India’s seven sister states- nestled in the remote hilly northeastern corner, are not very popular with travellers, at least not yet. But often such are the places that have immense untapped potential.
The best thing is, being not so crowded, most of it is all ours to explore! Tripura is one such place which is blessed with immense natural beauty, archaeological wonders, tribal culture, exotic wildlife, pilgrimage places, but sadly gets very little footfall of domestic and international tourists.
I consider myself very lucky to actually get a chance to travel to this beautiful state carrying my travel backpack along.
Let’s figure out what Tripura is famous for:
The state capital, and most probably your first point of contact with the state, if you travel by air. Tripura’s nearest airport is Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport which is located 12 kilometers away from the city.
A most important place to visit in the city is undoubtedly the ‘Ujjayanta palace’- the seat of erstwhile royals of Tripura. Beautifully designed in Indo-European style, this palace is the most famous landmark of Agartala. Part of it is stated museum today while some part is still occupied by the descendants of the royals.
The area around the palace called ‘Rajbari’ also has some important temples built by the Maharajas of Tripura, particularly famous are Laxminarayan, Durga Bari and Jagannath Bari temples. Other places of interest in Agartala include 14 Gods temple, Venuban Buddha vihar and heritage park famous for miniatures of various landmarks in Tripura.
2. Akhaura International Border
Just outside the city of Agartala lies the international border between India and Bangladesh. From my hotel, I walked for about half an hour till the border where a gate closing and flag-lowering ceremony takes place every evening. Though not a big affair like Wagah border parade, it certainly is an interesting experience.
Famous for bass sculptures of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses belonging to 7th till 9th century, Unakoti is popular with pilgrims and archaeology enthusiasts alike.
‘Unakoti’ meaning one less than crore is named after the story of Lord Shiva cursing rest of the Gods and turning them into rocks due to their inability to get up on time after a night halt at this place on their way to Varanasi. A must visit place for the unique tribal influence on the sculptures and for its stunning location surrounded by forests!
Although a journey of 4.5 hours one way by road from Agartala, a one-day return trip is easily do-able if one leaves from Agartala early in the morning. Do not miss the endless tea gardens along the road near Kailashahar.
4. Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary
Being the most easily accessible wildlife sanctuary from Agartala, it is also the most popular one. A decently maintained zoo is part of the larger sanctuary where one can see many animals and birds unique to Northeast including the spectacled monkey- Tripura’s state animal.
5. Debtamura Hills (Chabimura)
Debtamura is a stunning place. Nothing like I had ever visited before! The main attractions here are the large rock carvings similar to Unakoti but right along the river bed of Gomti river. One can either take a speed boat or a manually rowed boat to reach the large carving of Goddess Chakrakma. This was probably my most favorite place on the entire trip. Highly recommended!!
Quick Fact: Tripura got its name from two separate words, ‘tui’ (water) + ‘pra’ (near) which in totality means ‘near water’.
Neermahal- the island summer palace of Tripura’s kings is another prime attraction of the state. Accessed primarily by a boat from Melaghar town, the island palace is beautifully designed in Indo-Mughal style. It is easily possible to do a return trip here from Agartala but I preferred to stay at Sagarmahal tourist lodge of Tripura tourism board.
Kamlasagar Kali bari temple is located right at the border between India and Bangladesh about an hour’s drive away from Agartala. This beautiful temple built in the unique architecture of Tripura faces a large tank named Kamlasagar which is surrounded on the other three sides by border fencing of Bangladesh. One can also visit a border haat here where vendors from both the countries come together and sell their produce freely without any border formalities.
Udaipur- being the erstwhile capital of the kingdom of Tripura, is dotted with many landmarks all over it. Most important of them is the ‘Tripurasundari temple’ believed to be one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of Mother Goddess.
This temple is where the state got its name from and is considered holiest of all the temples in Tripura. One can also visit ruins of the old palace of the kings. Closeby is another famous temple dedicated to Goddess Bhubaneswari.
Not very far is a group of three temples known as ‘Gunabati group of temples’ or simply ‘teen mandir’ famous for its typical vernacular hut style architecture.
9. Trishna wildlife sanctuary
Located in south Tripura, this sanctuary is specially dedicated to the Gaur (Indian bison). I would like to call Trishna as Heaven of Peace in Tripura. It is located in Belonia. You can stay at Tourist lodge and visit this wonderful place in the afternoon. Located at the vast deep green forest. Entry fee is Rs.6/person. Car parking Rs.30/-. You can enjoy the boat ride on the lake of Trishna friend.
10. Jampui Hills
Probably the only region which can be called a hill station in otherwise warm Tripura. Jampui hills are home to various Mizo tribes and are culturally different from the rest of Tripura. This region famous for its sweet oranges is best visited in the winter.
How to travel by train:
- From Kolkata to Tripura: The fastest train from Kolkata is 12503 Agartala Humsafar which departs at 06:50 pm (Wednesdays and Saturdays)
- From Delhi to Tripura: Agartala Rajdhani Express which departs from 7:50 pm (only on Wednesdays)
It’s very essential to carry a sturdy and durable bag with you while on the trip. Which backpack should I get while traveling? Visit our wide collection of bags and backpacks and browse the best backpacks to carry with you in your next travels.