Rasmancha Temple, Bishnupur, WB, India  » Travel  »
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Bishnupur, West Bengal, India
  • Visiting this temple was a great experience and I'll cherish it all my life

    • by n.b
      all reviews
      Rasmancha temple is the most renowned temple in Bishnupur in Bankura. Bankura district is in the western region of the eastern state of West Bengal in India. It was built by the ardent Lord Vishnu devotee Malla ruler, King Beer Hambira in 1587. This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is a pyramid like structure. I visited this temple in 1997 with my father and mother. We reached Bishnupur by bus leaving from Esplanade in Calcutta. The bus journey was of 5 hours. Reaching Bishnupur, we took cycle rickshaw to go to this temple.

      This temple is situated 3 Km. from the Bishnupur Railway Station. I was very happy when I caught the first glimpse of this temple from the rickshaw ride. The temple is apparently triangular, with walls on three sides. The temple is placed on a high spacious square plinth. There has 6 high steps from the ground and the seventh step is the temple floor. The temple is made up of burnt brick and laterite. The sanctum sanctorum is in the centre of the temple which is surrounded by extended porticos on the three sides of it giving it a triangular look.

      Each portico has 11 pillars to it. The roof of the temple is of the shape of a tall pyramidal tower. On next level of this pyramidal tower is 5

      typical Bengali “hut” shaped turrets on each side of the three sides of the roof. The floor of the portico is made up bricks of square and rectangle shape. The floor is really smooth. The walls of the temple have intricate terracotta works on them. These are really eye catching and it unbelievable to believe that it has survived so many centuries. Some of the terracotta works have though perished or got damaged, most of it has survived.

      The outside walls of the portico have floral terracotta work on them. Among these, the most distinctive is the lotus pattern. Among the other terracotta work on the temple, I was most fascinated by pattern of dancing girls. It is so beautiful. On each terracotta plate there were three dancing girls depicted with their right hand above their head and their left hand on their waist with a little stooped posture of dance. The terracotta singing girls were worthy of observation. I really loved them. Beer Hambira was the initiator of the temple building spree among the famous Malla kings of Malla dynasty who ruled Bishnupur from 8th century to 18th century.

      Bishnupur was then called Mallabhumi, bhumi meaning land; hence land of the Malla’s. According to a popular legend, as shared to us by the friendly locals, that Beer Humbira was a tyrannical ruler who was engaged ...

      • in active loot. Once he had news that some valuable was supposed to pass by from the forests of Mallabhumi, hence he arranged loot. After returning from loot, being anxious to know which valuables he got, he ordered to unfasten the looted item and to his great dismay, the looted item was religious Lord Vishnu scripts. He called for the man from whom the texts were looted, who was a religious scholar and asked him to explain the texts. The scholar explained him the texts and King Beer Hambira got inspired to such an extent that he got transformed into a sanctimonious Vishnu devotee from a tyrant. He then ordered his craftsmen to build temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Apparently the alluvial soil of Bishnupur did not have any rock to carve temple from it, so a new type of art was invented.

        The art of terracotta. The temples were built of brick and intricate terracotta works were pasted on them. This temple building spree got into the blood of all later Malla kings. King Beer Hambira himself built many temples, but due to course of time almost all the temples built by him was destroyed except Rasmancha. At the times of Malla rule, Rasmancha was a place where the annual festival was held. Rasa meaning festival and Mancha meaning platform. The festival was exhibition of

        many idols and pictures of Lord Vishnu brought from different temples of Mallabhumi. The idols and pictures of Lord Vishnu were placed on the 3 porticos of Rasmancha.

        Devotees from all over Mallabhumi and far across would come to see and pay tribute to the many idols and pictures of Lord Vishnu. The devotees would gather in a queue and would come one by one and pay honour to Lord Vishnu. Now this ritual is held no more. On the front side of Rasmancha, a small fenced garden is created by the government. This garden is really pretty with green stretched tuft of grass. It has lovely flower plants bearing red and pink flowers. This garden is very well maintained. Touching the flowers is not allowed.

        There is a water cooler at the entrance gate of the temple. The water cooler is a big relief as Bishnupur is hot even in winters (Lol). The average temperature of Bishnupur during winters is in between 21 degrees to 28 degrees. We visited there during the month of November and it was very hot then. At night this place is lighted by flood lights. This place looks very bright and beautiful at night. Visiting this temple was a great experience and I’ll cherish it all my life. Anyone visiting Calcutta or West Bengal must pay a visit to this temple.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2006. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3820876270531/k2311a082/8.2.06
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