Bishnupur Group of Temples
Bishnupur, the ancient Mallabhum( Lat 23° 05' N Long 87° 19' E), a sub divisional headquarters of Bankura district in West Bengal, is a celebrated for a large number of brick built temples representing all varieties of structural forms of medieval Bengali temple architecture.
One Raghunatha who gained distinction as Adi Malla is hailed to be the founder of Malla kingdom. However Bishnupur rose into prominence from the time of Bir Hambir, the most renowned of the Malla rulers. He is said to have introduced the worship of Madana – Mohana and had constructed the impressive Rasa Mancha, the quaint pyramidal structure at the centre of the town. The reign of Bir Singha (1656 AD) witnessed construction of eight tanks (bandhs) and seven temples at Bishnupur. of thse, the Lalji temple at Bishnupur is a beautiful structure of the eka ratna type.
Considering the forms, strucuture and number of spires the temples may be classified under five distinctive varieties. Characterized by curved roof, these temples represent a wealth of moulded brick work and terracotta sculptures.
Among the many structures at Bishnupur, particular mention may be made of the pyramidal Ras Mancha, Syama Raya. In the area near the fort, stand several other temples such as the Jor Bangla, Radha Syama, Laji, Krishna Balrama, Nikunjabihari and Kesaraya. The other temple like Kalachand, Radha Madhava, Radha Govinda, Jor Mandir, Nandalala are located on the south and south west banks of the big tank called Lal Bandh.
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