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Old 24th March 2009, 02:00   #16
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Nice photographs indeed. These pics of rural bengal still make me go nostalgic. They just seem to transport you to another era, far far away from the daily din of the big cities and concrete jungles of high rises and bridges everywhere.

By the way, a bit OT but how is it that Bishnupur is famous for Baluchari? I mean, are there any rivers or a sea nearby? I am not sure... My understand of Baluchari as a term was that historically the artisans used to weave them by the banks of the rivers (balu char) and hence the name. They used to let the dye dry up in the sun before selling them to those who used to take the boats to cross the river or even in the weekly markets which used to be held by these banks. So going by that logic Baluchari saris should still be a speciality of artisans who settled many gens ago somewhere close by the banks.
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Old 24th March 2009, 04:44   #17
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Nitin
In terms of restoration nothing much has been done, which is perhaps good. About 20 of these temples are under Archaeological Survey of India's protection. This means they maintain the temples and its immediate surroundings etc. But no restoration as such.
Zappo
If I am not mistaken Baluchar is a village near Baharampur in Murshidabad where this particular style of weaving developed. But now it survives only in the Bishnupur region, in a much diluted form. From SS-Traveler's picture you can see that weavers these days use computerised design format for weaving the motiffs. They do the same thing in Benares also. It is faster and requires less expertise on the part of the weaver.
In the recent past the weavers have created a new thing called Swarnachari - which is nothing but Baluchari with zari work. Nice innovation to stay afloat.
Another point about Bishnupur town - the town is literally plastered with the ugly advertisement of two Saree shops. No matter which direction you look at you either see ads of Kanishka or of Anubhav. They are like Coke and Pepsi of Baluchari in Bishnupur.
I am putting up a few more pics of the temple walls.
One side of the Shyam Rai temple
The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-arches.jpg
Arch in another temple
The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-arch.jpg
A scene depicting gun wielding Portuguese pirates
The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-pirates.jpg

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 24th March 2009 at 15:41.
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Old 24th March 2009, 07:23   #18
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Very nice pics Sudipto Da. The temples seem to be well looked after.
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Old 24th March 2009, 11:53   #19
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@Sudipto : Which camera do you use ?
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Old 24th March 2009, 12:50   #20
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Canon 450 D. Lenses used were 75-300 and 18-55. And then finally our good old friend photoshop CS2

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 24th March 2009 at 12:55.
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Old 24th March 2009, 13:02   #21
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Zappo here is the link: Murshidabad travel guide - Wikitravel

Sudipta, great stuff. Lovely photos reminding me of my college days.
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Old 24th March 2009, 14:56   #22
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Thanks a lot Rudrada. Those words of appreciation for the photographs from you are very important to me. Regarding Bishnupur reminding you about college days - you might well get the shock of your life if you went to the town today. Lot of what looks like new construction have come up in the recent past blocking views of the temples from a distance. For example, you can't get a long shot view of the Rasmancha temple any more. But the temples themselves are doing okay.
By the way, my apologies for writing Archaeological Society of India in an earlier post. No such society exists!! It should be Archaeological Survey of India. Unfortunately I cannot edit it now. Sorry about this unintended error. Probably it went unnoticed by others and only I noticed it
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Old 24th March 2009, 15:00   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
By the way, my apologies for writing Archaeological Society of India in an earlier post. No such society exists!! It should be Archaeological Survey of India. Unfortunately I cannot edit it now. Sorry about this unintended error. Probably it went unnoticed by others and only I noticed it
Let me know where. I'll correct that. A good proper write up should be without that.
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Old 24th March 2009, 15:36   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Let me know where. I'll correct that. A good proper write up should be without that.
post # 17, second sentence.
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Old 25th March 2009, 12:14   #25
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There is one more route to Bishnupur ,
from Dankuni trafiic crossing (Crossing
before toll plaza on Durgapur expressway)
take right turn and follow the "Assam
Link Road" till Arambagh - Bishnupur.

Here also the local Tourist attarctions map
of Bishnupur in Bengali for you gents.

It was nice Travelogues, your daughter looks
very cute.

Cheers
Attached Thumbnails
The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-gpkot-327.jpg  

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Old 25th March 2009, 12:29   #26
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Beautiful write up and very enlightening.frankly i didnt know such marvellous temples existed in Bengal.
The puch cards seem so fascinating and how they would transmit the design to the saris.Truly a knowledge imparing thread.
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Old 25th March 2009, 16:20   #27
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Hillram
Indeed the temples are exquisite examples of terracotta work and a national asset. If proper lobbying was done they would have been declared world heritage site by the UN. Unfortunately there is no organised effort to do all that in Bengal.
These temples started a trend of temple architecture in Bengal and several hundred such temples came up in this part of the world after the Bishnupur tradition started around the year 1600 AD. Apparently the artisans hailed from a village in Orissa.
However, these temples are much smaller in size and scope as compared to some of the other more celebrated temples of our country like Khajuraho or Meenakshi temple etc. These are more rural and smaller in appeal and lack the grandeur of those temples. Nevertheless, they have their own uniqueness and charm.
Regarding the computerised punch cards I cannot really explain the exact process but it's a kind of automated design for saree weaving and the different threads pass through those punch holes to weave the designs on the saree. A master weaver with some graphic designing knowledge creates those punchcards. The guy executing the job on the saree doesn't need too much skill to produce intricate designs. In earlier times the weaver had to do it all by using his brain alone - it was way more complicated and time consuming and therefore more expensive.
This technology is now being followed virtually all over the country including in the south.

@ Captain Dey - Thanks for your comments sir. Yes Geetanjali indeed is very cute.

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 25th March 2009 at 16:27.
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Old 25th March 2009, 18:04   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Indeed the temples are exquisite examples of terracotta work and a national asset. If proper lobbying was done they would have been declared world heritage site by the UN.
These temples started a trend of temple architecture in Bengal
@ Sudipto-da: Very true. One of the more prominent surviving temples of the Bankura-Bishnupur style is the temple at Joydeb-Kenduli, which is more famous for the baul mela than the temple itself. Some exquisite craftsmanship can also be seen there. Posting some pics of mine from there - will be a good first-hand comparison with the style seen at Bishnupur.
Attached Thumbnails
The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-s2.jpg  

The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-3.jpg  

The terracotta temples of Bishnupur-4.jpg  

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Old 25th March 2009, 18:14   #29
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SS
This is absolutely fascinating. I didn't know about the Kenduli temple. The photographs are very nice. The temple sculptures look more evolved than Bishnupur. Must see during my next trip to Shantiniketan. Thanks a tonne.
Sudipto
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:43   #30
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Default Baluchari Swarnachari

[COLOR=black]While in Bishnupur I went inside Anubhab to see how these fascinating sarees are weaved. Actually, each thread that makes the base of the saree is tied with a thread that is attached to the weaving mill monitored by the punch cards. Whenever a lever is pressed by leg the instrument pulls up a set of threads creating a passage between the pulled up thread and the threads lying low. The weaver then passes the cross thread tied to a shuttle through this passage from one end to the other. He stacks this thread and then presses the lever again to pull up another set of threads and let other threads lie low. The shuttle is then passed again through the threads.[/COLOR]


[COLOR=black]The only thing is to change the passing threads tied with the shuttle according to the color combination which is also well documented. Despite the automated arrangements each saree takes about 4-5 days to complete.[/COLOR]
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