The State of Tripura, with a geographical area of 10,491 sq. kms, is predominantly a hilly region. It is surrounded on all sides by deltaic basin of Bangladesh except for a small part in North-East which adjoins Cachar district of Assam, and Mizoram. The state is situated between 22?7′ and 24?2′ North latitudes and 91?0′ and 92?0′ East longitudes with the Tropic of Cancer passing through it.The State has three distinct physiographic zones i) hill ranges ii) undulating plateau land and iii) low-lying alluvial land.
Tripura: Origin and History
Origin the origin of the name of Tripura is still a matter of controversy among historians and researchers. According to the ‘Rajmala”, Tripura’s celebrated court chronicle, an ancient king named ‘tripur’ ruled over the territorial domain known as ‘Tripura’ and the name of the kingdom was derived from his name. Many researchers explain the name ‘Tripura’ from its etymological origin: the word ‘Tripura’ is a compound of two separate words, ‘tui’ (water) + ‘pra’ (near) which in totality means ‘near water’. The geographical location of the state with it’s close proximity to the vast water resources of eastern Bengal (present Bangladesh) coupled with the generic identity of the state’s original inhabitants as ‘Tipra’ or ‘Twipra’ apparently justify this explanation of the State’s name.
Mythology mingled with history
The early history of the kingdom of Tripura is a complex blend of history with Mythology. According to ‘Rajmala’ Tripura’s royal house trace their origin to the celebrated ‘lunar’ dynasty, following in the footsteps of their counterparts in the Hindu royal houses of the rest of India who claim to have originated from the ‘lunar’ or ‘solar’ dynasty. Five major hill ranges traverse the State in roughly north-south direction and continue southward into Chittagong Hill Tract. Narrow valleys separate these ranges generally 20 km wide. The easternmost range is Jampui, being successively followed to the West by Unokoti-Sakhantlang, Longthorai, Atharamura-Kalajhari and, Baramura-Deotamura. The highest peak lies at Bethliangchhip (Thaidawar, Shib-rangkhung), 975.36 m above the sea level.
Humidity is generally high throughout the year. In the summer season the relative humidity is varied from 50 percent to 74 percent whereas in the rainy season it is over 85 percent.
A more sensitive element of climate is the variation in rainfall. It varies not only from place to place or from year to year, but also between seasons. Annual rainfall ranges from 1922 mm to 2855 mm. The rainfall generally increases from Southwest to Northeast. There is a big gap in the rainfall content in southern and central part around Amarpur, which is surrounded by 1500 mm. Isohyets. The northeastern part of the state around Dharmanagar gets maximum rainfall. Most of the rain comes during the months April June and July to September. This period is generally referred to as the kharif season and this is the major agricultural season of the state.
Major rivers in Tripura
There are 10 (ten) major rivers in the state. They are generally ephemeral in nature and their flow is directly related to the rainfall, being in spate in rainy season and running almost dry during summer months. The purity and sustained and regular discharge of water is directly proportional to intensity of vegetative cover in the river systems. Due to deforestation in the catchment areas of such river systems all the navigable rivers become almost dry during lean seasons.
The water is muddy during rainy season and bitterly polluted during lean periods. The Burima, Gomati, Khowai,Howrah, Longai, Dhalai, Muhuri, Feni, Juri and Manu are the major rivers. Besides, there are many small lakes and ponds in the state. There are as many as 13 lakes inside Trishna wildlife sanctuary, and 2 inside Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary. Many migratory birds visit these lakes.
Special mention may be made of a clear water lake “Devtapukur” at the source of Muhuri river which can be a beautiful tourist spot in future.
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