The 19th century Ujjayanta Palace, now used as the meeting place of
Tripura’s State Legislative Assembly.
Tripura’s capital city is Agartala, and it was known as Tripuri Kingdom until 1949, just two years after India gained political independence from the British Crown. It is landlocked; bordered by Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram.
This Indian state enjoys a long history that extends back some 2000 years. Tribes inhabited the area, which was ruled for a long time as a princely state. Under the rulership of the Tripura kings, Udaipur was the area’s capital city. Then, in the 1700’s, the capital was shifted to Old Agartala and, the following century, to the current Agartala. India had taken over many areas of India by the 19th century. This led to the Tripura King, Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur Debbarma, using the British way of ruling as a pattern upon which to model his own style thereof. India became independent of British rule in 1947, and Tripura achieved official statehood in 1972.
Tripura is characterised by its many hills, looming over the flat plains on which most of the population live. It is India’s third smallest state. The subtropical climate means that the vegetation is lush and the soil fertile. Rain falls during the monsoon seasons. In addition, Tripura has many rivers, which feed the soil and sustain the people and animals to a large degree. Most of the people in this state survive off the farming industry. Rice, oilseeds, pulses, sugar cane and potatoes are the most commonly grown and successful crops. In addition, this area produces a lot of rubber as well as natural gases. The locals are known for their hand-made crafts, hand-woven cotton, wood carvings and bamboo products. These all combine to sustain the society economically.
Tripura has a fairly high population density. In fact, there are over 300 people to every square kilometre. The society is made up of many tribes and ethnic groups, giving this state a multifaceted and complex culture. The tribes each exhibit an identity of their own, slightly different from those around them. It is fascinating to learn of the customs, beliefs and dialects that define such groups. Almost 90% of the population is Hindu, followed by Muslims, Christians and Buddhists. Hinduism became the official religion when the Tripuri kings ruled centuries ago.
These different linguistic and ethnic groups use their own art, music, literature, dance, song and theatre to represent their beliefs, ideals and values. Music is of particular importance and, together with singing and dancing, is used in religions festivals, celebrations, weddings, funerals and so on. Specifically, this state places a huge importance on agricultural festivals as its people are so reliant on the abundance of the land for their survival.
Because of the wet seasons and the lush vegetation, Tripura is home to many species of plants and animals. In order to protect such valuable resources, there are many parks, sanctuaries and reserves in place. These are frequented by locals and tourists alike as they showcase some of India’s most gorgeous landscapes and animals. Recommended sanctuaries include the Clouded Leopard National Park, Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajbari National Park and the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Other tourist attractions include:
• The Unakoti Tirtha
• Jampui Hill
• Dumboor Lake
For more information, please view: http://tripuratourism.gov.in/