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Name : TRIPURA
About Tripura
Tripura acceded to the Indian Union in 1949. This ancient land of mysterious past is located in the North Eastern region of India between 22"56' and 24"32' North Latitude and 90"09' and 92"20' 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 and Mizoram.

60% of the total area is under hills and forests. Pollution free, eco-friendly environment and pleasant weather of this panoramic tiny state with an area of about 10,500 sq. kms. is inhabited largely by 19 tribes, Bengali, Manipuri and other communities.

Tripura represents a composite culture with several ethnic groups residing in the state. Though the cultural heritage of one community differs from the other, the multifaceted efforts have mingled them into a single whole, giving birth to a unique cultural genre. Tripura can be termed as a 'laboratory' of exotic cultural synthesis.

Considering the proximity of Tripura with Bangladesh, it is more convenient for foreign nationals coming to Dacca or other cities of Bangladesh to visit Agartala via Akhaura border check-post.

Similarly, foreign tourists coming to Tripura by other routes may go back to Bangladesh via this route. If tourists coming via this route intimate the State's Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism Department in advance, either in writing or over the phone, necessary arrangements in this regard can be made. The journey time by road between Dacca and Agartala is approximately 3 hours.

Place to Visit

Agartala, the state capital, is connected by road with Guwahati via Shillong by National Highway No. 44. It takes about 24 hrs. by road from Guwahati to reach Agartala.

There are flight connections as well, with Calcutta and Guwahati.Ujjayanta Palace is a modern building of the royal house of Tripura and is located in the heart of Agartala, sprawling over a half sq. kms. This two storeyed mansion has a mixed architecture with three high domes (the centre one being 86' high).

The magnificent tiled floor, curved wooden ceiling and beautifully crafted doors are particularly notable. The palace was built by Radha Kishore Manikya in 1901 AD. Its well laid out gardens have two large tanks on either side and the fountains are laid out in the patterns of the Mughal gardens. The palace is floodlit at night.Kunjaban Palace, situated 1 km. ahead on hillock, was constructed in 1917 AD and named as Pushbanta Palace by the then ruler, Mahapicsa Birendra Kishore Manikya. It is said that the known poet Rabindra Nath Tagore stayed in the eastern apartment of this palace.

The southern side is now open to public and is known as Rabindra Kanan, while the rest of the palace is now the official residence of the Governer of the state.Neermahal, a summer resort, built in 1930 AD by the late Mahapics Birbikaram Kishore Manikya Bahadur is about 55 kms. away from Agartala. It is built in the middle of a lake called Rudrasagar with a total area of about 5.35 sq. kms. A perfect blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, it is the only lake palace in Eastern India.Half of the palace is an open garden used as an open-air theatre and the other half on the western side is called the Andar Mahal, used by the royalty. It had 15 rooms and was approached by boat from the picsghat towards two sets of steps, one for the Mahapicsa and one for the Maharani. Flood lighting has been used to illuminate the palace.

The state govenment has plans to add a sound & light show and introduce water sports to add to the facilities of their tourist resort on the banks of Rudrasagar.EXCURSIONSThe Rock-Cuts and stone carvings of Tripura are huge and have been carved on open vertical walls at Unakoti, Debtamura and Pilak. Unakoti is about 178 kms. from Agartala, 8 kms from Kailashahar. It is a Shiva pilgrimage site dating back to the 8th or 9th Century. The Central Shiva carving known as the Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava is about 30 feet high with its head dress about 10 feet in height. Every year, a big festival known as Ashokastami Mela is held in the month of April. Debtamura, 75 kms. from Agartala, is situated on the banks of the river Gomati, between Udaipur and Amarpur.

The rocks on the banks of the river are also called Chabimura and images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartik, Mahisasur, Mardini, Durga and other deities. The images date back to the 15th and 16th Century.Pilak, 100 kms away from Agartala towards the southern end of Tripura, is also said to be of the 8th and 9th century, where, within an area of about 10 sq. kms., carvings were found mostly in stone and interracotta plaques. Colossal stone images of Avalokiteswara and Narashima have also been found here. Excavations are continuing at these sites.

Mata Tripureshwari Temple at Udaipur located about 58 kms. from Agartala and 3 kms. from Udaipur, is considered one among the 51 pithasthans of India according to Hindu mythology.It is also known as Kurma Pith because of the shape of the temple resembling the tortoise. The idol of Maa Kali is in the Soroshi form.

Another smaller version of the idol is also seen here which was usually carried by kings during their hunting trips or war. This idol is known as Chotto Maa. The Fourteen Goddess Temple is situated about 14 kms. from Agartala at a place which is known as the old Agartala because the capital was temporarily shifted to this place while Mahapicsa Krishna Manikya was at war for a long time with Shamser Gazi.

The famous Kharchi Festival is celebrated here during the month of July every year and visited by thousands of pilgrims.Bhuveneshwari Temple, on the right banks of the Gomati River, was built by Mahapicsa Govinda Manikya during 1660-75 AD. It finds reference in Rabindra Nath Tagore's poetry and drama namely Bisharjan and picsarshi.

Other temples to visit in Agartala are the Buddha Temple, Jagannath Temple, Laxminarayan Temple, Uma Maheswari Temple and the Durga Temple. Also in Udaipur one could visit the Mahadev Temple.Sepahijala Wild Life Sanctuary, is about 25 kms. from Agartala covering an area of about 18.53 sq. kms. It houses about 150 species of birds and the sanctuary, a forest Dak Bungalow called Abasarika offers accommodation .There is also a botanical garden, zoo, lake and boating facilities nearby.The Trishna Wild Life Sanctuary is located about 100 kms. away from Agartala. The bison is the main attraction of this sanctuary, apart from some resident and migratory birds.Dumboor is a famous spot, located 110 kms. away from Agartala in the midst of picturesque hills. The lake has an area of 41 sq. kms. with 48 islands within.

Tirthamukh is the name given to a hydel project at the mouth of the river Gomati where the Pous Sankranti Mela takes place in January every year.This lake is a confluence of the rivers Raima and Sarma and it has a reservoir of natural and cultured fish. This is also another reason for the large number of migratory birds which flock here during winters.

The Rudrasagar Lake, about 55 kms. from Agartala near Melaghar, is about 5.3 sq. kms. in area and has the privilege of having the only Lake Palace of the North-East in it, the Neermahal.

A boat race is organised every year around July or August, but boating otherwise is available to tourists throughout the year.Lake Kamalasagar, 27 kms. from Agartala, was excavated by Mahapicsa Dhanya Manikya in the 15th century. A temple of Goddess Kali stands on the banks of the lake and is said to have been built during the 16th century.Udaipur is the city of lakes and one could come across any one of the following at close proximity, namely Amarsagar, Kalyansagar, Jagannath Dighi, Mahadev Dighi and Sukhsagar.200 kms. from Agartala, bordering Mizoram, are Jampui Hills- an important tourist attraction.

The hill range comprises 10 villages inhabited by tribes of Mizo stock Lushai & Reang. The highest peak of the range is about 3,000 ft above sea level and is lush green.The climate is so good that Jampuri is known as the land with a permanent spring. Each new season has its own growth of either fruits or orchids and the colour of the hills changes with the colour of the season.Tripura is known for its exceptional hand woven cotton fabrics with tribal motifs, wood carvings decorative articles made from bamboo roots, bamboo and cane furniture and other exquisite handicrafts. Ideal places to shop in Agartala besides Purbasha, the State Government Emporia are Priyadarshini, Tantumita, Aitorma and other private shops.

General Information:

AGARTALA:
Area : 10,500 sq.kms.
Altitude : 1280 metres.
Temprature (deg C): Summer- Max. 35, Min. 21.7; Winter- Max. 25, Min.10.1.
Rainfall : 22.4 cms (June to August).
Clothings : Cottons in Summer, Wollens in Winter.
Best Season : September to March.


ACCESS:
Air: Agartala is connected by Indian Airlines' flights to Calcutta & Guwahati.
Rail: The two nearest railway stations are Kumarghat (160 kms) and Dharama Nagar (200 kms). Both the stations on the North-East Frontier Railway, connected by 203/204 Tripura Passanger with Lumding & Guwahati, where as Lumding and Guwahati are connected with Calcutta and other major stations in India.
Road: Good motorable raods connect Agartala with Silchar- 288 kms, Guwahati- 599 kms, Shillong- 499 kms, Dharmanagar- 200 kms.
Bus Service: Tripura Road Transport Corporation buses connect Silchar, Shillong and Dharma Nagar to Agartala.