Bishnupur Terracotta Temple Tour, West Bengal

Terracotta Temples of Bishnupur

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.

History of Terracotta Temples

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.


The Bishnupur Terracotta 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.


Panch Ratna, Shyama Raya Temple
Photo Essay on Jor Bangla Mandir Panels

40 Responses to “Bishnupur Terracotta Temple Tour, West Bengal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *