This chariot was unique – It was a double storied structure with the lower structure depicting the Rasamancha and the upper one depicting the “Ekaratna” style of the Bishnupur temples!! 3 wheels on every side of the 4-sided structure, this apparently was one of the finest examples of miniature Bishnupur Architecture!!
The sun had set, it was disappointing to leave. Before moving further on in this travelogue I would like to list out the major temples and sights in Bishnupur for the folks who would be headed here next. This list is exhaustive in the ASI Kolkata site (http://www.asikolkata.in/bankura.aspx#Bahulara)
1) Dalmadal Cannon (Covered)
2) Gate of old fort (Large Gateway) (Covered)
3) Jor – Mandir (Was next to the Radha Gobindo) (Not covered)
4) Jor-Bangla (Covered)
5) Kalachand (Covered)
6) Lalji (Covered)
7) Madan Mohan Temple (Covered)
8) Madan Gopal (Not Covered) (Another 5- tower arrangement similar to the Shyamrai)
9) Mallesvara Temple (Not Covered) (Only Shiva temple built by the Malla Dynasty)
10) Nanda – Lal Temple (Covered)
11) Murli Mohan temple (Not covered)
12) Patpur temple (Not covered)
13) Radha Vinod Temple (Not Covered)
14) Radha Gobindo Temple (Covered)
15) Radha Madhav Temple (Covered)
16) Rasamancha (Covered)
17) Radha Shyam Temple (Not Covered)
18) Shyamrai (Covered)
19) Small Gateway of fort (Covered)
20) Stone Chariot (Covered)
The journey back passed in Blissful sleep. An alternative route back (Bus to Tarakeshwar – train to Howrah from Tarakeshwar [Arambagh – Howrah express] made sure I got home by 10pm.
Bishnupur is a jewel. And spending a day here is blasphemy! With 7 major temples, (Which I couldn’t cover due to lack of time) not done, Bishnupur had scores of other places and sights to see. The Terracotta Handicraft Industry of Bishnupur is huge with exports to foreign locales! (Buying knick-knacks from the handicraft shops here isn’t optional, its mandatory) (The Bishnupur terracotta horses are world famous)
Places like Madan Mohan Pur, Jagannathpur, Ghutgarya and Dihar (mentioned earlier) have similar historical terracotta temples and monuments. It would be a sad affair to come to Bishnupur and leave without doing the above mentioned untouched places. (They all lie in the Bankura district)….The best suggestion? Come to Bankura for a week! Leave enchanted!
Till next time…..
All photographs have been clicked by the author. Sole copyright rests with Arunabha Majumdar. Not to be reproduced without permission.