States of India
Tripura accded to the Indian Union in 1949. This anicient land of mysterious past is located in the north Eastern region of India between 22.56 and 24''.32' North latitude and 92"09' and 92"20' east longitude and is bounded on the north west south and south east by the international boundary of Bangladesh. In the east it has a common boundary with Assam abd Mizoraam. 60% of the total area eco-friendly envirnoment and pleasant weather of this panaromic tiny state with an area of about 10,500 sq. kms. is inhabited largely by 19 tribes, Bengali, Manipuri and other communities.
The ancient history of Tipperah or Tripura is shrouded with mystery. We come to learn from Rajamal that more than 150 tribal kings ruled Tripura since the legendary period and King Ratnapha got the title "Manikya" from the Lord of Gauda. But recent readings of Tripura Coins have proved that Ratna had his two predecessors Maha Manikya and Dharma Manikya. Hence it is perhaps reasonable to conclude that with Mahamanikya, the historical period of the "Manikya" Dynasty started, which continued till 1949. The history of the rulers of Tripura in medieval period is the story of continual fights, particularly with the Sultans of Bengal.
During the British period, some English officials were eager to occupy Tripura, but it was opposed by others. However, the office of the British Political Agent of Tripura was created in 1871. After the death of Birbikram Kishore Manikya in May 1947, a Council of Regency under the leadership of his widowed wife Maharani Kanchanprava Devi took over the charge of the administration on behalf of the minor prince.
The Regent's rule came to an end on September 9, 1947, when due to popular pressure, the agreement of Merger of Tripura with the Indian Union was signed by the Maharani on 15th October 1949. Finally, Tripura became a full-fledged State in January 1972.
The original inhabitants of the land, i.e. the hill people were noted for their tolerance and passive obedience. It is only in the 19th century that they started protesting against the oppressive Feudal System.
Flora & Fauna :
Sepahijala Wild Life Sanctuary, is about 25 kms from Agartala covering an area of about 18 sq kms.It houses about 150 species of birds and the unique spectacled monkey. There is also a botanical garden, zoo, lake and boating facilities nearby. The Trishna Wild Life Sanctuary is located about 100 kms away.
Loin-loom, indeed is the oldest and most developed cottage industry of Tripura. Among the traditional produces mention may be made of dubris (a piece of skirt to be wrapped twice over the body) riha or risa (breast garment); bed-covers, screens, asanas etc. Silk is another age old industry of Tripura. Next to weaving, cane and bamboo works occupy place of prominence. Bamboo is available in super abundance, and this typical forest wealth of Tripura is one material that is used in many ways from building homes to making toys. Many artistic things are made of bamboo or its roots for example toy, tray, vase, photo-frame, human figure, casket, calender, pen-stand etc.
Fairs and Festivals :
Of the many festivals which are celebrated in Tripura, the worship of fourteen Gods popularly known as "Kharchi Puja" occupies a place of pride. This is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the month of July every year. The first day of this week long festival is declared a holiday by the Government. Ker and Garia Puja- these two traditional tribal festivals, need special mention. Ker Puja starts generally fifteen days after Kharchi Puja. It is said that this puja is performed for the welfare of the state and its people. The puja is performed within a specific boundary & during the puja nobody is allowed to enter or come out of this specified boundary. The Garia Puja is performed on the sevventh day of the month of Baisakh (April). When the Puja is over, the devotees, men and women take to dancing.
Another remarkable tribal festival is Ganga Puja. This puja is held in March-April. About 4 to 5 Villages join together to perform this puja. To perform the puja they build a temple of bamboo just on the middle of the river. They sacrifice goats, buffaloes and ganders and pray to God to save them from epidemic disease. Durga Puja in the month of October is one of the most popular festivals of Tripura. Next comes Diwali, on the occasion of which each year a big fair is held near Matabari in the temple of Tripura Sundari at Udaipur. "Ashokastami fair" is held at Unakoti Tirtha at Kalishahar every year in the spring. Thousands of pilgrims assemblle here to offer prayers to the images of Goddesses engraved on the hilly rocks which are found here.