Tripura’s Historic Centuries-Old Pilak Archaeological Site Joins Two Others To Create Captivating Tourism Circuit

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
NET Web Desk

Guwahati, July 15, 2023: The government of Tripura is undertaking measures to transform the historic site of Pilak, located in Jolaibari and over 1000 years old, into a prominent historical tourism circuit alongside two other destinations. Pilak forms part of a chain of Hindu-Buddhist sites situated at the tri-junction of East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Tripura, and Arakkan (Myanmar) region.

T.K. Das, Director of the state tourism department, stated that Pilak, a popular tourist spot in Tripura’s South District, attracts visitors from across the country. The government has developed an archaeological tourist circuit that includes Chhabimura and Udaipur in Gomati district, along with Pilak in South Tripura district. A package tour has been introduced, connecting these three sites.

Pilak witnesses a daily footfall of approximately 200 visitors. The tourism circuit begins from Agartala and connects Pilak to Udaipur, a temple town known for the Tripureswari Kali temple, one of the 51 Shaktipiths. Udaipur is also home to the Bhubaneswari Kali temple, which featured in Rabindranath Tagore’s novel “Rajarshi.”

The circuit also encompasses Chhabimura, renowned for its rock carvings on the steep mountain wall along the banks of the Gomati River. At the Pilak site, spread across three square kilometers in the uplands and green valleys of Belonia subdivision, visitors can explore stone engravings of Hindu Gods, including figures of Shiva, Surya, Baishnabi, Mahishasurmardini, and a Buddha statue. These carvings reflect a blend of Hindu and Buddhist influences.

Pilak, which emerged as a significant Hindu-Buddhist site in the eighth century, is home to numerous rock-cut images and terracotta plaques. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) safeguards the site. The state government plans to further develop Pilak to attract Buddhist tourists from Southeast Asia and other regions.

Uttam Pal, Executive Engineer of the state Tourism Department, mentioned that while no permanent structures can be built within 150 meters of the designated archaeological site, facilities have been established for tourists just outside the restricted area. Additionally, the state government has constructed a tourist bungalow near the site in Jolaibari.

Pilak’s historical and cultural significance is evident in its rock-cut images, sculptures, and architectural styles influenced by the Palas and Guptas of Bengal, the Arakkans in Myanmar, and the local traditions. The unique terracotta plaques found at Pilak bear resemblance to those discovered in Paharpur and Mainamati in Bangladesh.

The development of Pilak as part of a historical tourism circuit aims to preserve and promote Tripura’s rich cultural heritage. It is expected to attract a greater number of tourists, contributing to the growth of the state’s tourism sector.

Source: PTI

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