Some of the most beautiful and richly embellished temples in eastern India are to be found 93 miles north of Kolkata at Bishnupur, the former capital of the Malla rajas. Made of laterite stone and brick faced with finely carved terracotta, the temples take their cue from the form of simple Bengali village huts, whence their gracefully arched chala roofs. Tiles around the bases of the shrine depict scenes from the Hindu epic, as well as intricate floral motifs.

The town is also the home of a school of Indian Classical music, known as Bishnupur Gharana, which emerged in the 13th century but saw its peak between three- and four-hundred years later. Performances are held occasionally in the lawned grounds of the terracotta temples.

 

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