A View Of The Creative Face Of Bishnupur Art

A little known town in the district of Bankura (West Bengal), Bishnupur, is also known as an art mart. It is believed that the town has developed its name from the Hindu God, Bhishnu. Equipped with a diversifying cultural past, the place is a hub of intricate and architectural handicraft. Exclusively known for its rich terracotta arts, Bishnupur is not just stagnant with this art. It also boasts other forms of art in the name of dokra, bankura horse, conch shells, Baluchari sari, and more.

Diversifying Face of Bishnupur Art

People residing in West Bengal already know that Bishnupur has an artistic face with its terracotta belongings. Apart from Bishnupur terracotta art, the lesser known facts about Bishnupur art is still kept unwrapped. And if you’re wondering about the many artistic forms that Bishnupur boasts, you must keep scrolling down.

Terracotta Works in Bishnupur
Photo of “Terracotta Works in Bishnupur” by Amartya Bag under CC BY-SA 2.0

Terracotta Art

If you’re visiting the Bishnupur fort, you already know the importance of Bishnupur as a city of terracotta. The Bishnupur terracotta art is the most prominent art of the town which has been loved by all its tourists. The Bishnupur art form comprising terracotta is orange-red in color. It comes with a bright and shiny surface. The items that are made of palm wood and coconut shell are also fan-favorite.

Bankura Horse

Becoming Bengal art’s iconic symbol, Bankura horse is a form of Bishnupur art made of burnt clay and terracotta. The horse is either black or mud-brown in color. Apart from horses, this art also includes elephant structures made by the karigar or craftsmen. However, despite the different structures, bankura horse has gathered more prominence as one of the best arts used in the Bishnupur historical place. Alternatively, the art is also performed by making the best use of brass. What’s more, is that these horses are also found on conch shells too. You can buy these in pairs.

Terracotta Works on Temple, Bishnupur
Photo of “Terracotta Works on Temple, Bishnupur” by Amartya Bag under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Gharana Music

Bishnupur Gharana is a school Hindustani music that has been discovered in the town. This Gharana is popular for the Dhrupad tradition of the music of Hindustani. It is believed that the origin of this music lies in the thirtieth century. The direct Tansen descendant, Bahadur Shah is believed to flee to Bishnupur to start this particular Gharana. This Gharana has also influenced Tagore’s singing greatly.

Dhokra Artifacts

A common form of art, dokra is seen in the art form of Hindu god and goddesses like Durga, Ganesh, Krishna, and more. If you are patient enough to sick and pick up through the heaps of pieces, then you can create a small yet wonderful collection of these arts. You can also buy jewelry items like bangles, pendants, or earrings. These are crafted out of using brass too. Utility items like are used available in the name of boxes, pen stands, pens, and more. The Bishnupur fort is also incorporate similar arts at the fort’s exterior. You can find other depiction of daily lives like a tribal household and more.

Terracotta Works on Temple, Bishnupur
Photo of “Terracotta Works on Temple, Bishnupur” by Amartya Bag under CC BY-SA 2.0

Conch Shell Art

The thought of Conch Shell might remind you about the morning Pujas that begin with the conch blowing. Not just that, Indian mythology also depicts that the massive Kurukshetra war didn’t start until Lord Krishna blew the conch shell. In fact, ancient battles also started off by blowing the conch shells. However, the artists of Bishnupur do much more other than designing just mere conch shells. The Bishnupur historical place also equips this art as one of the most prominent. The craftsmen also design amazing conch shell bangles, which are worn by the married Bengali women. Still, what remains its specialty is that the conch shells are made of Bankura horses designs.

Baluchari Sari

Bishnupur art captures Baluchari Sari as one of the prominent art forms in the town. If you already know Baluchari Sari’s history, you also know that the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana are woven into silk. The designs of this art form are believed to be inspired by the terracotta temples’ walls. The design performed by silk threads is known as Baluchari. And the design performed by gold threads is known as Swarnachari.

Thus, these were some of the art forms that Bishnupur art consists of. Visiting the place would help you get hold of a few hands-on examples.

Featured Photo of “Heritage through Terracotta paragons – Bishnupur” by SHANTANU DUTTA under CC BY-SA 2.0

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