Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of 10,491.69 km. It 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 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 and has a history of over 2500 years and 186 kings.
Tripura finds mentions in the Mahabharata, the Puranas and pillar inscriptions of Emperor Ashoka. It 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.
It was a princely state. The Tripuri Kings (bubagra) 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 it’s modern era, when King Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur Debbarma modeled his administration on the pattern of British India and enacted various reforms.
Geography and Climate
It 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. It 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 (114 mi) from north to south and 113 km (70 mi) 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.
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. Rice 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. High quality timber including 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.
Flora and fauna
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.