Bishnupur is located at 23°05′N 87°19′E. It has an average elevation of 59 metres. Bishnupur (the distance from Kolkata is 132 km), now the headquarters of the subdivision of the same name in Bankura district, is a seat of crafts and culture.
Bishnupur was ruled under the Gupta period by local Hindu kings who paid tribute to Samudra Gupta. Following a long period of obscurity, where the land oscillated between being a minor independent principality and a vassal state. The land is also called Mallabhum after the Malla rulers of this place. The Malla rulers were Vaishnavites and built the famous terracotta temples during the 17th and 18th century at this place. The terracotta temples here are the best specimen of the classical style of Bishnupuriya architecture. The legends of Bipodtarini Devi are associated with Malla Kings of Bishnupur.
For almost a thousand years it was the capital of the Malla kings of Mallabhum, of which Bankura was a part, till their power waned during the times when Mughal Empire weakened under the last monarchs of the dynasty.
The patronage of Malla king Veer Hambir and his successors Raja Raghunath Singha Dev and Bir Singha Dev made Bishnupur one of the principal centres of culture in Bengal. Most of the exquisite terracotta temples for which town is justly famous were built during this period.
Mrinmoyee temple of kings is treated as a valuable historic place.
Since 1997, the temples of Bishnupur is on UNESCO World Heritage Site's Tentative list.
- Östör, Ákos (24). Play of the Gods: Locality, Ideology, Structure, And Time In The Festivals Of A Bengali Town. Orient Blackswan. p. 43. ISBN 81-8028-013-6.
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