February 6, 2016

Gumgarh - A little known monument in Bishnupur

Site Name: Gumgarh
Site Type: Monument
Location:  Bishnupur, West Bengal state, India
Highlights: A little known monument in Gumgarh 
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 little known monument called Gumgarh in this article.


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. 


The word 'Gumgarh' can be translated to ''torture tower''. It is said that if one enters inside this tower, he cannot return.

This little known monument is located in the interior of Bishnupur. It is situated on top of a small mound. Nothing is known about the construction period or even the purpose of this structure. The structure has no door or window. It is square in shape. Few people believe that it was used as prison and the others believe that it was used as a granary.

Happy travelling.

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