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Artist Villages in India: Bishnupur

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Terra cotta Work
Baked earth is what ‘terra cotta’ means, the two words have been derived from Latin. The terracotta materials are made by properly refining the clay, which is then partially dried, cast and molded. The molded clay is thoroughly dried further and is placed in a kiln. It is then cooled and painted.
| Art & Craft | Places to See | Places to Stay | How to Reach |

If there is one place that is popular for its temples and horses made by the same material (terra cotta), it is Bishnupur. Located in the Bankura district of West Bengal, Bishnupur is 150 km from Kolkata. It is famous for its terracotta temples. Built by the Malla rulers, the red coloured Vishnu temples were built in terra cotta since the city had no stone for construction. Though the temples of Bishnupur represent various hybrid styles, their distinct feature however lies in their close resemblance (in the form of domed roofs) to the local huts of the area.

Art & Craft
Terracotta Horses, Bishniupur

The district is well known for its Bankura Horses. These horses are the highlight of the district and in fact it is the Bankura Horse that put Bankura on the art & craft map of India. In fact such is the popularity of the Bankura Horse that it is the symbol of Indian Handicrafts.  Bishnupur and its adjoining areas are well known for the Bankura Horses made here.

The Bankura Horse is made in parts. Each element of the Bankura Horse is made separately. The legs come first, which are followed by the torso and then the neck.

All these parts are separately made and then glued together. Once the horse is dried it is put in the kiln and painted. These horses are of different sizes and can range from 6 inches to 4 feet. You can visit Panchmura (10 km) to see and buy the famous Bankura terracotta horses. Kamardiha, Biboda, Nakaijuri, Jaikrishnapur and Keyaboti are other places were terracotta horses are made.

Bishnupur is also known for its Baluchari Sarees. These sarees are hand woven silk sarees, with intricate designs, usually based on miniature paintings. One can visit a Baluchari sari factory to get the first hand experience how these sarees are made.

Places to see
Bishnupur Temples

Besides getting to know about the art & craft of Bishnupur and shopping for handicraft items, there are great places of tourist interest in and around. The temples are the main highlight of Bishnupur. Most of these temples are built in Eka-Ratna style- a square flat-roofed building with curved cornices, surmounted by a pinnacle and a Garbhagriha flanked by a porch on each side with three multi-cusped arches.

Some of the popular temples in Bishnupur are the temples of Madan Mohan, Lalji, Kalachand, Radhashyam, Jormandir and Nandalal. These temples are built in Eka-Ratna style. The other main temple is the Shyama Raya Temple. This temple has five shikaras and an intricately carved outer façade, which was built as per the Pancha Ratna style. Some other temples that one should not miss when in Bishnupur include Jor Bangle Temple and Rasmancha Temple

Places to Stay

Bishnupur has a good number of Hotels, which offer comfortable accommodation to travellers. Hotels in Bishnupur include budget hotels and tourist lodges. Tourist lodges in Bishnupur are cheap and comfortable. Check hotels in Bishnupur

How to reach Bishnupur

By Air: The nearest airport is at Kolkata, 155 km away.

By Train: There are direct trains from Howrah to Bishnupur

By Road: Bishnupur is 150 km from Kolkata by road. A number of buses leave Kolkata’s Esplanade and Shahid Minar Bus Terminus to Bishnupur.

Check driving directions from Kolkata to Bishnupur

About Bishnupur: Bishnupur Information & Fact File
Altitude 58 meters
Summer 40 (Max) Degree Celsius 20 (Min)
Winter 28 (Max) Degree Celsius 15 (Min)
Best time to Go October to April
Monsoon June - September
Summer March – May
Winter November-February
Clothes Cottons throughout the year
Nearest Airport Kolkata, 155 km
Nearest Railway Station Bishnupur
Bus Station Bishnupur
Hospital & Doctor

Bishnupur Hospital (Bankura). Contact No: 03244-252065

Places to see Shyama Raya Temple, Rasa Mancha Temple, Madan Mohan Temple...
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