February 12, 2016

Gateways of Bishnupur

Site Name: Gateways of Bishnupur
Site Type: Monument
Location:  Bishnupur, West Bengal state, India
Highlights: Marks the entry into Bishnupur
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 about two gateways at the entrance of 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 centuries CE in Bishnupur. 

Gateways of Bishnupur:

There are two gateways built in the second half of the 17th century CE by the Malla King Bir Singha II.

The large gateway, which is also called as Pathar Darwaja, is at the northern entrance of the Bishnupur fort. The fort is no more present but the gateways are still standing.  It has double storied galleries in the central passage to accommodate the army. The arrow slits are also provided on the walls of this gateway. The entire structure is built in laterite blocks.

The smaller gateway is very simple structure with an arch. It is also built with laterite blocks.

Near the gateways, the beautiful stone chariot is also located. 

Some dilapidated walls possibly the remains of the erstwhile palace are also found nearby.

Happy travelling.




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