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Neermahal, Agartala Overview
'The Lake Palace of Tripura' or the Neermahal is the largest palace of its kind in the entire Indian Subcontinent. This architectural beauty rightly derives its name from its location, i.e. the middle of Rudrasagar Lake. It is one of the two water palaces that our country has. The former royal palace is an outcome of King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur's great perspective. It was the summer palace for king and his family. Even today, its highly ornated structure showcases the glorious past. The surrounding lawns and flower beds add seven stars to the beauty of this place.
The evenings at Neermahal are spent watching the light and sound show. It makes people familiar with the cultural heritage of the place and its owners. The historicity comes with a tint of adventure too. Yes, the palace premises also include some water sports activities. This makes it a perfect combination of antiquity and thrill. Moreover, the palace has even gained fame for its 'Neermahal Water Festival.' A huge flock of people visit the mahal only to take part in the boat races organised by the board. This architectural marvel has a lot to give to its visitors. Therefore, whenever in Agartala make sure to turn your ways towards this gem of North-East.
History of Neermahal
Neermahal is the realisation of Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Bahadur's idea of constructing a summer residence in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake. It was in 1921 when he appointed the British company Martin and Burns to build the massive palace for him. The palace took 9 years of hardwork and dedication for its formation. The king of Manikya Dynasty, Maharaja Bir Bikram was a progressive ruler who worked for blending the tribal community with modernity by building great infrastructure. Neermahal stands to be his most wonderful creation. The baffling beauty of this palace even today leaves each of its visitor spellbound.
Architecture of Neermahal
The majestic palace is a beautiful amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Built on the lake; the palace looks more enchanting during the night time when the lights are switched on, and its reflection is made in the water. Sandstone and MArble have been extensively used in its construction. The profusion of balconies, pillars, rooms, ornated walls, bridge, and pavilions make Neermahal an architectural splendor. It is divided into two parts, the Andar Mahal and an open-air theatre. Where the former lies in the west, the latter occupies the eastern part of the palace. Andar Mahal was formed for royal family's private times. Drama, dance, music, and other cultural events took place in the open area. It has 24 rooms and 2 stairways. These staircases are built in such a way that they land onto the Rudrasagar Lake. Back then boats were used as a mode f transportation between the mahal and other parts of the land.
Neermahal Water Festival
Based on the palace's location, every year in the months of August and December, the Government organizes a three-day long 'Neermahal Water Festival.' The celebrations are so massive that people from nearby states visit the palace to witness each and every event. Boat Race and Swimming competition observe the highest footfall. Alongside these small cultural programmes also take place. It lets you enjoy the festivities in both the summer and the winter season. Amazing food, enthusiastic surrounding, and the beauty of palace assure you moments to cherish for life.
Things to Do in Neermahal
Besides praising the elegance of Neermahal, you can watch the light and sound show or indulge yourself in some motorboat riding. Costing 1.20 crore; the light and sound show was installed in 2003 by a Finnish Company. Furthermore, coming to boating, you are charged INR 30 per person if you take a sharing boat and INR 450 if you reserve the whole boat for yourself. Not only this but you can also catch glimpses of migratory birds in the Rudrasagar Lake.
How to Reach Neermahal
Situated almost 50 km from Agartala in Rudijala, Neermahal is well connected by road. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the palace. Bus services are quite active in Agartala hence travelling here is easy. It takes an hour and a half to arrive at the palace.