The Best Tourist Places in Tripura, India
Tripura is rarely included on destination itineraries to India, which made the thought of discovering whether there were any tourist places in Tripura, India more exciting!
We quickly found out that Tripura is a small but highly intriguing state with a rich cultural heritage. We thought that many of the places to visit in Tripura deserved to be far more well-known, not only in India, but around the world!
Tripura tourism is quite poorly developed, despite the relative ease of traveling within the small Northeastern state. Indeed, during our travels there, not only did we not meet a single foreign tourist, but we noticed that domestic tourists were also very scarce.
The tourist places in Tripura were not difficult to get to or to visit, although this is probably a relative observation, considering that we were on our third month of traveling in Northeast India, and had by then, become accustomed to dealing with our fair share of travel obstacles, in that they no longer appeared as insurmountable as they had before we set foot in Northeast India.
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How to get to Tripura, India
Tripura’s state capital Agartala is well-connected to other states in Northeast India, particularly Guwahati in Assam, the entry port to the Northeastern states.
From Guwahati it is easy to reach Agartala by train or shared taxi. You can book trains on India’s IRCTC train system, although it might take a few tries to create an account, especially if you’re outside of India. We can assure you it’s possible though, and very convenient!
Here’s our guide to the best tourist places in Tripura, India!
Places to visit in Agartala
Tripura’s state capital Agartala is probably your first point of entry into Tripura, India. There’s no need to spend too much time in the capital, but there are a few lovely places to visit in Agartala, some of which, are included among the best tourist places in Tripura.
The imposing Ujjayanta Palace and its museums was significantly more interesting than we thought it might be and was well worth the Rs 150 (about €2) entry fee.
The museums depict not only the history and geography of the old kingdom of Tripura, but give insight into the history of all the Northeastern states, the current and previous tribes inhabiting the states and their origin, as well as the strong ancestral relationship to countries in Southeast Asia and China.
After having already traveled to five other Northeast Indian states, we were delighted to find a museum which explained Northeast India’s history and the many tribes’ origins in so much detail!
The Heritage Park was probably the most surprising of all the places to visit in Agartala. The whole park is a miniature model of the state of Tripura, showing the highlights and top tourist places in Tripura and other attractions.
It was a great place to stop by before we made concrete plans for our travels around Tripura, and we actually took notes during our walk around the Heritage Park, so that we could research some of the attractions in further detail online.
Although we have already mentioned that Tripura tourism is poorly developed, the Heritage Park is actually a great initiative in depicting the best tourist places in Tripura complete with railway stops, bridges and miniature versions of buildings.
Entrance fee to the Heritage Park is Rs10 each (about €0.15) whilst the camera fee was Rs 20 (about €0.30) per camera.
Gedu Mian’s Mosque
Another of the places to visit in Agartala is the Gedu Mian’s Mosque, though we would not really advise going there unless you’re in the area. It is unfortunately in a rather dilapidated state, despite its very beautiful intricate architecture which includes a number of domes and minarets.
We had expected a bustling place, but the mosque was completely deserted when we visited, and although we managed to open the gate and look around, there was nothing happening in the area.
The Beating Retreat Ceremony of Agartala
Without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Agartala is the border area with Bangladesh during the beating retreat ceremony. Similar to the Wagah Border Ceremony near Amritsar, but happening on a much more intimate scale, the ceremony is definitely worth watching!
We decided to walk to the border from the Nagerjala bus station which is only a couple of km away. The walk was along a rather dodgy area which we nevertheless enjoyed exploring, especially because of the unique crematories on the way (more on that below).
Once we arrived to the customs area, we were given a stamped ticket which allowed us to walk across to where the ceremony would take place, starting at 17.00. The actual ceremony was quite mellow compared to that at Wagah border, where the military personnel perform fierce acrobatic movements in an almost dance-like fashion.
The brief 15-minute ceremony on this side of the country was more focused on the lowering of the flags rather than on fierce movement, but was anyway definitely worth experiencing, especially since the small audience composed entirely of domestic tourists (except for us) was incredibly excited!
Another of the places to visit in Agartala which is only worth visiting if you’re in the area, unless you’re religious, is the ISKCON temple, if just for its very colourful and ornate façade. We didn’t enter the temple which seemed very busy and we have been told that it’s very peaceful inside.
If you are walking the couple of kilometres from the Nagerjala bus station in Agartala to the border with Bangladesh, to watch the beating retreat ceremony, you will come across several disused buildings which were used as old cremation sites. They now seem to have been taken over by squatters.
We were unable to find much information about them online, and we thought that the area was a little dubious, but at the same time we were somehow quite fascinated with the ancient buildings slowly falling apart. Perhaps not one of the best places to visit in Agartala but pretty unique all the same!
Nehru Park in Agartala is also considered to be one of the places to visit in Agartala, but honestly, the almost-abandoned park is not worth your time. It is home to some swings and some disused water features with ill-placed cartoon characters. Rs12 (about €0.15) entrance fee if you do decide to visit.
Where to stay in Agartala
There are few hotels in Agartala which are centrally located and quite convenient. You can check accommodation options here. Unfortunately, budget hotels were less available than in other parts of India.
Places to visit in Udaipur, Tripura
Udaipur, Tripura is a little town in the state of Tripura, Northeast India. Often confused due to its more popular namesake, it couldn’t be more different to the more famous Udaipur in Rajasthan, although similarly, Udaipur, Tripura is also home to some lakes. It is worth noting that Udaipur was the former capital of the Kingdom of Tripura.
Udaipur, Tripura is famous for its temples, especially the Tripura Sundari temple which seems to be a very popular pilgrimage place among local devotees. If you’re traveling around Tripura using public transport like we were, Udaipur makes for an ideal base from where to explore other tourist places in Tripura such as Chabimura and the Neermahal Palace.
Udaipur town itself is a dusty town which we found rather fascinating, despite the lack of major attractions within the town itself. The locals were friendly and although we noticed that few people spoke English in Tripura (as opposed to some of the other Northeastern states such as Manipur and Nagaland where English is widely understood), everyone we met did their best in trying to help us and understand us when we asked for directions.
Matabari (Tripura Sundari) Temple
The Matabari Temple is probably the best-known attraction/place of worship in all of Udaipur, being of great importance to Hindu worshippers. Not being religious ourselves, we could not appreciate the temple’s significance fully, although it was certainly pretty to walk through.
The temple was built around 500 years ago and is very popular during Diwali. When we were there, there was a wedding taking place and there seemed to be many colourful ceremonies involving babies and young children which were all dressed and made up, and which we did not fully understand. They were cool (for lack of a more appropriate word) to watch though!
We got to the Matabari Temple by first taking a shared tempo to Rajarbagh bus station (rs20 /€0.25 each) and then another shared tempo from the bus station to Matabari Temple (Rs10/€0.15 each).
You need to remove your shoes before entering the temple grounds. The owners at several of the souvenir shops will call out to you to keep your shoes for you whilst you visit the temple. I suppose that you are expected to look inside the shop once you collect your shoes, but we had no interest in buying anything so we smiled politely and moved on.
We would have willingly left a tip but nobody seemed too bothered. We do recommend carrying some wipes around though since the temple grounds were very dirty. Do cover any cuts or blisters with tape before walking around barefoot. Although we are quite accustomed to walking around temples in bare feet in many countries in Asia, we weren’t very happy about doing so here.
The Ancient Temples
We are grouping the temples here since it was really difficult to find any sort of information about the groups of ancient temples in Udaipur, Tripura. Some are called the Gunabati temples and another is the Bhubaneshwari temple, but there are also others around.
We really enjoyed walking through this part of Udaipur and looking inside the temples during our stroll. They are in no way majestic, but we somehow felt that they evoke images of mysterious ancient kingdoms about which little is known.
As we walked through Udaipur, we couldn’t help feeling that we were a major attraction ourselves, as locals wanted to know who we were and what we were doing not only in Udaipur, but in Tripura itself. It is pretty evident that foreigners are very scare in the state of Tripura, which somehow made discovering it all the more enticing!
How to reach Udaipur, Tripura
Follow this post for directions to Udaipur, Tripura as well as other parts of Tripura.
Where to stay in Udaipur, Tripura
We were lucky to find a really good room at the Imperial Hotel in Udaipur, Tripura, although the staff seemed confused when we arrived, probably because we were foreigners. As mentioned previously, we did not meet one single foreigner when traveling in Tripura, so that probably contributed to their bewilderment when we walked in.
The rate at the time was Rs1600 (about €20) for a very large, clean room with private bathroom and we ate at the hotel restaurant every night, due to lack of other options around the area. The food was pretty good, though we were the only customers at the restaurant most times!
The only reason we went to Amarpur was to visit Chabimura. We would not call Chabimura one of the best tourist places in Tripura because it seems to be virtually unknown even to other Indians. Indeed, we only discovered Chabimura when we were sitting in a café in Agartala and a local curiously came up to us to ask what we were doing in Tripura (a question we got accustomed to receiving during our first few hours in the state).
When he realised that we were tourists, he told us that we have to visit Chabimura, where ancient Hindu rock carvings grace the rock walls which border a river, inside a gorge in the jungle. We were like whaaaaat?? It all sounded so very Indiana Jones!
We quickly changed our plans to ensure that we included Chabimura in our Tripura itinerary. Chabimura is near the village of Amarpur which is best accessed from Udaipur (unless you’re driving a private car). You can follow our directions to Amarpur and Chabimura here.
Amarpur itself doesn’t seem much larger than the one dusty road we walked up and down several times to look for something to eat. Finally, we settled for some simple roti sabji in a little, rather dirty shop by the side of the market for Rs20 each (€0.25). It was delicious!
When we got to Chabimura at around 10am, there was absolutely nobody around. We had already been contemplating the fact that Chabimura seemed very off the beaten track, in a state where tourism was almost non-existent, so the thought of not managing to find a boat to go see the rock carvings on the river had definitely crossed our minds.
We had already managed to find the phone number of some locals online, who, as advertised would arrange a boat ride on the river, but when we called the number, it was impossible to communicate with them due to language boundaries. We did kind of understand that we should just go to the river though and we would find a boat.
Sure enough, after we waited at the banks of the Gomati river for some time, a boatman asked us whether we would like to visit the rock carvings and that we should buy a boat ticket from a nearby booth which we hadn’t noticed. Indeed, it opened about 30 minutes after we arrived and we were the only customers. The ticket for a whole boat was of Rs 1500 (about €19.50).
At times when other people were present, it would have been possible to share the cost of the boat (it seemed to seat 15 people), but since there was no one else around despite being ‘peak season’ in Tripura, we had to bear the full cost. Fair enough – looked like we would have the boat and the river all to ourselves!
After buying a ticket, we got onto the motorboat and off we were. The first carvings can be observed almost immediately and are rather unique. The mysterious carvings depict huge images of Shiva, Vishnu and other gods which date back to the 15th – 16th centuries. Unsurprisingly, given their remote location and obscurity, not much is known about the carvings.
The ride lasted about two hours, during which we enjoyed the peace on the river, admired the fascinating carvings and also stopped at one point on the bank to trek barefoot along a very slippery path full of water and mud to go visit a cave. The guide/boatman told us that this is where the king used to hide his gold and that the person who had discovered the cave was the boatman’s grandfather!
Melaghar is a small town, about 30km away from Udaipur, which is adjacent to Rudrasagar lake on which the Neermahal Palace is situated. Directions for getting to Melaghar from Udaipur can be found in this post.
We were a little disappointed to wake up to grey and gloomy skies on the day we were scheduled to visit Neermahal. Unfortunately, we needed to make our way back from Udaipur to Agartala the following day so we couldn’t postpone our visit.
Neermahal is the former royal palace of the Kingdom of Tripura, before it became part of the Republic of India, built in the 1930’s, so it is quite modern compared to other important historical buildings in India. We were looking forward to shimmering scenes of the water palace from the lake banks but when we went to Rudrasagar lake, we could only see a foggy and hazy Neermahal on the horizon.
Despite our disappointment, we enjoyed the boatride and the visit to the palace. The ticket on a shared boat to Neermahal cost Rs 30 (€0.40) each, return. It is perfectly possible to rent a boat solo if no other people are there, but of course you would need to pay the total price of the boat. The entrance fee to Neermahal was Rs 10 (about €0.13) each, and the camera fee was Rs 20 (€0.25) per camera.
We were told that we had 40 minutes to explore the palace before getting back to the bank for the ferry back. The palace is very well-maintained though a little empty, and is one of only two water palaces in India. The other is near Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Our final stop in Tripura was Dharmanagar, which we used as a base from where to visit Unakoti, due to its proximity. Dharmanagar itself seemed like a rather relaxing destination with a lake and some temples, home to some incredibly friendly locals.
We would have liked to explore Dharmanagar further, but unfortunately we were running out of time and our priority was to go to the ancient site of Unakoti, one of the best tourist places in Tripura.
The site of Unakoti is an ancient archaeological site and is easily one of the most popular places to visit in Tripura as far as Tripura tourism goes. You can follow directions for getting to Unakoti here.
Like Chabimura, the site is full of ancient rock carvings, but this time the site has been converted into a heritage park which can be easily explored. Unakoti means ‘less than one crore’ (one crore = 10 million) and legend has it that Lord Shiva was traveling here with one crore gods and goddesses, headed to Kashi (modern-day Varanasi). When they stopped for the night, he asked them all to be awake before sunrise and turned those that didn’t (all of them except himself it seems) into stone.
The Unakoti Heritage Park is very well-maintained, but you should note that the site is full of steep staircases connected with some bridges from where to view the stone images. Be sure to take plenty of water with you, because the visit may turn into a rather strenuous activity! The rock carvings are immensely beautiful and visiting Unakoti is highly recommended. We initially paid Rs 5 (about €0.07) each to enter the Unakoti Eco Park, where the shared vehicle dropped us. We walked along a path that didn’t seem to lead anywhere and eventually had to jump across some wire to get onto the motorable road that led straight to the heritage area entrance. Of course, we had taken the wrong path and ventured into the neighbouring heritage woods.
Going back, we walked all along the motorable road which led us straight to another part of the main road where the shared van had stopped us.
Where to stay in Dharmanagar
We stayed at Hotel RaatDin, where a double room with attached bathroom cost Rs 1500 (about €19.50). It suited our needs perfectly. You can check the latest places of hotels in Dharmanagar here.
Other Tourist Places to visit in Tripura
Other popular tourist places in Tripura are the Jampui Hills, a panoramic hill station in in North Tripura, and Pilak, an archaeological site in South Tripura, both of which we did not visit due to time constraints.
We highly recommend visiting Tripura for an off the beaten track experience in Northeast India and hope that our guide to the best tourist places in Tripura gives some insight into one of the India’s least-visited states!