History of Tripura and the Manikyas

The history of pre-Manikya Tripura is still shrouded in information gap. How the Tripuri tribesmen migrated into the present territorial location known as Tripura and how the monarchy under the Manikyas evolved still remain an enigma as far as authentic material for constructing a worthwhile history is concerned . Nevertheless, the'Gunaighar' copper-plate grant made by Maharaj Vainya Gupta in 188 Gupta era or 507 A.D. and the'Nidhanpur' copper-plate grant made by Bhuti-Varman of Assam in 554 A.D. shed light on the early history of the Northeastern region.

It is reasonable to believe in the light of the scanty historical document and sources that at least in the first part of seventh century Tripura or at least a part of it was under the suzerainty of Assam's truly imperial ruler Bhaskar Varman ,a contemporary of Harsha Vardhana (629-642), who also defeated the powerful ruler of Gour (Bengal) Sasanka . No contemporary evidence of the existence of a Tripuri kingdom is available though we know that a small tribal kingdom set up by the Mogs existed at that time encompassing the present southern Tripura upto the south bank of the Gomti river, present Noakhali and Chittagong districts and southern parts of present Comilla districts of Bangladesh. The Buddhist Mogs as well as the Chakmas who set up a kingdom in the present Chittagong hill-tracts of Bangladesh had migrated from Myanmar (Burma) through the Arakan region. The archaeological remains which still survive in south Tripura provide conclusive evidences to the existence of the Mog rulers and peaceful co-existence of a composite Hindu-Buddhist culture.

It is significant that'Rajmala', court chronicle of Tripura's Manikya dynasty rulers composed in a phased manner over a long span of time, also refers to the existence of Mog kingdom south of Gomti river. Believed to have been first commissioned by king Dharma Manikya , 'Rajmala' refers to the Mog kingdom as 'Lika Rajya' and the ruler as'Lika Raja'. Apart from this, the existence of another kingdom known as'Bachal Rajya' to the northeast of'Gomti' river is attested by'Rajmala'. The'Bachals' were a branch of the kuki tribesmen dominant in the northern part of Tripura though we have it on the authority of historical source material that the'Bachals' were not as civilised as the'Mogs'. There were other minor tribal groups far away from the route taken by the Tripuri tribesmen in their south-westerly movement and migration. The Tripuris overcame the human hurdles in their way through force of arms. A royal festival of yore is believed to be symbolic of the momentous happenings in the course of Tripuri tribesmens' migration towards the interior of the state : once in a year every tribal chief used to be invited and entertained by the Tripuri king of Manikya dynasty . However, the most significant part of the festival was that the Tripuri'Maharaja' would leave his throne and the'Bachal Raja' would be installed as king for a day as mark of royal tribute to the subject people who had once been rulers of the state. Major events and personalitiesunder the Manikyas: Rangamati : Rangamati , later renamed as Udaipur, had been the capital of princely Tripura ,at least since thecommencement of the rule of the Manikyas as attested by ‘Rajmala’. It was during the rule of Uday Manikya (1566-71) thatthe capital was renamed Udaipur, headquarter of the present southTripura district Till the victory of East India Company in the battle of Plassey in June 1757 over Nawab Sirajuddaula’s army Tripura had been subjected to periodic attacks, plundering and extortionby successive Muslim rulers of Bengal. But it was during the ruleof Mughal emperor Jahangir that the state suffered most. In the year 1618 when Yashodhar Manikya was the king, Tripura was subjugated by Mughals after a brief siege of the capital Udaipur. The capital was sacked and the state remained under Mughal rule during 1618- 20 when people in general were looted. Prohibition was imposed on traditional worship of deities in religious places including ‘Tripureswari’ temple. King Yasodhar Manikya was captured and taken as prisoner to Mughal court in Delhi never to return to his kingdom and people. Unable to bear the humiliation he breathed his last as an ascetic in Brindaban in 1623 after being released from the Mughal court.

Manikya Kings & their Chronology

01. Ratna Pha alias Ratna Manikya (C. 1325-1350 A.D) 25. Ratna Manikya II (C. 1685- 1712 A.D)
02. Pratap Manikya (C. 1350-1375 A.D) 26. Mahendra Manikya (C. 1712- 1713 A.D)
03. Mukut Manikya (C. 1375-1400 A.D) 27. Dharma Manikya (C. 1713- 1725 A.D)
04. Maha Manikya (C. 1400-1430 A.D) 28.  Jagat Manikya (C. 1726-1729 A.D)
05. Dharma Manikya (C. 1431- 1461 A.D) 29. Dharma Manikya (C. 1729- 1729 A.D)
06. Pratap Manikya II (C. 1462- 1490 A.D) 30. Mukunda Manikya (C. 1729- 1738 A.D)
07. Dhanya Manikya (C. 1490- 1515 A.D) 31. Joy Manikya (C. 1739-1744 A.D)
08. Dhwaja Manikya (C. 1515- 1520 A.D) 32.  Indra Manikya (C. 1744-1745 A.D)
09.  Deva Manikya (C.1520-1527 A.D) 33. Joy Manikya (C. 1746-1746 A.D)
10  Indra Manikya (C. 1527-1528 A.D) 34 Vijay Manikya (C. 1746-47 A.D)
11. Vijoy Manikya (C. 1528-1563 A.D) 35. Krishna Manikya (C. 1748- 1783 A.D)
12. Ananta Manikya (C. 1564- 1567 A.D) 36. Queen Jahnavi Devi (C. 1783-1785 A.D)
13. Uday Manikya (C. 1567-1573 A.D) 37.  Rajdhar Manikya II (C. 1785- 1804 A.D)
14 Joy Manikya (C. 1573-1577 A.D) 38. Ramganga Manikya (C. 1804-1809 A.D)
15. Amar Manikya (C. 1577-1586 A.D) 39. Durga Manikya (C. 1809- 1813 A.D)
16. Rajdhar Manikya (C. 1586- 1600 A.D) 40. Ramganga Manikya (C. 1813-1826 A.D)
17. Jasodhar Manikya (C.1600- 1623 A.D) 41. Kashichandra Manikya (C. 1826-1829 A.D)
18. Kalyan Manikya (C. 1624- 1660 A.D) 42. Krishnakishore Manikya (C.1830-1849 A.D)
19. Govinda Manikya (C. 1660- 1661 A.D) 43.  Ishanchandra Manikya (C. 1849-1862 A.D)
20. Chatra Manikya (C. 1662-1667 A.D) 44. Birchandra Manikya (C. 1862-1896 A.D)
21. Govinda Manikya (C. 1667- 1673 A.D) 45.  Radhakishore Manikya (C. 1896-1909 A.D)
22. Ramdev Manikya (C. 1673- 1684 A.D) 46. Birendrakishore Manikya (C. 1909-1923 A.D)
23.  Ratna Manikya II (C. 1684- 1685 A.D) 47. Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya (C. 1923-1947 A.D)
24. Narendra Manikya (C. 1685- 1685 A.D) 48. Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya (C. 1947-1949 A.D)

Chronology of the early Kings of Tripura

The historicity and chronology of the early kings of Tripura, referred to in ‘Rajmala’, are open to questions. Any detailed description of the role and activities of the early rulers is conspicuous by absence from the chronicle. There is a list of 179 rulers beginning with the mythological king Druhya and ending with the last coroneted king Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya who is a non resident Tripurite. The most important point to note in judging the authenticity of the genealogy of Tripura’s royalty-as referred to in ‘Rajmala’- is that the very existence of the rulers from Druhya (1) to Khicangfa (136) is in question. A major trimming of the long list, at least from 1 to 135 seems to be required to recover history from mythology, particularly in view of the absence of archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic evidences. However, it is pertinent to mention that there is indeed a reference to a state called Tripura in the Mahabharata but according to the description in the epic the place seems to point to a country near ‘Koshala’ in the vicinity of modern Jabalpur town in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from this, the famous Chinese traveller andpilgrim Yuan Chwang or Hiuen Tsang who arrived in the then Kamrup kingdom (modern Assam) in the year BC 642-43 noted the names of all the kingdoms contemporaneous with the then Assam but any reference to Tripura is conspicuous by absence from the travelogue left by him to posterity. Quite naturally, thiscasts a deep shadow over the authenticity of the early history of Tripura associated by modern scholars with mythology.

Mythological Rulers

01. Druhya 02. Babhru 03. Setu
04. Aradban 05. Gandhara 06. Dharma
07. Dhrita 08. Durmat 09. Praceta
10. Paraci 11. Parabasu 12. Parishad
13. Arijit 14. Sujit  15. Pururaba  
16. Bibarna 17. Purusen 18. Meghabarna   
19. Bikarna    20. Basuman     21. Kirti
22. Kanian 23. Pratisraba    24. Pratistha  
25. Shatrujit 26. Pratardhan    27. Pramatha   
28. Kalinda  29. Krama 30. Mitrari
31. Barebarh 32. Karmook 33. Kalanga 
34. Bhishan 35. Bhanumitra 36. Chitrasen 
37. Chitrarath 38. Chitrayudha    39. Trilochan    
40. Dakshin   41. Taydakshin    42. Sudakshin
43. Tardakshin 44. Dharmadhar 45. Dharmapal
46. Sudharma   47. Tarbanga 48 Debanga
49. Naranjit  50. Dharmangad 51. Rukmangad
52. Somang 53. Nauyogray 54. Tarjunga
55. Tarraj   56. Hamraj 57. Birraj
58. Sriraj 59. Sriman 60. Lakshmitaru
61. Taralakshmi 62. Mailakshmi 63. Nageshwar
64.  Foreswear 65. Niladhwaj 66. Basuraj
67. Dhanraj Pha 68. Muchang Pha 69. Maichung Pha
70. Candraraj 71. Tarphalai Pha 72. Sumanta
73. Rupanta 74. Tarhom 75. Khaham
76. Katar Pha 77. Kalatar Pha 78. Candra Pha
79. Gajeswar 80. Birraj 81. Nagpati
82. Siksharaj 83. Debraj 84. Durasa
85. Biraraj 86. Sagar Pha 87. Malay Chandra
88. Suryaray 89. Achangphalai 90. Charatar
91. Achang Pha 92.  Bimar 93. Kumar
94. Sukumar  95. Taicharay 96. Taichung Pha
97. Narendra 98. Indrakirti 99. Bidvan
100. Yasoraj 101. Vango 102. Gangarai
103. Chakrurai 104. Pratit 105. Marichi
106. Gagan 107. Gagan 108. Yuyara Pha
109. Jangi Pha 110. Devray 111. Sivray

Kings of Tripura dynasty & their Chronology

01. Dungur Pha alias Adi Dharma Pha (C. 635-675 A.D) 13. Baneswar (C.1045-1075 A.D)
02 Kharung Pha (C. 675-710 A.D) 14. Birbahu (C. 1075-1100 A.D)
03 Chhengphalai (C.10-745 A.D) 15. Samrat (C. 1100-1125 A.D)
04. Lalitray (C.745-780 A.D) 16. Champa (C.1125-1140 A.D)
05. Mukunda Pha (C. 780-815 A.D) 17.  Megharaj (C. 1140-1160 A.D)
06. Kamal Ray (C.815-850 A.D) 18. Dharmadhar (C.1160-1225 A.D)
07.  Krishna Das (C. 850-885 A.D) 19. Chhengthoom Pha (C. 1225- 1250 A.D)
08. Yas Pha (C.885-920 A.D) 20.  Achong Pha (C. 1250-1270 A.D)
09. Muchang Pha (C. 920-955 A.D) 21.   Khichong Pha (C. 1270- 1280A.D)
10. Sadhuray (C. 955-980 A.D) 22.   Dangar Pha (C. 1280-1300 A.D)
11. Pratap Ray (C. 980-1010 A.D) 23. Raja Pha (C. 1300-1325 A.D)
12. Vishnu Prasad (C. 1010- 1045 A.D)