of the little known holiday destinations of the North Eastern region of
India, the state of Tripura is a big bundle full of hidden surprises.
Tripura offers a plethora of spectacular attractions in its cavalcade of
massive historic palaces, rock cut carvings, stone sculptures, Hindu and
Buddhists pilgrimage sites, wildlife sanctuaries and varied tribal people.
Tripura is the third smallest state of India and it spreads over an area of
10,492 sq. kms. A landlocked hilly state, Tripura is surrounded by
Bangladesh on the north, west and south and the Cachar district of Assam and
Aizwal district of Mizoram to the east. For administrative purposes, Tripura
has been divided into 4 districts, 17 subdivisions and 40 development
blocks. Tripura also has an autonomous district council called the Tripura
Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council which has its headquarters at
An erstwhile princely state, Tripura now abounds with the splendour of its
natural setting and dazzling heritage. In addition to these, its imposing
peaks, major rivers such as Khowai, Manu and Gomti and verdant expanses and
rich forestlands have always been a great attraction for tourists visiting
So, plan your next tour to India very soon, take a flight to Agartala to
experience a vacation of lifetime.
Tripura - History
Tripura has a long history that goes back to the epic Mahabharata, the
religious scripture Puranas and pillar inscriptions of emperor Ashoka. The
history of Tripura has been divided into four periods namely Mythological
Period, Ancient Period, Historical Period and Modern Period.
Mythological Period :
Origin of Tripura is mentioned in
the myths written in 'Rajmala', the Chronicle of the Kings of
Tripura, which includes both Hindu mythologies and Tripuri folklores.
Ancient Period :
The period beginning from the 7th century
is called the ancient period. During this period, Tripura was ruled from
Kailashahar in north Tripura.
Historical Period :
The period between 14th and 15th
centuries is considered the Historical period. This was the most glorious
period for the Kingdom of Tripura which then included the entire eastern
region of Bengal from the river Brahmaputra in the north and west, the Bay
of Bengal in the south and Burma (Myanmar) to east. The Kings of Tripura
adopted the title 'Manikya' and shifted their capital to Udaipur
(earlier Rangamati) in the 14th century.
Modern Period :
The modern period begins following the
domination of the Tripura Kingdom by the Mughals. It continued further with
the defeat of Mughals by the British. In the 18th century, King Krishna
Manikya shifted the capital to Old Agartala (Aguli) and in the 19th century
it was shifted to present Agartala. From 19th century A.D, the modern era
begun for Tripura as Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur Debbarma modelled
his kingdom on the British India pattern and brought in numerous reforms.
Till 1947, Tripura was ruled by the successors of Maharaja Bir Chandra
Manikya Bahadur Debbarma, the last King of Tripura kingdom was Maharaja Bir
Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur. In 1949, the kingdom was merged with India,
Tripura became a centrally administered Union Territory in 1963 and got the
status of a state on 1st January, 1972.
Tripura - Tourist Destinations
Government of Tripura has recommended two tourist circuits that include
Agartala - Sipahijala - Neermahal - Udaipur - Matabari -
Pilak - Mahamuni and Agartala - Dumboor Lake - Unakoti -
Jampui Hills. Though Tripura has a small geographical area but it offers
numerous attractions for the tourists. The state capital Agartala houses
tourist attractions namely - Ujjayanta Palace, State Museum, Tribal
Museum, Sukanta Academy, Laxminarayan Temple, Fourteen Goddess Temple,
Jagannath Temple, Gedu Mian Mosque, Malanch Niwas, Portuguese Church etc.
Other towns of Tripura include Udaipur, Belonia, Badharghat, Jogendranagar,
Dharmanagar, Indranagar, Khowal, Kailashahar, Pratapgarh and Teliamura. In
addition to Agartala, these towns also boast of several natural and man-made
wonders which will surely mesmerize you.
Tripura - People & Culture
Geographically, Tripura is the smallest state in the north-east but it is
the second most populous state in the region after Assam. As per 2001
census, Tripura has a population of 3,191,168. Bengalis and Manipuris
represent around 70% of the state population and the native tribes represent
30% of total population. Tripura's tribal population consists of varied
tribes and ethnic groups with different languages and cultures. Tripuara is
home to 19 distinct tribal communities that include Tripuri, Chakma,
Jamatia, Koloi, Kuki, Halam, Garo, Lushai, Murasing, Mogh, Munda, Noatia,
Oraon, Reang, Santhal and Unhoi. Of these tribes, the Tripuris form around
16% of the state's population and found all over the state.
Most of the tribal communities such as the Tripuris, Reangs, Jamatia,
Noatias and Halams follow the Hinduism. The Noatias and the Halam follow the
Shakti Cult, but people belonging to the Kalai and Rupini sections of the
former follow Vaishanavism. They follow the form of worship practiced by the
Hindus, but they are basically animistic and believe in the existence of God
in all elements of nature.
Loosely referred to as a 'laboratory of exotic cultural synthesis',
Tripura represents a fine blend of several cultures and traditions. Of
course, the cultural heritage of one community varies from other community,
but together they give birth to a unique cultural genre. Music, dance, fine
arts and handicrafts constitute the components of rich cultural heritage of
Tripura. Each community has its own dance forms that include Hozagiri,
Garia, Jhum, Maimita, Masak Sumani, Lebang boomani, Bizu, Cheraw, Hai-Hak,
Wangala, Sangraiaka, Chimithang, Padisha, Gajan, Dhamail, Sari, Basanta Rash
and Pung Chalam. Music is an essential part of tribal community and each
community has its own traditional musical instruments. Some of the important
musical instruments are Sarinda, Chongpreng, Sumui (flute), Khamb (drum),
Bamboo flute, Lebang, etc.
Tripura - Palaces and Monuments
has been the seat of power for several Maharajas who erected a number of
magnificent palaces across the state. Today, those Maharajas are no more but
the beautiful palaces provide a glimpse of the royal past. Noted palaces of
the state include Ujjayanta Palace, Kunjaban Palace, Malancha Niwas and
In addition to picturesque palaces, Tripura is also home to a number of
massive monuments that include rock-cut carvings. You can see impressive
rock-cut carvings and stone images at places such as Unakoti, Pilak and
Debatamura. Most of the rock-cut carvings are huge in size and they are
carved on vertical walls exposed in the open sky.
Tripura - Temples
Majority of the tribes in Tripura follow Hinduism, besides significant
number of people are Buddhists. Over the years the Hindus and Buddhists have
built several temples across the state. Some of the most popular temples
include Mata Tripureshwari Temple (Udaipur), Fourteen Goddess Temple (Old
Agartala), Bhuvaneshwari Temple (Udaipur) and Benuban Vihar (Agartala). A
number of temple festivals are organized close to the temples of Tripura. Of
the temple festivals, the Kharchi festival (July) organized near the
Fourteen Goddess Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and devotees every
Tripura - Cuisine
The Tripuri people (the original inhabitants of Tripura) have their own
indigenous cuisine and their eating habits differ from rest of India.
Traditionally, most of the Tripuri's are non-vegetarian and there is a
modern vaishnavite minority which are vegetarian. Rice is called Mai by the
Tripuri people, different varieties of rice used by them are Guriya, Maisa
and Mami. Traditional cuisine of Tripura is called as Mui Borok. Chakhwi,
Mwkhwi and Muitru are three favourite food items of Tripuri people. Tripuri
like a variety of non-vegetarian dishes prepared from chicken, mutton, pork,
beef, turtle, fish, crabs, prawns, frogs, etc.
Tripura - Fairs and Festivals
Fairs and Festivals forms an important part of the Tripuri's people
life. Every year thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit Tripura to
participate in the charming fairs and festivals. Most of the fairs and
festivals are celebrated by both tribal and non-tribal communities, while
some are specific to a particular community. Amongst the fair and festivals
of the state, most important includes the Pous Sankranti (January),
Ashokastami Fair (March/April), Garia and Gajan Festival (April), Rabindra/
Nazrul Jayanti (May), Kharchi Puja (July), Boat Race (August), Manasa Mangal
(August), Durga Puja (September/October), Deepawali (October/November),
Orange & Tourism Festival (November) and Rasha Festival (November).
Tripura - Wildlife
Situated in the bio-geographic zone of North- East Hills, Tripura possesses
an extremely rich bio-diversity and offers excellent opportunities for
eco-friendly tourism. Geographically, Tripura is a hilly territory, with
altitudes varying from 50 ft to 3,080 ft above sea level, it houses a rich
variety of plant and animal species. About two-third area of Tripura is
under forest cover where you will find various species of trees, orchids,
wildlife and avian species. Tripura is home to around 380 tree species, 320
shrubs, 580 herbs, 165 climbers, 16 climbing shrubs, 45 epiphytes and 35
ferns. Most of the local flora and faunal species are components of
Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese regions.
You can spot large number of animal species in the wildlife sanctuaries
namely - Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary. Just
30 kms away from Agartala, Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over an
area of 18.53 sq. kms. A birdwatchers' delight, Sipahijala Sanctuary
houses a vast colony of residential and migratory birds. Situated around 100
kms from Agartala, Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is home to Hoolock Gibbon,
Golden Langur, Capped Langoor and variety of residential and migratory
Tripura - Lakes
An enchanting land, Tripura is bestowed with several natural and man-made
lakes. Udaipur popularly known as the 'City of temples and lakes'
is home to huge lakes namely Amarsagar, Kalyansagar, Sukhsagar, Jagannath
Dighi and Mahadev Dighi. In addition to these, there are many other
picturesque lakes in Tripura that include Rudrasagar Lake (55 kms from
Agartala), Dumboor Lake (120 kms from Agartala) and Kamalasagar Lake (30 kms
Tripura - Shopping
It's obvious, whenever you visit a new destination you always want to
take along some souvenirs and gifts for your near and dear ones. Tripura is
one such destination from where you can't return empty hand. Though
Tripura has a number of destinations which offer excellent opportunities for
shopping, but shopping in Agartala is a wonderful experience for any avid
shopper. Tripura is known for a rich tradition of handicrafts and unique
artifacts made from cane, bamboo, clay and palm leaves.
When you are in Agartala visit Purbasha, an outlet of Tripura Handicrafts
and Handlooms Development Corporation to buy some of Tripura's popular
cane and bamboo craft. Tantumita is another government run shopping outlet
which is famous for traditional handlooms and also offers authentic
artifacts at reasonable prices. Apart from these, check out several private
shops in the main market area of Agartala. Watch out for decorated
lampshades, table mats, floor mats, room dividers, wall panels and furniture
in the market.
boasts of a pleasant climate, summers are moderately heat while winters are
cold. During summers temperature ranges from 24oC to 35oC, in winter
temperature varies between 13oC and 27oC. Monsoon brings torrential rains in
the state from June to August.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Tripura is September to March.
Tripura - Transportation
Agartala airport is the main airport of the
state which is served by Indian Airlines flights from Guwahati (40 mnts),
Silchar (35 mnts) and Kolkata (50 mnts). The airport is located at a
distance of 12 kms from the city centre. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are
available from the airport to the city.
Helicopter service connecting
Agartala to Kailshahar and Dharmangar is available.
Manughat/ Kumarghat is the major railhead in
Tripura, 120 kms away from Agartala. You can reach Kumarghat from Guwahati
via Lumding in Assam. Trains like Brahmaputra Mail, Kamprup Express, Cachar
Express and Barak Valley Express run to Lumding railway station. Passenger
trains from Lumding to Kumarghat take around 10 hrs. While the journey
between Guwahati to Lumding takes 5 hrs.
National Highway connects important places of
Tripura with each other and neighbouring states. NH No 44 originates from
Agartala and goes northeast across Tripura into Assam, enters Meghalaya and
joins NH No 40 near Shillong. Agartala is 597 kms away from Guwahati and 499
kms from Shillong. Frequent buses are available from Guwahati to Agartala.