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 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.
The original inhabitants of the land, i.e. the hill people were noted for their tolerance and passive obedience. It is only in the 19th century that they started protesting against the oppressive Feudal System.
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.
Fairs & 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.
Another remarkable tribal festival is Ganga Puja. This puja is held in March-April. About 4 to 5 Villages join together to perform this puja. To perform the puja they build a temple of bamboo just on the middle of the river. They sacrifice goats, buffaloes and ganders and pray to God to save them from epidemic disease. Durga Puja in the month of October is one of the most popular festivals of Tripura. Next comes Diwali, on the occasion of which each year a big fair is held near Matabari in the temple of Tripura Sundari at Udaipur. "Ashokastami fair" is held at Unakoti Tirtha at Kalishahar every year in the spring. Thousands of pilgrims assemblle here to offer prayers to the images of Goddesses engraved on the hilly rocks which are found here.
People & Lifestyle
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.
Most of the modern members of the ruling family of Tripura were great patrons of art and literature and had great regard for eminent scholars of the country. Maharaja Dharmamanikya is said to have inaugurated the rajmala, a verse chronicle of the royal house. Tripura, a neighbouring state, have had a spiritual contact with Bengal for well over a few centuries and this contact became all the more significant during the period due to Tagore's continued association with the ruler and his benign influence over them.
Teachers were brought from Mithila for the spread of Music in the State. A flute made of Muli Bamboo of Tripura was very famous. There are also their own improvised musical instruments like Sarinda, Chougpreng and Samu (flute) etc. made of bamboo and strings.The songs are mostlly related to their days work and different songs are sung on different occassions. Dancing in Tripura has always been in complementary lines with Music and it has always been a very popular aspect of cultural functions. The Garia dance is very popular among the Tripuris.
|Museums & Palaces
|Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary
|Neermahal Water Palace
|Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary
|Kamalasagar Kali Temple
|Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary
Tripura Sundari Temple