Baramura Eco Park
Nestled in the verdant forest at the fringes of Baramura–Deotamura reserve forest where Baramura hill range meets the plains at a distance of about 37 km east of Agartala, the Baramura Eco Park located at the foothills of the Baramura hills is a manifestation of the conservation need of the ecological biodiversity of the Baramura hills. The Baramura hills are a breathtakingly beautiful expanse of rolling hills characterised by thickly forested hill ridges varying in altitude between 90 m to 136 m and valleys with dense bamboo patched, herbs & shrubs that is home to astoundingly diverse ecological biodiversity. The forest also supports the livelihood needs of nearly 2,500 tribal families.
Kalapania Nature Park
Located about 116 km south of Agartala in Sabroom in South Tripura, the Kalapania Nature Park was established in 2004 covering 21 hectares of deserted land into a nature’s paradise set amidst a charming ambience of natural beauty. A lake with serene blue water in midst of two hillocks in the park’s centre divides it into two halves. There is a boating service as well as beautiful cottages around the small hills surrounding the water body. The main attraction of the park is a nature interpretation centre located in the middle of the park.
Tepania Eco Park
Established in 1995 inside RadhaKishorepur Reserve Forest, the Tepania Eco-Park lies about 47 km south of Agartala and 5 km from Agartala Udaipur. Over the years the Eco Park set amidst a charming ambience of natural beauty has been upgraded and today has an area of 155 hectares and has turned out to be a huge tourist attraction. The Eco Park has a modern well maintained orchid house which houses 225 species of orchids. There is a cactus House which has 250 samples collected from various parts of the country. A treehouse inside the park offers a night stay facility in a sylvan environment. The other attractions include a unique wooden hanging bridge, a medicinal garden and a watch tower for viewing the wildlife.
Khumulwang Eco Park
Located on the outskirts of Agartala within the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, Head Quarter Khumulwng, the Khumulwng Eco Park has been raised in the lap of nature covering an area of 14.5 hectares of land. Khumulwang, which means the valley of flowers, the park is well organised in different sections such as the flower park, the children’s park and the science park. Boating facilities are also available. The Tribal Museum cum Heritage Centre is located at Khumulwng which has models of the 19 tribes of the state.
Located about 200 km east of Agartala, the Jampui Hills are the highest hill range in the state bordering Mizoram at an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level. Jampui is famous for its charming landscapes and bracing climate. The excellent climatic condition, green forests, beautiful orange gardens, views of the rising and setting sun are wonderful sights for tourists. The hill range has 11 villages inhabited by the Mizo or Lushai tribes and also by the Reang tribes. The main occupation of the villagers is orange cultivation.
The view of the rising and setting sun from the various viewpoints in Jampui Hills is a wonderful sight for visitors. The various viewpoints in the hill range provide excellent panoramic views of the valley and villages of Mizoram. From the watchtower at the highest peak, Betlingchip at 3200 feet above sea level, one can view the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the Kanchanpur – Dasda valley and other hill ranges of Tripura and Mizoram unfold. Every November, the unique Orange & Tourism festival is celebrated here which attracts a large number of tourists, both domestic and foreign. During the monsoon season, the hill is covered with floating clouds and it provides a rare experience for tourists. The formation of clouds at the bottom of the hill range and its gradual ascendance from the bottom to the top slowly engulfing the whole hill range in its mystic lap is an experience to treasure. The Tourist Department of the Government of Tripura has constructed a very modern tourist lodge, The Eden Tourist Lodge at the Vanghmun village in the Jampui hills which has a capacity of 20 persons and is well equipped with all modern amenities.
Dumboor Lake, Dhalai
A charming water body about 135 km southeast of Agartala, Dumboor Lake is located in Amarpur. The lake is shaped like a tabor-shaped small drum, or the Dumboor of Lord Shiva from which the name Dumboor originates. The lake is spread over an area of 41 sq km and there are 48 islets inside the lake. The surrounding hills and the islets are enchantingly emerald green and present a captivating scenic spectacle. The winter months attract hundreds of migratory birds which gives the lake the status of healthy wetland habitat. There is a hydel project near the lake where the River Gomati originates and the area is called Tirthamukh where a big fair is held every year on Pous Sankranti on 14th January. The Lake is on the confluence of the rivers Raima and Saima. Boating facilities are available in Dumboor Lake.
Also known as Twijilikma, the Rudrasagar Lake is located in Melaghar and is a picturesque lake that has lately been recognised as one of the wetlands of national importance for the conservation of resources and their sustainable use. Also known as Rudijala, three rivers named Noacherra, Kemrali Cherra and Durlavnaraya form the lake. The highlight of the lake is the magnificent Neermahal Palace built in 1930 which is situated on the northeast bank of the lake. The lake occupies an area of 2.4 sq km and is situated about 52 km south of Agartala. Rudrasagar Lake is a natural sedimentation reservoir, which receives flow from three perennial streams. After settling the sediment from the received flow, clear water discharges into the river Gumati through a connective channel, Kachigang. Rudrasagar is a potential Important Bird Area and attracts a large number of waterfowl in winter. Among the rarer species recorded are the endangered Baer’s pochard and near-threatened ferruginous duck.
Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary & Clouded Leopard National Park
Home to a variety of wildlife especially birds and primates, the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary & Clouded Leopard National Park is not just a wildlife sanctuary but also an academic and research centre. Spread over an area of 18.5 sq km about 27 km south of Agartala, the sanctuary came into existence in 1972 to conserve and propagate the biodiversity of the area. With the addition of a Botanical Garden, a deer park and a zoo, the bio complex was subsequently upgraded as the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary in early 1987. More than 150 species of residential birds, migratory birds, orchid gardens, boating facilities, wildlife, botanical garden, zoo, elephant joy-rides, and rubber and coffee plantations beckon the tourists all through the year. The added incentive for animal lovers is the famous spectacled monkey which is now a rare species. The sanctuary has more than 456 plant species, many kinds of bamboo and a variety of grasses and medicinal plants as well as a rich population of birds and animals. The sanctuary also offers spectacular views of coffee and rubber plantations and has boating facilities in the lake and a joyride in the toy train. The Clouded Leopard National Park is a part of the Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary and was established in 2007 with an area of 5 sq km.
Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary
Located about 111 km south of Agartala, the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife and biodiversity sanctuary spread over an area of 164 sq km. Founded in 1988, this sanctuary is famous for the sizeable population of the Gaur or Indian Bison. The sanctuary also harbours a good stock of avifauna population which is integral to the prevalent ecosystem. Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is also the habitat of and home to the highly endangered and only ape species of the Indian subcontinent, the Hoolock Gibbon and primates like the Capped Langur and the Golden Langur. The sanctuary has several perennial water rivulets, water bodies and grasslands with patches of virgin forests that are rich in rare vegetation. Closed on Tuesdays, the sanctuary is open between 9 am and 5 pm on other days.
Rajbari National Park
Situated in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, the Rajbari National Park is spread over 31.63 sq km. The park is very famous owing to its picturesque surroundings and is one of the many places where one can witness Mother Nature at her best. One can expect to come across various wild animals including the world-famous Indian Gaur, also known as bison, deer, Golden langurs, Pheasants, and many such species. The Bison reserve was entrenched in the Sanctuary to protect the endangered species. With the establishment of this reserve, the primary goal was to restore the natural living habitat of the Bison and strengthen laws put forth for their protection from poachers. The park receives plenty of water from the many rivulets and water bodies situated in the sanctuary which ensures a regular and constant supply for the nourishment of the plant and animal species. It is also extremely abundant in forest reserves and is credited as one of the most conservative reserves that boast of rich biodiversity. The vegetation found in the sanctuary is of great diversity with several herbs, shrubs, tree species and climbers. Four types of forests can be found here including the tropical semi-evergreen forest, the east Himalayan lower Bhabar sal, moist mixed deciduous forest and Savannah woodlands. Bamboo is abundantly available. The safari at the Rajbari National Park is a must and is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the park. Jeep safaris and wildlife trips are organised regularly to impart knowledge and awareness regarding the environment and its inhabitants to visitors. The magnificent lake situated in the park is a beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic with your friends and family. The park offers boating facilities available at nominal rates as well. The park is open daily between 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays when the park is closed. Entry fees are INR 10 per person.
Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary
Notified in 1988 by the Forest Department, the Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary lies about 160 km northeast of Agartala. It is spread over an area of only 0.86 sq km and was part of the erstwhile protected forests in Mouja Rowa. The sanctuary, despite its small size, has over the years gained a great deal of popularity because of its natural beauty and is the only wildlife sanctuary in North Tripura. The sanctuary is particularly rich in birds and reptiles with large flocks of migratory waterfowl congregating in the several water reservoirs in the protected area. The sanctuary is also home to a large variety of plant species including several species of medicinal value. Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary is open to visitors throughout the year.
Gomati Wildlife Sanctuary
Also known as the Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary, the Gomati Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest sanctuary in Tripura, located in the southeast corner of the state, about 135 km southeast of Agartala. It is spread over an area of 390 sq km. Adjoining the sanctuary, there is a vast water reservoir covering approximately 300 sq km which attracts many local and migratory water birds. The sanctuary also has elephants, bison, sambars and barking deer as well as other animals and reptiles. One of the landmarks of this sanctuary is Lake Dumbur, which attracts around 17 migratory bird species and 126 native bird species in the cold winters, but the number of bird visits has declined significantly in recent years.
And this brings us to the end of this exotic and underrated state. Do drop me a line if I have missed any must-see places and also what are your favorite places to visit in Tripura.