Oldest Bricks Temple in India 🇮🇳,magnificent Terracotta Temples of Bishnupur, West Bengal!

Interesting Facts about these Oldest Bricks Temples

where it is located?

Bishnupur, a municipal town in the modern day Bankura district in West Bengal,India was a centre of music, art, and architecture for hundreds of years. Among other things, the town is well-known for its terracotta temples, extensively embellished with carved and moulded terracotta decorations made from the locally available laterite clay. These temples are associated with the Gaudiya Vaishnava faith, dating back to seventeenth century.

Many Brick Temple are located here with different architectural blend…

1.Rasmancha Temple

Rasmancha temple stands on a raised square laterite plinth with a pyramidal superstructure. Three successive circumblatory galleries, The arches of which are decorated with terracotta lotus motifs.

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Similar architecture and building has not been found elsewhere in India and it is considered as the pride of Bishnupur for its unique shape.

The interesting thing about the temple is that it has only a single chamber, the sanctum sanctorum, with an elongated tower, surrounded by hut shaped turrets. A passageway surrounds it and some large cannons found here date back to the Malla period.

Rasmancha is the oldest brick temple and the only temple of its kind in the whole country.

2.Madan Mohan Temple and Shyama Raya Temple

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The temples in which these deities were installed, however, are distinctively atypical in that rather than turning to the architectural styles of Vrindavan for inspiration, they followed local architectural traditions and innovated on their own. These temples were conspicuously distinct from the Vrindavan temples,they were constructed on a new ratna style, reoriented to face south, departing from the nāgara custom of north India and the rekha style of facing east in the direction of the rising sun. They had two storeys instead of one, with an additional shrine stacked over the conventional sanctum on the lower level. The shrine in the upper pavilion was reserved for special occasions such as festivals, leaving the lower sanctum available for daily worship. One altar was constructed on the traditional east-facing style of Hindu temples, and this deity would be ministered to by the priests of the temple. The other altar, which eventually came to hold greater importance, faced south towards the courtyard and nātmandir (entertainment hall), where devotees would gather to sing praises to Krishna and his heroics, and often spontaneously rise in dance during the ārati. This new temple form served the various ritual needs of the emerging Gaudiya Vaishnava community in Bengal.

3.Nandalal Temple and Radha Shyaam Temple

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The temples and monuments of Vrindavan drew heavily from the imperial Mughal style of the late sixteenth century. The architectural style of the Bishnupur temples, however, derived from the tradition that had developed under the sultanates that had ruled Bengal for the previous four centuries—interior vaulting, pointed arches with cusps, sturdy pillars with many facets, curved cornices, and terracotta decoration (McCutchion 1972).

4.Radha Madhav Temple

The temples also draw inspiration from the sloping thatched huts of the region; the curved cornices of these temples, a characteristic feature of this design, are derived from the bent bamboo eaves of cottages in the Bengali countryside. This feature occurs in combination with a number of basic designs. There is the char-chala design that consists of a four-sided roof coming to a point on a square base. A similar but smaller roof may be constructed on top of the char-chala like a tower to make an at-chala. There is the do-chala or ek-bangla design, which features a two-sided humped roof evocative of the curved cornice on an elongated base. The Rasamancha in Bishnupur is the earliest known temple in existence built in the ‘bangla’ do-chala style.

5. Jor Bangla or Kesto Raya Temple

Jor-bangla temple, also called Kesto Rai Temple, has a typical architecture that is found in the southern part of Bengal. The temple was built by Malla King Raghunath Singha in 1655.

Even though scenes from Krishna’s life were most commonly sculpted on the terracotta plaques, there are also depictions of scenes from other Vaishnava texts and the larger body of the Vishnupurana, as well as legends of other gods and goddesses. The terracotta work on the Shyam Raya temple (1643), one of the oldest terracotta temples in Bishnupur, is a fine example of this.

There are innumerable small plaques embellished with images based on themes such as Krishna embracing Radha or playing his flute to her, Krishna’s battle with Indra for the parijat tree, and Krishna between two gopis under an elaborate canopy .

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Published by Rathindranath


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