Tripura is one of India's Northeastern states. It is bordered by Bangladesh in the south, west, and north, Assam in the northeast, and Mizoram in the east. It is one of the regions least explored by foreign tourists, but it offers immense natural beauty and an intriguing cultural heritage. Tripura was ruled by a communist party for 25 years until 2018.
- 1 Agartala — capital of Tripura
- 2 Dharmanagar — second biggest city
- 3 Udaipur (Tripura) — third biggest city
- 1 Amarpur —
- 2 Damboor Lake —
- 3 Chabimura
Tripura belongs to the politically volatile North-Eastern region of India. As in neighbouring states, ethnic and communal strife has claimed many lives over the past years. The current ethnic setup in Tripura is a consequence of the partition of India, when large groups of Bengali Hindus left the area that became East Pakistan (today Bangladesh). The previous majority population, the tribals, soon became a minority and disadvantaged in comparison to the new majority.
The changing demographic situation led to ethnic strife and an insurgent movement which lasted for decades. Following the establishment of an autonomous tribal council as well as the implementation of several counter-insurgency operations, violence and tensions have gradually abated, and the region has been peaceful.
The official languages of the state are Bengali, English, and Kokborok (alias Tripuri). Previously, Meitei (alias Manipuri) was also an associate official language but with its decreasing population, it eventually lost its official status.
As with virtually all states in North-East India, Hindi is not universally understood and very few people speak the language proficiently.
An express train runs daily between Agartala and Lumding, which enhances travelling in this princely state. As there is heavy rush, tickets should be booked well in advance.
Daily train service is also available from Agartala to Silchar and Lumding (Assam) and Dharmanagar (Tripura).
Buses run by CNG and diesel are the main transport between towns of the state. At Agartala, city buses are available in a regular interval. A small group can hire an autorickshaw, run by CNG, for getting around the city. If time is more of an issue than money, one can hire a vehicle with driver. Road conditions might be bad in rainy seasons, even by Indian standards. On some legs, vehicles travel in military convoys, moving extremely slowly through the countryside, especially on the National Highway which connects Agartala with Assam. Some rural areas are not safe to travel to or through after sundown.
The fastest way to travel internally in Tripura is a helicopter service that connects Agartala with the northern parts of the state.
- Akhaura Border in Agartala
- Bhubaneswari Temple in Udaipu}
- Jampui Hills near Dharmanagar
- Kashba is an artificial lake near Agartala that is popular for picknickers and location of a mela (fair or gathering) during the Navaratri Festival.
- Maata Bari temple in Udaipur
- Malanchya Nivas in Agartala
- Neermahal Palace in Melagarh in Udaipur is a royal palace built in the middle of the lake Rudrasagar.
- Pilak is an archaeological site near Agartala. Bhuddist and Hindu sandstone sculptures discovered here can be seen at the Tripura Government Museum.
- Rose Valley Park in Agartala (outskirt of the city)
- Temple of Fourteen Gods in Old Agartala was built in honour of fourteen deities worshipped during Kharchi Puja.
- Ujjayanta Palace near Agartala is a mansion built in 1901 that houses the State Legislative Assembly
- Kailasahar and Unakoti, near Dharmanagar. Unakoti is an historic site containing large and mysterious yet fascinating rock-cut and stone sculptures of Hindu deity Shiva
- SomTwisa Valley
Visit the State Museum in Agartala which is housed in the Ujjayanta palace, a piece of history itself.
Typical Bengali cuisine includes rice, fish, meat and dal (pulse). Bengali sweets are also commonly available here. Some unique dishes of tribal people are also popular among the non-tribals and tourists. One of the typical tribal dishes is godok, a must-try pork dish. The major ingredients of Tripuri cuisine include pork, chicken, mutton, turtle, fish, prawns, crabs and frogs.
Drinking of wine is banned in open. There are no bars. Beware of pirated alcohols, available in plenty. On the other hand, soft drinks of eminent brands are available in almost all shops.
Most local people are quite honest and helpful, but beware of auto drivers charging more than normal rates, especially from Agartala Airport specifically to non-locals. For short journeys, always take three-wheeler rickshaws: they are convenient and easily available anywhere.
There are three ways to get out from here. Firstly, one can opt for air transport; regular flights are available for Kolkata, Guwahati and some other parts of India. One can also opt for rail transport, though rails never run in this route on time. The state is connected with Assam through Meter Gauge Railway. If you plan to visit Bangladesh, you can choose road transport: state-run TRTC service is available for visiting Bangladesh, which is cheaper and reliable. From Dhaka, link bus service is also available for going to Kolkata. Only advance tickets are available in this route and the traveller requires a valid visa for this route (Kolkata via Dhaka).
For Bangladeshi visas, there is a Bangladeshi consulate in Agartala which runs a same day visa service; however, depending on the mood of the visa officer, the price of a tourist visa to Bangladesh may mysteriously rise and the length of your stay in Bangladesh also depends on this factor. Make sure you have a good idea of what you want to see in Bangladesh as this will usually enable you to be granted a longer stay.