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Tripura (princely state)

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Unofficial flag of Tripura This article is about the princely state up to the year 1949. For the state of India, see Tripura.

Tripura State, also known as Hill Tipperah, was a princely state in India during the period of the British Raj and for some two years after the departure of the British. Its rulers belonged to the Manikya dynasty and until August 1947 the state was in a subsidiary alliance, from which it was released by the Indian Independence Act 1947. The state acceded to the newly independent Indian Union on 13 August 1947, and subsequently merged into the Indian Union in October 1949.

The princely state was located in the present-day Indian state of Tripura. The state included one town, Agartala, as well as a total of 1,463 villages. It had an area of 10,660 km2 and a population of 513,000 inhabitants in 1941.

Table of contents
  1. History
  2. Rulers
  3. Symbols
  4. See also


See also: Twipra Kingdom

The predecessor state of Tripura was founded about 100 AD. According to legend the Manikya dynasty derived its name from a jewel ('Mani' in Sanskrit) that had been obtained from a frog. The first king who ruled the state under the royal title of Manikya was Maharaja Maha Manikya, who ascended the throne in 1400. The kingdom is mentioned in Ming Shilu as Di-wu-la. It is further stated that it was occupied by Da-Gu-la, a unidentified state in what is Northern Myanmar or Assam. The Rajmala, a chronicle of the Kings of Tripura, was written in Bengali verse in the 15th century under Dharma Manikya I. The kingdom of Tripura reached its maximum expansion in the 16th century.

In 1764, when the British East India Company took control of Bengal, the parts of Bengal that had been under the Mughal Empire were taken over by the British administration. In 1809, Tripura became a British protectorate, and in 1838 the Rajas of Tripura were recognised by the British as sovereigns.

Between 1826 and 1862 the eastern part was subject to the ravages caused by Kuki invaders that plundered and destroyed villages and massacred their inhabitants.

There were troubles in every succession among the Tripura royal family members when the aspiring princes often resorted to use the services of the Kukis to cause disturbances. Thus in 1904, the British enacted a sanad that regulated permanently the succession of the royal family. Thenceforward the succession would have to be recognised by the Viceroy of India representing the British Crown.

Bir Chandra Manikya (1862-1896) modelled his administration on the pattern of British India, and enacted reforms including the foundation of the Agartala Municipal Corporation.

In 1905, Tripura became part of the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam and was designated as 'Hill Tippera'. In addition to the Hill Tippera area, which corresponds to Tripura State, the kings retained a fertile estate known as Chakla Roshanbad with an area of 1476 km2, located in the flatland of Noakhali, Sylhet and Tipperah districts; the latter is now mostly included in the Comilla District of Bangladesh.

King Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarma died in May 1947, shortly before Indian Independence. His son Kirit Bikram Kishore was a minor at that time, and, so, Maharani Kanchan Prava Devi presided over the Council of Regency formed to govern the state. On 13 August 1947, the Maharani signed the Instrument of Accession, joining the Indian Union. There was turmoil in the state in the succeeding months and several changes in the administrative structure took place in quick succession. Finally, on 9 September 1949, the Maharani signed the Merger Agreement with the Dominion of India, which became effective on 15 October, and Tripura became a centrally administered Part C State (Chief Commissioner's Province) of India.

Kirit Pradyot Deb Barman (b. 1978) was the son of the last King - and is the current titular monarch.


The head of the royal family of Tripura held the title of 'Maharaja' from 1919 onwards. Since 1897 the rulers were entitled to a 13 gun salute by the British authorities.


See also: Kings of Tripura

> 1978- (age 44 years), Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma (Last king), Maharajas Dewans (chief ministers) British political agents


The flag features the coat of arms, on a background of saffron and red.

Coat of Arms

The motto is "Bir ta Saramekam" (Courage is the one thing most needed or nothing is better than a warrior).

See also

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