Agartala, capital city of Tripura and the second largest city of North-East is a splendid one to explore about history, religion and culture. The city has been included in the list of India’s Smart Cities challenge. The city is situated on the banks of Haora river and is very close to the Bangladesh border. The city also holds the authority of International Internet Gateway after Chennai and Mumbai.
As the city has its main religion as hindu, you can find many temples across the city. The city also has a mixed blend of religion. The festival that attracts the crowd most is the Durga Puja. This period of time is believed to be the busiest and one can experience the most richness of the Indian culture at this time.
Located at the centre of the city the Ujjayanta Palace was built in 1901. The palace exhibits the Indo-Saracenic style of the architecture, with a lake and garden built in the front in a mughal style. The palace is two storied having three domes, each 86 feet high. The entire palace has been laid with tiles on the floor and the doors and ceiling are carved out of wooden work. The palace owes the area of about 1 Sq.Km. that covers many temples too.
There are halls in the palace for several purpose that includes library, throne hall, public hall, reception hall and the chinese room. In 1949 this royal property was made nationalised after its merger with the Indian Government. The palace served as the State Legislative Assembly till 2011, as it was bought by the government of Tripura for a sum of ₹2.5 million from royal family in 1972-73.
In 2011, after refurbishing the Ujjayanta Palace with an amount of ₹100 million palace was turned into a museum. The museum is the biggest in the entire North-East that exhibits the history, tradition, ethinicity,culture etc. of the region. The museum boasts various collection that includes coins, terracotta, copper and stone inscriptions, sculptures, textiles, sketches, drawings, bronze images, art and craft objects, musical instruments, oil paintings, life-size statues, tribal ornaments and folk articles.
Overall the museum is huge source of knowledge of culture, history, ethinicity etc. which exhibits the major festivals, maps of Tripura, flora and fauna, species of bamboo, religious sites and stuffed animals. The place is so informative and immense that you need to provide an entire day from your travelling schedule.
The palace is situated in the center of the lake, Rudrasagar. The palace is a sceinec view as it seems to be floating on the lake water. The palace looks like a fort due to its architecture and its minars that are shaped in the form of dome. The British Company Martin and Burns that build the Uhjayanta Palace were recruited to build Neer Mahal. The palace is designed in the hindu and muslim architecture.
The mahal is divided into two parts, one is the andar mahal on the west side of the mahal and the other is open theatre on the east side. The extravagant halls of andar mahal are still undiminished and there are living quarters of the royal family on this side. The other side, open theatre, was used for performing drama, dance, entertainment, theatre show and other cultural events. The serene beauty of the palace can be seen at night when the palace is illuminated with lights and the reflection of the palace can be seen in the lake. The palace has a total of 24 rooms and is one of the Tripura’s beautiful place to visit.
Kamalasagar Kali Temple
Also known as Kasba Kali Bari and built back in the 17th century the shrine of the bengali’s residing in Tripura is located 27 kms from the main city and constructed at the India-Bangladesh border on the hillock of the lake Kamalasagar. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali and resembles the Dashabhuja Durga. The idol Maa Kaali is made of sandstone and is worshipped by many devotees during the festival. The temple is also named Kali Bari as there is Shivalinga present at the feet of Maa Kaali. The lake at the border of Bangladesh and its surroundings are breathtaking and elegant.
Laxmi Narayan Bari Temple
Built in the compound of Ujjayanta Palace, the temple is dedicated to the Laxmi Narayan and Almighty Lord Krishna. The idol of the deity is situated inside the temple and Krishnanada Sevayet of the temple consecrated it. There is tree named Bhagvat Tamal that is believed to be associate with the Lord Krishna’s life sport. During janmasthmi the palace grounds and the sanctum sanctorum are decorated beautifully and the festival of the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.
Devotees visit here from various corners of the country to celebrate the festival and offer prayers to the Lord. One of the grand architectures of Tripura is a must visit place. The enormous temple is two storied and painted with white colour that flows the message of peace, purity and holiness.
Jagannath Bari Temple
The only temple in the entire Tripura that is built by stones was constructed in the 1673 A.D. and is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The temple is built on the corner of the pond Puran Dighi or Jagannath Dighi. According to sayings there were many self carved images of god and goddess on the walls of the temple but now there are no more carvations left.
There were the images of Lord Vishnu and Uma-Maheshwar that were found near the temple in the pond which somehow justifies the story of self carved images on the walls of the temple. The images that were found in the pond are now preserved at the museum present in the city. Later the Idol of Shri Jagannath, Idol of Lord’s big brother Balarama and their sister Subhadra were sanctified in the temple and Jagannath Rath Yatra festival was started in 1904 A.D. and since then it is being celebrated every year and thousand of devotees visit here on the holy occasion.
- By Air
The Agartala airport is located in Singerbhil i.e. 12 kms from the city and is well connected to major cities of India.
- By Train
Agartala railway station can be reached from Silchar and Lumding in Assam as there is no direct train to the city, so its advised to travel via air if you dont reside in North-East.
- By Road
One can reach Agartala by bus from Guwahati, Shillong and Silchar. The route also connects to the West Bengal.
District: West Tripura
Famous for: History and Pilgrim
Language: Hindi, Bengali, Kokborok and English
Best time: October-May
Population: 522613 (2015 census)
Std Code: 0381