Bishnupur, the glorious capital city of the Malla dynasty was an important center of Bengali culture and learning. Arts, architecture, sculpture, and music flourished here under the patronage of Malla kings. The exquisite temples here testify the great craftsmanship of the terracotta artisans. These ornately carved shrines are built in a square plan with a gently curved roof like Bengali thatched huts made of bamboo and mud. The temples are usually made in brick and sometimes of laterite. Bishnupur is also known for its handicrafts like the famous terracotta and wooden ‘Bankura horse’, Dokra, silk, tassar, conch-shell, and bell metalware, etc. Bishnupur Mela (Dec.) and Snake festival (mid-Aug.) are the main events celebrated here.
Shyam Ray Temple
It was built in 1643 and is the oldest among the Pancharatna temples. The temple has a fine Shikhara on a curved Bengali Chala roof and the terracotta walls depict scenes from the life of Lord Krishna.
Jorebangla Temple of Keshta Raí
It was built in 1655, by King Raghunath Singha Dev II and is a fine example of unique Bengali architecture.
This 16th-century shrine is built in the form of a stepped pyramid.
Madan Mohan Temple
It was built in 1694 and is one of the finest and largest temples of Bishnupur. The shrine is noted for its terracotta panels. Other important temples are, Malleswara, Radhey Shyam, Mrinmoyee, Sarbamangla, etc. Malla King’s Fort, Lakes, and Jogesh Chandra Archaeological Centre are some other worth visiting sites
It is a good base to visit Bishnupur and is also known for Raghunathji Mandir, Ekteshwar Mandir, the Methodist Missionary Church, and Christian College.
Bansberia (40 kms.)
It was one of the main villages of ancient Saptagram and is famous for the Ananta Vasudev temple, built-in 1679, in the traditional ekaratna style. The temple enshrines an idol of Vasudev or Vishnu in the central chamber and Shivalingas in the surrounding ones. Other attraction is the unique Hanseswari Temple with 13 lotus bud shaped minars.
Joyrambati (43 kms.)
Pilgrim site associated with Sri Ramakrishna, the 19th century age. The Matri Mandir dedicated to Srima Saradamoni was opened here on 19th April 1923.