An appeal for Renovation of Neer Mahal in Particular, and All Heritage buildings thereof

Biswanath Bhattacharya

September 23, 2022, 07:25:54   

An appeal for Renovation of Neer Mahal in Particular, and All Heritage buildings thereof

Neermahal (meaning (“a palace in water”) and the vast area of water bodies called Rudrasagar were once the pride of Tripura. 

The only palace of its kind in the whole eastern region of India, Neermahal was built by the Martin and Burn Company way back in 1930 in the centre of the 5.3 sq. km in Rudrasagar Lake.

It was used as the summer resort of the erstwhile King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur and others. A blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture, it is about 400 metres in length. This royal summer resort has 24 rooms, with provisions for private quarters for the king and his family and for their retinue of servants. The vast water area with its schools of jumping fish and the refreshing unpolluted air all around were a feast for the eye. 

IN 1974, responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the property was handed over to the state government by the royal family. However, successive governments failed to honour the trust reposed in them. Its magnificence has been steadily ravaged by systematic negligence and now it stands on the verge of irreversible condemnation.

An appeal for Renovation of Neer Mahal in Particular, and All Heritage buildings thereof  Had this palace been in Rajasthan, it would surely have been converted into a money-spinning tourist resort at par with the famed Udaipur Jalmahal resort.

Tripura’s Tourism Department has so far been administered by the state government in an ad hoc manner, primarily to accommodate the retired loyal officials. It was a virtual rehabilitation centre. Had this not been so, they would have converted the Neer Mahal into its deserved status as one of the most appealing tourist attractions of northeast India by way of the application of a brilliant and innovative mind. Just imagine the tourist and revenue potential if Neer Mahal had been carefully exploited along with the architectural wonders of Unokoti and Pilak and the bracing, unending water area of Nariel Ban at Dumbur Lake. Tripura has all the potential to be one of the best tourist attractions in the nation, but this scope has always been criminally neglected by state governments. The state government may also consider the publication of a white paper on the status of Rudrasagar and Neermahal, as demanded by the Mukta Manch.

Since my aches for Tripura, I so earnestly that all the cultural heritage and the Neer Mahal be renovated and restructured using top-of-the-line Technology and intracultural knowledge, keeping the original appeal and focus intact.

I had written to Shri Manik Sarkar way back in 2015 but it was neither acknowledged nor acted upon. Since our Deputy Chief Minister has taken up some meaningful and definitive action, I wrote to him yesterday 0n 22 September, 2022. It was from my heart !!!