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Vishnu Temple, Bishnupur

Vishnu Temple Overview

The conical roofed shrine is devoted to Lord Vishnu. Built in 1467, during the reign of King Kiyamba, the temple is interesting for its ancient times and Chinese design. Bishnupur is also renowned for its stone production The lowest layer starts on 1-2 inches high platform. The brick layers at corners towards the portico and the staircases have been oriented to make a parallel turn in such a manner that these form a nice coherency of brick layers in niches. The temple body over its pedestal is in two storeys, the lower sanctum cube, lower Jangha and the upper sanctum cube, the upper Jangha. The porch in front reaches up to a cornice in its height. The cornice forms a beam of five layers of bricks stepping out a climbing order from the point of the vertical alignment and similarly five brick layers stepping back in descending order again to the point of the vertical alignment, between the higher and the lower sanctum. All three walls of the east, the north and the west have corbelled arch. Below each corbelled arch is a window made to form three slits by placing two bricks longitudinally at a parallel distance. The facade is facing south. Above the cornice is the four-walled upper sanctum cube. There are two false windows on each side. On the southern wall there is a single long rectangular and half-way perforated window. The solidity of the interior walls blocks the holes. Therefore the holes do not serve the purpose of providing light to the sanctum hall. The roof above the upper Jangha is constructed in parabolic style and formed into a domelike structure by semicircular arches which converge at the base of the protuberance on the top. The sanctum hall is four-sided figure and it opens to the portico through a door opening. The Garbha Griha is provided with three windows on east, north and west sides. Internally each window is a square opening out through three slits to form the windows of the corbelled arch. The walls of the sanctum hall are straight up to the point of the neck by perpendicular stepping up of the courses of brick layers.

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