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extreme corner of the Indian subcontinent, Tripura has Bangladesh as its border on its north, west and south. Assam and Mizoram border the eastern part of the state. Tripura was always a princely state ruled by a Maharaja until the time of independence and never came under British supervision. This meant that it did not become ‘fashionable’ as a winter resort like Shillong (in Meghalaya) and Shimla (in Himachal Pradesh) became. Yet, this tiny state - the smallest in terms of area, claim to a variety of attractions in terms of archeological importance, religious significance, folk and tribal culture and ethnic artifacts. Geography of Tripura Tripura is one of the seven states in the north eastern part of India located between 22 degree and 56 minutes and 24 degree and 32 minutes north latitude and between 90 degree and 09 minutes and 92 degree and 20 minutes east latitude. It is bounded on the north, west, south and south-east by Bangladesh whereas in the east it has a common boundary with Assam and Mizoram. Tripura’s physical feature differs from the north to south. It is a land of high hills, hillocks, and interspersed with river valleys. On its north, it has four valleys that have been separated by hills with heights of about 1,000 meters. On its south, it has open forested land spread over a wide range of area. The climate of the state is hot in summers and cold in winters with the temperatures ranging from 35°C to 10°C. Tripura receives an average rainfall of 2,100 mm. Due to the sufficient and well-distributed rainfall, the state has an ideal composition of land mass and water that houses a large variety of flora and fauna here. A wide variety of plant and orchid species are found in the forests of Tripura. Sal (Shorea robusta) is an important product of the forests here. Brief History of Tripura The history of the region is mentioned in epic Mahabharata. It was ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the 14th century. The Manikyas, who supposedly belonged to the IndoMongolian group, ruled over this area independently even at the time when most parts of the Indian subcontinent were under British rule. The rulers of the state had a good relation with the British during that time and the later helped Tripura to protect itself from the Nawabs of Bengal to take over the state. After the independence of India, an agreement to merge Tripura with the Indian Union was signed by the Regent Maharani
on September 9, 1947. This state became a union territory of the country without legislature from November 1, 1956 and a ministry was formed on July 1, 1963. On January 21, 1972, Tripura got its statehood. Accessing Tripura was difficult until when Maharaja Bir Bikram made an airport in Agartala. Rabindranath Tagore is said to have had a very deep touch with this state. The two famous novels by the Nobel laureate, namely, the Visarjan and Rajasri were based on the legends of the Manikyas. Government of Tripura Manik Sarkar is Chief Minister of Tripura since March 1998 and Polit Bureau Member of Communist Party of India (Marxist). He is governing Tripura in a coalition called the Left Front. Districts of Tripura Tripura has 4 districts: Dhalai, North Tripura, South Tripura and West Tripura Economy of Tripura Although Tripura has vast potential, the industry sector of the state is an underdeveloped one. The state’s secondary sector contributes just 5% to the total employment of the state. Tourism has been given the formal status of an industry in 1987. Tripura produces some of the important horticultural products like pineapple, orange, cashew nut, jackfruit, coconut, tea, cotton, mesta, rubber, etc. The agriculture of the state is largely based on the system of Jhum (shifting) cultivation, and gives due importance to animal husbandry and fisheries. Tripura Travel Information Tripura is located in North-east India. The state government of Tripura has given tourism the status of an industry. The state has several places of tourist importance like Agartala, Unakoti, Pilak, Udaipur, Tripurasundari Temple, Ujjayanta Palace, Neermahal, Jampui Hill, Bhavaneswari Temple, Sepahijala, Kamalasagar, Deotamura, and Dumboor Lake. Moreover, there are the Buddhist monasteries in Agartala, Pecharthal, Kanchanpur, Manu Bakul, Pilak, and Boxnagar. Rivers of Tripura The Khowati, the Manu, the Haorah, the Muhuri and the Gomati are some important rivers of Tripura. Gomati is the largest river. Like the Ganges in North India, the Gomati is considered to be the most sacred of all the rivers in Tripura. The source of the river is taken to be Tirthamukh where lies the beautiful Dumbar falls - one of the most important holy places. The rivers Khowai, Doloi, Manu, Juri and Langai are flowing towards the north and those flowing towards west are the Gomati, Muhuri and Feni Education in Tripura
Literacy rate of Tripura is 60.44%. The full fledged Education Department came into existence in Tripura from 1952. The Education Department was tri-furcated into Education (School), Education (Higher) and Social Welfare and Social Education Department in 1979. The total teaching staff in Tripura at present is 33,294 in 3152 Schools. The University in state is Tripura University, Suryamaninagar to which many colleges/institutions are affiliated. Food of Tripura Rice is main food. Cooking oils commonly used are Mustard oil and used for both deepfrying and cooking. Other vegetable oils are also used. Ghee is used for cooking special occasion foods. Important spices and ingredients are Mustard seeds and paste, chillies (both green and red), Paanch Phoran (a mix of five spices – white cumin seeds, onion seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds). Yoghurt, coconut, maize and gram flour are also common ingredients. Milk and dairy products play a huge role in the preparation of sweets in Eastern India. Popular dishes are Momos (steamed, meator vegetable-filled wontons) and Thukpa (a clear soup), Tomato Achaar (tomato pickle), Machcher Jhol (fish curry), Jhaal-Muri (a spicy snack made with puffed rice and mustard oil), Sandesh, Rasgolla etc. Arts & Culture of Tripura The main languages spoken are Bengali and Kokborok. Almost 50% of the people of the state belong to the tribal community. The number of tribal communities here is 19, excluding the Bengalis and Manipuris. Bengalis constitute a large chunk of the population here. The art and craft of the state is very much tribal in character. Handwoven dress material for both men and women are common. Moreover, other products like Pachra and Risha are very much in demand especially outside the state. Moreover, Tripura is exceptionally famous for its bamboo and cane furniture and products. Palmleaf handicraft products of Tripura are quite popular nowadays. Music & Dance of Tripura Because of its agrarian culture, most of the dances are based on the agricultural activities of the people. Among the dances the state, Garia Dance is related to the Jhum cultivation while Lebang Boomani Dance is related to the monsoon season. There are also dances related to the different tribal communities like the Hozagiri Dance of the Reangs, Bizu Dance of the Chakmas, Hai Hak Dance of the Halams or Malsums, Welcome Dance of the Lushais, Cheraw Dance of the Darlongs and the Wangala dance of the Garos. The musical instruments used during these dance forms mainly comprise flutes and drums along with some locally made instruments. Festivals of Tripura
There are community-specific festivals in Tripura observed with the related rituals and festivities. The Mog community observes the Way (Lamp) Festival from the full moon of Ashad to the full moon of Ashwin. The Ashokastami, Garia, and Gajan festivals are celebrated in April. Moreover, there are the Rabindra and Nazrul Jayanti, Boat Race festival, Kharchi, Manasa Mangal, Durga Puja, Diwali, Ras, Poush Sankranti Mela and Orange and Tourism Festival that are celebrated throughout the state with great fervor. Costumes of Tripura The attire of the state says a lot more about the people in particular and the state in general. Native women here wear a scrap which sis known as Pachra. This piece of cloth reaches a little down the knee making the woman feel comfortable while climbing the hilly regions. The Risha, woven in loom, is a small cloth piece worn usually by the women to cover their breast part.
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