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Agartala History, India

The history of Agartala, in fact, that of entire Tripura region is essentially linked to the Manikya rulers who have ruled the region for over 3000 years.

There are many references of the entire region in the Mahabharata and the Puranas and the name has even been cited in the inscribed pillar messages of King Asoka.)

Speaking of Agartala particular, the city became the capital of the then Princely State of ‘Swadhin Tripura’ in 1760 A.D. when Maharaja Krishna Manikya gave it precedence over the ancient capital, Rangamati (in Udaipur, South Tripura). The chosen site was named ‘Haveli’. However, frequent clashes with the Kukis as well as other problems forced another change of the capital-address and in 1849 the capital was shifted by the then ruler Krishna Kishore Manikya to the present Agartala site.

History of Agartala and Its Urbanization

Urbanization of Agartala was started by Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya (who ruled the Princely State for 34 long years, from 1862 to 1896) and it was marked by the establishment of the Agartala Municipality. Formed by a royal proclamation towards the end of 1871, the municipality encompassed an area of 7.77 sq. km and had a population of only 875 people.

When Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur assumed power in 1923, the urbanization of Agartala picked up pace again – the infrastructure of the entire area was strategically re-organized.

History of Agartala – The Modern Period

Maharaja BirChandra Manikya was a truly worthy ruler and his reign ushered in the modern era in the history of Tripura as a whole. He adopted the British form of administration and introduced various reforms. His successors tried very hard to follow his steps and Manikya Dynasty’s rule continued uninterrupted until the death of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya in May 1947. Following Maharaja’s death, his widow decided to take the reins and she formed a Council of Regency to look after the administration of the princely state on behalf of the minor prince. Nevertheless, amidst the general populaces’ penchant for democratic form of governance, the Regent's rule ended on September 9, 1947 and the princely state was incorporated into the Indian dominion. The Maharani signed the agreement of merger on October 15, 1949.

Agartala’s importance increased following the declaration of statehood for Tripura on January 21, 1972. Today Agartala stands high among the important eastern cities of India like Calcutta, Imphal etc. However, insurgency and militancy/terrorism are the two evils plaguing Agartala today. A number of political outfits now active in Agartala are even pressing for self-rule. October 1, 2008, the day that saw the city being rocked by the serial blasts has been the blackest day in the history of Agartala.

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