Welcome to Bishnupur, a small town in West Bengal that is famous for its terracotta temples. If you’re a temple enthusiast, you cannot miss visiting Lalji Temple, an ancient temple that is located just 2 km away from the Bishnupur Bus Station.
Lalji Temple was built in 1658 CE by the Malla king Bir Singha II, and is a perfect example of the Eka-Ranta style. The temple is devoted to Radha-Krishna and has a fascinating architecture that includes a square raised plinth with ornamental stucco decorations on low relief carvings. The temple also has a dancing hall in front and a tower in Orissan style in the west that is dedicated to Raghunath.
But that’s not all – just 300 meters away from the temple, you’ll find a beautiful stone chariot that dates back to the 17th century AD. This small double-storied structure stands on a low laterite plinth and was originally built with three wheels on each side. The lower storey of the chariot resembles the arched pavilion of Rasmancha, while the upper storey with shikhara resembles the Ek-Ratna Temple of Bishnupur.
Visitors can get entry tickets for all the Bishnupur temples from Rasmancha, including Lalji Temple. However, visitors are not allowed to enter inside the temple as it is now maintained by the Archaeological Society of India and has no deities. But that shouldn’t stop you from admiring its beauty from the outside.
If you’re visiting during the Dussehra festival, you’re in for a treat as there are two cars in front of the gateway – one for Lord Lalji and the other for Lord Raghunath. They are taken out in procession during the festival, and it’s quite a sight to see.
So, don’t forget to add Lalji Temple to your list of places to visit in Bishnupur. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some inscriptions in Bengali at several places!