Kashmir may be a heaven and Kerala may be a God’s own country, but going beyond traveling, relating yourself to local culture and native people offers a vacuum. If it is only about absorbing natural beauty and clicking some unimaginable hues of nature, no corner of India is better than the other. It is, therefore, Aanya Jain took a different journey where life is so vibrant, hues are so original, culture is so unique, and yet can be perceived as one’s own.
Tripura: Bird’s Eye View
Tucked under the north-eastern belt of India, a part of seven sister states, and one of the smallest but culturally rich states of India, Tripura earmarks the nuance of being at the core of Indian mythological history. The very essence of the state can be felt in the rhythmic and structural physical moves of ‘Hoza Giri’ dance that encompasses both the tribals as well as non-tribals – the heartbeat of the state.
One of the rare secrets of India, Tripura leaves you at the loss for the words and pushes you through to walk on the air. Indeed, it is an international border with fences guarded heavily. Nonetheless, that does not stop you from getting lost into the fascination of jaw-dropping heritage sites, the creativity of architectural grandeur, black holes of archeological remains, and the charisma of chromatic tribal life.
Saints, philosophers, dance, music, handicrafts, festivals, rituals, and tradition, – all woven in today’s life in Agartala and beyond is the real flavor of the state that can’t be witnessed in the pictures but only by the first-hand experience. Acceded to the Union of India in 1947 by Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya of Manikya dynasty, which left an everlasting impression on the history of Tripura, is a Hindu dominated state.
The Average Life
The average life in and around Agartala is slow-paced, although the sun rises much earlier compared to Delhi and Mumbai. Markets usually open around 9:30 in the morning and Agartala rolls into daily business. However, life on hills is way too different compared to Agartala. Farming, handicrafts, and poultry keep people busy through the day in Tripura.
Tripura is made of 19 different tribes with cultural influence of Bengali, Burmese, and Assamese. The most dominant are the ones speaking Kokbarok. The other major tribes are Reang, Jamatia, Chakma, and Halam. Each group has their own tradition and influence on the Tripura’s cultural landscape, and yet culturally Tripura appears more composite compared to Nagas and Bodos.
Architectural and Religious Wonders
You may allure to think as a traveler that Tripura too has some typical sites and scenery to throw at you, but to your surprise, Tripura is the only place which has lack palace in the entire Eastern India, Neermahal Palace, built by Bir Bikram Kishore as a resort. Agartala has two more palaces, Ujjayanta Palace and Kunjaban Palace.
Built at the cusp of the 20th century, the Ujjayanta Palace is 800 Acres structure was the center of royal and casual activities in Agartala. Even today, the business activities surround the palace. Later, the palace was given a shape of the museum to store the treasures of Tripura.
Rudrasagar lake must be the second place a travel guide may suggest. 24 rooms in Total, Neermahal Palace was exclusively built for recreational activities. The Andar Mahal part was built for Royal family, while the eastern part was reserved for entertainment.
God or no God, visiting temples and shrines in and around Agartala is an experience of its own. Especially the Tripura Sundari Devi temple – central to the belief of many Tripuris. 50 km away from the hustle and bustle of Agartala, Matabari is one of the revered parts of Shakti Peethas.
Depict amazing mythological incidents including from Mahabharata at Jagannath Bari. The temple close to Royal Palace amazing sculptures dedicating to the Lord Vishnu. Temples open in the morning and during the evening hours for usual rituals.
Art and Nature
Expecting no artistic character to Tripura which has indigenous people as their home is beyond presumption. Go about 135 kilometers away from Agartala at Unakoti. Kailasahar site is known for its rock carving of Ganesha, Shiva, and Ravana. Archaeological remains of 8th and 9th century tell the story of well-organized and well-informed civilization.
It will all be meaningless if you won’t be able to visit the tribal areas when you are in Tripura. The warmth and welcome are striking but the real charm is in visiting Jumpui Hills, 250 kilometers from Agartala. The range is the highest in Tripura and offers tranquil and green environs that calm down all the furious nerves and brings internal peace.
Architectural beauty maybe mesmerizing but can’t match the luster of real life on the street and in festivals. Tripura, contrary to general perception, has many festivals that are connected with Indian mainland culture and Bengali Hindu culture. The most celebrated among all is Durga Pujo.
Durga Bari temple is central of attraction during these six days of celebrations, which is funded by the government for last 500 years. The whole of Agartala appears submerged in the dedication to Maa Durga. Pandals are constructed with much enthusiasm and Idols of Maa Durga is decorated with real ornaments.
Besides Durga Puja, Garia Puja is celebrated with much aplomb by Reang tribe. Not having any physical structure to the God or Goddesses, green bamboos are decorated with floral designs and reverences are paid before harvesting season. Similarly, Keri Puja, Lampra Puja, and Rondok Puja are famous among other tribes.
Tripura is much more than this piece of writing. There is still a lot I can write about one of a fascinating tourist destination called Tripura, but what I have experienced there can be concluded in words. For, you need to visit the state and its capital. All you need is to take care of the weather and security guidelines.
I am sure your next destination will be Agartala. Have a gorgeous journey and astonishing experience.
I hope you like this series. This is just my way of sharing with you about the cities I wish to explore in the coming time. If you like reading my blog, click here
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