Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bishnupur, the temple city of Bengal!

Bishnupur Terracotta temple
I have been to Bishnupur a couple of times before and each time I have marveled at the beautiful terracotta temples.

Bishnupur is best known for its beautiful terracotta temples, baluchari sarees, and a slightly lesser known but quite popular snake festival that happens in August. The baluchari sarees are hand woven and have exquisite work depicting scenes from epics like Mahabharata. If you like temple architecture, Bishnupur should most certainly be in your list of to dos. Bishnupur owes its temples to the The Malla rulers who were Vaishnavs. The terracotta temples were built under their supervision in the 17th and 18th century.

Getting to Bishnupur is fairly simple.If you are planning a trip to Kolkata, Bishnupur is certainly doable, it takes around 4-5 hours by road to reach Bishnupur (It is in the Bankura district of West Bengal) It is best to have your own transport since it is easier to see all the temples in and around Bishnupur if you have your own transport. The best time to visit is winters, but if you wish to catch the snake festival, you will need to visit during August. It is quite pleasant in August since it starts raining and the terracotta temples look even more striking against the sylvan surroundings.

Baluchari Sarees, Bishnupur West Bengal, India
 There are trains that connect Kolkata and Bishnupur and are reasonably comfortable too. My husband traveled to Bishnupur recently to catch the snake festival, Jhapan, which is quite interesting. Snakes charmers from all over Bengal participate in this festival. Snake charmers show off their ability to handle the snakes under any situation. It is quite a sight! If you are fond of snakes and wish to see a lot of snakes together, Bishnupur is the place to Visit.

I am posting some of the pictures taken by my husband. The temples are truly awesome. The temples have been made out of something called laterite and bricks. Almost all the terracotta temples have delicate work on them and mostly there are scenes from the Mahabharata displayed on the walls.

Snake charmers at Bishnupur snake festival, India

Snake charmers at Bishnupur
West Bengal

Shyamrai Temple information, Bishnupur

Terracota temple Bishnupur, West Bengal

Terracotta temple pillar with intricate work

Bishnupur terracotta temple

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