The Tripura government has decided to refurbish the old capital complex area near Agartala to boost tourism, officials said.
The old capital complex, which includes a place, Chaturdasha Temple, a museum and other structures, in Puran Haveli area in Puratan Agartala, around 8 km from the state capital, will be renovated and the entire area beautified as part of the Rs 20-crore project, they said.
King Krishna Manikya Debbarma had constructed the complex and the temple in 1760 after shifting his capital from Udaipur, around 60 km away, when it fell into the hands of invader Samser Gaji and his army. The Manikya kings shifted the capital from Puran Haveli to Agartala in 1838.
“The temple draws devotees from across Tripura and neighbouring Assam and Bangladesh during the seven-day ‘Kharchi Mela’ held in the months of June and July. The state government will secure a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the renovation of the historical site,” state Tourism Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said.
The minister, accompanied by local MLA Ratan Chakraborty and senior officials, recently visited the old capital complex and held a meeting on the proposed refurbishment.
Uttam Kumar Pal, executive engineer of the tourism department, said the museum, which showcases tribal culture, and a park in close proximity will be refurbished.
“A swimming pool, an open-air theatre and a guest house in the old capital complex will also be refurbished. The temple priests’ houses on the premises are in dilapidated condition and those will also be renovated,” Pal said.
The fourteen deities worshipped at the Chaturdasha Temple are Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, Kartikeya, Saraswati, Ganesha, Samudra, Prithvi, Agni, Ganga, Himadri and Kamadeva.
“Tripura is also called the country of fourteen gods and goddesses. These deities have immensely influenced the people of the state. When King Krishna Manikya Debbarma shifted his capital from Udaipur, he also brought these deities along with him and re established them in Chaturdasha Temple,” historian Panna Lal Roy said.