Bishnupur's Temples and Horses

Tripoto
25th Sep 2014

Rasmancha I

Photo of Rasmancha I by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Rasmancha II

Photo of Rasmancha II by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

The Horse

Photo of The Horse by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Carvings

Photo of Carvings by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Temple

Photo of Temple by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

The best way to see the famous terracotta temples in Bishnupur is to start early in the day. Eat a heavy breakfast so that hunger doesn't strike soon and hop into an autorickshaw. The temples cover a wide area of the town and a single day is most definitely not sufficient to see it all. Spread your visit over two days. The temples, dating back to the seventeenth century, were constructed during the reign of the Malla dynasty and mostly depict scenes from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Puranas. One need not be a student of history or art to be able to appreciate the incredible talent of the artisans who carved these scenes on the temple walls. The walls of the Madanmohan Temple, for instance, which is the largest and probably the most famous temple in Bishnupur, have carvings depicting scenes from the two epics and the Puranas. Built in 1600 AD, the Rasmancha is the oldest temple in Bishnupur. 

Summer in Bengal is a particularly cruel few months. So it's best to avoid a visit to Bishnupur during that time. Remember that a lot of your time will be spent walking in the sun. The holiday seasons (September-October and December-January) usually witness a flow of tourists to Bishnupur, so if you are planning a trip at the same time, do make your reservations early. 

Don't forget to bring back the famous Bankura horse as a souvenir. They come in all sizes, traditionally in clay, but also in wood. I still have mine, only with a broken ear.

Photos:

"Rasmancha (eastern view) Arnab Dutta 2011" by Jonoikobangali - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rasmancha_(eastern_view)_Arnab_Dutta_2011.JPG#/media/File:Rasmancha_(eastern_view)_Arnab_Dutta_2011.JPG

"Terracotta 01" by Atudu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terracotta_01.jpg#/media/File:Terracotta_01.jpg

"Terracotta temple 01" by Atudu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Terracotta_temple_01.jpg#/media/File:Terracotta_temple_01.jpg

"Rasmancha, Bishnupur,Bankura,West Bengal,India" by Atudu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rasmancha,_Bishnupur,Bankura,West_Bengal,India.jpg#/media/File:Rasmancha,_Bishnupur,Bankura,West_Bengal,India.jpg

"Bankura Horses Arnab Dutta 2011" by Jonoikobangali - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bankura_Horses_Arnab_Dutta_2011.JPG#/media/File:Bankura_Horses_Arnab_Dutta_2011.JPG

Bishnupur is located in the district of Bankura in West Bengal. It is an extremely popular tourist destination and is connected to major cities across Bengalvia train and road. From Kolkata, buses and trains ply regularly to Bishnupur. There are several lodges where you can put up including one run by the state government.