Unakoti…..India is a land of diversity, rich culture, and heritage. The country is home to a plethora of archeological wonders that offer a glimpse into its glorious past. Among these, Unakoti stands out as a magnificent archeological wonder in the northeastern state of Tripura.
The name “Unakoti” translates to “one less than a crore,” referring to the mythological legend that claims there are one less than ten million rock-cut sculptures and carvings at the site.
With its unique rock-cut sculptures and exquisite natural beauty, Unakoti is a must-visit destination for history buffs, archeology enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, significance, and attractions of Unakoti.
History and Significance
Unakoti is an ancient pilgrimage site located in the northeastern state of Tripura. The site is believed to date back to the 7th-9th century CE, during the rule of the Kachari dynasty. According to local legends, the site was once the abode of Lord Shiva and his followers.
One day, Lord Shiva promised to meet his followers at Unakoti, but when he arrived, he found that only one crore (ten million) of his followers had shown up.
Displeased with their lack of devotion, Lord Shiva cursed them to turn into stone. As a result, the site is now home to numerous rock-cut sculptures and carvings that are said to be the frozen remains of Lord Shiva’s followers.
Apart from the mythological legend, Unakoti also has historical significance. The site is believed to have served as a center for religious and cultural activities during the Kachari dynasty.
The carvings and sculptures at the site are a testimony to the skill and artistry of the ancient craftsmen who created them. The site also holds importance for the local tribes, who consider it a sacred site and perform rituals and ceremonies here.
Attractions at Unakoti
Unakoti is a treasure trove of ancient art and natural beauty. Here are some of the must-see attractions at the site:
Rock-Cut Sculptures and Carvings
The highlight of Unakoti is undoubtedly the rock-cut sculptures and carvings that dot the site. The sculptures depict various gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology, including Lord Shiva, Ganesha, and Durga.
The most prominent sculpture at the site is a 30-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva, known as Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava. The statue is believed to be one of the largest rock-cut sculptures in India and is a marvel of ancient art and architecture.
Apart from the sculptures, the site also has numerous rock carvings and inscriptions that offer insights into the ancient culture and history of the region. The intricate carvings and detailed sculptures are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the ancient artists who created them.
Waterfalls and Natural Beauty
Apart from its archeological wonders, Unakoti is also famous for its natural beauty. The site is located amidst lush green forests and hills and is home to numerous waterfalls and streams.
The most famous waterfall at the site is the Unakoti Waterfall, which cascades down a rocky terrain and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. The site is also home to numerous rare species of flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
Festivals and Celebrations
Unakoti is also famous for its vibrant festivals and celebrations. The site hosts an annual pilgrimage festival known as Ashokastami, which attracts thousands of devotees from across the country.
The festival is celebrated in the month of April and is a nine-day-long affair that involves various rituals and ceremonies. During the festival, the sculptures and carvings at the site are adorned with flowers and lights, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Apart from Ashokastami, Unakoti also hosts other festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the Garia Puja, a tribal festival that celebrates the harvest season. These festivals offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region and are a must-see for visitors to the site.
How to Reach Unakoti
Unakoti is located in the northern part of Tripura and is easily accessible by road. The nearest airport is the Agartala Airport, which is located around 180 km from the site.
From the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to Unakoti. The nearest railway station is the Kumarghat Railway Station, which is located around 40 km from the site.
Visitors can also take a bus or hire a taxi from the nearby towns of Kailashahar or Dharmanagar to reach Unakoti. The site is located around 8 km from Kailashahar and around 30 km from Dharmanagar.
Unakoti is a hidden gem in the northeastern state of Tripura that offers a glimpse into India’s glorious past. With its ancient rock-cut sculptures, exquisite natural beauty, and vibrant festivals, the site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, archeology, and culture.
The site’s historical significance, coupled with its natural beauty, makes it a unique destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. Whether you are a history buff, an archeology enthusiast, or a nature lover, Unakoti is a destination that should not be missed.
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