The capital of Tripura, Agartala, borders Bangladesh on the banks of the Haora river. Infact, you will land a hundred metres barely from the international border. But it isn't just its geography that is interesting—Agartala also has a history worth reckoning with. Some records state that the city has been habituated since 1900 BC and even today, has vestiges of its glorious past through palaces, temples and shrines. The long list of things to do in Agartala includes sampling this rich history and its local food, some of which has a distinct Bengali influence.
Best time to visit: Although, Agartala is a year-round destination, June and July receive the maximum rainfall, making travelling difficult.
How to reach
By Air: Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport is the nearest airport that is 12 km (20minutes drive) away from the city. IndiGo operates 10 daily flights between Agartala and Kolkata, Guwahati, Imphal and Chennai along with seamless connectivity to many other cities in India.
By Train: Agartala and Jogendranagar railway station are the two main railway stations that connect Agartala with the major cities of the country. Autorickshaws and taxis are readily available from the station to travel to any part of the town.
By Bus: Agartala has a vast network of bus services connecting the city to the major cities in the country. You can find both State and Private bus services running around the city, offering good package deals for the travellers.
Getting around: Paddle rickshaws are the prime mode of transportation in the city with fares ranging from INR5 to INR25. Auto Rickshaws, locally known as ‘Tempo', Government city buses and local buses are other means of transport connecting the city.
This vegetarian eatery is known for its dosas and other south Indian food, though the menu encompasses north Indian fare and Chinese too.
A tiny restaurant that serves up excellent momos, noodles and somewhat surprisingly, biryani. Though there are vegetarian items on the menu, meat-eaters have a better selection.
Known for its Bengali cuisine, this eatery is walking distance from the Chowmuhani post office. The mochar ghonto, shorshe ilish and kasha mangsho are all must-orders.
For when the people you’re travelling with want a little bit of everything, the Sunday buffet dinner here encompasses a range of cuisines from Indian to Chinese and more.
There are a lot of bazaars and markets around the city, from which you can buy items to take home. Cane and Bamboo handicrafts, artworks are the must buy from Agartala. For women, jewellery is also available at stores like Roop Mahal in Jagat Bazaar. The market, incidentally, is excellent for those looking to buy garments—both traditional and western wear.
Mohanpur and Akhaura Road: Pick up some nice Bamboo and Cane crafts from these streets such as lampshades, décor items or small baskets. If you don't like anything here, then you need to head out to the state government emporium named Purbasha.
Battala market: This market is a perfect place to buy tribal attire and accessories. You may also check out Shakuntala road and Akhaura road for the same.
Ginger Hotel Agartala, Khejurbagan This 101room property is situated close enough to the city’s industrial belt to serve as a business hotel but is also close to the sights, like the government museum and heritage park, so it’s ideal for tourists too. It’s the best place to bed down in the city, if you don’t mind self-service.
Hotel Welcome Palace, Dhaleswar This three-star hotel is another option for those looking to sleep comfortably. There’s a restaurant, Kurry Klub that serves up Indian, Thai and Chinese food for those looking for a great meal.
Geetanjali Tourism Guest House, Airport Road This government-run property wins for its location, and large rooms and its well-priced dining options.
Heritage Park: Close by the Tripura Government Museum is the Heritage Park, which includes miniature replicas of the state’s architectural buildings, nestled in manicured gardens, set amidst undulating hills.
State Academy of Tribal Culture: If you want to get insight about Tripura’s ethnic background then State Academy of Tribal Culture is worth a visit. This well-maintained academy features tribal handicrafts, costumes, utensils, instruments and daily life items belonging to 19 different tribal cultures in the state.
Rent a car and pack yourself a snack for there’s a bunch of exciting getaways from Agartala. Topping your list should be Unakoti, for its rock sculptures, which are about 150km away. Take a day trip, as there aren’t too many options when it comes to places to stay around the area. The carvings showcase Shiva’s life and are monumental in scale. On your way back from the Tripurasundari Temple, you can stop by at the Sepahijala Wild Life Sanctuary, which is home to clouded leopards, cheetahs, monkeys and more. Within the sanctuary, there is a zoo, for those that want to be sure of animal sightings, and especially if you have kids—it is a great way to spend an afternoon or morning. There’s also Kalyan Sagar Lake to get your Instagram selfie at, or the Rudra Sagar Lake, which surrounds the Neermahal as mentioned above Palace.