Sunday, 18 March 2012

BISHNUPUR & MUKUTMANIPUR:: THE COCTAIL OF HISTORY AND BEAUTY.

 Bishnupur a city of temple, historically is most interesting place in the district of Bankura, was once ancient capital of “MALLA” Rajas. It is Roughly 210 km distant from Kolkata the state capital and connected via railway and road ways. Bishnupur subdivision is lying between (22o54 – 23o25) N and between (87o15 – 87o46) E and extending over 1870.05 Sq. km.
            Raghunath Singh was the founder of the “MALLA” dynasty of Bishnupur. The Rajas were ardent devotee of God Vishnu, so the capital name was Bishnupur or Vishnupur. The “MALLA” era sustained from seventeenth century to eighteenth century and completely ruined on famine of 1771.
            The “MALLA” kings built terracotta (tiles carve out stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, a style very special and indigenous to this region of subcontinent.) temples to celebrate their love for Krishna. Such temples were constructed roughly from 1622 A.D to 1758 A.D.
            No doubt this old city of Bengal has been a major tourist destination for years and the Bishnupur Elephant made from burnt clay here bear the unique stamp of terracotta artistry.

HOW TO GO FROM KOLKATA BY TRAIN
Details are given bellow in tabular form.


TRAIN NO
HOWRAH TIME
BISHNUPUR TIE
AVAILABILITY
12883 RUPSI BANGLA EXP.
06:00
09:37
DAILY
22861 RAJA RANI EXP
06:40(SHALIMAR)
10:19
MON, TUE, SAT
12885 ARANYAK EXP
07:45(SHALIMAR)
11:07
DAILY
12827 PURULIA EXP
16:50
19:58
DAILY
58015 ADRA MEMU PASS.
17:45
21:44
DAILY

WHERE TO STAY &  EAT
Excellent accommodation facilities in and around Bishnupur are available. A list of few accommodation is shown below. However, tourists are requested to contact directly to accommodation provider for for any quarries.
SL. NO.
NAME OF ACCOMODATION
NON A/C DBR
(Rs)
A/C DBR
(Rs)
01
Tourist Lodge (WBTDC)
03244-252013
600
1100
02
Udayan Lodge (03244-252243)
350
600
03
Hotel Laxmi Park (03244-256353)
450
900
04
Monalisha (9434115177)
300
500
05
Paradise Lodge (9434124618)
350
-
06
Bishnupur Tourist Complex (Bishnupur Municipality)
(03244-252200)
150
-
07
Joypur Forest Bungalow (DFO, Panchyat Division: 03244-252189)
450
-
08
Bakadaha Forest Bungalow (DFO, Panchyat Division: 03244-252189)
300

09
Bishnupur Forest Bungalow (DFO, Panchyat Division: 03244-252189)
-
800
10
Irrigation Bungalow (03244-252029)
200
400
11
Luxury Lodge (03244-253466)
250

12
Holiday Resort (9333096465 / 9732143379)
450 Extra Person Rs-100/-
750 Extra Person Rs-100/-
But I must tell WBTDC Bishnupur Tourist Lodge is the best among them. The tariffs includes complimentary breakfast and tea. The booking will be done from 3/2, BBD Bag (East), Kolkata – 700001.Ph:(033)-22488271,(033)-22436440,(033)-24437260,(033)-44012659,(033)-44012660,(033)-44012661,(033)-44012662, (033)-4401 2665 Or you can book it online through www.wbtdc.com. The service is excellent here and all the behavior of the staffs is very cordial and full of warmth. They are always at your service. Food here are very good you don’t need to eat outside (the only thing you must taste from road side stall is “ALUR CHOP” a snacks like BARA but with much better taste made from potato). The manager here is very helpful and always give you right suggestion. If you want they arrange car for sightseeing in affordable rate. My suggestion is – always take car if you required from the hotel not from the outsider because they demand very high rates and most of the cases not provide you a good condition car. If you need small car like ambassador then you may call MITHU, PH: +919732109466. This boy is always smiling and very polite, attached with the Bishnupur Tourist Lodge.
SIGHTSEEING


Bishnupur the ancient capital of “MALLA” dynasty is rich repository of some excellent terracotta temples. Before start to visit temple one ticket of Rs 5/- has to be bought from Rass Mancha. The single ticket covers visiting all the temples.


Rass Mancha:  Built like a step-pyramid, is Bishnupur’s most famous temple and is dedicated to Vishnu. It is a peculiar structure with huge, stepped masonry pyramid-shaped roof. The vaulted, pillars, draws light into the dark interiors and casts deep shadows on the external façade  and was built in the late 16th Century by King Bir Himbira. Terracotta was further proliferated under King Raghunath Singh, son of Bir Singha.

   RAS MANCHA

Madan Mohan Temple:  It is situated at Sakaripara i,e further north and has been constructed outside the fort compound by King Durjana Sing Dev, son of Raghunath Singh in 1694 AD. It is built in the eka ratna style, square flat roofed building with curved cornices, surmounted by a pinnacle. It’s delicate design, in fact, suppresses the Shyam Rai and Kesto Rai. It is less complex in design and consists of a square building. From the center a tall, many-sided tower is capped with a rounded roof. Rows of tiles line the wall surface of the temple, each portraying a theme. Most playful and original are the rows of (plump) ducks waddling around in single file imitating the life-like gestures of a noisy flock.
   MADAN MOHAN TEMPLE

   TERRACOTTA WORK AT MADAN MOHAN TEMPLE
Radha-Shyam Temple: It is one of the famous terracotta temples at Bishnupur in Bankura District of West Bengal. The temple was built by King Chaitanya Singha in 1758 and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The temple architecture consists of a square building with a curved roof and is crowned by a single tower.
   RADHA – SHYAM TEMPLE

Keshta Rai (Jora Bangla) Temple: This temple is near the Shyama Rai Temple and was built at around 1655by King Raghunath Singh, son of Bir Singha. This brick temple imitates the indigenous double hut (jorbangla) design, in which two huts with sweeping curved façade are built, back to back, as one unit. The front of the temple has a triple-arched entrance and the entire wall is alive with miniature sculpture and decorative motifs with scenes from the Ramayana.
At present, Rash Moncha, Kalachand, Jor Banglow temples are being maintained and illuminated at night to showcase the ancient glory and cultural fineness of Bishnupur Raj.
   JORE BANGLA /KESTO RAI TEMPLE


Shyama Rai Temple was built by King Raghunath Singh, son of Bir Singha. Due north is the built at around 1643. Growing out of the base, the square temple body is framed by an artistically curved roof. The interior and exterior of the temple is adorned with wonderful terracotta tile-work decorations. Near the entrance are huge medallions with Krishna, the divine cowherd, playing his flute, with the gopis, his cowherdess companions, forming a lively circle around him as they dance in celebration.

   SHYAM RAI TEMPLE AT LIGHT
Other than above two more things are there you must see.--
Jogesh Chandra Archaeological Centre: Established in 1951, exibitting artifacts of the Malla kings and is located at Bishnupur. The Centre also features a unique collection of pre - hestoric implements, large assemblage of documents and manuscripts, stone and terracotta sculpture, epigraph bronzes, coins of early and medieval period, scroll painting and painted manuscripts-covers, and over four thousand medieval manuscripts in sanscrit, Prakrit and Bengali. We couldn't go to the museum as we started visiting the temples in the evening. The museum was closed then.

The DalMadal Caman: This is one of the major attraction in Bishnupur. DalMadal Cannon is constructed in 1742 by Raja Gopal Singh to keep the Maratha troops at bay. This 3.8 mt long cannon with exquisite engravings has a barrel with a diameter of 28.5 cm.
   DAL MADAL KAMAN
Jayrambati & Kamarpukur Don't missed to go yo Jayrambati and kamarpukur. Must have Prasad at Jayrambati. You have to enter into the mandir premisses at Jayrambati within 09:30 Hrs if you want to take the coupon of the BHOG. Take the Coupon against some donation. There is no fixed rate or price. Just donate some money to the mandir fund. The road upto Jaipur in between the Jaipur forest range on the way to Jayrambati - Kamarpukur is beautful.
Jairambati and Kamarpukur, the birth place of Sri Sri Saradamoui and Sri Sri Ramkrishna, is located just 43 km away from Bishnupur town. The Matri Mondir at Jairambati offers Prasad every day at 11.30 am. Moreover, Bishnupur is well connected with Mukutmanipur, which is 56 km away and Susunia Hill, about 440 mt. from mean sea level, are the major tourist attraction.
ART AND CRAFT 
The most famous art form of Bishnupur is its terracotta work. The exquisite craftsmanship of the terracotta artisans is evident in the Madanmohana Temple and the Shyam Rai Temple. The temple walls are richly decorated with the carvings of different aspects of Krishna's life-playing with Radha and the other milkmaids, incarnations of Vishnu, etc. Artisans of Uliwara village of Bishnupur and adjacent Panchmura village of Taldangra block produce fine quality of Terracota tiles, beautiful gift-items, burnt clay models.
One of the most expensive saris in India called the Baluchari saris & Swarnachari sarees are created by craftsmen of this place. The silk strands are dyed separately and then put into a loom. Designs are woven with the help of a series of punch cards that are hung from the top of the loom. These punch cards are rectangular pieces of cardboard with hundreds of holes punched according to the design. The best place to buy Baluchari & Swarnachari is ANUBHABA & KANISKA.
  

The colored strands pass through these holes and fall into place very precisely on the loom. One sari may have an entire episode from the Mahabharata woven into its border and pallu. Best shop to buy saree is Kanishka.

The name Dokra or Dhokra was used to indicate a group of craftsmen of nomadic type, scattered over Bengal, Orissa and Madhya Pradash and ware identified by their beautifully shaped and decorated metal products. The craftsmen have latter on settled down in some areas of Bardwan, Bankura and Midapur districts of West Bengal leaving their nomadic character. Most of such craftsmen had left the craft leaving only a few families in the trade.

Dokra system of metal casting is said to be oldest form of metal casting and is technically known as cire perdue or lost wax process. A replica of the desired product is made with wax on a clay core with all its finer details of designs and decorations. A few coats of finely prepared clay paste is applied over the model and dried in the shade. The technique of casting revolves round replacement of wax with molten metal by the traditional hollow casting method. Brass scrap in generally used as raw material.
In recent years, the product of Dokra artisans are in great demand in domestic and foreign market because of it primitive simplicity enchanting folk motifs and forceful form. Though, originally it developed at Bikna village of Bankura-II block under Bankura Sadar Sub-Division, but artisans of Patrasayer of Bishnupur Sub-Division, which is 30 km away from Bishnupur town, produce Dokra items with very fine polish. Products like dokra horses, elephants, peacock owl, religious images, and measuring bowls, lamp caskets etc., are highly appreciated.

The conch shell curving is one of the traditional art of Bishnupur. Traditional artisans, mostly belonging to Sankha Banik caste partake conch shell curving at Sankhari Bazar, Malleswar and Kadakuli. Besides, making bangles, the artisans beautifully curve various mythological character of Hindu pantheons on conch shell. Sri Gopal Nandi, one of the eminent artisan and President Medal Awardee still displays beautiful and intricate art of conch shell curving. Generally, it takes more than a months of hard labour to design a conch shell and obviously a costly item. Since such designed conch shell is very costly, therefore, the artisans are shifting to coconut shell curving to find markets.

Bell metal and brass metal craft found to be one of the oldest craft in Bishnupur. Mostly, artisans belonging to Karmakar caste are traditionally engaged in such metal casting. Artisans of Kaitypara, Kamarpara, Krishnaganj, Koilashtola, Gopalganj etc. are traditionally engaged in Brass and Bell metal works. Brass and bell metals are allows of cropper. The village artisans are producing various type of utensils and gift items with high dexterity, which is evident in the in its smooth and sharp angular points with outer engravings. Presently, the artisans are organized under 'Bishnupur Branzeiers Co-Operative Society ltd'.

MUKUT MANIPUR
Muktmanipur is well known for the Dam on the confluence of the river Kangshabati & Kumari, which is the 2nd largest River Water Dam in Asia. This Village is lokated  at a distance of 275 km from Kolkata, 83 Km from Bishnupur, 55 Km from Bankura town. This Dam is situated near khatra town at Bankura district, West Bengal. It is well connected through Road from Bishnupur and Bankura.

Dam

Location of dam
Mukutmanipur, District Bankura on the rivers Kangsabati and Kumari about 3.2 km. upstream of their confluence.
Type of dam
Earthen Gravity Dam with Concrete Saddle Spillway
Catchment Area
3625 sq. km (1400 sq. Miles)
Length of dam
11.27 km. (7 Miles) including Dyke & Hillock
Height (Max.) of dam
41.15 m (135 ft.) above River Bed
Length of Spillway / No. of Bays
125.00 m (440 ft.)
11 (Width of each bay 9.14 m)
Optimum Pond Level
134.11 m (410 ft.)
Design Flood Level
135.63 m (445 ft.)
Design Discharge
5663.32 cumec (2,00,000 cusecs)
Total Storage (DS & LS)
103614.16 ha. m (8,40,000 ac. ft.)
Total Submerged Area
13,668 ha. (33,760 acre.)
Canal & Barrage Discharge
Left
192.55 cumecs (6,800 cusecs)
Right
70.75 cumecs (2,500 cusecs)
Length of Canal
Main and Branch
804.50 km. (500 Miles)
Distributaries and Minors
2413.50 km. (1500 Miles)
Pickup Barrages
i) Silabati
ii) Bhairabanki
iii) Tarafeni
Total Irrigable Area (CCA)
Kharif
340752 ha. (8,42,000 acre)
Rabi
60704 ha (1,50,000 acre)
Maximum Irrigation Achieved
Kharif
274,940 ha (6,79,100 acre)
Rabi
45,593 ha (112,614 acre)
Boro
27,944 ha (69,022 acre)
  Mukutmanipur is a village in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is located at the confluence of rivers Kumari and Kangsabati. Mukutmanipur is near the Jharkhand border and this entire area acts as a popular touring region. Mukutmanipur has the second largest earthen dam the Kangsabati dam in India. Mukutmanipur and the place Jhilimili nearby are the important centres for tourism in the region. The destination has the second biggest dam of India, which is the main tourist attraction of this town.
The dam, a giant water reservoir, was constructed in 1956. It is located about 12 km from Khatra town in the district of Bankura. The dam was constructed under the supervision of the then Chief Minister of Bengal, Dr Bidhan Ch. Roy, to provide irrigation facilities to 8,000 sq km of agricultural land. It is now a picnic spot and many people come to the lakeside to relax and spend time.
                              VIEW OF THE DAM FROM THE HILLTOP OF "SONAJHURI"


The dam is situated 55 km away from Bankura, and 2 kilometres away from the Bangopalpur Reserve Forest, which is home to a wide variety of species of flora and fauna. The whole place is surrounded with forests.
In Mukutmanipur, apart from the dam, there are many tourist spots, which make it an important place in West Bengal from the tourism point of view. The major tourist places in this city and surrounding area are Parashnath hill, Statue of Parashnath, Banpukuria Deer Park, Palace of King Raicharan.
Parashnath hill, considered as one of the most important pilgrimage centres of Jains, is the highest peak in this area at 1350 metres. The name of the hill was derived from the name of the 23rd Jain Tirthankara. It is the place where twenty of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras found salvation from life. The hills are located in Giridih district of Jharkhand.
Ambikanagar was an ancient town and pilgrimage centre of the Jains and the remnants of it are still available at a distance of 4 kilometres from the lake. The tribal handicraft of this place is also very famous. Local tribes use bamboo sticks and grass to make the craft.
The town is about 270 kilometres away from the city of Kolkata and 55 km from Bankura district. Taxis and trains are available to the destination. Kolkata Airport is the nearest airport, which is connected to all the major cities of India.
Bankura station is the nearest railway station, which is well connected to all the cities of India via Howrah. The best time to be here is between October to March, when the climate is mild and less humid.
Parasnath hill, which is a Jain pilgrimage centre, is the highest summit in this area. The hill is named after the 23rd Tirthankaras of the Jains and is the location of attainment of salvation of the 20 Jain Tirthankaras. This range of hills however, is under the Jharkhand’s Giridih District. There is a temple on the top of the hill of Lord Shiva.
Another Jain pilgrimage centre is the old town of Ambikanagar, where a few relics can be found close to a lake. This area is primarily famous for the handicraft of the native tribal population, who use grass and bamboo sticks to create novel things. Around 25 km away is the spot of Chhendapahar, where a training school and underground manufacturing factory of arms existed during the days of India’s war for freedom. Various arms had been supplied to the freedom fighters like Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose from this factory.

WHERE TO STAY &  EAT

The WBFDC’s “Sonajhhuri Prakiti Bhraman Kendra” resort is very well built on the slope of a small hill covered with dense forest of Sonajhhuri trees (and hence the name of the resort). Depending upon which cottage you stay you need to climb up and down around 50-60 stairs each time you come down to your car or to have your food in the dining hall.The best among them in respect of scenic views are "SHAL & PIYAL".  Food quality is too good - very homely and delicious. Service is very fine especially the boy BIJOY (or VIJAY) is always at yourservice. you can tell any about your problem he is ready to solve. He is very much honest and polite to.
THE NATURE'S NEST
ENTRANCE TO SONAJHURI







WAY TO THE COTTAGES

                                                   
COTTAGE "TAL" & "TAMAL"



                                         
SUIT "ARJUN" & "PALASH"
            
COTTAGE "ANATHMUL" & "SATMUL"
                                        
DINNING HALL AT SONAJHURI
                                        
HILLTOP VIEW POINT AT SONAJHURI
                







































Food quality here is too good - very homely and delicious. Charges are as follows--
  1. Breakfast: Puri, Sabji, Sweet, Boiled Egg: Rs. 40
  2. Breakfast: Bread Butter, Sweets,Boiled Egg: Rs. 40
  3. Lunch: Veg Meal: Rs. 45/-
  4. Lunch: Egg (Single) Meal: Rs.55/-
  5. Lunch: Fish Meal: Rs. 75/-
  6. Lunch: Chicken Meal: Rs.90/-
  7. Lunch: Chicken (Local) Meal: Rs 110/-
  8. Lunch: Mutton Meal: Rs.125/-
(** 'Meal' includes Rice/Chapati, Dal, Veg Cury, Veg Fry, Chatni, Papad, and specific Item (such as Fish, Egg, Chicken etc for specific meal).
And DONT MISS TO TRY "POSTO BARA"(SNACKS PREPARED FROM POPPY SEEDS) HERE. Very tasty and delicious. They Charged Rs50/- per plate. 01 Plate includes 04 jumbo size 'BARA')
To have a cottage here, book well in advance (90 days prior to the date). and booking will be done from the following offices. No online booking is done.
Booking details: Booking at Kolkata, West Bengal Forest Developement Corporation, 6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th Floor, Kolkata-13. Near Hind Cinema, Landmark- Dharamtala Post Office, Phone - 22370060/61, 033-22258549. Booking time - Till 3:30 p.m.
You can check the availability from there website www.wbfdc.com before booking.. 
Other than Sonajhuri Prakriti Bhraman Kendra there are several hotels and resorts are there as given bellow----

Hotel Peerless - Booking at Kolkata Peerless Hotel, Contact- 9748401084 (Accounts dept).
Hotel Green Park - Double bed Rs 450-600, Phone: (03243)253379/253212
Hotel Amrapali: Double bed Rs 400-550, Phone :(03243)253208.
Hotel Aparajita- Has an in-house restaurant and the food here is delicious. Double bed Rs
550-1000. Contact – (03243)253355, 9434224674, 9434480632, 9434108611, 9433447466.
The road over dam is 11 kms in stretch. In the middle there is a small hillock called Paresnath hill where several statues of Jain and Hindu deities are kept in open air. These statues are recovered during digging while the dam was built. Even there is another Jain statue lying at the bottom of the Pareshnath hill. The view of the sunset is the one of the most awesome and exclusive sunsets of the life.
To visit the dam, for which passes are required only for 04 wheeler holders. Dam authority only issue passes from 8am to 12am in the morning and 2pm to 4pm in the afternoon. You would have to take a motor-pulled cart and travel the 11 km stretch of road along the Kangshabati river(these motor pulled cart don't requred any passes). Go during the sunset. It is breath-takingly beautiful during this time of the day. On the way, you will also see the Pareshnath Hillock.Make some bargaining when you are going to hire these carts. they always demand Rs. 250/- to Rs. 300/- But make it a deal for only Rs. 200/-.
VIEW OF THE DAM AT THE TIME OF SUNSET
           
  

























                          
You could take a 3 hour long boat ride, in order to visit a Deer Park, named Banpukhuria Deer Park. Boating charges are Rs.400 for an entire boat with maximum 12 persons. If you want this boat ride on 2nd half  then be there with sufficient time in hand so that you can go both Deer Park and the confluence well in time to see the sunset. The color of the whole dam will turne reddish as the sun inched to the bottom of horizon. Spectacular!!! You have to do another 02 km road journey from the jetty to Banpukhuriya Deer Park. You can go by walk or can take the motor pulled cart which will take Rs. 100 to go and comeback to the jetty.
ROAD SIDE VIEW ON THE WAY TO DEER PARK
                                    


BANPUKHURIYA DEER PARK
                                                


























A drop charge of TAXI from  Bishnupur to Mukutmanipur is around Rs.1200-1300.TATA SUMO will take Rs.250-300 extra.
A drop charge of TAXI from  Bankura Railway station to Mukutmanipur is Rs.650.TATA SUMO will take Rs.250-300 extra. You can contact Dipak, (Ph: +919679717291) for a visit to mukutmanipur from Bankura/ Bishnupur.


HOPE THE ARTICLE ABOVE WILL HELP THE FUTURE VISITOR TO BISHNUPUR, BANKURA AND MUKUTMANIPUR. 
 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent briefing about mukutmanipur.
Really helpfull

amlanblog said...

osadharon.... very well documented... ... thanks to you...

amlanblog said...

Dear rahul,

Do you have any mobile number of the caretaker or canteen incharge of sonajhuri ? can you provide me the same ? my email id is amlan.contact@gmail.com

Ananda Kundu said...

Rahul da,

How is life going on? Onek din mail pelam... Blog ta khub informative...

Ananda

Amit Chakrabarty said...

Dear Rahul it's really very informative and also very helpful for those who are planing to visit their..... like me.... thanks a lot

amlanblog said...

Dear Rahul,
Extremely sorry for late reply. Once again, so many thanks for the contacts. we traveled well though the quality of food was not so good. We cherish the food quality of our first visit on 2007.
regards,
Amlan

Kamya Mitra said...

Great details. I am planning to visit next monday and hence looking for few information. but details make my trip complete before even going. Great help.will share my experience from there.

Subhabrata said...

Dear Rahul,

It was nice talking to you.....undoubtedly the blog is very informative and also thanks for the photos uploaded....planning to visit....let's see.....Thanks again

Subhabrata

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!! NO MATCH. THANKS.

Anonymous said...

Great job bro..everything I needed.thanks

Gobinda Roy said...

Great post , fantastic details !Thanks a lot !

Surajit said...


Excellent information. Do you have any informaion on joypur forest and there guest house.

Anonymous said...

Darun....!!!

Rajesh Sen said...

Great article. Please have a look on my Mukutmanipur blog for all the details of Mukutmanipur Tour at: http://easytouristguide.com/off-beat-tourist-places/mukutmanipur-popular-weekend-hot-spot-of-bengal.html

Rajesh Sen said...

Jairambati-Kamarpukur – Pilgrimage Destination of Bengal
For all the latest and updated information on Jairambati-Kamarpukur Tour just log on to;
http://easytouristguide.com/historical-places/jairambati-kamarpukur-pilgrimage-destination-of-bengal.html

Tulika Sharma said...

Hi Rahul,
You have sterling initiation about SONAJHURI the NATURE'S NEST place its cited homely and delicious Food quality and adorable price.
Thanks..
Rajasthan tour operator

Chandan Dudeja said...

Thats amazing ,thanks for sharing this wonder plans with us

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Apurba Sen said...

Subha Bijaya .

Would please guide me whether it is possible to visit Jayrambati, Kamarpukur, Bishnupur in one day either by bus or by train ? If yes kindly give the details. Can we go Bishnupur only in a day from kolkata? Awaiting your
valued opinion.
With thanks & regards,
Apurba Sen ( 9433121580 -senopurba@gmail.com)