Tripura: Where Culture Meets Nature
Most of the Indians might not be able to locate Tripura on the map of India. However, that doesn’t dent the grandeur of this tiny Indian state, a part of seven sisters of North-East India. It is one of the most literate states in India with a literacy rate of 87%
Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh to the north, south and west. In the east, it meets Assam and Mizoram. Agartala is the capital city of Tripura, located on the banks of the Haora River. ‘Agar’ is a valuable perfume and incense tree, and the suffix ‘tala’ means underneath. It refers to the abundance of agarwood trees in the region.
Neermahal (Twijilikma Nuyung) is a former royal palace built by Maharaja of Tripura Kingdom in the middle of the lake. The lake Twijilikma is now known as Rudrasagar. It is located in Melaghar, 53 kms from Agartala. The palace assimilates Hindu architectural style. It was Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarma's idea to build a palace amidst the splendid Rudrasagar lake. In 1921, he endorsed the British company Martin and Burns to construct the palace. The company took nine years to complete the palace.
The palace is the largest of its kind in India and the only one in Eastern India. It is so large that it can fit in single picture frame on the standard camera only if you are at a distance of 800 metres. The other water palace of India is the Jal Mahal in Rajasthan, which is smaller than NeerMahal
It is an exclusive experience to witness the royal magnificence of Ujjayanta Palace. This Indo-Saracenic structure is set in large Mughal-style gardens on a lakefront. The palace has three domes each 86 feet high, gorgeous tile floors, curved wooden ceilings and brilliantly crafted doors. There are many temples set around the Palace. Lighting after sunset enhances the attraction of this palace. It housed the State Legislative Assembly up to 2011. Today the Royal Palace houses the State Museum with an impressive collection of royal and cultural artefacts.
The name Ujjayanta Palace was given by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya in 1901 AD. The glistening white Ujjayanta Palace located in the capital city of Agartala reminds the age of Tripura Kings.
Unakoti is a perfect combination of a holy place, historical remains and a hill station. It is ‘Shaiba’ (Saivite) pilgrimage and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries. Unakoti means one less than a crore and it is said that these many rock cut carvings are available here. The huge rock-cut images of gods and goddesses are sculpted amidst the nature. Amongst the carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head is about 30 feet high and known as ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava’.
‘Sitakunda’ or ‘Ashtamikunda’, are natural reservoirs which becomes the most alluring attraction to the people of Tripura on Maghi Sankranti (in February) and Ashokastami. They take dip into it in shivering cold during the festivals
Baramura Eco park
Baramura is also known as Hatai Kotor. It is a hill range known for Hornbill. It is an area surrounded by sylvan green forest with a stream flowing through it. This park has got a lot of other attractions of panoramic environment.
Mahamuni Pagoda is a famous Buddha Monastery located at Manubankul village in South Tripura. This holy pilgrimage was built under the leadership of MathuMog long ago. A well known week long festival takes place in the month of March and April. The Temple attracts thousands of Buddhist and non Buddhist pilgrims from other states of India as well as from neighbouring countries like, Myanmar, Thailand, Srilanka and Bangladesh.
Durgabari Tea Estate
Durgabari is one of the most famous tea plantations in Tripura. Located at Bamutia in West Tripura, it offers a breathtaking view of sprawling green landscape which spreads over 30 acres. It is 12 km from Agartala city. Tripura has a history of tea plantations going back to 1916.
The Jampui Hills stretch from North to South of Tripura bordering the state Mizoram in the east. Betlingchhip (930m) is the highest point in Tripura. There are 10 small villages in Jampui hills and most of the inhabitants are the Mizo community. Multiple view points in the hills provide admirable panoramic views of the valley and twilights.
Jampui is famous for Orange Festival. During this festival season i.e. September to December, the hill is covered with floating clouds which provides a mesmerizing experience for the travellers.
Tripura Sundari temple
Tripurasundari Temple is also known as Matabari and it is one of the 51 shakti peeths. It is said that 'right foot' of Mata Sati fell at Matabari on the south-western outskirts of Udaipur town. This ‘pithasthan’ (centre of pilgrimage) is also known as Kurma Pith because the shape of the temple premises resembles that of "Kurma" or tortoise. The idol of ‘Maa Kali’, presiding deity of the temple, stands in the sanctum sanctorum and it is made of reddish black stone. The temple was constructed in 1501 A.D. by the then Maharaja Dhanya Manikya. Every year on ‘Diwali’, a famous ‘Mela’ takes place near the temple which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims.
Located in South of Tripura, Gumti wildlife sanctuary is home to elephants, sambar deer, buffalo, yapping deer, sarow or wild goat, et al. The semi-evergreen sanctuary has a huge water reservoir that attracts migratory and resident birds, such as large whistling teals and Burmese sub-species of sarus crane during winters. The sanctuary can be reached via Ambassa and Gandacherra.
Akhaura Integrated Check Post
Inaugurated in 2013, the Agartala - Akhaura check post is the second-largest Indian trading centre with Bangladesh. It divides the countries of India and Bangladesh, along the border state of Tripura. Located 6 km from the city of Agartala, the check post boasts of infrastructure similar to the famous Wagah Border in Amritsar. The place is popular amongst travelers who come here to witness the ceremony in which the flags of the two countries are lowered by security personnel with a mutually coordinated performance.
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