India | West Bengal | Bankura

Terracotta Temples

Poetry in Terracotta

Terracotta Temples are the pride of Bishnupur, a small village in Bankura District of West Bengal. The Malla kings of the 16th-18th centuries constructed these temples, about 30 in all, in their devotion to Lord Krishna. This architecture betrays influences of various ancient Indian styles as well as of Mughal and Persian designs. Ras-Manch, Shyamrai, Jor-Bangla, and Radha-Shyam are some of the most important of the Terracota Temples. The basic building material of these temples is tiles made from the local red soil. Usually built within the radius of 1 km, these temples are single or multiple towered, erected on a roughly square base.

The terracota tiles are decorated with filigreed carvings that have Mughal, Persian or Indian lineage. The tiles of the early temples take after the foliate and geometric designs of 14th-15th-century mosques and tombs. Temples built after the 17th century depict religious and secular themes. Bishnupur is about 200 km by rail from Kolkata city and there are daily train services between Bishnupur and Kolkata.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Bankura
Location: Bankura    


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