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Location of Tripura
Coordinates 23°50′N 91°17′E / 23.84°N 91.28°E / 23.84; 91.28
Country  India
District(s) 4
Established 21 January 1972
Capital Agartala
Largest city Agartala
Governor D Y Patil
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (60)
3199203 (21st)
305 /km2 (790 /sq mi)
Official languages Bengali and Kokborok
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 10491.69 km2 (4051 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-TR
Seal of Tripura

About this sound Tripura (Bengali: ত্রিপুরা) is a state in North-East India, with an area of 4,051 sq. mi. or 10,491.69 km².[1] Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are Bengali and Kokborok. It was formerly an independent Tripuri kingdom[2] and was merged with independent India on 15 October 1949 by the Tripura Merger Agreement. It was also known as Hill Tippera (anglicized version of Tipra) during the British Raj period[3][4] and has a history of over 2500 years and 186 kings[citation needed].


Origin of name

Several theories exist pertaining to the origin of Tripura's name:

  • The origin of the word Tripura is attributed to the legendary tyrant king of Tripura, Tripur. According to legend, Tripur was the 39th descendant of Druhya, who was a descendant of Yayati, one of the lunar race kings. He was so powerful that he ordered his subjects to worship him as the sole God. People fled to escape his tyranny to the nearby state of Hiramba (Cachar).
  • The word Tripura may have originated from Tripura Sundari: the presiding deity of the land which is famous as one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, pilgrimage centres of Shakti worshippers of Hinduism.[5]
  • According to historian Kailash Chandra Singha, the word Tripura is a derivative from two different Kokborok words twi and pra. Twi means water, pra means near. It is likely that the state bears the name Tripura from this fact that in ancient time the boundaries of Tripura extended up to the Bay of Bengal when its ruler held sway from the Garo Hills to the Arakan.
  • According to another school of thought the name Tripura was probably given to the state in honour of the temple at Udaipur, Tripureshwari, the wife of lord Shiva.


Flag of the Twipra Kingdom

Tripura finds mentions in the Mahabharata, the Puranas and pillar inscriptions of Emperor Ashoka. Tripura has a long historic past, its unique tribal culture and a fascinating folklore.In the distant past Tripura was known as Kirat Desh. There are references of Tripura in the Mahabharat and the Puranas. Tripura, the descendent of King Druya and Bhabru, contemporary of Yudhisthira, was the ruler on whose name Tripura is named. One more explanation says that the territory is named after the temple of Tripuri Sundari, located at Radhakrishnapur.

Tripura was a princely state. The Tripuri Kings (Habugra) held the title of Manikya and ruled Tripura for 3000 years until its merger. Udaipur, in South Tripura district, was the capital of the Kingdom. The capital was shifted to Old Agartala by King Krishna Manikya in the eighteenth century, and then to the present Agartala in the 19th Century. The 19th century marked the beginning of Tripura's modern era, when King Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur Debbarma modeled his administration on the pattern of British India and enacted various reforms.

The Ganamukti Parishad movement led to the integration of the kingdom with India in 1949 within Assam state. Tripura was heavily affected by the partition of India and the majority of the population now comprises Hindu Bengalis, many of whom came as refugees from East Pakistan after independence in 1947. Tripura became a centrally administered Union Territory on July 1, 1963 and attained the status of a full-fledged state on January 21, 1972.

Armed conflict in Tripura has been a problem since the end of the 1970s as an aftermath of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Mass migration of Bengalis from Bangladesh during this time has resulted in wide-spread insurgency and militancy in the state with groups such as the Tripura National Volunteers, the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the All Tripura Tiger Force aiming to drive away the Bengali people. This is the Tripura Rebellion.

Geography and climate

Tripura's landscape

Tripura is a landlocked hilly state in northeastern India with altitudes varying from 15 to 940 m above sea level, though the majority of the population lives in the plains. Tripura has a tropical climate and receives rainfall during the monsoons. It is surrounded on the north, west, and south by Bangladesh and is accessible to the rest of India through the Karimganj district of Assam and Aizawl district of Mizoram in the east. The state extends between 22°56'N and 24°32'N and 90°09'E and 92°10'E. Its maximum stretch measures about 184 km from north to south and 113 km from east to west with an area of 10,491.69 km². Tripura is the third smallest state of the country.

Although landlocked, Tripura has many rivers including the Manu River which originates here.[6]


Gross State
Domestic Product
at Current Prices
(1999–2000 Base)[7]

figures in millions
of Indian Rupees

Year Gross State
Domestic Product
1980 2,860
1985 5,240
1990 10,310
1995 22,960
2000 52,700

Tripura's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2.1 billion in current prices. Agriculture and allied activities is the mainstay of the people of Tripura and provides employment to about 64% of the population. There is a preponderance of food crop cultivation over cash crop cultivation in Tripura. At present about 62% of the net sown area is under food crop cultivation. Paddy is the principal crop, followed by oilseed, pulses, potato, and sugarcane. Tea and rubber are the important cash crops of the State. Tripura has been declared the Second Rubber Capital of India after Kerala by the Indian Rubber Board. Handicraft, particularly hand-woven cotton fabic, wood carvings, and bamboo products, are also important. The per capita income at current prices of the state stands at INRs 10,931 and at constant prices Rs 6,813 in the financial year 2000-2001.

Some quality timber like sal, garjan, teak, and Gamar are found abundantly in the forests of Tripura. Tripura has poor mineral resources, with meagre deposits of kaolin, iron ore, limestone, coal but this state has considerable amount of natural gas reserve. The industrial sector of the state continues to be highly underdeveloped.

Government and politics

The 19th century Ujjayanta Palace, now used as the meeting place of Tripura's State Legislative Assembly

Tripura is governed through a parliamentary system of representative democracy, a feature the state shares with other Indian states. Universal suffrage is granted to residents. There are three branches of government. The legislature, the Tripura Legislative Assembly, consists of elected members and special office bearers such as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, that are elected by the members. Assembly meetings are presided over by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker in the Speaker's absence. The judiciary is composed of the Guwahati High Court (Agartala Bench) and a system of lower courts. Executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister, although the titular head of government is the Governor. The Governor is the head of state appointed by the President of India. The leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the Legislative Assembly is appointed as the Chief Minister by the Governor, and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Council of Ministers reports to the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly is unicameral with 60 Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs.[8] Terms of office run for 5 years, unless the Assembly is dissolved prior to the completion of the term. Tripura sends 2 representatives to the Lok Sabha and 1 representative to the Rajya Sabha. Auxiliary authorities known as panchayats, for which local body elections are regularly held, govern local affairs. Tripura also has an autonomous tribal council, the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council which has it head-quarters in Khumulwng.

The main political parties are the Left Front and the Indian National Congress. Tripura is currently governed by Left Front, with Manik Sarkar as Chief Minister. Until 1977 the state was governed by the Indian National Congress. The left front governed from 1978 to 1988, and then returned in power in 1993. During 1988–1993 the state was governed by a coalition of the Congress and Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti. On the last elections (23 February 2008) the Left Front gained 49 out of 60 seats in the Parliament, 46 of which went to the CPI(M).[9]


State of Tripura having 4 districts, roadways & small railway network.

For administrative purposes, the state has been divided into 4 districts, 17 subdivisions, 40 development blocks.

Districts Head-quarters Population Area (in km²)
Dhalai Ambassa 307,417 2312
North Tripura Kailashahar 590,655 2470
South Tripura Udaipur 762,565 2624
West Tripura Agartala 1,530,531 3544

Major towns of the state are Agartala, Bishalgarh, Jogendranagar,Sonamura, Amarpur, Dharmanagar, Pratapgarh, Udaipur, Kailashahar, Teliamura, Indranagar, Khowai, and Belonia. Badharghat, Jogendranagar, and Indranagar are now parts of the Agartala municipality.

Transport and communication

Tripura is connected with the rest of the country through Assam by Broad gauge railway line extending to Lumding and Silchar. The main railways stations are in Agartala , Dharmanagar, Kumarghat. National Highway 44 connects it to Assam and the rest of India.

Agartala Airport, which has flights to Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, and Silchar, is the main airport of the state.

Most of the major Telecommunications companies of India are present in the state, with the state capital and regions of the state being served by Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata Indicom and BSNL landline, mobile, and broadband networks.


Tripura is the second most populous state in North-East India, after Assam. According to the census of 2001, Tripura has a total population of 3,199,203, with a density of 305 persons per square kilometer, and ranks 22nd among Indian states. It constitutes 0.31% population of India and 8.18% of the Northeast. In the 2001 census of India, Bengalis represent almost 70% of Tripura's population and the native tribal populations represent 30% of Tripura's population. The tribal population comprises several different tribes and ethnic groups with diverse languages and cultures with the largest tribal group being the Kokborok-speaking tribes of the Tripuri (16% of the state's population), the Jamatia, the Reang, and the Noatia tribal communities. There is some tension between these native tribal populations and Bengali settlers in tribal areas.

Tripura ranks 22nd in the human resource development index and 24th in the poverty index in India according to 1991 sources. The literacy rate of Tripura is 73.2%, higher than the national rate of 65.20%.

Hinduism is the majority religion in the state, with 85.6% of the population following the religion.[11] Muslims make up 8.0% of the population, Christians 3.2%, and Buddhists 3.1%.[11]

Communities in Tripura
Community Language Language Family
Bengali Bengali Indo-European
Tipra/Tripuri Tripuri Sino-Tibetan
Bishnupriya Manipuri Bishnupriya Manipuri Indo-European
Manipuri Meitei Sino-Tibetan
Chakma Changma Vaj Indo-European
Kuki Kuki Sino-Tibetan
Mizo Mizo Sino-Tibetan
Magh/ Arakanese Magh/ Arakanese Tibeto-Burman

This represents a major change in the religious composition of the state over time. In 1941 the population was 70% Hindu, 23% Muslim and 6% followers of tribal religions.[12] It should be noted that in 1951 Tripura had 649,930 inhabitants, and the number was even less in 1941 because the Hindu exodus had not begun from East Bengal, although that would not really become a factor in the state's population until the 1970s.



Today most of the Hindus in Tripura, both those who are Bengali and the Tripuri and numerous tribes, are adherents of an animist-Shaktism hybrid of Hinduism, which was the state religion under the Tripuri kings. 'Tripura' is the name of a Hindu form of Durga. Brahmin priests (called chantais) are regarded as custodians of dharma and occupy an exalted position in Tripura society.

Important gods are Shiva and Tripureshwari (patron goddess of Tripura and an aspect of Shakti). Several fertility gods are also worshipped, such as Lam-Pra (the twin deities of sky and sea), Mailu-ma (goddess of corn, identified with Lakshmi), Khulu-ma (goddess of the cotton plant), and Burha-cha (god of healing).

Durga Puja, Navaratri, Vijayadashami, and the worship of the Chaturdasha deities are important festivals. The Ganga festival in which Tripura's tribals worship the Ganga River.[13]


Muslims of Tripura, as most other parts of India, are second largest religious group in the state. Ethnically, they are mostly Bengali and follow the Sunni sect of Islam.


Children in Tripura prepare for a traditional dance.

Tripura has several diverse ethno-linguistic groups, which has given rise to a composite culture. The dominant culture is Tripuris, Jamatia, Reang, Noatia, Koloi, Murasing, Chakma, Halam, Garo, Kuki, Mizo, Mogh, Munda, Oraon, Santhal, and Uchoi.

Tripura has a rich cultural heritage of music, fine arts, handicrafts and dance. Music is an integral part of the tribal people of Tripura. Some of their indigenous instruments are the sarinda, chongpreng, and sumui (a kind of flute). Songs are sung during religious occasions, marriages, and other festivals. Agricultural festivals are integral to the culture of the state.

Dance is important to the tribal way of life. Dances are performed during Goria Puja. Hojagiri dance is performed by standing on a pitcher and is performed by the Reang clans. The Bihu dance is performed by the Chakmas during Chaitra Sankranti (the last day of the month of Chaitra).

Flora and fauna

The state is located in the bio-geographic zone of 9B-North-East Hills and possesses an extremely rich bio-diversity. The local flora and faunal components of Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese sub-regions. There are 379 species of trees, 320 shrubs, 581 herbs, 165 climbers, 16-climbing shrubs, 35 ferns, and 45 epiphytes.[citation needed]

Wildlife sanctuaries of the state include Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary, Gumti Wildlife sanctuary, Roa Wildlife Sanctuary, and Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary. National parks of the state include Clouded Leopard National Park, Sepahijola, and Rajbari National Park, Trishna.


Tripura schools are run by the state government or by private organisations, including religious institutions. Instruction is mainly in English or Bengali, though Kokborok and other tribal languages are also used. Secondary schools are affiliated with the CISCE, the CBSE, or the Tripura Board of Secondary Education. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing secondary school, students typically enroll for 2 years in a junior college, also known as pre-university, or in schools with a higher secondary facility. Notable higher education institutions of Tripura are MBB College, National Institute of Technology, Tripura Institute of Technology, Tripura University, and ICFAI University all located in Agartala.


Football and cricket are the most popular sports in the state. The state capital Agartala has its own club football championships every year where many local clubs compete in a league and knockout format.

Tripura participates as an Eastern state team in the Ranji Trophy, the Indian domestic Cricket competition. The state also is a regular participant of the Indian National Games and the North Eastern Games.

See also

Places of interest


  1. ^ Tripura History
  2. ^ Govt. of Tripura
  3. ^ Hill Tippera - History The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 13, p. 118.
  4. ^ Hill Tippera, from Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.
  5. ^ Tripura
  6. ^ "Manu River". banglapedia. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  7. ^ "Gross State Domestic Product at Current Prices (1999–2000 Bae". National Accounts Division: Press release & Statements. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  8. ^ "Tripura Legislative Assembly". Legislative Bodies in India. National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  9. ^ Results of the elections
  10. ^ "Census Population" (PDF). Census of India. Ministry of Finance India. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  11. ^ a b Indian Census
  12. ^ Columbia-Lippincott Gazeteer. p. 1947
  13. ^ "Tribals of Tripura celebrate Ganga festival"

Further reading

  • Jagadis Gan-Chaudhuri (1985), An Anthology of Tripura, Inter India Publications ISBN 8121000750
  • Roychoudhury, N.R. (1977), Tripura Through the Ages: A Short History of Tripura from the Earliest Times to 1947 A.D., Bureau of Research & Publications on Tripura.
  • Bhattacharjee, P.R. (1994), Economic Transition in Tripura (Hardcover), Vikas Publishing House ISBN 978-0706971712
  • Palit, P.K. (2004), History of Religion in Tripura (Hardcover) Kaveri Books ISBN 978-8174790644
  • Debbarma, Chandramani (2006), Glory of Tripura Civilisation Parul Prakashani, Agartala

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HILL TIPPERA, or Tripura, a native state of India, adjoining the British district of Tippera, in Eastern Bengal and Assam. Area, 4086 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 173,325; estimated revenue, X 55, 000. Six parallel ranges of hill cross it from north to south, at an average distance of 12 m. apart. The hills are covered for the most part with bamboo jungle, while the low ground abounds with trees of various kinds, canebrakes and swamps. The principal crop and food staple is rice. The other articles of produce are cotton, chillies and vegetables. 'The chief exports are cotton, timber, oilseeds, bamboo canes, thatching-grass and firewood, on all of which tolls are levied. The chief rivers are the Gumti, Haora, Khoyai, Dulai, Manu and Fenny (Pheni). During the heavy rains the people in the plains use boats as almost the sole means of conveyance.

The history of the state includes two distinct periods - the traditional period described in the Rajmala, or "Chronicles of the Kings of Tippera," and the period since A.D. 1407. The Rajmala is a history in Bengali verse, compiled by the Brahmans of the court of Tripura. In the early history of the state, the rajas were in a state of chronic feud with all the neighbouring countries. The worship of Siva was here, as elsewhere in India, associated with the practice of human sacrifice, and in no part of India were more victims offered. It was not until the beginning of the 17th century that the Moguls obtained any footing in this country. When the East India Company obtained the diwani or financial administration of Bengal in 1765, so much of Tippera as had been placed on the Mahommedan rent-roll came under British rule. Since 1808, each successive ruler has received investiture from the British government. In October 1905 the state was attached to the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. It has a chronological era of its own, adopted by Raja Birraj, from whom the present raja is 93rd in descent. The year 1875 corresponded with 1285 of the Tippera era.

Besides being the ruler of Hill Tippera, the raja holds an estate in the British district of Tippera, called chakla Roshnabad, which is far the most valuable of his possessions. The capital is Agartala (pop. 9513), where there is an Arts College. The raja's palace and other public buildings were seriously damaged by the earthquake of the 12th of June 1897. The late raja, who died from the result of a motor-car accident in 1909, succeeded his father in 1896, but he had taken a large share in the administration of the state for some years previously. The principle of succession, which had often caused serious disputes, was defined in 1904, to the effect that the chief may nominate any male descendant through males from himself or from any male ancestor, but failing such nomination, then the rule of primogeniture applies.

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