In 14th-century Mallaraj Jagat Malla formed capital in Bishnupur and the place was referred to as Mallbhum. Malla rulers were worshippers of Vishnu. They constructed the Terracota temples. These are unique in its architectural pattern and considered to be a classical art of West Bengal in the seventeenth and 18th century.
Two kings of Malla, Raghunath Singh, and Veer Singh established an important cultural centre in Bishnupur. Bishnupuri Baluchari Sari is an example of the excellence of craft.
Bishnupur Gharana of classical dance reaches its apex under the royal patronage of Shiv Singha. Eminent vocalist Jadubhatta, Radhikaprasad, Gyan Goswami are the names of excellence. They also hold responsibility for the development of the Bishnupur school of painting.
Quick Facts About Bishnupur
|Famous for||–||Historical Heritage of architecture and art|
|Best Season||–||October – March|
|Weather||–||Summer 32-43°C, winter 12-23°C|
The Bishnupur Mela takes place every year around the last week of December in Raj Darbar. Later at Highschool Ground and from now on, it takes place on the premises of the Nandalal Temple.
In 2008, the Bishnupur Mela is inaugurated with the music of Gharana sung by personalities and fashion show with Baluchari Saree is presented to promote Baluchari Saree on an international platform.
In addition, the artisans made a great income selling crafts at the Mela stalls. A recent addition is Bishnupur Utsab, detained after Mela. It is a festival of classical music and dance in recognition of the “Bishnupur Gharana” in music. It was stopped till 2012 again began in 2018 at Rashmancha.
Festivals and Fairs
The snake festival is celebrated in August, Ulto Rath Yatra and the Bishnupur fair in December. Here too, Durga puja and Kali puja or Diwali are celebrated greatly. The Rajbari Durga Puja was launched in 994 AD, making it the oldest Durga Puja in all of Bengal, including Bangladesh today Odisha.
How to Reach Bishnupur
By Air: Imphal Airport is the closest airport to Bishnupur and is located at a distance of 23 kilometers from the city of Bishnupur. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Kolkata is the second closest (international) airport, located 140 km from Bishnupur.
By Train: Bishnupur Station is the closest station, approximately 6 km from Bishnupur. It is well connected with different parts of the west and with other parts of India via various trains such as Rupashi Bangla Express, Purulia Express, and Aranyak Express.
By Road: Bishnupur is 39 km from Bankura, 41 km from Dullabhgaj, 52 km from Aranbag, 65 km from Durgapur, 78 km from Kharagpur, 90 km from Burdwan and Purulia, 125 km from Asansol and 150 km from Kolkata. Buses also go through Indian cities like Mumbai, Nasik, Pune, Kolkata, and various parts of the state of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
An annual Bishnupur fair is held every year which lasts up to 4 days in the month of December near the Madanmohan Temple.
Snake festival, held in August every year is also a popular and tourist-attracting festival, while common festivals of Durga puja and kali puja or Diwali are also celebrated with great pompous arrangements.
1. Jorbangla Temple
In 1655 Mallaraj Raghunath Singh built this twin temple. Typical Bengal Atchala cottage roof is its characteristics. War, hunting, and contemporary social lives are painted on the terracotta wall of the temple.
2. Madanmohan Temple
In Shankari Market, Mallraj Durjan Singha built this temple in 1694. It is a square flat-roofed building. It is a carved structure construction. Its wonderful terracotta wall is depicted with stories of Mahabharata, Ramayana.
3. Shyamrai Temple or Pancha Ratna Temple
It was constructed in 1643 by the patronage of King Raghunath Singha. The walls are richly ornamented with terracotta carvings reflecting aspects of Lord Krishna’s life and it is one of the largest temples.
It is the combination of pyramidal structure and BengalChalaghar style. It represents the oldest brick structure which was constructed in 1587 by Bir Hambir. At the time of Malla Kings, the Ras festival took place in Rasmancha.
a) Bahulara – It is 25 km. from Bishnupur, and is famous for the Siddheswar Siva temple.
b) Panchmura – It is just about 10 km from Bishnupur, the village where originally the famous terracotta horses are made.
c) Dihar – it is renowned for the nine hundred years old Saileswar temple, and it is just 8 km from Bishnupur.
d) Jairambati and Kamarpukur – Jairambati and Kamarpukur, birthplaces of Sri Ma Saradamoui and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Are 43 km. from Vishnupur and nearby Garh Mandaran is located which was made famous by great Bengali writer Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.
e) Mukutmanipur: By the side of the river Kangsabati it is located 83 km from Bishnupur. The dam is the main attraction across the river and the hilly landscape. Tourist Lodge and a Youth Hostel and Hotel Amravati and Shonajhuri comprise the accommodations.
f) Susunia Pahar: It is one of the important hills in the district, rising rapidly from the neighboring plains to a height of 44 meters. Stone inscriptions of Chandravarma, a 4th-century king, have been revealed here.
Bishnupur Tourist Lodge: It is a WBDTC property and it offers standard and comfortable facilities and the room tariff varies from INR 600/- to INR 2000/- dormitory accommodation available at INR 100/- Contact 18002121655 (toll-free) and there are many other hotels around the place.
Bishnupur is renowned for its pottery, especially the adorable terracotta horse, the mascot of Bankura handicraft. The tourists can conveniently shop Baluchari and Tussar silk sarees, bell metal, and shell handicraft and the picturesque circular playing cards called Ganjifa.
In this respect, it is advantageous for the tourists to mention the prominent shops which include Terracota Crafts, Dalmadal Road, Maa Durga Sankha Bhandar, Shankharipara, Shri Hari Sankha Bhandar, Shankharipara, and Silk Khadi Seva Mandal in the Batala.