Agartala, the capital city of Tripura is tucked in the northeastern part of India. Set close to the neighbouring state of Bangladesh, Agartala is rich in flora and fauna. Agartala in Tripura is a laid back administrative centre, gained prominence when Maharaja Krishna Manikya shifted his capital here in the 19th century. This market town for rice, tea, jute and oilseeds, is the commercial centre of the region surrounding it. Agartala also owns an airport with connections to Kolkata.
Agartala is located at 23.84°N and 91.28°E. It has an average elevation of 16m (52ft). The city is situated in a plain along the Haora River, though it also extends to the low lying ills on its northern parts.
The weather is usually of moderate intensity, neither very cold nor very hot. Tripura witnesses a mild winter during the months of October to January when the temperature may drop to about 10°C. Summer temperature during March to August can go up to 35°C.
Agartala was once part of a Hindu Kingdom, until the state was taken over by the Mughals in 1733. The British took over the reigns of governance in 1808 and Tripura was a princely state until 1956, when it became a Union Territory. When Tripura attained statehood in 1972, Agartala became the state capital.
Agartala Tourism Information
The major attraction of the town is the Ujjayanta Palace, which was established in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style in 1901 by Maharaja Radhakishore Manikya. It is a two-storeyed mansion, with 28 hectares of parkland, and now occupies the office of the State Legislative Assembly. In the grounds, there are two temples Umaneshwar and Jagganath both of which are ochre in color.
Located about 55km from Agartala is Neermahal, Tripura's major resort built in the middle of a lake named Rudrasagar, with a total area of about 5.35 sq.km. It is the only lake palace in the eastern part of India and has been built in a blend of Hindu and Mughal architectural styles.
Situated in the heart of the city, it preserves some rare images, epigraphic and numismatic evidences which throw light on the glorious past of Tripura and the adjoining states.
The Kali temple of Kasba also known as Kasba Kalibari is about 27km from Agartala and is situated on a hillock overlooking a wide pool of water called Kamala Sagar. The image of the goddess resemble that of Dasabhuja Durga or Mahisuramardini. Made upof sand stone, the goddess is worshipped in the temple as Kali and the dpresence of a Shivalina at its feet has led to the naming of the temple as Kalibari. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country and the neighboring country, Bangladesh visit this sacred temple during festivals.
Another major place of attraction is the Kunjaban Palace built in 1917 by Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya. It is located at a distance of 1 km away from the Ujjayanta Palace on a hillock. The palace is the official residence of the Governor of Tripura. The southern part of the palace is open to the public and has been named as Rabindra Kanan.
The temple of Bhubaneswari also stands on the right bank of the Gomati river at Udaipur. It was built by Maharaja Govinda Manikya, the name immortalized through Tagore's famous works, Visarjan and Rajarshi. It is located near the old royal palace of Maharaja Govinda Manikya constructed during 1660-1675 AD. Pripor to shifting of the capital to old Agartala by Maharaja Krishna Manikya, Udaipur (Rangamati) continued to be the capital of Tripura. Udaipur is also famous as the 'temple town of Tripura'. The architectural beauties of Gunabati group temples, Mahadev Bari, Ramakrishna mission, etc. have already attracted the attention of the visiting tourists.
Mata Tripureshwari Temple
Mata Tripureshwari Temple, an important pilgrimage center is situated at a distance of 58km from Agaratatla. It houses the statue of Goddess Kali.
Chaturdas Devta Bari Temple
Chaturdas Devta Bari Temple, located at 14km from Agartala is famous for the tribal festival of Karachi held in the month of July annually.
Jampui Hills are located at a distance of about 200km from Agartaka and is famous as the land of the permanent spring. It is at a range of about 300ft above sea level. The place is known for its natural splendor and serene atmosphere.
Ker Puja is celebrated two weeks after Kharchi Puja. The guardian deity of Vastu Devata is Ker. A large piece of bamboo when bent in a particular fashion assumes the image of Ker. It is generally believed that the former rulers used to perform this Puja for the general welfare of the people of the state. The literal meaning of 'Ker' is boundary or specified area. Two age-old beliefs may lie behind the ritualistic incantation of a specified boundary for the Ker Puja. The prime object is to safeguard the interest of the people from any calamity misfortune, disease and destitution. The other is to save people from any external aggression. Offering and sacrifices constitute an important aspect of Ker Puja.
Kharchi Puja is celebrated in July at Agartala. The week-long celebration is held in the temple premises and is joined by thousands of people. The word, 'Karchi' is said to be corrupt form of Khya, which means earth. Kharchi Puja is, therefore, the worship of the earth - the earth that sustains humankind with all her resources. Sacrifice of goats and pigeons at the altar of Gods is a usual feature of this festival.
Ganga Puja is celebrated in March-April every year. This is another remarkable tribal festival. Ganga, it may be recalled, is one of the fourteen deities of the land.
Like Garia Puja, this too is a community festival. People gather by the streamside, pare three pieces of bamboo into beautiful flowers, and then build a temple with bamboos in the middle of the stream. Then the ageless rituals take place amidst joy and splendor. God is propitiated by the sacrifice of goats, buffaloes and ganders to save the people from any epidemic.
On the seventh day of the month of Baisakh (April) is held the Garia Puja another important festival for the tribal's of the state. The celebration starts from the last day of Chaitra. Two deities - Kalia and Garia - are worshipped. The Puja is held to propitiate the deity for blessings. Garia is basically a community festival. Sacrifice of cocks is an important feature of the Puja. Another equally important feature is dancing and rejoicing after the Puja. The Garia dance is very popular among the Tripuris and the Reangs. Symbolic of the worship of the deities as well as of the socio-economic activities of the households, these dances represent hunting, fishing, food-gathering and various other activities.