Pride of Tripura

Rabindranath and Tripura

Nobel-laureate poet Rabindra Nath Tagore’s close relation with the princely state of Tripura and its four successive rulers forms an important chapter in the state’s history. This was of course a natural corollary to the liberal patronage extended to Bengali language and culture by the Manikya dynasty rulers of Tripura since the days of king Ratna Manikya (1464-68). It was in the course of a political crisis that Tripura’s ruling monarch Krishna Kishore Manikya (1830-1849) got in touch with prince Dwaraka Nath Tagore, fabled grand father of Rabindra Nath, and obtained timely assistance. In his maiden letter to king Bir Chandra Manikya (1862-1896) dated may 6, 1886 poet Rabindra Nath Tagore referred to this familial relation while seeking ingredients of Tripura’s history on which he later based his celebrated novel ‘Rajarshi’ anddramas ‘Visarjan’ and ‘Mukut’. Even before that, young Rabindra Nath had occasion to have a feel of king Bir Chandra Manikya’s magnanimity in 1882.

The king was in a state of shock following the untimely death of his dear wife and queen Ms. Bhanumati in the year 1881 and during that period of bereavement he studied young Rabindra Nath’s celebrated lovepoem ‘Bhagna Hriday. A highly refined and sensitive man – practically a poet in the core of his heart-king Birchandra sent his emissary Mr Radharaman Ghosh to the family home of the Tagores at Jorasanko near Calcutta to congratulate the poet on his behalf. Rabindranath’s relation with Tripura’s royal family did not however snap-as he himself had feared-with the demise of king Bir Chandra Manikya in 1896. Birchandra’s son and successor king Radhakishore Manikya (1897-1909) also maintained a close relation with Rabindranath Tagore and it was during his reign that the poet visited Tripura for the first time in 1899. The poet also tried to help his benefactor in many ways and visited Tripura five times during his reign. Apart from this, a number of Bengali men of letters received financial assistance from King Radhakishore Manikya. Similarly, king Birendra Kishore Manikya also maintained a close but respectful relation with Rabindranath. After Rabindranath had won Nobel Prize King Birendra Kishore organized a function to celebrate the occasion and the poet visited Tripura again in the year 1919. Rabindranath visited Agartala for the last time in the year 1926 when he was introduced to King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya (1923-1947).

Sachin Debbarman and Tripura

Kumar Sachin Debbarman, popularly known as ‘Sachin karta’ born into Tripura’s royalty on October 1, 1906 at his parental home at Comilla (present Banglaesh), Karta had spent his early life in pursuing studies and learning the finer art of music for which he had developed an early passion. The fact that his father ‘Karta’ Nabadwip Chandra Debbarman had been practically banished to the royal estate in Comilla because of a succession dispute over the throne stood in the way of Sachin Karta being born and brought up at Agartala. He did once visit Agartala, the capital of Tripura, as a child during the reign of King Radha Kishore Manikya (1896-1909) though subsequently he visited Agartala several times and took part in musical programmes. He came to his home state for the last time in 1946 to attend the ‘Shradh’ ceremony of a close relative. However, Karta’s musical genius continued to flower in Comilla and its enchantingly beautiful pastoral environs and this perhaps plausibly explains the predominance of folk tone, culture and instruments in Sachin Karta’s creative horizon. He was also an object of great affection to Rabindra Nath Tagore who had visited Karta’s paternal home in Comilla. Having graduated from Comilla’s Victoria college Sachind karta went to Calcutta for university education. Soon enough he became a disciple of maestro Krishna Chandra Dey and then Badal Khan. Recognition came soon his way as records of his songs in inimitable voice soon hit the market. His next destination was India’s commercial capital Mumbai where Karta finally settled down and then his creativity started expressing itself at its height. Sachin Karta’s compositions for such massive Bollywood hits as Piyasa, Teesri Manzil, Jewel Thief, Tere Mere Sapne, Aradhana, Talash and a host of others took India’s film music to new heights. Karta also made immense contribution to his first love-Bengali music in all forms. Karta breathed his last in the year 1975, leaving behind wife Ms. Meera Debbarman and son Rahul who also emulated his illustrious father in composing melodies and pops till he also passed away at the young age of 55 in the year 1992. ‘Karta’s wife Ms Meera Debbarman breathed her last in the year 2007, bringing to an end a bright era in Indian musical history.

Tripura's New Icon-Golden Man of Indian Tennis - Somedev Devvarman

Tripura's new icon-golden man of Indian tennis-Somdev Devvarman (25) was born in Guwahati , Assam though his ancestral home has always been-as it continues to be- Tripura. With the mens gold in 19th Common Wealth Games (CWG) in Delhi and two more golds in the Guangzhou (China) in Asiad Somdev is now a national icon also . Grandson of late Bidur Karta, an illustrious member of Tripura's indigenous nobility close to the royal Manikya dynasty and only son of retired income tax commissioner Pravanjan Devvarman, Somdev was born on February 13 1985 in Guwahati and had his schooling in Shillong. Somdev made a tryst with destiny and his first love lawn tennis by reaching the US shores and securing admission to the university of Virginia. Somdev pursued his general studies at graduate level alongside his hard training as lawn tennis player , excelling in the game of his choice from the very beginning. In fact Somdev so far is the only collegiate player to have won three consecutive championship at college level including one at the junior level. Having graduated from the university of Virginia Somdev joined the professional tennis circuit of ATP and made his presence felt with a style marked by hard rallies and baseline shots as the forte. Early in his professional career Somndev achieved his first major success by winning the singles title in Rochesters tourney in Newyork and bolstered this by his victory in the doubles match of the same tournament along with his then partner Treat Huey . In the very next week Somdev made another double by winning the singles title at Pttsburgh in another futures tournamnet and also by bagging the double title with partner Treat Huey. In the year 2008 Somdev won the singles title in Lexington challenger tournament but the year 2009 went better for him . Early in 2009 Somdev had reached the final of the ATP's Chennai open , having overcome stiff challenges from higher-ranked players but lost to higher ranked Marin Cilic of Croatia . Besides creditably representing India in the Davis cup, Somdev had also played in the grandslam events of Australian and Frech open . However, the year 2010 has proved to be his golden year as Somdev made India proud by winning the coveted gold in the Common Wealth Games (CWG) in Delhi and by winning two more golds from the Guangzhou Asiad in China. According to tennis buffes Somdeb is cut out for greater achievements and glories in the days to come.

Tripura's New Icon-Golden Girl of Indian Gymnastics - Dipa Karmakar

Dipa Karmakar (born 9 August 1993, Agartala) is an Indian artistic gymnast from Agartala, Tripura who represents India at the international circuit. She came to recognition when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held at Glasgow becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the games.[1] She is also one of the five women that have successfully landed the very difficult Produnova vault in competition, also holding the highest score amongst all (15.100 ) in her attempt.[2] She also won a bronze at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships both a first for her country. These achievements have established her as the most successful gymnast from India despite her young age.[3] In April 2016, she became the first female Indian gymnast ever to secure an Olympic berth by garnering a total score of 52.698 points.[4] Additionally, she will be the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after 52 years.

Early Life:Karmakar hails from Agartala, Tripura, and started practising gymnastics when she was 6 years old. She has been coached by veteran Bisbeshwar Nandi since. Karmakar had Flat feet when she first enrolled into gymnastics as her coach once recalled, "I still remember Dipa coming to me as a flat-footed kid, which is not good for a gymnast. It affects the spring in her jump," he told Firstpost. "That was the hardest part to fix for Dipa, we had to work very, very hard when she was a little kid to get the curve in her feet." Dipa credits her coach for her success saying she would be nothing today if not for her coach. Dipa's father was a SAI coach and he wanted her to try gymnastics, so he introduced her to despite her being reluctant.

In 2007 she won at the Junior Nationals in Jalpaiguri which furthered her passion for the sport. Since 2007, Dipa has won 77 medals including 67 gold, in state, national and international championships.[6] She was part of the 2010 Indian gymnastics contingent in the Delhi Commonwealth Games where, as a participant, she saw Ashish Kumar create history by winning India's first ever gymnastic medals at the games. "That's when I told myself I will win it for India in Glasgow four years down the line," said Dipa.

Senior career:


In February, Karmakar competed in the 2011 National Games of India representing Tripura. She won five golds in floor, vault, all around, balance beam and uneven bars.[7] She said of her performance, "I am very happy with my performance and give this credit to my coach Biswaswar Nandi who has worked very hard for me and at the same time I worked according to his coaching. I thank sir for all of these.


In July, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Karmakar won a bronze medal in the women's vault final, thanks to a vault of difficulty 7.00. She received an overall score of 14.366.[9] This win made her the first Indian woman to win a commonwealth gymnastics medal and the second Indian, after Ashish Kumar.

At a felicitation for the CWG athletes on August 8 in Delhi, Dipa Karmakar, was acknowledged by India’s sporting icon. Sachin Tendulkar by mentioning her in his speech saying that it was a big achievement and that he was proud of her.

At the 2014 Asian Games, Karmakar finished fourth in the vault final with a score of 14.200 behind Hong Un-jong, Oksana Chusovitina, and Phan Th? Hà Thanh. After the competition, Karmakar said, "See, the two top girls here are the gold and silver medalists in the Olympics while the third girl was bronze winner at the world championships. So, I'm more than happy that I gave them a good fight and finished fourth here."


The Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships was held in the Japanese city of Hiroshima during July 31-August 2, 2015. Dipa won the bronze in women’s vault while finishing 8th in the balance beam event.

In October 2015, Dipa became the first ever Indian to qualify for the final stage of the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. She scored 14.900 in the qualification round to secure her place for the final round, where she finished 5th. In the final, she scored a total of 14.683 to rank 5th.

2015 World Artistic Gymanstics Championships

QUALIFICATION 7 14.900 7.000 8.100 0.000 15.100 6.000 8.700 0.00 14.700
FINAL 5 14.683 7.000 8.300 0.000 15.300 6.000 8.366 -0.300 14.066


Dipa Karmakar became the first ever female gymnast from India to qualify for the Olympics when she qualified for the women's artistic gymnastics event of 2016 Summer Olympics. She will be the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after 52 years.

Produnova Vault

Karmakar has logged the highest score on a Produnova in the world: 15.300, which is 7.000 for difficulty, and an 8.300 for execution, making her the rarest of rare phenomenons. Only two of her contemporaries have attempted the Produnova: Yamilet Peña of Dominican Republic and Fadwa Mahmoud of Egypt. None has managed to garner a high of 15.100 in a high-profile competition. The Produnova comprises running full tilt towards the springboard, a jump that is followed by blocking by the hand, swinging the legs into two full rotations while in flight for twin somersaults, and then the all-important frontal landing, which can go awfully wrong and snap the spine into two if unbalanced.

When the Russian Yelena Produnova made her dismount stick (landed firmly on unbent feet) at the 1999 Universiade Games, it was considered a high-risk manoeuvre, because her famous handspring double front vault could end up in serious spinal injuries. Comfortably seated on an easy couch at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium however, Karmakar said believed she is entirely in control of her movements on the vault. She knew about the risks when coach Nandi floated the idea around four months ago. “She’s always had the speed and strength. I consulted senior coaches because this is a risky vault, but when I asked her, she was confident,” says Nandi.

Karmakar had watched a South African and a Guyanese flub the Produnova miserably at the Tokyo World Championships. “More than the bronze medal, I was happy I succeeded in this vault,” said Karmakar, recalling seeing Yelena's YouTube videos. “But I remember her green costume!” Karmakar began training three months ago. “I’d seen boys do it, so why not? It’s tough because when you land after two aerial somersaults, the weight that comes on the leg is double – if I’m 45 kg, the legs have to take 80-90 kg,” she says. Now, imagine landing on the neck instead, which can crack under such weight. “I don’t imagine the worst, it doesn’t work like that,” she says. Coaches feel responsible for such high-risk manouevres, and Nandi spent several sleepless nights debating if his ward was ready. “It was only 10-15 days before we left for Glasgow that I thought she should try it on the real apparatus,” Nandi said.