The Vishnu Temple of Bishanpur
The temple is situated at the Bishanpur town.
It was built by the king Kyamba
during 1507 AD. It is the oldest temple of Manipur. The entire structure is made
of good quality brick and mud plaster. The
pedestal consists of a series of five brick layers in concentric arrangement. 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 ascending 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 upper 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 block 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.
hall is square 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. The
entrance of the shrine is through two plasters of a rectangular opening
which carries a corbelled arch with niches and achieved through fourteen courses
of brick layers.