Tripura is a state in North-East India. It is the third-smallest state in the country. It covers 10,492 sq km area. It is bordered by Bangladesh to the north, south and west, and the Indian States of Assam and Mizoram to the east. Five mountain ranges—Boromurah, Atharmura, Longtharai, Sakhan and Jampui Hills—run north to south with intervening valleys.
As of 2011 census, the State has 36,71,032 population, including 30% Scheduled Tribes. The Kokborok-speaking Tripuri people are the major group among 19 tribes and me many subtribes. The Bengali-speaking people form the ethno-linguistic majority. Since the partition of India, many Hindu Bengalees migrated to Tripura as refugees from East Pakistan, and the number increased during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
The area of modern Tripura was ruled for several centuries by the Tripuri dynasty. It was a princely state during the British rule and joined the newly independent India in 1949. The new State of Tripura evolved on 21 January in 1972. Agartala has become the capital city of Tripura. Only one major road NH 44 connects Tripura to the rest of India. However, it is connected by air service via Agartala Airport. Rail transport was absent in the State until 2008-2009 when a rail connection was established between Agartala and Landing junction in Assam. A bus service exists between Agartala and Dhaka for those who have a visa, though illegal movements are widespread.
The climate here is tropical and receives heavy seasonal rains from the south-west monsoon. Forests cover more than half of the area in which bamboo and cane tracts are common. Due to its geographical disadvantages, the State has a limited infrastructure. Economic progress is hindered and for that poverty and unemployment continue to be prevalent in the State. Most of the population are involved in agriculture and allied activities. However, only 28% of the land is available for cultivation. Rice is the major crop of the State. Potato, sugarcane, mesta, pulse and jute are the other major crops. Traditionally, most of the indigenous population practise ‘jhum’ method of cultivation. Jackfruit and pineapple top the list of horticultural products. Tripura ranks second only to Kerala in production of natural rubber. The State is well-known for its handicraft, particularly hand-woven cotton fabric, woodcraft, cane and bamboo products. High-quality timber including sal, teak, garden and games are found abundantly in the forests of Tripura.
The industrial sector of the State continues to be underdeveloped. Brickfields and tea industry are the only two organised sectors. Tripura has considerable reservoirs of natural gas but has meagre deposits of other types of minerals, such as clay minerals, lignite and limestone. Tripura has three power-generating stations—two gas-powered and one hydro-power station on the Gumti River. A thermal power plant was inaugurated by ONGC in 2013 and another is under construction.
The main political parties in Tripura are the Left Front and the Indian National Congress. From 1972 to 1977, the State was governed by the Indian National Congress. The Left Front was in power from 1978 to 1988, and then again from 1993 onwards. As of 2013, Tripura is the only state of India where the communist party is in power.
The literacy rate as in 2011 was 87.75%, higher than the national average 74.04%, and third-best among all the States in India. Bengali is the most widely spoken language due to a large number of Bengalee people in the State. Kokborok is a prominent language among the tribal people.
The major religion in the State is Hinduism, followed by 85.6% of the population. Next to that part of people, Muslims make up 7.9%, Christians 3.2% and Buddhists 3.1% of the total population. The Muslim percentage in the State gradually declined from 1971 due to heavy influx of Hindu population from and migration of Muslim population to Bangladesh. Mogs and Chakmas are the followers of Buddhism in Tripura. Christianity is chiefly followed by the Lushai, Kuki and Garo tribes. The main festivals in Tripura are Durga Puja and Kali Puja. The diverse ethnolinguistic groups of Tripura have given rise to a composite culture. Thus the mainstream Indian cultural elements, especially from Bengali culture, coexist with traditional practices of the ethnic groups, such as typical dances, weddings, and festivals.
The most popular sports in the State is football and cricket. The State participates regularly in the Indian National Games and the North Eastern Games.