The breath-taking landscape of Jampui Hills where lush orange orchids grow, 142 miles (230km) from Tripura’s capital of Agartala
For centuries, Tripura was ruled by the Tripuri Dynasty, and over the course of history, it has become steeped with cultures of various indigenous communities. The ancient history of Tripura dates as far back as the 3rd century BCE, appearing in ancient Indian texts, such as the Mahabharata, Puranas and in Emperor Ashoka’s stone pillar inscriptions, the Edicts of Ashoka. Tripura’s borders underwent many changes over the centuries before being outlined as they are today when it became a princely state during the British rule. Part of the collective of east Indian states known as the Seven Sister States, the state of Tripura derives its name from the tribe of the same name, which is the largest indigenous community in the state.
Much like other parts of India, Tripura is laden with natural beauty. Up to 90 species of mammals, including elephants, bears, clouded leopards, numerous primates and 300 species of birds can be identified in the state. Many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, such as the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary and the Clouded Leopard National Park, have been set up to preserve the local wildlife.
Tripura is one of the few states in India in which weaving is done by both male and female artisans, particularly in the plains. Laisingphee, a type of cloth that is made extremely soft with cotton during the weaving process, is commonly used for winter articles, such as scarves and quilts. Examples of traditionally woven female garments of Tripura are the riha, worn somewhat like a top, lungi, and saree. The traditional wefts are commonly done against a blue-black or red background, with precisiely scattered motifs and both vertical and horizontal stripes that bring out the vividness of the motifs’ colours. These motifs are inspired by Tripura’s natural landscape, consisting of breath-taking starry nights, abstract flowers and tribal symbols. Every woven product of Tripura embodies fine craftsmanship and the uniqueness of each artisan’s aesthetic style.
Image: Tour My India