"Bishnupur, the ancient temple town of West Bengal. About 130 km from Kolkata by road, Bishnupur is famed globally for its brilliant terracotta (burnt clay) art and architecture, and features on the shortlist of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Terracotta as an ancient construction material is practically unseen anywhere else in India, but was perfectly customised by Bishnupur artisans in the absence of stone. Capital of the Malla dynasty for nearly 1,000 years from the seventh century AD, Bishnupur is also famous for its terracotta pottery, artefacts, jewellery, dokra metalcraft, bell metal ware, Baluchari and Mallabhum sarees, the unique circular Dashavatar playing cards, and conch artefacts. Of the several structures still standing, you must not miss Rasmancha, Mrinmoyee temple (home to a 1000-year-old Durga Puja), Jorbangla temple, Shyam Rai temple, Gar Darja, Madanmohan temple, Jore Shreni temple/ Poramatir Haat, and Lalbandh. Also make sure to see Dalmadal, the legendary iron cannon reportedly used by the deity Madanmohan to protect Bishnupur from enemies, which has gathered no rust despite standing in the open since the 18th century." Without exception, traditional styles tend to be heavily Indian, with little or no Western influences. Facial and physical features are often exaggerated to highlight expressions. Around the idol-making workshops, countless smaller stalls sell craft decorations, ornaments and weapons for the idols in gold and silver foil, glittering ‘zari’ and brocade, white shola, or even thermocol.