February 2, 2016

Bishnupur Jor Mandir

Site Name: Jor Mandir
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Bishnupur, West Bengal state, India
Highlights: A cluster of three Ek Ratna temples 
Nearest Railway Station: Bishnupur
Nearest Airport: Kolkata 
How to reach: Easily reachable from Kolkata, which is around 160 kms away
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Kolkata; Bishnupur too has many decent options for stay
Restaurants: Limited mid-range options in Bishnupur

Bishnupur is a town located in Bankura district in West Bengal state of India. It is located at a distance of around 160 kms from Kolkata, the capital city of Bengal. It is famous for the 17th and 18th century Terracotta temples and balucheri sarees. Let us explore a beautiful and important cluster of three temples called Jor Mandir in Bishnupur in this article.

History:

The area around Bishnupur was called as Mallabhum region in the olden days. The region, which can also be called as Bishnupur Kingdom was ruled by Malla dynasty for many centuries. The Muslim or Mughal invasion did not affect this region much. Adi Malla was the founder of the dynasty. 

Bishnupur rose into prominence during the reign of the King Bir Hambir. He introduce the worship of Madan Mohan (Lord Krishna). During his period as well as during the period of another King named Bir Singha, many beautiful brick temples were built. 

Stone was in short supply in Bengal. Probably, this lead to an alternative in the name of elaborately decorated terracotta temples. The Malla Kings built many such terracotta temples in the 17th and 18th century CE in Bishnupur. 


Temple Architecture and Layout:


There are seven Ek Ratna (meaning single pinnacled) temples located in Bishnupur. Nandalal temple is the first Ek Ratna temple in that group. It is located very near to Dalmadal Canon. Opposite to Nandalal temple, a cluster of three temples called as Jor Mandir are located. In earlier days, all these laterite temples were all covered with stucco images. However, with passing of time, most of the stucco works are lost. 

As mentioned in the above paragraph, Jor Mandir is a group of three laterite temples. They are all built as per Ek Ratna architecture style. All these temples are constructed on raised platforms and they are square on plan. They have sloping roof surmounted by a single sikhara, thus making them as Ek Ratna.

All these temples are dedicated to Lord Krishna, but none of them have any deity now. The central temple is elaborately decorated with the stucco images depicting the scenes of Krishna Lila and Ramayan. The other two temples are plain in the exterior.

All these three temples were built by Gopal Singha, the Malla King, in 1726 CE.

Happy travelling.







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