Bishnupur is presently a Sub-division town in the Bankura district in the state of West Bengal in India. Bishnupur is 38 Km from Bankura.
In ancient time in Gupta period, it was ruled by a local king, who paid tribute to Samudra Gupta. Later, the Malla King Veer Hambir and his successor Raghunath Singha Dev and Bir Singha Dev made Bishnupur one of the principle cultural centre of Bengal. They erected many Teracotta Mandir.
Since 1997, Bishnupur is on UNESCO world Heritage Site’s Tentative list.
Bishnupur is located at 23°05′N 87°19′E
Bishnupur as the capital of Malla kingdom which started in 694CE.
Mallabhum included Bankura, part of Burdwan district, Birbhum, Santhal parganas, Midnapur and part of Purula district. Malla Raja ruled a vast territory of West Bengal and Jharkhand state.
The Rajas of Bishnupur was known as Malla kings. Malla is a Sanskrit terms, meaning- wrestler. They belonged to Bagdi case.
Bipadtarini devi, the one of 108 avatara of goddess Durga was worshiped by Malla king with a belief that she will save all from any bad situation or “bipad’.
Malla’s started their own calander called Mallabda or “Malla era’.
Malla kingdm started with Adi Malla (Raghunath) in 694 Gregorian calendar, and 61th Malla king was Kalipada Singha Thakur, who died in 1983.
Bishnupur was a capital of Malla Bhum for more than thousand years.
The main attraction of Bishnupur is to see the Terracotta temple made by different Malla king in different period.
How To Go To Bishnupur
Bishnupur is easy accessible from Kolkata and other places by bus and railway.
From Kolkata, long distance buses run frequently and average time taken is 4 hours and 45 minuits.
Buses services also available from Arambag, Durgapur, Asansol. From Arambag, the distance is 60 kilometres.
Railway connections are available from Howrah, Kharagpur and Adra. Express and mail train also run regular basis between Kolkata and Bishnupur. Ruposi Bangla express, Aranyak Express and Purulia express are most convenient express from Kolkata (Howrah) for Bishnupur.
In the city, private car, Auto rickshaw, Toto rickshaw, e rickshaw are available for local journey.
By air, nearest airport is Kolkata airport in Dumdum. A new airport Andal has come up, 90 km from Bishnupur.
What To See:
The town is called the ‘town of temples’, because there are various kinds of temples together.
Bishnupur is famous for its Terracotta temple made by Malla kings. Many of the Malla king built temples in their regime.
The existing important temples are-
The extra ordinary Rasmancha was built in 1600 by Bir (Veer) Hambir.
Malleshwar temple is the oldest one. The base dimension of the temple is 22.5 Sq. Foot. The specialties of the temple are the base moldings and stone elephants. This temple is built by Malla king Bir singha, son of Raghunath singha in 1622 CE (928 Malla Year)
Shyam Rai Temple
This pancharatna brick temple was Built by Malla king Raghunath singha in 1643 CE (949 Malla Year).
The temple of Kesta Roy was built in 1655 (961 Malla Year) by Raghunath Singh. The base dimension of the temple is 38.5 Sq. Foot.
The Kalachand temple situated in Lalbandh, was king Raghunath singha in 1656 CE (962 Malla Year).
Built by Malla king Bir singha in 1658 CE (968 Malla Year)
Built by Malla queen Siromoni, wife of Bir Singh in 1665 CE (971 Malla Year)
Built by Malla queen Churamoni/ Siromoni, wife of Bir Singha 1665 CE (971 Malla Year)
Built by Malla king Durjon Singh in 1694 CE (1000 Malla Year).
Built by Malla king Gopal Singh in 1726 CE (1032 Malla Year)
The temple of Radha-Gobinda was built by Built by Malla king Krishna Singha, son of Gopal Singha in 1729 CE (1035 Malla Year).
Built by Malla queen Churomoni, in 1737 CE (1043 Malla Year)
Built by Malla King Chaitanya Singha in 1758 CE (1064 Malla Year)
Bir Singha Dev, the Malla King also had the seven big lake or tanks, locally called Bandh- named Lalbandh, Krishna Bandh, Gantatbandh, Jamunabandh, Kalindi bandh and Shyam bandh and Pokabandh.
As per one opinion, this is where people are thrown from top to the bottom over showered and after their death, their body were thrown to the nearby lake for eating of crocodile.
Where To Stay/ Accomodation
There are many hotels and government accommodation available in Bishnupur. Some are- (STD code of Bishnupur is -3244.)
WB Tourist Lodge (52013),
Poura Paryatan Abash (52200),
Kangsabati Project Rest House,
Hotel Bishnupur (52286),
Bishnupur Lodge (52173),
Tara Ma Lodge, Udayan Lodge, Paryatan Avash.
Season to visit
Bishnupur is a comparatively hot place in summer. So, winter season, mainly September to March will be pleasant to visit Bishnupur.
People And Culture
As per 2001 census, Bishnupur had a population of 61,943. 50% Male, 50% female. Average literacy rate was 69%, higher than national average (59%).
There are a number of high schools, College, Polytechnic college, Hospital in Bishnupur.
In the field of music, Bishnupur has its own Gharana, Called ‘Bishnupur Gharana.’
Dashavatar Tass, (Playing cards) depicting ten avatars in the hindu mythology of god Vishnu is drawn by hand. It is a rare artistic piece not to be found anywhere else in India.
Terracotta horsh, is special for Bankura and Bishnupur. It is made by mud/clay and found everywhere in this area.
Bishnupur is also famous for it’s “Baluchari Saree” and Tasar Silk.
Festivals Of Bishnupur
‘Bishnupur mela’ is held in every year in last week of December. Now it is held at Nandalal temple premises. The mela is inaugurated with the music of ‘Bishnupur Gharana’ music by famous musicians.
The Bishnupuri Baluchari sarees, handicraft of Bishnupur and other materials also available in the mela. A recent addition to the mela is Bishnupur Utsav, held after the mela. It primarily concern with the music, dance and other cultural performances. It occurs at Rashmancha.
Apart from that, Durga puja and Kali puja and other puja also takes a special place in the culture and fairs of Bishnupur.
Overall, the journey to Bishnupur will unveil a new horizon of terracotta works and will be an assets in your life.
Thank you for reading. Have a happy journey.
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