Bishnupur presents an opportunity of heritage tourism to the tourists all over the world. Belonging to the Bankura district of West Bengal it has a glorious history and some of the best preserved terracotta temples of historical significance can be found in Bishnupur. Only 130 kilometers from the capital city of Kolkata, it is a lovely getaway from the din and bustle of busy metro life and be lost in the charm of the historical marvels.
Acharya Jogesh Chandra Purakriti Bhawan
The museum that relate to art and archeology where you can find tools from Mesolithic and Paleolithic era, metal ornaments, terracotta sculptures, etc. This Museum accounts for the coins and artifacts from the very ancient days of rulers in Bishnupur, starting from the Gupta kings to the Pal kingdom. Also, there are contemporary art and paintings, manuscripts and rare photographs. A section of the Purakriti Bhawan is dedicated to the musical culture of Bishnupur Gharana and has many instruments and photographs displayed. It remains open on Saturdays and Sundays and a must see for archeology and history lovers.
Its parallel has not been found elsewhere in India and it may be considered as the pride of Bishnupur for its unique shape. Unique Architectural manifestions built by the Malla Kings & other rulers and some of the significant masterpiece are maintained by the ASI, providing lighting facilities and conserving the flimsy terracotta craftsmanship that is etched on each and every deliberate brick and wall of them. Some of the temples stands on a raised square laterite plinth with a pyramidal structure, some are decorated with circular galleries, some of them are hut-like structures with separate angled roofs held together by a tower at the crown with innumerable terracotta artwork on both exterior and interior walls. Must visit for all travellers. Some of the renowned structures are Rashmancha, Shyam Rai, Kesto Rai, Kalachand, Jorbangla, Madanmohan, Lalji, Radheshyam, Radhabinod, Nandalal, Sridhar etc.
Historical Structures & Antiques
The mysterious Gum Ghar was responsible for the disappearance of the evil doers. As the name suggests the structure was possibly used for punishing the offenders and guilty persons. Pathar Darwaja is the double storied gate accommodated troops and narrow slits allowed the archers and the gunmen to fire their shots. There is a small two storied chariot made of laterite stone. It was possibly built in seventeenth century. The lower portion of this structure is similar to Rasmancha, the upper part is similar to other Ekratna temples. Garh Darwaja or Chota Patthar Darwaja is a terracotta gateway, a destination famous for its terracotta masonry. At a short distance from this gateway lies another gateway which is larger in size and is known as the Bara Patthar Darwaja or Main Gateway of Bishnupur. Dalmadal is a canon which represents the sacrifice and struggle of the people of this region. The cannon named as dal madol was built by the malla kings to fight the maratha invasion. This canon was made with iron and have not any type of rust on this canon though it is exposed to rain and sun since 18th century.
Amazing Crafts of Bishnupur
Terracotta is characteristic of Bishnupur. Apart from the temples, terracotta pottery, artifacts and even jewellery made in this very traditional material is famous. The potters here derive their inspiration from the glorious history of kings, soldiers and wars. Bishnupur is also known for its silk (tussar), particularly the Baluchari Sarees. Woven on unusual punch-card looms, these sarees have episodes from the Mahabharata woven into the border and pallu. Bell Metal Craftware, conch-shell jewellery is also available here. Bankura Horse – Now the symbol of Indian handicrafts – available both in the terracotta and wood versions. You will find the famous “Bankura Horse” and different terracotta tiles, each of them telling a different story. Baluchari Saris – another famous Bishnupur product. Traditional woven with Ramayana and Mahabharata symbols but modern versions are also available. Bell Metal Craft, Conch Shell Craft, Metal Sheet Lantern Craft and the Majestic Dashabatar Taash (Type of playing card) will certainly touch your mind.
Interesting Rikshaw Ride
You can explore the temple town “Bishnupur” through walking but one of the most thrilling ways is by a “Ricksha”. Enjoy the memorable ricksha ride through the lanes and historic neighborhoods, on this easily-customizable 1, 2 or 3 hour tour offering several different areas. Sit back and relax as your local driver peddles you past some of the town’s iconic sites, lovely monuments, and historic spots as you go. The ride is very smooth and calm and you can enjoy the best view. The ride may be one of the most amazing experiences ever.