Unakoti Archaeological Site, Kailashahar, Unakoti District, Tripura
Tripura has beautiful rock cut carvings and stone images at Unakoti, Debtamura and Pilak. Most of these carvings are huge in size and made on vertical walls exposed in the open atmosphere.
Unakoti: It is ‘Shaiba’ (Saivite) pilgrimage and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries if not earlier.The marvellous rock carvings, murals with their primitive beauty, waterfalls are not to be missed. Unakoti means one less than a crore and it is said that these many rock cut carvings are available here. As per Hindu mythology, when Lord Shiva was going to Kashi along with one crore gods and goddesses he made a night halt at this location. He asked all the gods and goddesses to wake up before sun rise and proceed for Kashi.
It is said that in the morning, except Shiva himself, no one else could get up so Lord Shiva set out for Kashi himself cursing the others to become stone images. As a result we have one less than a crore stone images and carvings at Unakoti.These carvings are located at a beautifully landscaped forest area with green vegetation all around which add to the beauty of the carvings.The images found at Unakoti are of two types, namely rock-carved figures and stone images.
Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava’ is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high. On each side of the head-dress of the central Shiva, there are two full size female figures - one of Durga standing on a lion and another female figure on the other side. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are found half buried in the ground. There are various other stone as well as rock cut images at Unakoti. Every year a big fair popularly known as ‘Ashokastami Mela’ is held in the month of April which is visited by thousands of pilgrims.
Location : 178 km. from Agartala, 8 km. from Kailashahar, district head quarter of North Tripura District.
Accommodation : Unakoti Tourist Lodge(Kailashahar), Juri Tourist Lodge and Uttarmegh Tourist Lodge(Dharmanagar).
How to go to Unakoti : From Agartala to Kailashahar by bus\by train upto Kumarghat and thenafter half an hour journey by other means to Kailashahar.
Pilak Archaeological Sites, Jolaibari, South Tripura
Pilak is a place of attraction for its archaeological remains of 8th – 9th centuries. Pilak is situated at a distance of 114km from Agartala. The place is a treasure house of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. There runs a hilly rivulet near the place which is known as Pilak Stream. The place is attractive with scenic beauty. There are some temple plaques of terracotta and stone images. Huge stone images of Avalokiteswar in 9th century A.D and Narasimha image of 12th century A.D were found here. Both the images are now preserved in the Government Museum at Agartala. Even now one finds at Pilak, the images of Ganesha, Durga and Suriya etc. gods and goddesses. One Suriya image holding a lotus is of 10 feet height. There are terracotta images of Kinnars. Two bronze statues of Buddhas were discovered in Rishyamukh near Pilak. All these finds lead to establish that the place was once under the rule of Buddhist Kings followed by Hindu rule in subsequent year. Pilak, the treasure-trove of archaeological riches has closed association with Mynamoti and Paharpur in Bangladesh. Numbers of hidden treasures have come out after further excavation been taken up by the Archaeological Survey of India at Shyamsundar Tilla and Thakurani Tilla. Tourists are delighted to explore the history of this lovely destination. Thousands of visitors gathered here during Pilak Festival held during the month of December.
Location : From Agartala 114km, Udaipur 62 km and Jolaibari 2km.
Accommodation : PIlak Tourist Lodge, Jolaibari.
Buddhist Stupa, Baxanagar, Sepahiajala District
Recently after denudation of a natural forest area, ruins of a brick built building emerged in the north-western part of sonamura sub- division on the edge of the border with Bangladesh. The local people initially attributed the remains to an ancient temple of Manasa the goddess of snake. Attention was drawn to the Archaeological survey of India and they took over the site. There an idol of Lord Buddha was discovered and it was confirmed that it had been a Buddha temple. More excavation of the site will unearth the hidden story.
Location: Boxanagar, Sepahijala District
Distance: 32 km from Agartala
Accommodation: Sagar Mahal Tourist Lodge, Melaghar, Phone No: - 0381-2524418
Gunabati Group of Temples, Udaipur, Gomati District
Gunabati group of temples reveals that it was built in the name of Her highness Maharani Gunabati (wife of Maharaja Govinda Manikya), in 1668 A.D. the two other temples also bear contemporary look but their actual history is still to be unveiled. Architecture of these temples resembles other contemporary temples of Tripura except that the top most parts are without stupa. Core – Chambers are marked by the presence of pitcher circular core chamber and its vestibule which was large with stupa like crown is beautifully crafted like lotus.
Location: Udaipur, Gomati District
Accommodation: Gomati Yatri Niwas , Udaipur, Phone No: 03821-223478 /Gunabati Yatri Niwas, Matabari, Udaipur, Phone no: 03821267939.