Unakoti
 

 

Unakoti

Unakoti is one of the most important and attractive tourist destinations situated in the state of Tripura. It is the prime tourist spot of Unakoti District in the  Kailashahar  Subdivision in the North Eastern Indian state of Tripura. Unakoti is 10 kilometer away from Kailasahar and 20 kilometer away from Dharmanagar. Distance between Agartala and Unakoti is around 186 kilometer. This important tourist spot is situated at Gournagar This pilgrimage of Hindu religion is considered to have been built in 7thand 9th centuries A.D. The images found at Unakoti are of two types: namely rock-carved figures and stone images. Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high. On each side of the head-dress of the central Shiva, there are two full size female figures - one of Durga standing on a lion and another female figure on the other side. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are found half buried in the ground. There are various other stone as well as rock cut images at Unakoti. There are many stories about the legend of Unakoti. One story goes like this . Once God Shiva was going to Kashi(presently Varanasi) along with a big contingent of Gods and Goddesses. On the way, He thought of taking rest for night time and took shelter on the hill. Before sleeping, He instructed all others to leave bed and get ready early before sun rise to start for Varanasi. But the next morning God Shiva found other companions did not carry out his order and were sleeping. This made Him excited and angry. He cursed them to convert to stone images and stay there for ages and left the place alone. Since then, Gods and Goddesses numbering one less than a crore have been remaining there and the place named as Unakoti.There is another story .There was a sculptor & potter named Kallu Kumhar. The local tribals believe that it was Kallu Kumhar who had carved all these images. He was a devotee of Parvati and wanted to accompany Shiva and Parvati to their abode on Kailash Parvat. On Parvati’s persuasion Shiva agreed to take Kallu to Kailash if he would sculpt a koti images of Shiva in one night. Kallu worked as a man possessed. But as the dawn broke the number of images was still one less than a koti. Shiva who was keen to get rid of this nuisance called Kallu, used this excuse to leave behind Kallu Kumhar and his images at Unakoti.For Hindus, Unakoti is one of the sacred pilgrimages. They believe, if one prays honestly to God their wish will be fulfilled. Pilgrims from different corners of the country gather at Unakoti during Ashokastani Mela held in April every year. Then nature enjoys the warmth of human touch and men get the cooling affection of nature. Tourists can reach this land of heritage directly from Agartala through tour conducted by Tripura Tourism Development Corporation and some private operators. Otherwise, one has to go to either Kailasahar or Dharmanar. From both places, several means of road communication are available for reaching Unakoti. Staying facilities at cheap rates are also available in private hotels and government tourist lodges in nearby towns of Kailashahar, Dharmanagar and Kumarghat.

 

 

 


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