Hill Tippera - Encyclopedia Britannica 1911

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HILL TIPPERA, or Tripura, a native state of India, adjoining the British district of Tippera, in Eastern Bengal and Assam. Area, 4086 sq. m.; pop. (1901) 173,325; estimated revenue, X 55, 000. Six parallel ranges of hill cross it from north to south, at an average distance of 12 m. apart. The hills are covered for the most part with bamboo jungle, while the low ground abounds with trees of various kinds, canebrakes and swamps. The principal crop and food staple is rice. The other articles of produce are cotton, chillies and vegetables. 'The chief exports are cotton, timber, oilseeds, bamboo canes, thatching-grass and firewood, on all of which tolls are levied. The chief rivers are the Gumti, Haora, Khoyai, Dulai, Manu and Fenny (Pheni). During the heavy rains the people in the plains use boats as almost the sole means of conveyance.

The history of the state includes two distinct periods - the traditional period described in the Rajmala, or "Chronicles of the Kings of Tippera," and the period since A.D. 1407. The Rajmala is a history in Bengali verse, compiled by the Brahmans of the court of Tripura. In the early history of the state, the rajas were in a state of chronic feud with all the neighbouring countries. The worship of Siva was here, as elsewhere in India, associated with the practice of human sacrifice, and in no part of India were more victims offered. It was not until the beginning of the 17th century that the Moguls obtained any footing in this country. When the East India Company obtained the diwani or financial administration of Bengal in 1765, so much of Tippera as had been placed on the Mahommedan rent-roll came under British rule. Since 1808, each successive ruler has received investiture from the British government. In October 1905 the state was attached to the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. It has a chronological era of its own, adopted by Raja Birraj, from whom the present raja is 93rd in descent. The year 1875 corresponded with 1285 of the Tippera era.

Besides being the ruler of Hill Tippera, the raja holds an estate in the British district of Tippera, called chakla Roshnabad, which is far the most valuable of his possessions. The capital is Agartala (pop. 9513), where there is an Arts College. The raja's palace and other public buildings were seriously damaged by the earthquake of the 12th of June 1897. The late raja, who died from the result of a motor-car accident in 1909, succeeded his father in 1896, but he had taken a large share in the administration of the state for some years previously. The principle of succession, which had often caused serious disputes, was defined in 1904, to the effect that the chief may nominate any male descendant through males from himself or from any male ancestor, but failing such nomination, then the rule of primogeniture applies.

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