Bishnupur Temple Tour, West Bengal

The Bishnupur temple tour! As soon as you reach there local guides will be flocking around you, which may seem irritating, but I tell you hire one; it is worth the money you will spend on them. They have such a lot of info, which is hard to find in one single book. Moreover there is no good map showing the distribution of temples scattered all around so guides are really helpful. Insist that they include some of the popular bandhs (water tanks) and Dal madal caman (a cannon built by Mallas to fight the Marathas from south) in their guided tour.

Radhagobinda temple, this ‘laterite Ekratna’ temple was built in 1729 during the reign of Krishna Singha. The temple has square base with curved roof and surmounted by Shikhara at the top.

The reign of Bir Singha (1656 AD) witnessed construction of eight bandhs (tanks) and seven temples at Bishnupur. Over the next couple of centuries each king tried to surpass the other in the field of art. More temples were built and the vast plains here are dotted with as many as 30 terracotta temples, each with a different design. In 1806 the East India Company took over. They distributed power to the local zamindars (landlords), since then the glory of Bishnupur faded away. Too bad, now they don’t make stuff like that any more!

A small brick chariot in the form of miniature temple at the side of this temple.

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The temples are scattered there and treated like ordinary pebbles, which saddened me. They are precious gems! Look in any direction and you will see those shikharas. It is difficult to distinguish the temples or identify them by their names, but thanks to those boards put up there by West Bengal Tourism Board WBTB and Archeological Society of India ASI for some of those temples, it is a learning experience!

Nandalal Temple, another ek ratna laterite temple; originally it was plastered with lime, 
the remnants of which can still be seen.

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40 Responses

  1. Such good advice to take a tour! Guides almost always are worth the money spent, I agree.

  2. Sylvia K says:

    Oh, I do agree, too!! I've always found guides to be worth the money!! Wonderful captures as always, Indrani! I would love to visit there! Have a great new week!!

  3. ladyfi says:

    These are so lovely!

  4. TexWisGirl says:

    just lovely structures!

  5. This is a lovely tour of the temples. Nice captures too.

  6. that temple is just so beautiful. very appealing.

  7. Karen says:

    Lovely shots, I really like the temples shot through the archway!

  8. There is so much in every nook and corner of our country. The guides make your trip far more interesting. Loved all the pics as usual.

  9. If ASI and WB tourism department are taking care,I trust the temples are well maintained.It is a pity we cannot create now any one temple in the size and magnificence as built in the past.The presence of so many guides is proof that there are many tourists visiting the place.Is there any entrance fee?

  10. Very nominal entrance fees. That is a good point by you Parthasarthi. I will make a mention of it in one of my following posts.

  11. Heard so much about the Bishnupur Terracotta temples! Thanks for the travelogue Indrani! πŸ™‚

  12. Terracota's warmth has some mystic appeal.. Very nice captures.

  13. Fun60 says:

    A good guide is worth their weight in gold. Beautiful sculptured architecture.

  14. eileeninmd says:

    Indrani, what a lovely tour of the temples. They are beautiful, lovely captures!

  15. Jeevan says:

    Absolutely marvelous! These are worth visited temples and shrines… Your picture truly enhances the richness of these terracotta structures.

  16. Gail Dixon says:

    So rich in history and such beautiful architecture! Awesome!

  17. walking tours with a local guide is the only way to go!

  18. Gattina says:

    How beautiful and what an artwork !

  19. seems like you were interested in travelling.. <3

  20. Reader Wil says:

    I often think:"who takes care of these precious buildings. In my country we have a society for the protection of these ancient monuments. It would be so bad if this all got lost.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  21. Carver says:

    Beautiful temple and I love the shot framed by the arch. All great shots.

  22. Al says:

    That's an amazing temple – older than my country!

  23. DeniseinVA says:

    It's magnificent Indrani, the carvings are incredible. Thank you for sharing this beautiful place.

  24. Beautiful. Lovely to look at.

  25. Icy BC says:

    It's sad that these precious and historical places are not in tender loving care!

    Gorgeous shots!

  26. Bibi says:

    I've found guides are most helpful, too. Love especially the last photo.

  27. bettyl-NZ says:

    It's good that they haven't just been left to crumble. They are some amazing structures!

  28. It is a beautiful temple. I am always amazed at the amount of detail.

  29. vbothransh says:

    What a wonderful place… Temples are scattered all around. Wish to visit here…

  30. D. Prabhu says:

    Beautiful photos and informative post. πŸ™‚

  31. Sudhir R says:

    Precious Gems! Yes they are. Time now to know a little more history of Bishnuput

  32. Anita says:

    True Indrani. Very upsetting that our heritage is in such a neglected state.
    Whenever I see cracks or chipped off sculptures etc, I feel so helpless.
    Why can't we just preserve them and give them the due respect?

  33. I love your blog not only for its photogenic aspect but also for the fact that you're trying in a way to make people aware of our heritage and architectural magnificence. Great post as usual..

  34. Aditya Jha says:

    Really nice blog post. Must say, each of your blog posts have got tremendous pictures. πŸ™‚

  35. i just hope government gets aware of this heritage one day or the local public !

  36. It is time someone preserve these gems… Thanks for sharing Indrani…

  37. Wow..Amazing pictures πŸ™‚

  38. They are beautiful. India has some amazing places.

  39. just lovely structure. I was not here on Indiblogger last year so could not read your this post . it looks so fresh today

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