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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I met the same airhostesses and pilot on my flight back from Lilabari to Guwahati. He seemed Mexican, a la-Santana with a classic wool packer hat and trendy wraparound sunglasses.He had stepped out of the plane to stretch his legs and walked back the aisle from the back of the plane,ready for his next flight. After the emblematic security rehearsal, we were airborne.

Agartala is a pretty big city. The best hotel in town was the Ginger Hotel .If tourism is to be developed in the north east(which has tremendous scope),more investment needs to be brough in. It is a pretty expensive city with prices of vegetables like cauliflower costing upto Rs 150 per kg!I met a descendant of the royal family who despite his medium height, had a regal air and a handsome face. He reminded me of the director Ang Lee.I have hardly come across any Tripuris in my stay and journeys all over India so Tripura was a mystifying and unknown state for me. 

The Ujjayanta Palace(now the Assembly House) is a lovely white building in the heart of the city. In fact Tripura has numerous tourist destinations if one had an itenerary of a couple of days.Neermahal,an imperial lake palace in Udaipur,53 km from Agartala is only one of its kind in Eastern India. People look and speak Bengali and Tripuri.For lunch, it had to be authentic Tripuri food so I walked into a local restaurant where the men served me with a smile never once leaving their lips. I hogged on rice, a tangy dal curry and a hilsa and mustard curry which is out of this world. Its very similar to the Bengali and Manipuri preparation of the hilsa with mustard. The waiters were so happy seeing me eat so savouringly ,they brought me more curry and I didnt have the heart to resist because it was delicious!

Slumping onto my car seat,I asked my driver to take me to the Bangladesh border which is very close to Agartala.I was dozing off when I heard loud honking and an array of trucks right in the middle of the road. I got off and headed out to the border check point on foot. It was fun standing at the border line. I was getting on the nerves of the BSF guard who kept asking me to stay on the Indian side of the border. I was too excited to care and kept 'accidentally' stumbling onto the Bangladesh side of the border much to his annoyance. I fulfilled a bucket list wish of 'Being in two places at once'  at the cost of the enraged guard whom I thanked profusely as I was leaving. There was an Indian side with the tricolour fluttering away and the Bangladeshi flag just a few meters away,heralding the inconspicuous path to Bangladesh that looked not an iota different from its Indian counterpart.I wondered about the philosophy of having borders at all..

My evening flight out of the city was another highlight of my trip with my rendezvous with the same airhostesses yet again whom i met for the third time over 4 days and who instantly recognized me. As I took off, the gleaming border lights on the fencing between the two countries,sent me an inkling to come back to explore this undiscovered territory..


  1. Bharat key samney kutta kiya kar raha hai. Anyways well captured. Which place you found it the best among all where you had visited? Upload some more photos of interest to common people.

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