(the distance from Kolkata is 132 kms), now
the headquarters of the subdivision of the same name in Bankura
district, is a seat of crafts and culture.
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
rule weakened under the last monarchs of the dynasty.
The patronage of Malla
king Veer Hambir and his successors Raja Raghunath Singha and Veer
Singha made Vishnupur 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.
Apart from the unique
architecture of the period, Vishnupur is also famous for its terracotta
craft and its own Baluchari sarees made of tussar silk.
Royal patronage also gave rise to Vishnupuri gharana (school) of
Hindustani classical music and the Vishnupur school of painting.
Vishnupur is famous for
its beautiful terracotta temples and artifacts. There are many such
temples which stand testimony to the exquite craftsmanship of the
artisans of the region. We take a brief look at some of them:
Oldest brick temple. Built in the late 16th century by King Beera
Hambira. The temple has an unusual elongated pyramidical tower,
surrounded by hut-shaped turrets
Temple of Shyam Rai: Built in 1643 by King Raghunath Singha.
The walls are richly decorated with terracotta carvings featuring
aspects of Lord Krishna’s life.