Culture of Tripura
Formely a princely state, and subsequently a Union Territory of Independent India, Tripura was raised to the status of a state on January 21, 1972. Tripura is mainly a hilly territory with altitudes varying from 50 to 3080 ft above sea level, though larger part of the population of the state lives in the plains. Characterised by temperate climate and highly humid atmosphere, Tripura is best visited after the south west monsoons in October.
People of Tripura
Culture & Tradition
Tripura is a small state in the north-east of the India. It has extensive international border with Bangladesh and, in fact, 85% of its perimeter is international border with rest being common boundary with Assam and Mizoram to the East. This ancient land of mystic past displays a composite culture with several ethnic groups residing in the state. Though the cultural heritage of one community is quite different from the other, the distinct efforts have mingled them into a single whole, giving birth to a unique cultural character. Tripura can be described as a 'laboratory' of exotic cultural amalgam. Tripura, quite off the beaten track, is a treasury of tribal crafts & culture as well as music & dancing. Tripura has a large number of interesting tourist destinations including religious sites of Hindu’s and Buddhists.
The inhabitants, the majority of whom are tribals, live in houses built on an elevated platform, 3 to 4 m above the ground, and reached by a ladder. Tripura has become home to several thousand immigrants from West Bengal and Bangladesh, who have settled in the state and reduced the tribals to a minority in some areas.
Today, Tripura is broadly a Bengali community, inspite of the 19 Scheduled Tribes that form more than 40% of the state's population. More than half speak Bengali; Bengali and Tripuri are the state's official languages. The other major language in Tripura is Manipuri. Hinduism is followed by the majority of people in the state. The other communities residing in minor number are - Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians. The tribals, with a rich and varied culture, belong mainly to the Reang, Chakma, Halam and Usai communities. Tripura's other communities or tribes are - Tripuri, Mog, Reang, Chakma, Halam(Malsum), Garo, Lusai and Darlong.
Fairs & Festivals of Tripura
As Tripura is largely dominated by the Hindus, the festivals celebrated here are quite common to the festivals celebrated in the rest of India. In addition to this, there are many festivals unique to Tripura.
There are numerous festivals celebrated through out the year in Tripura with great pomp and show.
The main festivals of Tripura are the Durga Puja (at the time of Dussehra), Karchi Puja, Diwali, Dol Jatra (Holi), Pous Sankranti, Ashokashtmi and Buddha Jayanti, Id, Christmas and New Year. The Garia, Ker Ganga and Gajan festivals are important tribal festivities. During Ashokashtmi there are special celebrations at Unnakoti. The Fourteen Goddess Temple in Old Agartala attracts a lot of visitors for its Karchi Puja, and so does Tirthamukh on the occasion of the Pous Sankranti Mela. Other festivals are the Rabindra/Nazrul Festival in May, the Boat Race at Melaghar in August, the Orange and Tourism festival in the Jampui Hill range in November.
Arts & Crafts of Tripura
Handlooms and handicrafts of Tripura reflect the inborn quality of workmanship, and uniqueness of the people. Tripura has a large population of tribals, thus has a tradition of different kinds of crafts. Handloom is the prime craft of Tripura. Intricately designed handlooms and silk, cane and bamboo works are the main industries. The obvious feature of Tripura handloom is vertical and horizontal stripes with distributed embroidery in multiple colours.
Cane and bamboo craft of Tripura is also globally accepted. Simple materials such as bamboo, cane, palm leaves and ordinary yarn are used to create a fascinating variety of handiwork. Popular handicraft items are bamboo screens, lamp stands, tablemats, sitalpati, woodcarving, silver ornaments and other crafts that are practiced. One can also find simple work of brass and bell metal articles in Tripura.
Furniture, toys, objects of daily utility such as lamp shades, baskets, calendars, ivory work and Tripuran tribal jewellery, make shopping here a delightful experience.
Music & Dance of Tripura
Music and dance are an integral part of the people of Tripura. Garia dances held for the prosperity of the people; dances of the Reang community; 'Bizu' dances by the Chakmas denoting the end of the Bengali calendar year; 'Hai Hak' dances of the Halams and the Cheraw dance associated with the confinement of Lusai woman, are examples. 'Basanta Raas' is the charming dance of the Hindu Manipuris, in Tripura.