Tripura India – Guide to Tripura Tourism, Festivals & Culture
Before India’s independence, Tripura was known as Tripuri Kingdom until it came to a merging agreement with the rest of the sub-continent in 1949. It sits quite cut off from most of India, bordering Bangladesh on three sides and only connected through Assam by way of railway. However Tripura enjoys its hilly region with several rivers carving through many parts of the state.
Like many states of North Eastern India, the culture here is very unique. There are many different ethno linguistic groups creating a somewhat fused culture. However they all enjoy song and dance immensely with tribal people performing at most festivals and celebrations, it being an important part of life for them.
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Most of the population live within the Tripura plains with the majority working in agriculture. This work, just like other regions, relies on the weather to gain bumper crops. The state has a tropical climate with the usual monsoons but few extremes. Visiting is best done either side of the monsoon period but after the height of summer.
There are many temples and palaces to seek out once you arrive, however not at the same grandeur as some of India’s other areas. That said, there are some fine examples including that of the Ujjayanta Palace, a royal house in the heart of Agartala, Tripura’s capital. This white magnificent mansion has three high domes that will catch your eye with beautifully tiled floors and curved wooden ceilings, perfectly accentuated with the mughal gardens on its perimeter and fountains and floodlights to add to its beauty. Furthermore, the Jagganath Temple and Neheru Park are two places worth seeing while you are here.
Being a highly cultural state, festivals are celebrated with vigour and enthusiasm. Most tribes have their own calendar of festivals so many are celebrated during the year. The most prominent of such include the Pous-Sankranti Mela and Kharchi Puja. Pous-Sankranti Mela is celebrated annually when both tribal and non-tribal people congregate for a holy dip in the local lake then for Poush Sankranti it attracts people to assemble together and shave their heads in respect for their ancestors while worshipping their Hindu deities. During this time sacrifices and rituals are made while a two day fair is in action. The second festival is that of Kharchi Puja. Fourteen Gods are worshiped during this weeklong festival in July. It is held at the Chaturdasha Devta Temple and celebrated with devotion.
The Tripura tourism may not be the life of the party, but there are some places to see and things to do to keep you busy. Some things to remember for your trip include staying safe in north-central Tripura as there have been some instability that have at times led to it being a very dangerous area, respect the people and ask permission for photography and refrain from bringing and littering plastic bottles or containers as they consider them unhealthy for the environment. Those notes aside, enjoy the distinctive cultural experience and keep safe.