Bishnupur (Vishnupur) in Bankura district of West Bengal, gets its name from Lord Vishnu, the deity of the Vaishnavite Malla Kings who ruled it. Bishnupur’s glorious past is emulated in its traditional architecture and handicrafts such as pottery and weaving. The town prospered in the 17th and 18th centuries and was the capital of the Malla kingdom. Under the Malla kings, Bishnupur developed a unique form of architecture involving the most brilliant and detailed terracotta work. ALSO SEE Bishnupur: A town of terracotta temples and legend weavers
Bishnupur is most famous for its beautiful terracotta temples. Facing a shortage of stones to build temples, the Malla kings built grand terracotta shrines to celebrate their love for Lord Krishna. The distinctive architecture incorporated various styles from the neighboring regions. Bricks and terracotta along with features like the curved Bangla roof were blended with the Muslim domes and multi-lobed arches.
Crafted from local laterite and brick, the temples were covered with terracotta tiles depicting scenes from the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana. The temples like the Shyam Ray Temple, the twin shrines of Jor Bangla and the Rasmancha are a must visit.
The temples of Bishnupur along with those at Ambika Kalna in Burdwan district are among the few remaining terracotta temples.
Bishnupur is also known for its traditional handloom saris as well as terracotta pottery, artifacts and jewelry and the Bishnupur school of painting.
The rich tradition of the Bishnupur Gharana, a school of Hindustani classical music is kept alive through local music academies.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BISHNUPUR
Bishnupur only offers budget and mid-range accommodations; tourist lodges in Bishnupur are cheap yet comfortable.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN BISHNUPUR
The temples have a lot of small eateries. Restaurants serving Bengali food and sweets made from pure ghee are readily available as are north Indian, south Indian and Chinese dishes.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BISHNUPUR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Bishnupur is as given below. The best time to visit Bishnupur is also specified.