Origin of Tripura

Tripura is a state in North-East India which borders Bangladesh, Mizoram and Assam. It is a landlocked state. It is surrounded by Bangladesh on its north, south and west and the length of its international border with Bangladesh is 856 km (84 percent of its total border). It shares a 53 km long border with Assam and a 109 km long border with Mizoram. The state is connected with the rest of India by only one road that runs through the hills to the border of Cachar District in Assam. At the time of Tripura’s merger on 9th September 1949, with the Indian Union, the major mode of farming was shifting cultivation or Jhuming, which produced little surplus. A small proportion of the plain lands of the State were under settled agriculture undertaken by Bengalees & the main crop was rice. Most of the plain lands of the State were not under cultivation and were covered with cane-brakes and marshes. Thus at the time of formation of the State, the economy was predominantly agricultural and forest-based, with no industrial base, a low level of urbanization and limited infrastructure. As far as the thrust of the State Government presently to the planning process is concerned, it may be said that the basic objectives are clear and simple: they are aimed at eradication of poverty and continuous improvement in the standard of living of the people. The target of the Government is comprehensive growth or “inclusive” growth covering all sections of people and strata ofsociety with the aim of reducing the rural-urban divide. While substantial achievements have been made, the road ahead still has a number of challenges and hurdles and these have to be kept in view while moving towards rapid growth and economic prosperity of thepeople of the State.

Origin of Tripura

The origin of the name of Tripura is still a matter of controversy among historians and researchers. According to the 'Rajmala", Tripura's celebrated court chronicle, an ancient king named 'Tripur' ruled over the territorial domain known as 'Tripura' and the name of the kingdom was derived from his name. A school of historians, however, challenges this story and identify 'Tripur' as an imaginary and a historical character. Many researchers explain the name 'Tripura' from its etymological origin: the word 'Tripura' is a Compound of two separate words, ‘Tui’ (water) + ‘Pra’ (near) which in totality means 'near water'. The geographical location of the state with it's close proximity to the vast water resources of Eastern Bengal (present Bangladesh) coupled with the generic identity of the state's original inhabitants as 'Tipra' or 'Twipra' apparently justify this explanation of the state's name. Except 'Rajmala' there is no authentic document to base Tripura's history upon even though a plethora of archaeological and numismaticevidences have helped reconstruct the history of the state overthe past five centuries.

Mythology mingled with History

The early history of the kingdom of Tripura is a complex blend of history with mythology. According to ‘Rajmala’ Tripura’s royal house trace their origin to the celebrated ‘lunar’ dynasty, following in the footsteps of their counterparts in the Hindu royal houses of the rest of India who claim to have originated from the ‘lunar’ or‘solar’ dynasty. Thus we have on the authority of ‘Rajmala’ that mythological prince Druhya, third son of king Yayati of ‘Mahabharatha’, moved eastward along the lower course of the Ganges before reaching the Sagar island in the Sundarbans . Finally he obtained safe asylum in the hermitage of ‘Kapil Muni’and with the saintly blessing Druhya set up a kingdom called ‘Tribeg’ along the lower course of the mighty ‘Brahmaputra’. Later Druhya undertook northeastward expansion of his kingdom across Assam along the upper course of the river and shifted his capital. Again according to ‘Rajmala’, Druhya, the founder king, was succeeded by nearly two hundred mythological rulers. But the mythology or legend appears to have assumed grand proportions around the character of ‘Tripur’, the fortieth ruler from Druhya’sdirect line of succession. Tripur’s acts of perfidy and persecution of people made his subjects seek intervention from ‘Mahadeva’, the Hindu God of War, who finally killed him. With ‘Mahadeva’s blessing Queen Hirabati gave birth to a virtuous king Trilochan who is believed to have attended the ‘Rajsuya’ sacrifice organized by the celebrated Pandava ruler Yudhisthira of the ‘Mahabharatha’.However, Trilochan’s successors subsequently retreated from their original royal domain and settled down in the present state of Tripura.