Places of Tourist Interest in Sepahijala, Tripura
Neermahal (নীরমহল) (meaning “Water Palace”) is a former royal palace built by King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur of the erstwhile Kingdom of Tripura, India in the middle of the lake Rudrasagar in 1930 and was completed by 1938. It is situated in Melaghar, 53 kilometers away from the Agartala, the capital of Tripura. The palace is situated in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake and assimilates Hindu and Muslim architectural styles.
The palace is the largest of its kind in India and the only one in Eastern India. There are only two water palace in India another one is the Jal Mahal in Rajasthan.
Known as ‘lake palace’ of Tripura, Neer-Mahal was constructed as a summer residence. It was Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur’s idea to build a palace in the beautiful Rudrasagar lake and in 1921 he accredited the British company Martin and Burns to construct the palace for him. The company took nine years to complete the work. Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur belonged to the ‘Manikya Dynasty’ which is supposed to be the second from a single line in the world today.
The palace is the establishment of Maharaja’s great taste and his fascinating idea of blending Hindu and Muslim traditions and cultures.
The palace is divided into two parts. The western side of the palace is known as Andar Mahal. It was made for the royal family. The eastern side is an open-air theatre where drama, theatre, dance and other cultural events were organized for the enjoyment of Maharajas and their royal families. The palace has 24 rooms in total.
Neer-Mahal has two stairways inside leading down to a landing on the water of Rudrasagar Lake. Maharajas used to go to the palace by hand powered boat from ‘Rajghat’.
Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Tripura, India of some 18.53 square kilometres (7.15 sq mi), about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the city centre, located in Bishalgarh. It is a woodland with an artificial lake and natural botanical and zoological gardens. It is famous for its clouded leopard enclosures. The sanctuary contains a variety of birds, primates, and other animals. The terrain is green throughout the year and the weather is temperate except for the two humid summer months of March and April. It gives shelter to about 150 species of birds and the unique bespectacled monkey, Phayre’s langur. The primate section consists of four species (rhesus macaque, pig-tailed macaque, capped langur and spectacled langur). The crab-eating mongoose (last sighted in the 1930s) has been resuscitated. The sanctuary has been developed both as a wildlife sanctuary and as an academic and research centre. About 150 species of birds live in the sanctuary, and migratory birds visit in winter. Initiated in 1972 the sanctuary has five sections: carnivores, primates, ungulates, reptiles and aviary. There are several lakes;among which Amrit Sagar named lake have boating facility.
There is an accommodation at the forest where a dak bungalow, called Abasarika, near the botanical garden, zoo and boating lake attracts the tourists to have a night adventure in the middle of the forest which is a great experience.
Kamalasagar Kali Temple, was built on a hill-top by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya in the late 15th century. It is situated just deside the Bangladesh border, The lake in front of this temple rightly enhances its beauty.
The large ‘Kamala Sagar’ lake dug by king Dhanya Manikya (1490-1520) and the two wavy blue water lakes in front of the ‘Ujjayanta palace’, abode of Tripura’s erstwhile princely rulers in the heart of capital Agartala will form inevitable itinerary of trourists fond of waterscape. Princely Tripura’s erstwhile capital and present headquarter of south Tripura District, Udaipur is also known as a ‘lake-town’ because of the surfeit of large lakes, dug by different princely rulers, that dot the town. These lakes coupled with the river Gomati that flows by Udaipur will enthuse tourists to have a pleasant outing.
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