The Land of Tripur Sundari: TRIPURA
Tripura… the remotest and the tiniest state of the Indian Subcontinent, Tripura is famous for its ancient temple of the Tripur Sundari. Once the royal state of the North Eastern part of India, Tripura, was perhaps the only part of the country which never came under the British rule. The remote location of the state has helped the state keep alive the naïve and innocence of the state and its people as well. The culture today is well impressed by the neighbouring Bengal and yet the native culture, which is mostly tribal, is seen at every nook and corner of the state.
The Land of Tripur Sundari: TRIPURA
Area: 10486 sq km
Language: Tripuri, Bengali and dialects
Best Time to Visit: September to March
The remotest of the seven sisters of the North Eastern region, is the tiny little state of Tripura. Surrounded by the country of Bangladesh nearly from East, West and South Tripura shares its borders with the states of Mizoram in the Northeast and the state of Assam in the North.
Tripura experiences a typical tropical climate. It is sweltering hot in summers and chilly in winters. The state experiences heavy rainfalls during the monsoon season.
One of the tiniest states of the Indian sub continent and perhaps the only state which remained untouched by the British during the period of Raj; Tripura always remained an independent state. Untouched by modernity and the advances made by the British and after the partition, Tripura remained hidden behind the land of the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. The remoteness of the state has only helped it stay most naïve and innocent, rich with natural and cultural beauty, untouched by modernity and anything that could disturb its originality.
The name Tripura probably comes from the temple of Tripur Sundari dedicated to goddess Durga and one of the important Shakti Peetha in India. But some believe that in the ancient days the rulers of Tripura ruled from the hills to the Bay of Bengal. Thus it was surrounded by water from three sides and hence the name Tripura came in to existence.
Full of hills and deep green valleys, Tripura’s natural beauty is the least tortured one. With rivers like the Gomati flowing past the state, the land is verdant and the soil fertile. Tripura was always under the rule of their kings and dynasties. The British never annexed the land although they maintained good relations with the Kings of Agartala. How this place remained untouched by the British is still a mystery. Previously a princely state and subsequently a Union Territory of free India; Tripura got elevated to a state in 1987.
The history of the place goes back to the days of the great epic Mahabharata and has a mention in the great epic. The rule of the Manikya dynasty started from the 14th century and continued till India regained its independence. The Manikya dynasty belonged to the Indo-Mongolian group. After the independence of India, an agreement to merge Tripura with the Indian Union was signed by the Regent Maharani on September 9, 1947.
Today Tripura is largely a Bengali community although the tribal population of Tripura contributes a major 40% of the total population. There are as many as 19 tribes present in Tripura out of which the Tripuris are considered to be original inhabitants of the state. The Reang, the Jamatia and the Chakma tribes are the other important tribes of the place. All have retained their own cultural flavour and touch with the nature. Due to the proximity of Bangladesh, the Bengali culture is seen quite predominantly in the state of Tripura. The people related to the royal families of Tripura are the most advanced and aware clan in Tripura known as the Thakur. They stay in and around Agartala, the capital of the state.
One can easily distinguish the original inhabitants and the migrants to the state with their looks; the originals have a bit of Mongoloid features in them and the migrants basically Bengalis are of Indo Aryan features; from their attire and also from the way the food is cooked.
Today a visitor to Tripura would witness the land of transition; awakening of the masses to the modern outlook along with their traditions and their culture. Traditionally an agricultural land, Tripura is slowly making advances into the industrial field. The Handicrafts of the Tripura are becoming famous and have formed a small-scale industry of the same.