Tripura is steeped in history with linkages established from the legendary Limar dynasty. Recorded history dates back to almost 3,000 years. Even Samudra Gupta's pillars mention the existence of this state. This is yet another state like Manipur where Christian influence is negligible. It is the unique continuous history that has to be absorbed here. In geographical terms, Tripura is a small state and the second smallest state of India.
The architecture of the temple of Lord Jagannath is interesting and worth studying. It rises from an octagonal base. The Ujjayant Palace, dating back to Bir Bikram, is equally interesting with its Indo-Saracenic architecture. Old buildings and ruins worth exploring are in plenty like the lake palace called Neer Mahal on Rudrasagar Lake in Udaipur, the ancient capital. Sipahijala is an interesting area to spend the day. There is a comfortable guesthouse in the complex surrounded by forests and overlooking a large lake where one can go boating.
The name Tripura has a halo of mystery around it. It signifies different things to different people. Analysing the name etymologically some researchers believe it to a combined form of two Kok Borok (indigenous language) words viz.`tui' (water) and `pra'(confluence), meaning "confluence of water".
Tripura is situated southeast of Bangladesh and is located between the parallels of 22056'' and 24032" North latitudes and 91021" east longitudes. The present Tripura state covers an area of 10,477 sq. Km. Its total population is 3 million.
The indigenous Tripuri people are of Mongoloid stock. Originally they migrated from near the upper courses of the Yangtsekiang and the Hwangho rivers in Western China. They had left China long before the Sui dynasty came to power. At the time of migration they were animists. So it may be reasonably assumed that they migrated before 65 AD, the year Budhism was introduced in China. The common reference to the Mongoloid people as "Kiratas" and "Cinas" in the early Sanskrit texts of India unmistakably indicates that they came down to the Assam valley long before the dawn of Christian era.
Tripuris entered their present country through its north-eastern corner , settled there and gradually expanded their settlement and suzerainty over the whole of Tripura. They were able to expand their influence as far south as Chittagong, as far west as Comilla and Noakhali (known during the British period as 'plains Tipwrah') and as far north as Sylhet (all in present Bangladesh). Hardly their forefathers could imagine that their descendents were destined to build a strong monarchy and resist the advance of the Mughals. The ruling dynasty passed through several vicissitudes of history and ruled Tripura for several centuries till up to 14 October 1949, the day Trupura was annexed by India.
The indigenous Tripuri people comprises of various hill tribal communities viz., Tipra, Reang Jamatia, Kapeng, Noatia, Koloi. Halam,,etc. who migrated to this land in successive waves in the ancient past. They grew in isolation and were sometimes subjugated by one another. Each community had its own elementary social and administrative organization starting from the village level and up to the chieftainship of the whole tribe. The tribes enjoy their traditional freedom based on the concept of self-determination. The relation between the king and the subject tribes was as Maharaja (king) of Tripura-Missip or liaison officer Roy of Headman of the tribe -Sardar of chief of the village-the individual.
The Tripuri people have a rich historical, social and cultural heritage which is totally distinct from that of the mainland Indians, their distinctive culture as reflected in their dance, music, festivals, management of community affairs, dress and food habit has a strong Mongoloid Base. Kok Borok, the linguafranca of the twelve largest linguistic groups of the indigenous Tripuris and other dialects spoken in Trpura are of the Tibeto-Burman group as distinct from those spoken in India. There is no influence whatsoever of from those spoken by other Mongoloid peoples in the North-eastern region.
Tripura's basic problem, rather the indigenous Tripuri peoples' problem, is the huge influx of foreigners, mainly Hindu Bengalis and the resultant alienation of indigenous land thereby causing the threat to the distinctive identity of the Tripuri people and their very existence. India has all along been encouraging this influx of co-religionists and co-ethnic population so as to induct a co-ethnic population base to serve her security interests. The huge influx of foreigners has completely upset the demographic composition of Tripura. The indigenous Tripuri people which constituted more than 85% of the total population at the time of annexation by India has now been reduced to an insignificant minority of less than 29% of the present total of 3 million. To the indigenous, the urban areas have already become a foreign land where their presence is hardly 5%. This population invasion has become the gravest threat to the very existence of the small indigenous Tripuri people as a distinct human groups.
Being culturally more advanced, the settlers now control the economy of Tripura besides having grabbed all the fertile agricultural lands of the indigenous people. With the economy in their hands and political system favourable to them, the "refugees" have now captured political power in Tripura by the sheer strength of their numbers. Thus, the indigenous Tripuri people have been made foreigners in their own homeland. If the present phenomenon is not stopped, the world will have lost the identity of yet another small indigenous people, the Tripuris, in another forty years.
And now, with machineries of the state under their control, particularly the state police and para-military forces, the refugee 'settlers' have unleashed a reign of terror against the indigenous Tripuri people.
Tucked away in a corner of the so-call northeast, surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides, the wooded hills and lowlands of Tripura have long served as a meeting place for a huge assortment of peoples and races. Over the last few centuries, however, its closest ties have been with Bengal.
This Tripura also was a separate independent kingdom before annexation by India in 1949. It is historical fact that Tripura was not a part of India. In a critical condition of the king's matter as Queen Regent of Tripura compelled to sign for merger agreement on 9 September 1949. After annexation with India the bonafied Tripuri people become microscopic minority because of the Hindu Bangali huge influx from the then East Pakistan (Present Bangladesh). Now they're all the political, economical,cultural dominating by outsider. Therefore Tripura Peoples Democratic Front (TPDF) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) start armed national liberation struggle against Indian colonialism. They also want to reestablish Tripura as an independent country. At present majority of its people of Tripura are Hindu Bengali.
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