Shyama Raya Mandir, Bishnupur, West Bengal

The Shyama Raya Mandir (temple) of Bishnupur is unique because of the Panch Chura (five canopies). It is of the Ratna Chuda style of architecture. The temple was built in 1643 by King Raghunatha Sngha. Access to the terracotta work on the temple wall is restricted, but what I saw from a distance of few feet was mind blowing. Stories from epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata are elaborately portrayed.

The craftsmanship of 17th century displayed is amazing! The huge temple, 10.7m high, is built of bricks and covered with terracotta panels. Imagine the attention that would have been paid for such a detailed work. Four of the five canopies are visible from this angle; a total frontal shot would have hidden two out of five of the canopies.

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