(Last Updated on : 30/01/2015)
The villages of Tripura comprise a major portion of the state's total geographical area and a majority of Tripura's total population lives in the villages. Tripura is one of the 'Seven Sister' states located in northern India and most of its villages are located in the hilly regions. The villages are rich in flora and fauna and craftsmanship. The rich tradition and cultural heritage of the villages attract many tourists from all over India every year.
The villagers of Tripura follow different religious paths. The principal religion in the villages is Hinduism. They worship many gods and goddesses on a regular basis. Goddess Tripura Sundari is the most widely worshipped deity in the villages of Tripura and the other goddesses like Tara, Kali, Bhuvaneshvari, Chhinnamasta, Bhairavi, Bagalamukhi, Dhumavati, Kamalatmika and Matangi are also worshipped in the villages. Apart from these, there are also some other deities worshipped in the villages of Tripura that include Matai-Katar, San-Grama, Lam-Pra, Mailu-ma, Ganga or Uima, Thari-rao and Bani-rao, Burha-cha and Khuluma. All these deities are an important part of the villagers' religious life at Tripura.
Some villagers in Tripura also follow animism. They consider all places sacred and believe that all places on earth contain either bad or good spirits. There is a common belief among people that they can save themselves from any kind of natural calamities like flood, famine or epidemic by pleasing these spirits. Apart from Hinduism and animism, another major religious community in the villages of Tripura is the Christians. There are also many tribal communities living in the villages of Tripura that include Chaimal, Garo, Halam, Jamatia, Lepcha, Riang, Tippera, Tripuri, Lusai, Darlong, Mog, Noatia, etc. Most of these tribes follow Hinduism. However, the Noatias and the Halams follow Shakti cult and the Rupini and Kalai sub-groups of the Halams are believers of Vaishnavism. Many languages are spoken in the villages of Tripura out of which, Bengali is the most widely spoken. Bengali is also the official language of the state. Apart from Bengali, Tripuri and Kakborak are the other two widely spoken languages in the villages of Tripura. The people of Halam tribe speak in their own dialect known as Rankhal.
The villages of Tripura have a notable educational scenario. The overall literacy rate in Tripura is counted amongst the highest in India and the state's rural literacy rate is also impressive. There are many government primary and secondary schools established in the villages of Tripura to provide primary and secondary education. Many colleges and universities are also established in the urban areas of Tripura that provide the students with a chance to pursue higher education. Further initiatives have been taken by the governments to improve the du
The principal occupation of people in the villages of Tripura is agriculture. The state's rural economy is primarily agrarian and agriculture provides employment to more than half the total population of Tripura. Most of the villages are located on the high hills and hillocks and are interspersed with rivers and valleys. They also have a moderately warm and humid climate and well distributed rainfall. All these factors contribute largely to the agricultural development of the villages. The soil and climate of Tripura are ideally suited for rain-fed horticulture. The villagers cultivate a variety of plantation crops throughout the year.
The major crops and fruits cultivated in the villages of Tripura include pineapple, orange, jackfruit, litchi, banana, mango, lime/lemon, cashew nut, ginger, turmeric, chilly, potato, tapioca, coconut, areca-nut, aromatic paddy, cotton, tea, rubber, mesta, sugarcane, etc.
Apart from agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries are the other two major sources of employment to the people residing in the villages of Tripura. Tourism is one of the recently developed employment sectors for the villagers in Tripura. The industries like natural gas, fruit processing, rubber, tea, handicraft, handloom, etc. are also counted among the major occupations for villagers in Tripura. Another major source of employment in the villages of Tripura is handicrafts. The villagers are expert in making various handicraft products by using bamboo and cane. The most popular handicraft products produced in the villages of Tripura include room divider, decorated wall panels, attractive furniture of cane, different decorative pieces, dining table mats, floor mats, table mats, lamp shades, various other gift items, etc. Most of these cane and bamboo handicraft products are counted amongst the best in India.
The rich cultural diversity and heritage is one of the most important features of society in the villages of Tripura. Each of the communities living in the villages has its own customs and traditional music and dance forms. The communities also celebrate their respective religious festivals. The major fairs and festivals celebrated in the villages of Tripura include Ashokastami, Garia and Gajan Festival, Kharchi Festival, Boat Race, Manasa Mangal, Durga Puja, Diwali, Rasha Festival, Orange & Tourism Festival, Book Fair, Pous Sankranti Mela, etc. The other major religious festivals include Hojagiri, Ker, Bisu and Sena, Maikwtal and Mamta, Hangrai, Ama, etc. All these festivals attract a large number of tourists and pilgrims, every year.
The villagers in Tripura perform various folk music and dances during fairs and festivals. The most popular folk dance forms performed in the villages of Tripura include the Hozagiri dance of Reang community; the Garia, Jhum, Maimita, Masak Sumani and Lebang Boomani dances of Tripuri community; the Bizu dance of Chakma community; the Cheraw and Welcome dances of Lusai community; the Hai-Hak dance of Malsum community; the Wangala dance of Garo Community; the Sangraiaka, Chimithang, Padisha and Abhangma dances of Mog community; the Garia dances of Kalai and Jamatia communities; the Gajan, Dhamail, Sari and Rabindra dances of Bengali community; the Basanta Rash and Pung chalam dances of Manipuri community; etc. The dances are performed with accompaniment of the musical instruments like Khamb (Drum), Bamboo flute, Lebang, Sarinda, Do- Tara, Khengrong, etc.
The extraordinary natural beauty and the colourful way of celebrating festivals are the best features of the villages of Tripura. Many people from different parts of India and abroad visit the villages to experience the rich cultural diversity. The tourists also like to feel the real essence of tribal culture by visiting the villages of Tripura.