Kalachand Temple, Bishnupur

Continuing my travel through the land of terracotta temples (you can read the first part here)…

A little bit of history before I guide you virtually in to the land of terracotta temples. The word Bishnupur translates to “the city of Lord Vishnu”. Most temples here are dedicated to Lord Krishna who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Malla dynasty flourished in parts of West Bengal. They were politically stable and popular. They encouraged religious activities, provided support to craftsmen, weavers, and potters.

During this time, the Sultanate period was coming to an end and Hindu revival was in full swing. There was a sharp break in tradition. Temples which were always public means of expressing power by established cults like that of Krishna, Kali and Durga (Hindu Gods and Goddesses).

The temple architecture of Bishnupur is categorized according to three different styles. The most prominent one is the Ratna style of architecture. It has a flat roof with a shikhara (canopy) on top. The number of shikharas decides the name. Ek Ratna, meaning one shikhara at the centre of the roof.

The temple highlighted in this post is the “Kalachand Temple”, Ek Ratna style. It was built in 1656 AD by Malla King Raghunath Singha. There is an inscription on southern façade mentioning this. The temple is built on square platform, the shrine surmounted by a shikara (canopy). On the façade are the terracotta panels depicting scenes from Krishnalila and Puranas.

The inscription plaque redone.

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31 Responses

  1. Good one, its important to protect them for future generations.

  2. Icy BC says:

    What a historical sight to visit, and just amazing architectural building!

  3. Sylvia K says:

    You do have the most fascinating, historical places in India, Indrani, and your captures are superb!! They're the next best thing to being able to visit there myself!! Thanks as always for sharing the beauty and the history! Have a great week!

  4. Beautiful terracotta buildings.

  5. ladyfi says:

    I really love these terracotta temples!

  6. Jeevan says:

    Excellent captures on the temple and marvelous details! Thanks for the facts on history

  7. George says:

    Thank you for the information and pictures of this beautiful temple.

  8. Gail Dixon says:

    What beautiful carvings and architecture! Amazing what people could create so many centuries ago without our "modern" equipment.

  9. All the story-telling going on in the bas-reliefs on the sides of the temple make me think it could take a very long time to read this 3-D text.

  10. incredible. i love looking at these temples and their architectural detailing, so very ornate.

  11. I love looking at the historical part of India through your eyes Indrani. Beautiful pictures 🙂

  12. Excellent piece of history

  13. Jim says:

    I really love this.

  14. eileeninmd says:

    Indrani, thank you for sharing the history and the wonderful photos of the temple. It is beautiful. Have a happy week!

  15. Bibi says:

    Thanks for the explanations; found them very useful. Beautiful place.

  16. Another beautiful temple with wonderful art works.

  17. Most of us in North America know very little about the history of your part of the world so I thank you for explaining the bits that relate to the photos you show us.

  18. Carver says:

    I love the look of this temple. You have so many wonders in your part of the world.

  19. i am pam says:

    beautiful temple and love that you are sharing the history!

  20. Sri Valli says:

    So beautiful…..Our ancestors were so creative!

  21. One look at the stone and you know that a lot of caring is required. Hope that the Indian government would focus more on such beautiful temples.

  22. samar khan says:

    Beautiful historial place to visit!

  23. Sudhir R says:

    Beautifully photographed and narrated too!

  24. Thank you for another gem from history…

  25. D. Prabhu says:

    Beautiful detailed photos :)Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  26. ilakshee says:

    Love the play of light and shade on these ancient structures.

  27. Beautiful Historical site ….hope govt takes initiative to save it, before it turns to ruins..

  28. Mesmerizing pics and simply fab:)

  29. Another beautiful temple with wonderful art works Indrani ji

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