Bishnupur gets its name from the Lord Vishnu, the deity of the Malla kings. During the reign of Malla kings, the town developed an exclusive and distinctive form of architecture involving terracotta works. The Malla kings, who were Vaishnavites, built many terracotta temples for Lord Krishna during the period of 17th and 18th century. The architecture of these temples is a bold mix of Bengali, Islamic, Orissan styles. Most of the temples are of Eka-Ratna type with a single tower upon a sloping roof and a square cell known as Grabhagriha. There are few temples with multiple towers of Pancha-Ratna types. Built with local laterite and brick, the temples were covered with terracotta tiles depicting scenes from the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana. The most striking temples are the Jor Bangla, Madan Mohan, Ras Mancha and Shyam Rai.

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