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Destinations of Tripura
TIWN
Destinations of Tripura
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Tripura is a erstwhile princely state. Pollution free, eco friendly environment and pleasant weather of this panoramic state is inhabited largely by 19 Tribes, Bengali and Manipuri etc. communities. Following are the places of a tourist interest in the state of Tripura.

 
                                                 In Agartala
The main attractions in Agartala are Ujjayanta Palace, state Museum, tribal museum, Sukanta academy, M.B.B. College, Laxminarayan Temple, Uma Maheswar Temple, Jagannath Temple, Benuban Bihar, Gedu Mian Mosque, Malancha Niwas, Rabindra Kanan, Purbasha, Handicrafts Designing Centre, Fourteen Goddess Temple, Portuguese Church etc.
 
Tripura State  Museum :
Tripura state museum was established in 1970. Nestled within the hallowed confines of the century old Ujjayanta Palace in the heart of the town, it preserves some rare images, epigraphs numismatic evidence which throw light on the glorious past of Tripura and some of the adjoining States.
This royal house, which stands in the Capital city Agartala covering one sq. Km. area, was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya during 1897-1901. It is a two storied mansion, having a mixed type of architecture with three high domes, the central one being 86’ high. The magnificent tile floor, curved wooden ceiling and beautifully crafted doors are particularly notable. The palace is set with huge Mughal style gardens, beautified by pools and gardens. Flood lighting and fountains have also added to its beauty.
Tripura Government Museum is important to the tourists, students, general public and research scholars to know about the History & Culture of past and present people of the State. Most of the sculptures acquired and displayed so far are from Udaipur, Pilak, Jolaibari and other sites of Tripura. Out of them, the sculptures from Pilak are the exquisite collections, depicting mixed culture of both Hindu and Buddhist pantheon. They are famous  for the style and variety of theme. The sculptures are mostly dated back to 9th to 13th centuries. A. D. Most of the sculptures are made of sand stone and for that the formation of sculpture is very crude in nature.Low relief Dasavatar panels collected from Radhanagar in the vicinity of Agartala dated back to 18th century AD.
 
Kunjaban Palace :
A green hillock known as Kunjaban ( a bower) for its scenic beauty stands to the north of Ujjayanta palace at a distance of about 1 Km. Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya (1909-1923) selected this beautiful place for building a suburban palace for retreat and constructed a palace in 1917 which was named as ‘Pushbanta Palace’. The Maharaja himself being gifted artist is said to have drawn the plan of the palace and its adjoining garden.

Poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed in the eastern apartment of this palace during his 7th and last visit to the state in 1926. This palace was the mute witness to many of the great poet's creations including a number of popular songs. There are well laid gardens and lawns inside the palace which is the official residence of the Governor of Tripura now. The southern side of the garden has been made open for the public and has been named as ‘Rabindra Kanan’.
 
 
Malancha Niwas :

The Bungalow adjacent to Kunjaban palace situated on a hillock was originally a kaccha house where Tagore stayed during his visit in 1919. The pucca construction was subsequently built and given the name of Malancha Niwas
 
 
Tripura Heritage Park :
Tripura Heritage Park is an oasis of serenity over an area of about 4 hectares of land at Kunjaban in Agartala. It takes the visitor to a surreal world, providing a glimpse of the natural and cultural heritage of Tripura. Its natural undulating terrain, in the back drop of majestic eucalyptus, acacia and litchi trees, greet visitors and takes them to an environment rich in tranquility. The park abounds in a variety of indigenous plants and trees, including medicinal herbs which support a variety of avian fauna. An assortment of artefacts in various forms are scattered around the park, including heritage benches, pottery, wood craft, stone.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on November 30, 2012 inaugurated Heritage Park, the first ever initiative of its kind in Tripura and the northeast region.
The park was built on a sprawling four hectares of undulating landscape showcasing miniature of nine major heritage sites of the state including Unakoti hill sculptures, Neer Mahal, Tripurasundari Temple, Debtamura hill sculptures, archaeological relics of Pilak, Chandrapur Mosque (Rajnagar, Belonia), Mahamuni,  Ujjayanta Palace,  Chaturdash Devta Mandir etc. The latter is the only site recognised by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the state.
                               Unakoti (178 km north of Agartala) :
It is Shaiba pilgrimage and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries if not earlier. The marvelous rock carvings, murals with their primitive beauty, waterfalls are not to be missed. Unakoti means one less than a crore and it is said that these many rock cut carvings are available here.
As per Hindu mythology, when Lord Shiva was going to Kashi along with one crore gods and goddesses he made a night halt at this location. He asked all the gods and goddesses to wake up before sun rise and proceed for Kashi. It is said that in the morning, except Shiva himself, no one else could get up so set out for Kashi himself cursing the others to become stone images as a result we have one less than a crore stone images and carvings at Unakoti. These carvings are located at a beautifully landscaped forest area with green vegetation all around which add to the beauty of the carvings.

The images found at Unakoti are of two types namely rock-carved figures and stone images. Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava’ is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high. On each side of the head-dress of the central Shiva, there are two full size female figures - one of Durga standing on a lion and another female figure on the other side. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are found half buried in the ground. There are various other stone as well as rock cut images at Unakoti.Every year a big fair popularly known as ‘Ashokastami Mela’ is held in the month of April which is visited by thousands of pilgrims.

                         Tripura Sundari Temple  (55 km south of Agartala)

This temple is one of the 51 pithasthans in India as per Hindu mythology. As per mythology, Lord Vishnu had cut off the body of Mata Sati into 51 pieces by Sudarshana Chakra and all these pieces fell at different places throughout the country and these places are known as pithasthans It is said that 'right foot' of Mata Sati fell at Matabari.
This pithasthan is also known as Kurma Pith because the shape of the temple premises resembles to that of "Kurma" namely tortoise. Inside the temple, the idol of Maa Kali is kept which is made of 'reddish black Kastic pathar.' Maa Kali is worshipped in her 'Soroshi' form in this temple. There is an idol of smaller size of Maa Kali called 'Chotto Maa 'and this image used to be carried by Maharajas of Tripura during "Mrigaya" namely hunting and also during war.

The temple consists of square type sanctum of the typical Bengali hut type structure with a conical dome. The temple was constructed in 1501 A.D. by the then Maharaja Dhanya Manikya.

In the eastern side of the temple there is a famous Kalyan Sagar where fishes and tortoises of huge size are found and devotees feed them with "muri" and biscuits. No fishing is permitted in the Kalyan Sagar.

Every year on Diwali, a famous Mela takes place near the temple which is visited by more than two lakhs pilgrims.


 
                              Fourteen Goddess Temple (15 km north of Agartala)

Located at a place called Old Agartala. In the face of continued fight with Shamser Gazi, Maharaja Krishna Manikya had shifted the capital from Udaipur to Old Agartala. It continued to be the capital till it was shifted to Agartala. Near the sacred 14 goddess temple during the month of July every year a Kharchi festival is organised and thousands of pilgrims and devotees visit this festival.
 
                             Neermahal (55 km southwest of Agartala)
This magnificent lake palace was constructed as a summer resort in 1930 by late Maharaja Birbikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in the middle of a natural lake called Rudrasagar having an area of 5.35 Sq.Km. The construction was undertaken by Martin & Burn Co. and it is the only lake palace in the entire eastern India.
A good combination of Hindu and Mughal architecture is noticed on the domes of the palace. There are mainly two parts of the palace - one on the western side known as Andar Mahal which was used by the royal family and another on the eastern side which was used for the security personnel and servants. There are 15 rooms in the main Andar Mahal. There is a beautiful garden laid in the western side of the palace. In the garden there is an open stage where drama, theatre, etc. use to be organised.

Maharajas used to go by motor boat to the palace from Rajghat. There is a motor boat ghat inside the palace upto which the motor boat could go and there are two ,stairs at the motor boat ghat - one for Maharaja and one for Maharani.

Flood lighting of the palace has been arranged in the evening. In addition, water sports facilities are being extended. The palace is going to be renovated and a museum depicting the royal life style will be set up inside the palace. In addition Light & Sound show on the historical past and cultural heritage of Tripura will be organised in the palace. In water number of migratory birds are found in the lake surrounding Neermahal.

                         Bhuvaneswari Temple (55 km south of Agartala)

On the right bank of river Gomati at Udaipur is found the ruins of a big palace built by Maharaja Govinda Manikya (1660-75 A.D.). The Bhuveneswari temple is situated adjacent to this palace. It finds close literary reference in Great poet Rabindranath Tagore’s novels and drama namely ‘Bisharjan’ and ‘Rajarshi'.
 
                                   Tripura Sundari Temple (55 south of Agartala)

Tripura Sundari Temple , popularly known as Matabari, one of the 51 pithas (holy place) of Hindu Puran. Bhuvaneswari temple , Gunabati group of temples located nearby. This is a very famous places for both domestic and foreign tourists.

 
                                 Jampui Hill  (250 km north of Agartala )

The permanent seat of eternal spring is situated at an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level. Jampui is famous for its charming landscape and bracing climate. The excellent climatic condition, green forests, beautiful orange garden, view of raising and setting sun are wonderful sight for tourists.
The hill range has 11 villages inhabited by Mizos (Lushai tribes) and also by Reang tribes. Population of the hill range is about 8,000 and the main occupation of the villagers is orange cultivation The temperature variation in the hill range is very nominal in all seasons and is ideal for the purpose of tourism.

Different seasons offer different pleasures to the tourists at Jampui hill. During October to December the orange trees are laden with fruits and the entire hill range looks orange colored.

During March to May various species of orchids and other wild trees bear flowers. During rainy season the hill range is full of clouds and one can have the feeling of walking in the clouds. The Lushai tribes mainly inhabited in the hill range have a very strikingly distinct cultural identity They are quite well-off people having neat and clean houses well equipped with modern amenities.Most of them speak English fluently and follow Christianity.

The sun rise and sun set in the hill range is a delight worth seeing. The natural beauty, the pleasant weather, various species of trees, orchids and orange gardens, hospitable people and rich cultural heritage makes it an ideal destination for the tourists.

There is an ‘Eden’ Tourist Lodge in Vangmun village where tourists can go and stay comfortably. In addition, local people offer paying guest accommodation to the visiting tourists which enable them to closely understand the life and culture of the Lushai tribes.

After withdrawal of Restricted Area Permit for the foreign nationals, the hill range is attracting a large number of foreign tourists. The highest peak of Tripura ‘Betalongchhip’ falls in this hill range which is 3600 feet high and from where tourist can see the panoramic view of Mizoram, Chittagong hill tracts and various other hill ranges of Tripura. There are good trekking routes in the hill range for tourists. State Government is planning to develop village tourism in Jampui hill and sports complex and cultural complex will be constructed shortly.

 
          Sepahijala Zoo and Wild Life Sanctuary (25 km south of Agartala) 

Sepahijala zoo and wild life sanctuaryis covering 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 plantation attracts the visitors.The famous spectacled monkey is found here.

 
                 Trishna Wild Life Sanctuary ( 110 km south of Agartala) 

Trishna Wild Life Sanctuary is located in Belonia Subdivision of South Tripura District. Bison is the main attraction in this sanctuary, in addition to the resident and migratory birds.
 
                                Kamalasagar  (30 km south of Agartala)  

Vast lake along the border of Bangladesh was excavated by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya in 15th century. On the bank of Kamalasagar, there is a famous temple of goddess Kali dating back to 16th century. It is one of the excellent picnic spots in the state with scenic beauty.



 
                                  Deotamura (75km south of Agartala) 
Deotamura is famous for its panels of rock carvings on the steep mountain wall on the bank of Gomati. There are huge images carved of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika, Mahisasur Mardini Durga and other gods and goddesses. This is also called Chabimura. These images date back to 15th-16th centuries.
 
                            Dumboor Lake (120 km south of Agartala) 
 A water area of 41 sq.km with an un-ending spell of luxuriant green vegetation all around stands majestic for her exceedingly charming beauty and 48 islands in the midst of the lake migratory birds, water sports facilities are additional attractions. There is a hydel power project near the lake from where river Gomati originates and this is called Tirthamukh where on 14th January every year famous 'Pous Sankranti Mela' takes place. The lake is the confluence of rivers Raima and Sarma. Various species of migratory birds are noticed in the winter and it has rich reservoir of natural and cultured fishes.

 
                             Rudrasagar Lake ( 55 km southwest of Agartala)  
Rudrasagar lake Melaghar in Sonamura sub-division having 5.3 Sq.km. water area is another big attraction for tourists. In the centre of the lake the famous lake palace “Neermahal” is built. The lake witnesses a large number of migratory birds in every winter. Every year a boat race is organised in July-August. The visiting tourists can enjoy boating facility in the lake.
 
Buddhist Pilgrimage and Interest Centres in Tripura
Tripura has a large number of attractive tourist sites including religious sites of Hindus and Buddhists. The places of Buddhists interest are described below.
Venuban Vihar in Agartala : The shrine though small in size, preserves some beautiful metal idols of Lord Buddha and Bodhisatva. The idols are Burmese in origin. Here Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the Buddha Purnima day followed by a big fair every year
Buddhist Temple Buddhist at Pecharthal, North Tripura : This temple is one of the oldest Buddha temples in the state. It was set up in 1931. The Idol was brought from Rangoon in 1931. This Idol does not look enormous in consideration of its incredible weight of 700 kg.
Buddha temple at Manu Bakul, South Tripura : The Idol of this temple was brought from Arakan long back . The biggest week long fair is held every year in the month of April. The Pilgrims from Mynamer (formerly Burma ), Bangladesh, Japan, Thailand and other places congregate during the fair and other occasions.
Pilak  in Jolaibari, South Tripura : The site of civilization which flourished during 8-12 centuries of the Christian era has been a cradle of culture of heterodox creeds and sects representing both Hinduism i.e. Shiva, Surya, Baishnabi and Buddhism i.e. Hinayana, Mahayana, Bajrayana which were found to exist side by side. The important places are Shyam Sundar Tilla, Deb Bari, Thakurani Tilla, Balir Pathar, Basudev Bari and Sagar Deba. The art form and site followed in the making of the images and in the sculptures have distance influence of Palas and Guptas of Bengal. Influence of Arakan, Mynamer (formerly Burma) and local style is discernable in the form and style of Pilak images and sculpture. The number of rock-cut images and terracotta plaques are lying scattered in various places of the area. The site has been under the care of Archaeological Survey of India. The rock-cut images and terracotta plaques still speak of a unique glorious cultural past of Tripura. Some of the important images found there are Avolokiteswar, Mahisasur Mardini, bronze images of Buddha and Vishnu in addition to terracotta plaques, sealing Coins etc. The molded terracotta plaques bear resemblance with molded plaques recovered from Paharpur and Mainamati. The Buddhist Complex here may be assigned a date between 9 and 10 century A.D. During excavation in the late sixties, Archaeological Survey of India team found out brick built stupas. Archaeological Survey of India has plans to do some more excavation to unearth the hidden cultural heritage of the area. If may be presumed that these extensive plains of Tripura were under the control of several dynasties who ruled in Eastern Bengal and Samantha in ancient period. Some of them were Buddhists and the others were Hindu's. Most of these rulers had their capitals near this region. The ancient kingdom of Pattikera had its capital in Comilla region and Pilak is not very far from Comilla in Bangladesh.
Boxnagar - In Sonamura, West Tripura : In recent past after denudation of a natural forest area, a brick-built building emerged. This is near Boxnagar market. The local people initially attributed to the temple of Manasaa temple of temple of – the goddess of Snake.It was in a dilapidated condition. When attention of Archaeological Survey of India was arrested to it, they took over the site but infact nothing was done. In July’97 Dr. Jitendra Das, Superintending Archaeologist came to Tripura and visited this site. He focused there the idol of a Buddha and had been confirmed that it was a Buddha Temple Buddha Buddha. He was assured of immediate excavation of the site to find out the hidden story.
Adjoining Places of Buddhist Interest: Mainamati ( In Bangladesh ) : About 8 km to the west of Comilla town, which is situated 114 km south east of Dhaka, lies a range of low hills known as Mainamati-Lalmai ridge, an extensive centre of Buddhist civilization ( 7-12 century A.D.). At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations laid bare a large Buddhist Vihar (Monastery) and imposing central shrine. It has revealed valuable information about the rule of the Chandra and Dev dynasties, which flourished here from the 7-12 century.
Paharpur (in Bangladesh) : Paharpur is a small village in the Rajshai district (northern part of the Bangladesh) 315 km from , where the remains of the monastery have been excavated. This 7-th century archaeological find covers approximately an area of 10.8 hectors of land. The hugeness of central cruciform temple of the monastery is an awe-inspiring sight. It had taken its name from a high mound, which looked like Pahar or Hillock.
 
 
 
Compiled by : Sujit Chakraborty
Source : Tripura government’s official document
 
Tripura Govt. Tourism website   http://tripuratourism.nic.in/Place.htm
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