February 10, 2016

Mrinmoyee Temple - The oldest temple of Bishnupur

Site Name: Mrinmoyee  Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Bishnupur, West Bengal state, India
Highlights: The oldest temple of 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 the oldest temple of Bishnupur called Mrinmoyee temple 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. 

Mrinmoyee temple is the oldest temple in Bishnupur. The Malla King, Jagat Malla, shifted the capital from Pradamnapur to Bishnupur. He built Mrinmoyee temple in 997 CE in Bishnupur after shifting his capital there. 

Temple Architecture and Layout:

Mrinmoyee is another name of Goddess Durga. Although this temple is considered as the oldest temple of Bishnupur, the current structure is entirely new. However, it is believed that the idol of Goddess, which is made of clay, is an old idol. It is also believed that Durga Pooja festival is celebrated in grand manner every year continuously for the past one thousand years.

The temple enshrines Dura with a Rakshasa under her feet. The idols of Ganesha, Lakshmi and Saraswati are also found in this temple.

The temple, as it is completely renovated, does not have any artistically good idols or sculptures.

The temple is located opposite to Radhe Shyam temple

Happy travelling.


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