Did you feel like taking a road trip after watching Piku? If yes, there’s a road trip from Kolkata you’ll enjoy in the weekend: to Bishnupur.
Now that’s not just a weekend destination, it’s a complete rejuvenation for you. This place offers a spiritual retreat, history, rich culture, heritage, art and a lot of warmth. You will love it with your family here. In fact, an educational trip from school is great too.
As you leave the hustle-bustle of the city, you enter this place that shows you a completely different way of life. If you live in West Bengal, visit here at least once in your lifetime. If not, come here when you come to Kolkata.
Why Take a Road Trip from Kolkata to go to Bishnupur?
That’s one point: why a road trip when a train from Howrah is available? Well, there are 3 reasons:
- It’s just 132 km away from Kolkata.
- The road is smooth that takes you to Bishnupur via Asansol, Durgapur, Burdwan and Panagarh.
- A long drive away from the city is a journey worth remembering.
Once you reach the destination, there’s so much to explore that you’ll forget your world for a day! Let’s see what this place has.
Bishnupur Sightseeing& Culture
This town is a historic destination, known for its terracotta artwork. You’ll find it everywhere: from the structures to the sarees in the market. Let’s take a tour here before you plan the real one.
This place goes back to 694 AD when Bishnupur was ruled by the Malla dynasty. You can imagine how old this palace is. However, the town got its name after 994 AD, inspired by Lord Vishnu. Art and music flourished in 1626 AD during the rule of King Raghunath Singh Dev II. This is the oldest structure you’ll see in the entire town.
Actually, Bishnupur has plenty of temples, all of them being pretty old. Here’s a list of the top 3 you’ll find:
This temple was built in 1655 by King Raghunath Singh. At a platform 1 metre high, you’ll see two huts joined with a tower. Made of laterite bricks, it has terracotta artwork all over the outer walls.
Madan Mohan Temple:
Built by King Durjana Singh Deva in 1694, this is the biggest temple you’ll see in Bishnupur. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has terracotta art on its walls, pillars and portico.
This is the oldest temple of Bishnupur built in 1600 by King Veer Hambir. This too has idols of Lord Krishna and is entirely made of laterite bricks. There’s a pyramid shaped tower in the centre surrounded by huts. You’ll find the famous terracotta everywhere.
Other temples include Shyam Ray, Raghunathjiu, Chinomasta, Gour-Nitai and Keshabrai temples.
3.8 metres high, this canon was built by King Raj Gopal Singh in 1742 to protect the kingdom from the Marathas. It has a barrel of 28.5 cm.
Do you know what’s actually worth watching about this place? You wouldn’t go there for the history! It’s the fact that it’s made of iron and in almost 3 centuries, it hasn’t got a single layer of rust.
Held every year in the month of December, this fare celebrates the culture of Bishnupur. This celebration takes place for 4 days in the Poush month of the Bengali calendar.
The people out there celebrate the end of the agricultural season and dance to the traditional music. Since it’s close to the Madan Mohan temple, you can see both together.
Bishnupuri Sarees and Artwork
Popularly known as the Baluchari Sarees, you’ll find intricate terracotta artwork in this silk cloth. These are handloom sarees made with a very creative mind.
What inspires me is that in spite of the effort put up by the artist and the high demand, these sarees are really reasonable.
Apart from that, you’ll find terracotta in their pottery, jewellery, metal crafts and other pieces of artefacts.
When Should You Plan this Weekend Trip from Kolkata?
Surely, nobody likes to travel when the heat is scorching. So, you can go anytime between August-February.
August marks the beginning of monsoon, when greenery surrounds the entire place. The rains wash away the dust & dirt and cool the earth after the strong summers.
Winter begins in November when its cool and pleasant. Of course, travel plans go flop when it starts raining. This makes winter the ideal time to visit.
However, if culture and art is something of your interest, look up when the Bishnupur Mela is coming up. If you want to see the essence of the place, go when the Mela starts.
Other Short Tours in West Bengal
West Bengal to me is not just a state. It’s a wonder. I cannot get over the diversities I see here when it comes to beauty and culture.
Some other historic destinations you shouldn’t miss visiting are:
- Shanti Niketan
If you’ve made short trips earlier, this one is something you shouldn’t miss. There’s nothing more balancing than taking a short break from your daily life.
You’ve been on long drives before, I’m sure. I can guarantee that you won’t regret this road trip from Kolkata, especially if you go in their festive season.