Bishnupur, Bankura

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The City of Temples
Rasmancha, Bishnupur, Bankura.jpg
Jor Bangla Temple (arches) Arnab Dutta 2011.JPG
Radhashyam Temple at Bishnupur 2.jpg
Jor Mandir 22 Arnab Dutta 2011.JPG
Dalmadal Arnab Dutta 2011.JPG
Bishnupur montage
Bishnupur is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Bishnupur is located in India
Bishnupur (India)
Coordinates: 23°04′30″N 87°19′01″E / 23.075°N 87.317°E / 23.075; 87.317Coordinates: 23°04′30″N 87°19′01″E / 23.075°N 87.317°E / 23.075; 87.317
Country India
State West Bengal
 • TypeMunicipality
 • BodyBishnupur Municipality
 • Total22 km2 (8 sq mi)
59 m (194 ft)
 • Total75,000
 • Density3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)
 • OfficialBengali, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-WB
Vehicle registrationWB-88
Lok Sabha constituencyBishnupur
Vidhan Sabha constituencyBishnupur

Bishnupur is a city and a municipality of Bankura district in the state of West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of the Bishnupur subdivision. It is famous for its terracotta temples built by the Malla rulers, Shree Krishna Raasleela and the Baluchari sarees.


Bishnupur was ruled under the Gupta period by local Hindu kings who paid tribute to Samudra Gupta[citation needed]. Following a long period of obscurity, where the land oscillated between being a minor independent principality and a vassal state. The land is also called Mallabhum after the Malla rulers of this place. The Malla rulers were Vaishnavites and built the famous terracotta temples during the 17th and 18th centuries at this place. The legends of Bipodtarini Devi are associated with Malla Kings of Bishnupur.[2]

For almost a thousand years it was the capital of the Malla kings of Mallabhum, of which Bankura was a part, till their power waned during the times when Mughal Empire weakened under the last monarchs of the dynasty.

The patronage of Malla king Veer Hambir and his successors Raja Raghunath Singha Dev and Bir Singha Dev made Bishnupur one of the principal centres of culture in Bengal. Most of the exquisite terracotta temples for which town is justly famous were built during this period.

Mrinmoyee temple of kings is treated as a valuable historic place.

Royal patronage also gave rise to Bishnupur Gharana (school) of Hindustani classical music in late 18th-century[3] and the Bishnupur school of painting.

Since 1997, the temples of Bishnupur is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site's Tentative list.


Places in Bishnupur subdivision in Bankura district
M: Municipal town, CT: census town, R: rural/ urban centre, T: ancient/ temple centre
Owing to space constraints in the small map, the actual locations in a larger map may vary slightly

Bishnupur is located at 23°05′N 87°19′E / 23.08°N 87.32°E / 23.08; 87.32.[4] It has an average elevation of 59 metres (194 feet).

This area has fertile, low -lying alluvial plains.[5] It is a predominantly rural area with 90.06% of the population living in rural areas and only 8.94% living in the urban areas.[6] It was a part of the core area of Mallabhum.[7]


As of 2001 India census,[8] Bishnupur had a population of 61,943. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Bishnupur has an average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 77% and female literacy of 61%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Jor Bangla temple of 16 century in Bankura
Stone chariot of Bankura
Terracotta relief in temple of Bankura
Terracotta motif

Civic administration[edit]

CD block HQ[edit]

The headquarters of Bishnupur CD block are located at Bishnupur.[9]

Police station[edit]

Bishnupur police station has jurisdiction over Bishnupur municipality and Bishnupur CD Block. The area covered is 365.73 km2 with a population of 138,786.[10][11]


Bishnupur is a region where Bengali has gained importance. Bengali is the primary dialect and main language of this region. More than 90% of the people of Bishnupur are Bengali.


There are a number of well-known schools and colleges in Bishnupur. For higher education, there is a college named Ramananda College under Bankura University. There is also a music college named Ramsharan College of Music. The names of the schools are:

  • Bishnupur High School (Bankura)
  • Bishnupur Mahakuma Madhyamik Vidyalaya
  • Bishnupur Krittibas Mukherjee High School.
  • Sibdas Central Girls' High School.
  • Bishnupur Parimal Debi Girls' High School.
  • Kusumbani Jamundas Khemka High School.
  • Bishnupur Mission High School.
  • Bishnupur Public School-High, a co-educational, English-medium (recognised by West Bengal Board of Secondary Education as a Listed English School Under School Education Department Govt. of West Bengal)
  • Bishnupur Public Primary Teachers' Training Institute, A D.El.Ed. College (recognised by N.C.T.E. & Affiliated to West Bengal Board of Primary Education)
  • Bishnupur Public Institute of Education, A D.El.Ed. College (recognised by N.C.T.E. & Affiliated to West Bengal Board of Primary Education)
  • Bishnupur Public-Private I.T.I., An Industrial Training Institute (Affiliated to DGE&T / N.C.V.T. Govt. of India, New Delhi & Accredited by Quality Council of India and Approved by Directorate of Industrial Training Govt. of West Bengal)
  • Bishnupur Public Institute of Engineering, A Polytechnic College (approved by A.I.C.T.E. and affiliated with W.B.S.C.T. & V.E. & S.D)


K.G. Engineering Institute(KGEI) is a government polytechnic college; there are also Mallabhum Institute of Technology(MIP) is a private college affiliated to MAKAUT University and two private polytechnic colleges named [[Mallabhum Institute of Polytechnic (MIP).


Bishnupur has a 250-bedded District hospital and One Super-speciality Hospita with ICU Dep at Bishnupur Rasikganja .[12]


Bishnupur is reasonably well connected via roads. Due to its importance as a tourism destination, it is connected to almost all major places of Bengal. Long-distance buses connect Bishnupur to places like Arambag, Durgapur, Asansol, Kolkata etc. There are regular and frequent bus services available between Kolkata and Bishnupur. The buses usually leave Kolkata from the Esplanade bus stand. The journey takes about 4 hours and 45 minutes.

Bishnupur is well-connected by rail to the rest of the country via Kharagpur and Adra. Express and mail trains ply between Kolkata and Bishnupur on a regular basis. The Rupashi Bangla Express, Aranyak Express and the Purulia Express are the most convenient trains to reach Bishnupur from Kolkata; these trains come via Kharagpur (Midnapur) and take approx 3:30 to 4:15 hours to reach Bishnupur from Kolkata.

Within the city of Bishnupur, private auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are the most convenient mode of communication. Recently CNG autos have been introduced plying through various parts of the town. These vehicles are environment-friendly, non-polluting, convenient, less time-consuming, and cheap mode of travel.

Nearest International Airport is at Dumdum, Kolkata (Netaji Subhash International airport) which is 140 km away; a smaller private airstrip at Panagarh belonging to the Indian Air Force is rarely used. A new airport in Andal has come up (90 km from Bishnupur).

Bishnupur is now a junction, it connects Tarakeswar (E.Railway) via Arambag.


The Bishnupur Mela is held every year around the last week of December, in Raj Darbar. Later on Highschool Ground and from Now it is held at Nandalal Temple Premises.

In 2018, the test of the Bishnupur Mela is totally changed. A big thanks to the administration for such an innovative idea to keep Bishnupur Terracotta Temples at the backdrop of the main stage. The Bishnupur Mela was inaugurated with the Gharana Music sung by some renowned persons from Bishnupur Gharana. In this year 2018, a fashion show with Baluchari Saree is introduced to promote Baluchari Saree at an international platform. Besides artisans got a huge income by selling crafts from the stalls of Mela. A recent addition is Bishnupur Utsab, held after the Mela. It is a classical music and dance festival in recognition of the 'Bishnupur Gharana' in music.[13] It was stopped after 2012 but It started again on and from 2/2/2018 at Rashmancha.

Temples and other places[edit]

Garh Darwaja (Small Gateway of Bishnupur), Bankura, West Bengal, India
The inner part of Rasmancha, Bishnupur, Bankura, West Bengal, India
The Raschakra of the Syamaraya temple or Pancharatna Temple, established in 1643.
Hawa mahal

There are many such temples that stand testimony to the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans of the region. The temples were crafted from the local laterite and brick. The temples are covered with terracotta tiles depicting scenes from the epic Mahabharata. The temples are located in Bishnupur and across many other small villages in the Bankura district.

  • Rasmancha (oldest brick temple with an elongated pyramidal tower Surrounded by hut-shaped turrets)
  • Pancha Ratna Temple of Shyam Rai
  • Jorebangla Temple of Keshta Rai
  • Radha Madhab Temple
  • Madanmohan Temple
  • Dalmadal Kaman
  • Lalgarh
  • Lalbandh
  • Acharya Jogeshchandra Museum
  • Gumgarh
  • Pathar Darwaja (main gateway of Bishnupur)
  • Garh Darwaja (small gateway of Bishnupur)
  • Stone Chariot
  • Nutan Mahal
  • Bishnupur hawa mahal
  • Memorial of Shrinibas Acharya
  • Gour-Nitai Temple (Tejpal)
  • KeshabRai Temple (Patpur)


A school of music, called the Bishnupur Gharana, was established here in 1370 A.D and flourished under the patronage of the Malla kings. The school hit its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries. This style of music is rooted in the Dhrupad style[14] and is still being kept alive in local academies of music. Pakhwaj, Sitar, Esraj comprise the main instruments. Bengali Ragpradhan is one of the Classical items of this gharana.


Terracotta is characteristic of Bishnupur. Apart from the temples, terracotta pottery, artifacts and even jewelry made in this very traditional material are famous. The most famous of the terracotta products are the hand made beautiful jars, disks and the more famous of them are the terracotta horses, elephants, Ganesha, and Nataraj. But nowadays the skilled artists and potters are not present and also they make different products like faces, men, wall hangings and also the mini-sized Dal Madal Kaman (cannon). The potters here derive their inspiration from the glorious history of kings, soldiers, and wars.'Dokra', one kind of metalcraft is also famous. Bishnupur is also famous for Baluchari Sari [15] and Mallabhum Sari made of Tassar silk and was for almost a thousand years the capital of the Malla kings of Mallabhum.[16][17] Woven on Jacquard punch-card looms, these sarees have episodes from the Mahabharata woven into the border and pallu. Bellmetalware, conch-shell and terracotta jewelry is also available here. The "Dashavatar Taas", kind of playing cards depicting ten avatars of Hindu god Vishnu, is drawn by hand. It is a rare art piece not to be found anywhere else in India.

Terracotta horses[edit]

Bankura horses are terracotta horses that were once used for religious purposes but are used as a decorative item. This art originated in Bankura district. These horses are known for their symmetrical shape and rounded curves. The Bankura or Panchmura horse gained popularity among art lovers since it was depicted in paintings by M. F. Hussein.[18]

Festivals and fairs[edit]

There is a snake festival in August, Ultorath and the Bishnupur fair in December. Also durga puja and kali puja or diwali is celebrated with pomp here. The Rajbari Durga Puja (also popular as Mrinmoyee Maa er pujo) was started on 994 AD, which makes it the oldest Durga Puja in the entire Bengal region including today's Bangladesh, Odisha and Tripura.[citation needed]


During the period 1990–2010, the 175-year-old Bishnupur Municipality was controlled by INC. From 2010 it is controlled by TMC. Present Municipality chairman is the longest serving chairman of Bishnupur Municipality. Four of five factories four have been closed down and the last one is dying everyday under Dwarika Industrial Belt.

Image Gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bishnupur City".
  2. ^ Östör, Ákos (2004). Play of the Gods: Locality, Ideology, Structure, And Time in the Festivals of a Bengali Town. Orient Blackswan. p. 43. ISBN 81-8028-013-6.
  3. ^ Samira Dasgupta; Rabiranjan Biswas; Gautam Kumar Mallik (2009). Heritage Tourism: An Anthropological Journey to Bishnupur. Mittal Publications. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-81-8324-294-3. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Bishnupur, India". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  5. ^ "District Census Handbook Bankura" (PDF). pages 13-17. Directorate of Census Operations West Bengal. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  6. ^ "District Statistical Handbook 2014 Bankura". Table 2.4b. Department of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  7. ^ O'Malley, L.S.S., ICS, Bankura, Bengal District Gazetteers, pp. 21–46, 1995 reprint, first published 1908, Government of West Bengal
  8. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  9. ^ "District Census Handbook: Bankura" (PDF). Map of Bankura with CD Block HQs and Police Stations (on the fifth page). Directorate of Census Operations, West Bengal, 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  10. ^ "District Statistical Handbook 2014 Bankura". Tables 2.1, 2.2. Department of Planning and Statistics, Government of West Bengal. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Bishnupur PS". Bankura District Police. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Status of Health and FW Services in Bankura District". Chief Medical Officer of Health, Bankura. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  13. ^ "westbengaltourism". Archived from the original on 9 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Bishnupur: A magnolious bequest in West Bengal". The Sunday Guardian Live. 17 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  15. ^ Baluchari, Sarees. "Baluchari Silk Sarees".
  16. ^ Pandey, Dr.S.N. (1 September 2010). West Bengal General Knowledge Digest. Upkar Prakashan. p. 28. ISBN 9788174822826. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  17. ^ App, Urs (6 June 2011). The Birth of Orientalism. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-0812200058. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Famous Bankura horse of West Bengal may become history". Retrieved 22 March 2018.

External links[edit]