Terracotta is a characteristic of Bishnupur. Apart from the temples, terracotta pottery, artifacts and even jewelry made in this very traditional material are famous. City of terracotta has to have souvenirs that you can carry back as a memory with you. While I would have liked a miniature temple to carry back with me, the artists do not seem to be thinking in that direction.
Bishnupur flourished in cultural excellence under the reign of Bir Hambir, the 49th ruler of Malla dynasty, who built the famous terracotta temples during the 16th and 17th centuries. A number of Bishnupur temples were built at Bishnupur by different kings. Jor Bangla, Radheshyam, Rashmancha, Kalachand, Radha Madhava, Radha Govinda, Madan Mohan are a few of them.
The town Bisnupur is famous for old fortifications and several terracotta/Brick temples. This town has a glorious past that is reflected in its rich tradition of architecture, music and handicrafts. Bisnupur has a very rich tradition of arts and crafts.
The most famous art of Bishnupur is terracotta work. This historical building was built in the 600 century by the Malla King, Vir Hambir. The temple has a unique and unparalleled structure. The inner sanctum of the temple is enclosed by three circular shaped galleries. These galleries are surmounted by a colossal. Rasmancha was built in order to enable a mass scale worship of the deities during the Ras festival. This was a significant festival during the reign of the Malla kings.
Jorbangla Temple was built in 1655 A.D by Raghunath Singha, a Malla King. The temple is known for its unique architectural style, particular to Bengal. Draws much from ancient Bengal architecture. The temple is constructed in the shape of two huts surmounted by a tower. One of the two huts serves as a porch, while the inner hut functions as the shrine. The Jorbangla Temple is famed for its opulent terracotta structure and delicate carvings on the wall.
Built in the 17th century, Madanmohan temple is constructed in the Ekaratna (single tower) style. It has a flat square-shaped roof with cravings. It is surmounted by a pinnacle. Made of mud and terracotta, the inner walls of the temple depict various scenes from the Hindu scriptures.
The Radhe Govind Temple was built in the 1729 A.D. by Krishna Singha, another of the Malla kings. The structure of this temple resembles the multiple other temples built by the Malla kings in this region. Made of mud and terracotta, this temple is widely known for its intricate craftsmanship.
The bold local style that the village artisans evolved operated as a great lever in the evolution of Bengal art, adding to the wealth and variety of colour and design. Baluchari sari of Bishnupur is also a very famous item of cottage industry of the Indian tradition. The other craft traditions include Belmala craft, stone carving, Bell metal work, Dhokra, Bamboo crafts, Lantern etc. Besides, Bishnupur has a famous musical tradition popularly called Bishnupur Gharana.