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History of Royal Family of Mallabhum Bishnupur

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

The royal family of Bishnupur in Bankura, West Bengal, is historically known as the Malla dynasty. Here is a brief overview of their history:

  1. Origins: The Malla dynasty ruled over the region of Bishnupur for several centuries. Their origins can be traced back to the late medieval period when they established themselves as rulers.

  2. Rise to Power: The Malla rulers were originally known as Kshatriyas and hailed from the Narasingha dynasty. They gradually rose to power in the region, gaining control over Bishnupur and its surrounding areas.

  3. Patronage of Art and Culture: One of the most significant contributions of the Malla dynasty was their patronage of art and culture. They were responsible for the development of the distinct terracotta temples of Bishnupur, which are renowned for their intricate and ornate terracotta panels depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. The Malla rulers were great supporters of the Vaishnavite Bhakti movement, and their artistic endeavors reflected their devotion to Lord Krishna.

  4. Mallabhum: The region under the Malla dynasty's rule came to be known as Mallabhum. It flourished culturally and economically during their reign, attracting scholars, artists, and artisans.

  5. Decline: The decline of the Malla dynasty began in the 18th century, as various factors, including external invasions and internal disputes, weakened their rule. Ultimately, in the late 18th century, the British East India Company established control over the region, leading to the end of the Malla dynasty's rule.

  6. Legacy: Despite their decline, the Malla dynasty's legacy continues to thrive through the artistic and cultural heritage they left behind. The terracotta temples of Bishnupur remain a major tourist attraction and a testament to their patronage of art and religion.

Today, while the Malla dynasty no longer rules over Bishnupur, their historical significance and contributions to the cultural heritage of the region are celebrated and remembered by both locals and visitors to the area.

King Maharaja Kalipada Singha Thakur was the last King of Malla dynasty of Bishnupur. He became King of Mallabhum in the year 1930 C.E.


There are at least three different opinions about Kalipada Singha Thakur. First opinion Prasannyamoyee another queen of Ramkrishna Singha Dev. had a daughter named Indumati, who was married with Anandaballav Singha Thakur. They had a son named Kalipada. After the queen Dwhajamoni died, Prasannyamoyee called kalipada and he was enthroned on the throne of the Mallabhum. In this way the throne was transferred from Singha Dev to Singha Thakurs. Kalipada became king in 1933. Second opinion kalipada Singha Thakur the grand son (from daughter's side) of Ramkishor Singha Dev(Hikim saheb) the second son of Gopal Singha Dev II was enthroned. In another third opinion kalipada Singha Thakur was the daughter's son of prasannya moyee devi - the second wife of Nilmoni Singha Dev.

Personal life:

Raja Kalipada Singha Thakur had two wives, first one Rani Shovana Sundori Devi, had two daughters, died at their early ages. Second wife was Rani Siromoni Subornomoyee Patta Mahadevi had four sons and three daughters. Sons are, Devendra Bijoy, Anil Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Salil Kumar.


Raja Kalipada Singha Thakur was the last titular Raja of Bishnupur Raj. During his time, the estate of Bishnupur was reduced to a small Zamindari. While the geographical extent of Bishnupur had shrunk from its days when it was a kingdom, Thakur tried to maintain the glamour and aristocratic nature of his holdings. In 1942, he ignored the verdict of the District Magistrate (India) and performed the ritual firing of canon during Mahashtthami day of Durga Puja. In 1969, he contested the legislative assembly elections in West Bengal, standing from Bishnupur, Bankura (Vidhan Sabha constituency). He stood as a candidate of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, later re-formed as the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was defeated by the candidate of Bangla Congress. During his lifetime, most of the temples of Bishnupur was acquired by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI). He died on 29 December 1983.

King Raja Bir Haambir

Hambir was the 49th ruler of the Malla dynasty who flourished around 1586 AD and ruled in 16th-17th century, and was a contemporary of the Mughal emperor Akbar. He is notable for his military resistance against the expansionism of the Pathans and was known for his participation in the Battle of Mundamala Ghat. He ruled from 1565 to 1620 CE. The Rashmancha is a historical building located at Bishnupur. It was commissioned by Malla king Bir Hambir in 1600 CE.

For tour program planning contact Hotel

New Mukherjee Lodge

Pokabandh, Bishnupur, Bankura

Phone 8250623299, 9614472230

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