The tiny state of Tripura, is the second smallest state of India. It is almost surrounded by Bangladesh, with a circuitous land link with India through Assam and Mizoram. Tripura was ruled for centuries by its own kings. The origins of the kingdom, is shrouded in the myths and chronicles of the Kings of Tripura, spanning Hindu mythologies and Tripuri folklores. In the 7 th century the Tripuri kings ruled from Kailashahar in North Tripura In the 14 th Century, the capital was shifted to Udaipur in South Tripura. This was their most glorious period and the power and fame of the Tripura rulers was even acknowledged by the Mughals, who were their contemporaries in North India. In 1871, after the British defeated the Mughals, the maharaja continued to rule the state under the tutelage of the British Rule. After India’s independence, the princely state of Tripura was merged with the Union of India in 1949. Tripura became a Union Territory on 1 July 1963 and attained the status of a full-fledged state on 21 January 1972.
Located in the lap of nature with 60 % forest cover, Tripura is tranquil and pollution free. Tripura has several diverse ethno-linguistic groups, which has given rise to a composite culture. The dominant cultures are Bengali, Manipuri, Tripuris, Reang, Noatia, Koloi, Murasing, Chakma, Halam,Garo, Kuki, Mizo, Mugh, munda, Oraon, Santhal and Uchoi.
Tripura’s lush green hills, bio diverse flora and fauna, verdant valleys, scenic lakes, rich handicrafts, traditional music, temples, archaeological remains, and exquisite sculpture constitute its irresistible charm as a tourist destination.
Tripura is isolated from the rest of the country due to its geographical location. Most people travel by air air from Kolkata ( 5 flights per day) Guwahati ( 2 flights per day), Imphal ( 3 flights per week). The National Highway (NH)-44 connects Agartala with Silchar, Shillong, Guwahati, and Imphal and NH 44 A provides the connection to Mizoram. The construction of a meter gauge railway line from Agartala in Assam is also in progress.
The climate of Tripura is of tropical monsoon type, with high humidity. The best time to travel is in the winter from from November to February.
The main attractions of Tripura are:-
Ujjayanta Palace- built in 1899. A magnificent tiled floor, curved wooden ceiling and beautifully crafted doors are particularly notable. The palace is set in huge Mughal style gardens,. Flood lighting and fountains have also added to its beauty.
The State Museum preserves some rare images, epigraphs numismatic evidence which throw light on the glorious past of Tripura and some of the adjoining States. The sculptures are mostly dated back to 9th to 13th century.
Purbasa Handicraft Centre: Tripura is noted for its exquisite and beautiful bamboo, cane and wooden handicrafts and weaving skills. Visitors can watch the craft persons at work and do some shopping.
Kamalasagar- A vast lake on the edge of the border with Bangladesh was excavated by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya in 15th century. A Kali temple located nearby dates back to 16th century.
Tripura Sundari temple, dating to 1501, is one of the 51 holiest ‘Shaktipeeths’ (Shrine of the goddess of power ) in India as per Hindu mythology. The famous Kalayan Sagar Lake lies close by.
Rudrasagar lake,and NeerMahal lake palace, located in the middle of the lake. The Palace is a picturesque fairy-tale royal mansion located in the middle of the Rudrasagar Lake. Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya built the palace in 1930 as his summer residence being inspired by Mughal Style of architecture. The lake is home to a large number of migratory birds every winter.
Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary encompasses an area of 18.532 km. More than 150 species of residential birds, migratory birds, orchid garden, boating facilities, wild life, botanical garden, zoo, elephant joy-rides, rubber and coffee plantations are on view. The rare spectacled monkey can be seen.
Tepania Eco Park: is set amidst a nature ambience in an area of 155 hectors. The Eco-Park has orchidarium, cactus house, tree house, Hanging Bridge watch tower., The range of bio diversity on view is fascinating. It is also home for the Capped Languor, red jungle fowl, hares and more.
Unakoti, believed to date back to the 8th century is home to an ancient Shaivite place of worship with huge rock-cut images and stone idols of Lord Shiva. On the hilly terrain many idols of gods and goddess are lying scattered. At the main peak there are idols of Uma-Maheshwar, five-faced Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Hanuman and Ravana. Among the carved-out images on the rocky fringes those of Ganesha and Shiva are prominent. This image of Shiva as Lord of Unakoti (Unakotiswar) is famous as Kal-Bhairava. Goddess Durga is also carved on the side of the hill. The four-faced idol of Unakoti is famous; even though the fourth face was damaged long back.
As a place of archaeological wonder; Unakoti is unparalleled. One wonders who those people were and at what spell of time did they chisel out such wonderful idols from the rocks . Unrecorded in history, a mystery surrounds Unakoti which fascinates visitors. While the rock carvings, murals with their primitive beauty form the chief attraction, natural beauty including mountain scenery and waterfalls are an added bonus.
The Jampui Hills are the highest hill range in Tripura at an elevation of 1000 m. It borders Mizoram and the people are ethnically Mizo, and Reangs. The natural beauty, the pleasant weather, various species of trees, orchids and orange gardens, hospitable people and rich cultural heritage are the main attractions. The views of rising and setting sun are sights to remember. Soft trekking is available The main occupation of the villagers is orange cultivation.