Road trip to a long-lost temple town of Bengal

The Sun is now hiding under a souffle of cottony clouds. Both the arms of the roads, have vast green fields stretched to eternity. Over a thousand paddy fields; a pod of birds fly by. The road twists amidst the sharp cuts of the plain lands escorted by the tiny rivers’ flow. It seems much of a ‘Picture Perfect Postcard‘ where eucalyptus trees line up the edges of the folksy streets and the green fields unfold all over the place.

With a little bit of lingering of the Sun and its peek-a-boo with the clouds, I step in the tiny little temple town of ‘Bishnupur’. There’s an aroma of history flowing in every corner of the town you gaze, you either get drawn into the beauty of the long-lost terracotta temples or the much ethnic inspired Baluchari silk and terracotta jewelry.

Of lesser known facts and of more acute discovery is what Bishnupur is to the entire of India. Where the temple towns of South & North India hold a strong base in the tourism industry; Bishnupur is far-fetched from the choices of the tourists & the travelers. Lost in the heart of the tribal district of Bankura, Bishnupur is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ cultural hub intrigued with history and mythology in each of its corners!

TEMPLES-

Rasmancha – (Oldest Brick Temple)

Comprising of a unique architecture, this temple quite beautifully denotes its tribute to the ordinary huts of West Bengal. Stands idyllic with a pyramid structure on the top; lined by narrow alleys glittering and shimmering as the sunshine touches the dramatic gaze of its terra cotta skin!

Jor-Bangla temple –

Much adorned in the Chala style architecture with neat and artistic terracotta designs engraved.

Lalji Temple –

Located in close proximity to the Jor Bangla temple stands the Lalji temple.

Kalachand Temple –

Radha Madhab Temple-

Much like the love stories of the old school days!

Jor Mandir – (Twin Temples)

Chinnamasta Temple –

Denoted to the naked as well as the ferocious avatar of the goddess – ‘Chinnamasta’ literally meaning ‘the one whose head is severed’.  She denotes sexual energy representing Death-Life, Mortality-Immortality, Destruction-Recreation. (much of an irony!) Also, photography isn’t permitted!

Dalmadal Canon – A UNESCO World Heritage Site-

It is believed that the Dalmadal Canon is made up of one of the special kind of stone material hailed by the Malla kingdom of Bishnupur Historical texts reveal that elephants and huge wheels were used to carry this canon to the battlefield.

Baluchari Silk & Terracotta Jewelry-

Baluchari saris reveal the lifestyle of the people of the mythological and the historical era. And the terracotta jewelry starts at a minimum cost of- 0.5$!

I’m acoustically drenched in the folksy musings of Bishnupur, much of this place is barely appreciated by the majority of the tourists/travelers. India; surely beholds a rustic charm in all its nooks & corners. Indeed it is ‘Incredible India’ in the most incredible ways. Placed in the arms of nature, mythology, culture & tradition, Bishnupur cradles my mind just as an affectionate mother cradles her love towards her child.   

**Essential Information –

  • Bishnupur is well connected with local buses from Bankura, Howrah and Midnapore districts of West Bengal.
  • Bishnupur is the capital of the Bankura district. Its history and temples dating back to the 16th century relating to the history of the Gupta period mostly denoting to the kingdom of Samudragupta.
  • Places to stay – Government & local-run lodges.
  • Even in the present day, it has its cultural corners unfolded with silk weaving houses, terracotta clay molders, heritage temples & historic structures.
  • Best time to visit – Monsoons & Winters.
  • My Itinerary – A 2.5hr drive through Ghatal-Kamarpukur-Kotulpur-Bishnupur.

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