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Tripura

Tripura, the second smallest state in the country, is almost surrounded by Bangladesh. Inspite of having 19 tribes, the majority of the population of Tripura is Bengali. Situated in one of the remotest corner of the country, Trpura is one of the best potential places that caters the taste of everything from palaces to lakes and hill station.

Neermahal, a summer resort at south Tripura, built by late Maharaja Birbikram Kishore Manikya way back in 1930, attract a good number of tourists every year. The Ujjayanta Palace, a dominating built in Agartala, was built by Krishna Kishore Manikya Bahadur in 1901.

The ancient land of Tripura located in the North Eastern region of India between 22.56 deg and 24.32 deg North Latitude and 90.09 deg and 92.20 deg East Longitude and is bounded on the north, west, south and south-east by the international boundary of Bangladesh. In the east it has a common boundary with Assam & Mizoram. 60% of the total area is under hills and forests. This tiny state has an area of about 10,500 sq. kms and is inhabited by largely 19 tribes Bengali, Manipuri and other communities.

Dhalai District This is the youngest district of Tripura. More than half of it is hilly and covered with forests. This district is characterized by scenic forests, incredible natural beauty and remarkable hill ranges. This district is rich in natural resources.

The very famous Longtharai Mandir is located at the Dhalai district. This temple is known for its natural beauty and is also a place of devotion to thousands of people. Another famous temple in this district is the Kamaleswari temple. The major hill tracks here are Atharamura, Longtharai and Sakhantang. The major are rivers Manu, Dhalai and Khowai.

History : The ancient history of Tipperah or Tripura is shrouded with mystery. We come to learn from Rajamal that more than 150 tribal kings ruled Tripura since the legendary period and King Ratnapha got the title "Manikya" from the Lord of Gauda. But recent readings of Tripura Coins have proved that Ratna had his two predecessors Maha Manikya and Dharma Manikya. Hence it is perhaps reasonable to conclude that with Mahamanikya, the historical period of the "Manikya" Dynasty started, which continued till 1949. The history of the rulers of Tripura in medieval period is the story of continual fights, particularly with the Sultans of Bengal.

During the British period, some English officials were eager to occupy Tripura, but it was opposed by others. However, the office of the British Political Agent of Tripura was created in 1871. After the death of Birbikram Kishore Manikya in May 1947, a Council of Regency under the leadership of his widowed wife Maharani Kanchanprava Devi took over the charge of the administration on behalf of the minor prince.

The Regent's rule came to an end on September 9, 1947, when due to popular pressure, the agreement of Merger of Tripura with the Indian Union was signed by the Maharani on 15th October 1949. Finally, Tripura became a full-fledged State in January 1972.

Flora & Fauna : Sepahijala Wild Life Sanctuary, is about 25 kms from Agartala covering an area of about 18 sq kms.It houses about 150 species of birds and the unique spectacled monkey. There is also a botanical garden, zoo, lake and boating facilities nearby. The Trishna Wild Life Sanctuary is located about 100 kms away.

Faith & Culture : There are only four predominant communities in Tripura professing different religious beliefs - Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians. Most of the tribal people have their own tribal customs and beliefs but in a broader sense of the religion they are believed to be followers of is Hinduism. They worship elements such as the god of water, the god of fire, the god of forests, the god of earth etc. A trace of their old faith is found in their present practice of striking a bamboo in the ground during religious festivals and worshipping it. Sacrifices form an important part of their religion; the buffaloes, pigs, goats and fowls being the animals ordinarily used for this purpose.

Handicrafts : Loin-loom, indeed is the oldest and most developed cottage industry of Tripura. Among the traditional produces mention may be made of dubris (a piece of skirt to be wrapped twice over the body) riha or risa (breast garment); bed-covers, screens, asanas etc. Silk is another age old industry of Tripura. Next to weaving, cane and bamboo works occupy place of prominence. Bamboo is available in super abundance, and this typical forest wealth of Tripura is one material that is used in many ways from building homes to making toys. Many artistic things are made of bamboo or its roots for example toy, tray, vase, photo-frame, human figure, casket, calender, pen-stand etc.

Fairs and Festivals : Of the many festivals which are celebrated in Tripura, the worship of fourteen Gods popularly known as "Kharchi Puja" occupies a place of pride. This is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the month of July every year. The first day of this week long festival is declared a holiday by the Government. Ker and Garia Puja- these two traditional tribal festivals, need special mention. Ker Puja starts generally fifteen days after Kharchi Puja. It is said that this puja is performed for the welfare of the state and its people. The puja is performed within a specific boundary & during the puja nobody is allowed to enter or come out of this specified boundary. The Garia Puja is performed on the sevventh day of the month of Baisakh (April). When the Puja is over, the devotees, men and women take to dancing.