Genealogy of Tripura's princely rulers

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's direct 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 orginal royal domain and settled down in the present state 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 coronated king Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya who is currently 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 Mahabharatha 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 and pilgrim Yuan Chwang or Hiuen Tsang who arrived in the then Kamrup kingdom (modern Assam) in the year C. 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, this casts a deep shadow over the authenticity of the early history of Tripura associated by modern scholars with mythology.

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