Tripura is one of the seven states in the north eastern part of India. It has Bangladesh in the border on its north, west and south. Assam and Mizoram border the Eastern part of the state. Tripura is the land of high hills that are interspersed with river valleys. In the north, it has four valleys that have been separated by hills with heights of about 1000 metres. In the south, there is a open forestland covering a large area. A wide variety of plant and orchid species are found in the forests of Tripura. Sal is an important product of the forests here. The state is watered by several rivers and their tributaries. The kowhati, the manu, the Haorah, the Muhuri and the Gomati are some important rivers of Tripura. The Gomati is the largest river in the state.
The Jmpui hills are the highest hill range of Tripura and oranges are grown plenty here. Every year, the unique orange and Tourism festival that is held in November, celebrates the bounty of Mother Nature.
The history of Tripura goes back to ancient times and it is even mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. The earliest trace of the history of Tripura can be found in the Ashokan pillar inscriptions. Tripura was ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the 14th century. This dynasty had an Indo Mongolian origin and ruled Tripura for around 3000 years. With the coming of the colonial era, the Britishers extended their control over Tripura but granted some independence to the Manikya Kings. After the independence of India, Tripura merged with the Indian Union. It became a union territory of the country from November 1st 1956. On January 21st, 1972, Tripura became an independent state of the Indian Union.
Tripura and Tagore
The Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had close relationship with successive Tripura Kings. When Tagore was in his 20s, Mahajaja Birchandra Manikya Bahadur, a painter, photographer and composer, identified his as a genius. Tagore visited Tripura seven times and was close to four successive kings.
Tripura has over 19 different tribal communities as well as Bengali and Manipuri communities. Each community has its own dance forms, which are famous throughout the country.
The Garia dance is performed after sowing seeds in the month of April. It is a time when Tiripuris is offer prayers to the deity Garia for a bumber harvest. Once the Garia festival ends, the Tripuris start waiting for the monsoon. During this period, numerous colourful insects called lebang swarm the hill slopes in search of seeds. These insects are welcomed by Tripuris with the Lebang Boomani Dance.
The people of the Chakma community perform the Bizy dance to welcome the new year. The dance is accompanied by the sound of flutes known as khenggarang and Dhukuk. The HaiHak dance is perform the Bizy dance to welcome the new year. The dance is accompanied by the sound of flutes known as khenggarang and Dhukuk. The HaiHak dance is peroformed at the end of the harvesting season by the Halam community of Tripura. The people sing and dance the Wagala Dance after a good harvest. Women folk dance and the theme is rehearsal of war. The Hozagiri dance is a dance in which balancing plays a key role, and it is very different from other tribal dances.
Tripura has contributed a lot to Indian culture in terms of folk music. Different types of musical instruments such as the kham, made of wood and animal skin, the sumai which is a flute made of bamboo, sarinda, chongperng, dangdu and cymbals are used. The state is also well known for its cane and bamboo handicrafts.