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Apr 4, 2016

The Rasmancha Temple, Bishnupur, Bankura District, Bengal - 1860-70's

The Rasmancha Temple, Bishnupur, Bankura District, Bengal - 1869
Photographed in 1869
Photographer: Walter Campbell

The Rasmancha Temple, Bishnupur, Bankura District, Bengal - 1869
Photographed in 1869
Photographer: Walter Campbell

The Rasmancha Temple, Bishnupur, Bankura District, Bengal - 1872
Photographed in 1872
Photographer: Joseph David Beglar

The temples of Bishnupur were built under the Malla rulers of Bengal, fervent adherents of the Vaishnavite movement which flourished in the area from the fifteenth century onwards. The Rasa Mancha temple was built by the ruler Bir Hambir in the early seventeenth century. The temple is not dedicated to a particular deity but every year all the images of the gods are brought there during the Ras festival. Standing on a high plinth, the temple is unique in the sub-continent in its architectural form and style. It has a central square chamber surrounded on all sides by three tiered gallery arcades and roofed with an impressive pyramical structure. No inscriptions survive.