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We present a bistable photonic crystal configuration consisting of a waveguide sided coupled to a single-mode cavity with instantaneous Kerr nonlinearity. We show that such a configuration can generate extremely high contrast between the bistable states in its transmission with low input power. We also provide an analytic theory that can completely account for the entire transient switching dynamics, as revealed by finite difference time domain simulations.doi:10.1063/1.1615835 fatcat:4ki4n2janvhnjfbgidxmxploja