Agartala is the state capital of Tripura and also the most happening place in the entire state. If you are planning a trip to Tripura, then Agartala is by default your base. Agartala is a city unlike any other in North East India. Here things are open beyond the usual time and people speak Hindi which is a rarity in this part of the country.
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To explore Agartala, you need a couple of days since everything is mostly within walking distance from each other. It’s easy to get around since public transportation is easily available to commute within the capital city.
Stay close to the city centre
This is an absolute must while in Agartala since unlike the rest of North East India, things don’t really shut with sunset. Here the city is open and thriving till nearly midnight, so staying close to the city centre will help avoid the late night journey from the centre to your far off accommodation place.
Walk or share a tuktuk
The best way of getting around the city is to either take a shared Tuk-tuk. They mostly charge anything between ₹10 to ₹40 per person depending on the distance of the journey. Walking is another great way to get around the city, since nearly everything you want to explore is within walking distance from each other.
Located in the heart of the city, is the former state palace which has now been converted into a state museum. You have to go through a security check and are not allowed to carry anything other than your phone along (which needs a ticket). The place is open seven days a week from 10:00 to 18:00 HRS.
Fourteen Gods and Godess Temple
The Chaturdasha Temple is a Hindu temple (mandir) situated near Old Agartala and features the Bengal dome pattern, after the roofs of village huts in Bengal. The dome is surmounted by a stupa-like structure which reveals traces of Buddhist influence. This temple was built in honour of 14 deities, together called the Chaturdasha Devata, by King Krishna Manikya Debbarma of Tripura in 1761 and these deities are ceremoniously worshipped during Kharchi Puja. The Kokborok names of the 14 deities are Lampra, Akhatra, Bikhatra, Burasa, Thumnairok, Bonirok, Sangroma, Mwtaikotor, Twima, Songram, Noksumwtai, Mailuma, Khuluma and Swkalmwtai.
Agartala Railway station
Agartala railway station is located 5.5 km (3.4 mi) from Agartala. It is the second capital city (after Guwahati, Assam) in northeast India to be connected to the country’s railway map, moreover Agartala is the first state capital of independent India to be connected with a rail network.
Tripura is surrounded by the Bangladesh on its north, south and west. The length of its international border is 856 km (84 per cent of its total border).
Tripura State Museum
An absolute must visit while in Agartala is the state museum which is open six days a week from 10 am to 9 pm. Remember, it’s closed on Mondays. Inside you’ll get a very good insight into the history of Tripura and a graphical understanding of what the place was during its princely rule. Entry ticket is at ₹20 for Indians and ₹150 for foreigners. Photographs inside the museum are strictly prohibited.
Located not too far from the city centre, you can walk or take a tuktuk to the Heritage park which is actually a unique place to visit. It’s like a mini museum of the entire state. Everything that is there in Tripura to discover and explore has a miniature version in this heritage park. So make sure you get there early. The park has a small railway line that runs all through the park to depict the railways which is the blood line of Tripura.
Food and more food
For a place which barely gets any tourist, it’s a real disappointment that the best food in North east india is in a state that no one ends up even considering. Everything you try out in Tripura is mouth watering. The reason being nearly everyone in the restaurant business has worked in other Indian metro cities and mastered their craft. So the food is simply out standing in Agartala. Travel to Agartala only to have the food if you are a foodie.
Stay a couple of night more
Agartala isn’t the city for a tourist, but if you are a traveller, then this city will grow on you. The first day might be a bit of a blur. But after you are done with the first 24 hours, things will start to seem a lot more normal. Plan a night arrival and take two nights before heading back. It will be totally worth it. Because you won’t ever come back to Agartala for sure.