Tripura is a small hilly state in northeast India and home to some interesting archaeological sites. One of them has made it on UNESCO’s tentative list. If visiting ruins and museums tops your list of things to do when travelling, then visit Tripura and explore its fascinating archaeological sites on foot and boat!
TOP ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OF TRIPURA
(1) Unakoti Archaeological Site, Kailashahar, Unakoti District, Tripura
Popularly known as the Angkor Wat of Northeast India, Unakoti is an ancient Shaivite pilgrimage spot characterised by a number of rock carvings and stone images of gods and goddesses, said to be one less than a crore. Highlighted among the rock carvings is a 30-foot-high Shiva head with an embroidered head-dress 10 feet high. On either side are female figures- one of them Durga standing on a lion. In April of each year, thousands of pilgrims attend a big fair called “Ashokastami Mela” here.
Unakoti archaeological site
(2) Pilak Archaeological Sites, Jolaibari, South Tripura
Pilak is a treasure trove of archaeological riches. You can find Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, temple plaques of terracotta, and bronze statues. All of these can be found scattered within a 10 sq. km radius. The figures of Avalokiteswar and Narasimha discovered here can be found inside the Government Museum at Agartala.
Pilak archaeological site
(3) Buddhist Stupa, Boxanagar, Sepahiajala District
The ancient remains of a Buddhist stupa, monastery, chaityagriha, and other associated burnt brick structures can be found in Boxanagar dating back to the 7th-12th century AD. It is a testament to the Buddhist influence from the Samatat kingdom that had spread across all contemporary neighbouring kingdoms.
Buddhist stupa, Boxanagar
(4) Gunabati Group of Temples, Udaipur, Gomati District
A group of 3 temples, the origins of their identity and founders are still unclear except that the inscription on one of the temples reveals that it was built in the name of Her Highness Maharani Gunabati (Wife of Maharaja Govinda Manikya), in 1668 A.D. The architecture of these temples resembles other contemporary temples of Tripura.
Gunabati group of temples
As you ride on the Gomati River surrounded by dense forests, you will come across an interesting archaeological site on the steep mountain walls—Panels of rock carvings depicting the gods & goddesses from Hindu mythology. Some of the murals include images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika, and Durga.