Our story found its first chapters in the 1920’s, when Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya, the then Maharaja of Tripura smitten by the beauty of Shillong decided to build a summer retreat for his family in between the beautiful alpine hills. With the passage of time a homely abode filled with memories became an established hotel brand of the city. Pradyot Deb Barman, the current Maharaja of Tripura oversees the working of the hotel with the same hospitality and traditions which has been passed down to him from generations. He resides in the main castle present in the same property.
The Tripura Royal family is known as the second oldest unbroken dynasty chain of 185 kings, after the Mikado Dynasty in Japan. They have ruled over lands which have witnessed the test of time. The Manikya Dynasty was the ruling house of the Twipra Kingdom, now known as Tripura since the 15th century. Its branches did spread and established a hold over the Bengal province – Assam, Tripura, Burma and Meghalaya in their early years. But with time, as the leaves slipped through the branches, land slipped through the hands of the Manikya Dynasty, leaving them with the kingdom of Tripura. Emperors from different backgrounds and ethnicity ruled, reign and retired but the Manikya Dynasty stayed, deepened its roots and aged like old wine, always getting better with time.
The legends and folklores of kings and queens from the past comes to life as we stroll around the property, taking us to an era of royalty. The walls of Tripura Castle have witnessed great landmark decisions which has changed the course of history for the region. At the very location, the historic conversation and discussion on the Tripura Merger Agreement, 1949 between India and the independent state of Tripura was held.
The Assam-type structure, old classic wooden furnishments, rusty fireplaces that warms the heart more than the soul, big luscious lawns for a stroll among the pine trees and colourful rose gardens, underground bomb shelters that has seen more stories than any history book, hidden tunnels to secret getaways, Armory filled with royal weapon, royal stables where animals were humanized, a Printing press where more than the stories printed where the stories made and a courtyard where tales of bravery were narrated down from one generation to the other were all a part of the Shillong residence of the royal family of Tripura, protected and safeguarded by beautifully constructed stone walls. As a home turned into a hotel, structures and corners of the palace was reconstructed keeping in mind the comfort of the guests. Armory and printing press was turned into the Forest Wing of the hotel. The stables and rose garden were converted into the Valley View Wing. But the memories and the essence of royalty is still alive at every step of the palace.
The palace gives a foretaste of the everlasting relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and the four generation of the Manikya Dynasty. The iconic Maharaja Suites of Tripura Castle is a tribute to the literature genius, as it is styled with the ornate mahogany beds graced by Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore’s relation with the Manikya Dynasty dates back to the late nineteen century. Three of Tagore’s work- ‘Mukut’, ‘Rajarshi’ and ‘Visarjan’ is based on the Manikya Dynasty of Tripura.
From changing generation to trends, one thing which has remained constant throughout a century is the deep roots of Tripura Castle, making a place in the heart of the people with its traditions, history, royalty and hospitality. Tripura Castle has witnessed history and now it is on a path of creating one.