Thursday, February 9, 2023

Arts and Architecture


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. 

The sanctum 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.