Bishnupur is located at a distance of about 180 kilometers from Kolkata, is a hub for terracotta architecture, crafts and culture. For almost a thousand years, it was the capital of the Malla dynasty of Mallabhum, as a result of which it is today one of the principal centers of culture in Bengal.
Bishnupur, popularly referred to as the terracotta town, is a repository for some of the finest terracotta art in the world. The elaborately decorated 17th-century terracotta temples with unique curved Bangla roofs and intricately detailed carvings are considered architectural masterpieces. The temples were built by kings of the Malla dynasty—burnt clay was used due to a paucity of stones at the time. Don’t leave without picking up the town’s other claim to fame— silk Baluchari sari
Most of the exquisite terracotta temples were built during this time, in the 16th century, and are today a huge part of Bishnupur’s draw. Apart from the exquisite architecture, it is also famous for its terracotta crafts and Baluchari sarees which are made of a pure silk weave and feature motifs representing Indian mythology. The Bishnupuri school of Hindustani classical music and the Bishnupur school of painting are also widely known. Be sure to wander the area and explore the Malleshwar Temple, which is the oldest temple in the area.
Bishnupur is more than a tourist destination, I have been to this place many a times since childhood and always more than a traveler, as it’s my mother’s native place. Each time, I have marveled at the beautiful terracotta monuments and also discovered some new monument each time!…..It is an never-ending treasure-box of terracotta architecture for me!
If anyone ever visits West Bengal for a longer duration, a trip to this place is recommended by me,you will find this to be a terracotta dream come true!