The Story of Tripura
- November 9, 2020
By Samyukhtha Sunil
Tucked amidst the hilly folds of North Eastern India on one side and the densely forested and marshy regions of Bangladesh on the other, Tripura is the third smallest state in India. Being one of the oldest princely states in the country up till recent history, Tripura is home to many indigenous tribes who account for a large part of its total population and is a melting pot for ancient tribal traditions. There are many stories around its origins, one legend traces it all the way back to the Mahabharata where there have been mentions of a political state ruled by a king named Tripur who decided to collectively rule the state named Tripura along with King Yudhisthira. It is also believed that this is how the state got its name.
Image: Wikipedia | Design: ACK Design Team
Tripura’s royal lineage
At the peak of its glory, the princely state extended to modern-day Myanmar in the east, the Sunderbans near the Bay of Bengal in the south, and the Brahmaputra basin in the north-west. There have been two very significant periods in the history of Tripura, both of which have been extensively written about in the ancient Bengali poem, ‘Rajamala’. The royal chronicle narrates the extensive lineage of the 144 Maharajas of Tripura in carefully crafted verses put together by the Brahmins in the court of the famous king Dharma Manikya.
This unbroken lineage was established by its founder, a tribal chief named Maha Manikya, in the early 1400s. He took control of Tripura and its neighbouring tribes and assumed the title ‘Manikya’ to celebrate his victory over Bengal. What followed was a genealogy of 185 rulers who had achieved remarkable success through their military conquests and overall expansion of the kingdom. Amongst the prominent...