur town, Bankura district. Once, the most enchanting event of this temple was Vaishnava Ras festival during which all the Radha Krishna idols of the town were brought in the temple. This practice was continued up to the year 1932, where a sea of devotees assembled here. The temple is one of the famous terracotta temples of West Bengal which comprises of an elongated pyramidical tower surrounded by turrets resembling the shape of a hut.
Another famous terracotta temple of West Bengal is Jor-Bangla Temple. Keshto Ray and Gouranga are the presiding deities of this temple. The temple was built by King Raghunath Singha Dev II. The temple exhibits exquisite terracotta art and classical chala style of Bengali architecture.
Pancha Ratna Temple
Pancha Ratna Temple is dedicated to Shyam Ray. The temple is adorned with beautiful terracotta carvings. Standing on a low square plinth, the temple includes an ambulatory pathway and a porch that opens to three arches. The central Sikhara of the temple is octagonal in shape whereas other four Sikharas are square. Aspects of Lord Krishna's life are depicted on the walls of the temple. This temple was built by King Raghunath Singha.
Madanmohan Temple was constructed by King Durjana Singh Deva in 1694. Madanmohan is the presiding deity of this temple. Ekaratna style of architecture decorates this temple. The temple consists of a square flat roofed building having carved cornices. Magnificent depictions of scenes from Mahabharata, Ramayana and Indian Puranas can be witnessed on the walls of the temple.
Beautiful Temples of Terracotta in West Bengal also enlist Lalji Temple. This temple was built by Bir Singha II in 1658 and is dedicated to Radha and Krishna. The temple also exhibits Ekaranta style of architecture. Ornamental stucco adorns this temple which stands on a square raised plinth.
Radhya Shyam Temple
Radhya Shyam Temple is another temple dedicated to Radha Krishna. This temple is another spectacular manifestation of terracotta carving. In 1758, this temple was built in Ekaranta style by Chaitanya Singha. The temple comprises of a dome shaped sikhara and stucco patterns with floral and geometric motifs. Scenes from Indian Puranas are also beautifully depicted on the walls of the temple.
Nandalal Temple was built in 17th century. The temple consists of a single tower which rests on a curved roof. Little decorations can be seen on the lower part of the temple.
Kalachand temple is another beautiful manifestation of terracotta architecture. The temple was built in Ekratna style by King Raghunath Singha.
Radhavinod Temple was constructed in 1659 by Raghunath Singha I. The temple was built in brick and has beautiful terracotta decorations.
Another terracotta temple of West Bengal is Madangopal Temple. In the year 1665, this temple was built by Shiromani Devi, Queen of Veer Singha II. The temple is considered as a pancharatna mandir.
Mrinmayee Temple was built in 997 AD by Jagat Malla. In this beautiful terracotta temple, Durga Puja is celebrated for 15 days.
Other Temples of Terracotta of West Bengal
Apart from these, other terracotta temples of West Bengal include Murulimohan Temple, Radha Govinda Temple, Radha Madhab Temple, Chhinnamasta Temple, Sanreswar temple, Malleswar temple, Krishna-Valaram Temple, Sarbamangala Temple and Radha Vinod Temple.
Variation of this art was not only confined to the architectural styles of the temples. Beautiful baked clay panels also covered the walls with different geometric and foliate motifs. Rich iconography can be observed in these temples which had evolved during the seventeenth century having religious and secular themes. The immense creativeness during that period had conferred great beauty and uniqueness to these temples.
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