Monday, 26 May 2014

Ujjayanta Palace Agartala : A lovely view from Laxminarayan Temple.

Took this lovely view of Ujjayanta Palace Agartala from Laxminarayan temple.

Sri Kasbeswari Kali Mata of Kamalasagar Temple : Tripura

We were returning to Agartala after a lovely trip from Neermahal (will write soon a post on it), Sojol suggested to visit Kamalasagar Kali Temple. Kamalasagar Temple is located about 27km from Agartala in a small village called Kasba . It falls on Indo- Bangladesh border. The temple is placed on a hillock overlooking Kamalasagar.

The temple was built in the late 15th century by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya (1490- 1520).

There is a huge green field for parking vehicles.  Colorful shops on side of the temple way sell all kind of offerings and prasad. Unlike most of the Hindu shrines of India where devotees usually light earthen lamps, candles are very popular in most of the temples of Tripura.

 Information regarding the shrine in Bangla script.

The Devi idol is made up of sandstone.

Took a closer look of the devi by priest's permission. Devi here has dashbhuja as mahishasurmardini. A shivlinga is placed near her feet. 

The shrine is a preferred place for wedding ceremonies. We saw many weddings taking place there.

After offering our prayers we moved towards our car. It was lunch time and we were very hungry.

There were many food joints but most of them were pre booked by the wedding families. These rock carvings are replicas of that of Unnakoti.

The chances of finding food looked tough but fortunately this shop had few last plates of rice, daal and a vegetable side dish left. The food was not that good but the place was very clean .

It was almpst 4pm. The view of sun rays touching the waters of Kamalasagar was breathtakingly beautiful. This water body was too dug by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya.

Indian border security force on duty. Soon we left for Agartala .

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Tripura Handicraft

Tripura is famous for its  cane handicraft. Visited one of the handicraft shop there. If you are there and want to buy some stuff go to Govt handicraft shop as that offers their product in lesser pricing.

The material used mostly is cane, bamboo and wood.

Tripura cane work is considered one of the best in world.

These products are exported worldwide.

Cane boxes, lamp sheds, file covers, wall hangings, baskets, jewellery and many more.

These curtain panels caught my eyes. They are expensive and very elegant.

Cane furniture, false ceiling, bamboo partitions and many more.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Sankar Hotel : Where to eat in Agartala

We wanted to taste the local cuisine. Sojol took us to Hotel Sankar a very popular but small restaurant. This eatery is recommended by Lonely Planet too.
I don't know how right this information is but sharing it anyway. The main hotel is the extreme left one as one sees three eateries standing together in a row  with the same name. It is located in Netaji Shubhash Road. The street is crowded and narrow. The building itself is called Sankar building.

The hotel has very few tables and the minimal staff. They serve hot steamed rice, fish/chicken curry, bhajis ( fried vegetables), daal (lentil), salad and papad. Specialty for vegetarians is their heavily spiced Paneer curry.

We ordered both non veg and vegetarian meal which had a cauliflower and potato curry, 'Gourd peel dried fried with potatoes, chicken curry, fish cooked in mustard gravy, salad , padad and paneer masala. The meal was prepared in pure Bengali style. Food is priced like anyother average Indian hotel. Service is very fast. A must try for fish enthusiasts.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sri Jagannath Temple Agartala

Sri Jagannath Temple is located near the famous Ujjayanta Palace. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhdra this temple was built in 19th century by Maharaja of Tripura, Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya.

The temple has a spacious premises.

A  portion of the temple has an elaborate display  of beautiful statues depicting Lord Krishna's childhood (baal-leela).

The idols display is pretty and interesting.

There are more than four such rooms. The display below depicts the day Lord Krishna  was born.

This one showing Kansa's karagar (prison) where he kept his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudev.

As we heard the sound of bells , drums and sankha (conch shell) we rushed towards the main temple hall where noon-aarti had just begun. Devotees had gathered for the aarti.

Priest with aarti deep in his hand.

Soon the aarti began

I was lucky to catch this divine scene in my camera by kind permission of the priests.

After taking prasad we came out and visited other parts of the temple. The premises is full of idols.

The temple has this shelter for homeless people. (Above pictures).

Another small temple near this small pond.

The main temple closes down for an hour or so in the afternoon as I remember.

While writing this post I found in wiki that this temple is known for its octagonal base which represents the feet of Lord Jagannath.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Malanchabas or Malancha Niwas : Place where Guru Rabindranath Tagore Stayed in Tripura (1919)

Our taxi driver Sojol took us to this hillock to show us this structure. This bungalow stands adjacent to Kunjaban palace . It was originally a kaccha house where Tagore stayed during his visit in 1919. The permanent construction was later built and given the name of Malancha Niwas.

Sojol told us that this house attracts visitors from around the world because of its association with great poet

We had very little time in our hands so took some quick clicks.
This was the original kuttcha house, which is in ruins now. A view of both the structures together.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Indo - Bangladesh Border : Akhaura Check Post Tripura

Beating retreat ceremony at Akhaura ( Agartala, Tripura) check post attracts many tourists and locals too. Our friends suggested that we must not miss the opportunity to witness the same. It was just four km away from our hotel ( Ginger Hotel). It took less than fifteen minutes to get there by car.

The ceremonies in the two states of West Bengal and Tripura have been planned on the lines of the Wagah Border, but with the difference that they will basically be a cultural affair where songs of Rabindranath Tagore and Kavi Nazrul Islam will be sung, the officer said.

The retreat takes place between border security forces of both the countries.

We had to rush as the retreat had already begun. I don't remember the exact time but it was somewhere in between 4pm - 5pm. Many tourist were gathered there. Best spots already occupied.

 The Indian side in red turbans/caps.

Bangladesh border force in their uniform.Both the sides getting geared up for the retreat.

The place gets all charged up. A collage of the beating retreat. The retreat is over within twenty minutes. We move back towards our car.

Noticed this interesting sign board.

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Glimpse Of Rubber- Plantation On Tripura Roads

India ranks third in production of natural rubber (Caoutchouc)  after Thailand and Indonesia. Tripura stands second after Kerala in the natural rubber production after Kerala. Last December while traveling on Tripura roads I captured  few clicks related to rubber-plantation.

The rubber grown in Tripura is of superior quality. Rubber sheets hanging on both sides of the road is a common sight on Tripura roads.

Another common sight is these rubber sheet spread on road itself for further drying.

For a closer look our driver Sajol stopped the taxi and lead us to the rubber grove.

In the year 1963 Forest Department of Tripura  introduced rubber plantation on trial basis which soon became a success. Rubber is harvested in the form of latex from the trees. Latex is a milky and colloid liquid which is secreted from the rubber trees after an incision is marked on the tree.

This latex is then collected in vessels or coconut shells  which are attached to the trees. This process is called tapping.

Halved section of a coconut shell is commonly used as a collector vessel in Tripura. These shells are supported by a wire holder that encircles the rubber tree. Tapping is mostly done in early mornings as the internal pressure of the tree is highest then.

Look at the way an incision is designed. The tapping process takes about for four to five hours.Latex naturally coagulates  hence blocks the tapping tube. It is very crucial to send the material for processing before it coagulated. The raw material now goes for further processing. The collected latex is transferred into coagulation tanks for the preparation of dry rubber or transferred into air-tight containers.

My kids collected seeds which were lying on the ground.

Sajol found a sapling and gifted it to my kids.