February 11, 2016

Jor Bangla Temple - Bishnupur

Site Name: Jor Bangla Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Bishnupur, West Bengal state, India
Highlights: A star attraction of Bishnupur with unique architecture 
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 an outstandingly beautiful temple called Jor Bangla Temple 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 centuries CE in Bishnupur. 

Jor Bangla Temple, which is also called as Kesta Rai temple was built by the Malla King Raghunath Singh in 1655 CE.

Temple Architecture and Layout:

Jor Bangla temple is one of the most beautiful temples of Bishnupur. The south facing temple is square on plan. It has two Ek Ratna structures with sloping roofs conjoined together. The joined structures are crowned with a char chala sikhara on top. Based on the architecture style, the temple is called as Jor Bangla temple.

The temple is dedicated to Krishna, but there is no deity found currently. There are several interesting and beautiful terracotta panels in the interior and the exterior walls of the temple. Many of them depict scenes from Puranas, epics, Krishna Lila, hunting scenes, etc.

 Happy travelling.














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