Tripura owes its splendour to its natural settings and dazzling heritage. The landscape of Tripura is neither punctuated by lofty peaks nor any cascading rivers. Yet for ages tourists have swarmed the region because its verdant expanses and rich forestlands have enamoured the visitors.
A plethora of delightful attractions are comprised in the historical palaces, rock cut carvings, stone sculptures, Hindu and Buddhist temples, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal people. Since 1949 its fate has been entwined with that of Bengal. Tripura is more like India proper than the other northeast hill states and its connections with the Bangladeshi plains are strong. It has always been associated closely with poet laureate, Rabindranath Tagore.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Tripura
No state is bereft of religious places. Religion is integrally associated with the traditions and society in India. The entire origin of the land is steeped in religion. The temple of Tripura Sundari in Udaipur, Tripura is one of the foremost religious shrines in Tripura. The state itself derives its name from the mother goddess. Most of the temples are located at hilltops. Religion believes that the divinity is not easily achieved. That is why most of the important Hindu temples are a little difficult to access. Besides the Hindu shrines Tripura is also the abode of Buddhist pilgrimages.
Nature Tourism in Tripura
Tripura is marked by low ranges running in a northwest to southeast direction. Tehse ranges reach up to 3000 feet. On the road to Udaipur, 35 km south of Agartala, the nature reserve at Sepahijala extends over 18 square kilometers, with a lake, zoo and botanical gardens, and is home to primates including the Hoolock gibbon and golden langurand around 150 species of birds. Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is located 100 kilometres away from Agartala in South Tripura District. Besides these the travellers can also explore Dumboor Lake, near Agartala and Rudrasagar Lake, near Melaghar.
Leisure Tourism in Tripura
The history of the kingdom of Tripura and its Manikya rulers, who claimed descent from far-off Rajput Kshatriyas, is told in a curious Bengali poem, the Rajmah. One will also see lots of quite graphic clay sculptures of Kali, Bengal's favourite goddess, made by households for their monthly pujas. English is not widely spoken here. The State Museum at Agartala displays interesting ethnographic and archaeological exhibits. One of its galleries is completely devoted to the excavations at Unakoti in the forests of northern Tripura. It is open for visitors from Monday to Saturday from 10am till 5pm. The entry into the museum is free.
The Tribal Cultural Research Institute and Museum (11am-lpm; free) at Supari Bagan lies well hidden in the backstreets of Krishna Nagar district, near the Jagannath temple. It is open on all working days from 11am to 1pm. The entry into the tribal museum is without fare.
The romantic water palace of Neermahal, in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake is located at 55 km south of Agartala. It was built in 1930 as a summer residence for Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya. Inspired by Mughal architecture, the palace is rather derelict inside but the exterior and gardens nave been restored and the sight of the domes and pavilions reflected in the lake, especially under the early evening floodlights, is impressive. The travellers can rent boats to cross the lake to the palace from just opposite the tourist lodge, a very pleasant journey among lily pads, dragonflies, ducks and cormorants. The lake is l km from the town of Melaghar, which has bus connections with Agartala and Udaipur. Neermahal can be visited together with Udaipur as a day-trip from Agartala. Ujjayanta Palace in Agartala was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya during 1899-1901. It is an important historical building. Kunjaban Palace is famous for the Rabindra Kanan. It was built as a place to retreat by Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya.
The Tripuns are the biggest tribal group, accounting for more than half the tribal population, and the Reangs, originally from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, are the second biggest tribe. Jampui Hills is the perfect spot to know more about the tribes of Tripura as they are concentrated here. The villages in Tripura are mostly occupied by the tribal folks. However it would be an interesting experience to know more about the quaint villages that are sandwiched between the hills.
Visiting Information on Tripura
Being a small state Tripura does not have an international airport of its own. Yet the travelers will face no trouble at all in accessing this place. The nearest international airport for Tripura is located at Kolkata, West Bengal and Guwahati, Assam. Other than these there are domestic airports at Assam-Agratala, Khowai, Kamalpur and Kailashahar. The Indian Railways serves the state. National Highway no. 44 connects Agartala with Guwahati by road. By car it would take 24 hours for the travellers to reach Tripura.
Special Tour Places in Tripura