Indigenous historians believe that the state’s history had commenced with the arrival of Tibeto-Burman groups from the Bodoland areas of Assam, leading to the rule of the Manikya dynasty, which had ruled Tripura till October 15, 1949, for more than 500 years.
But rival schools differently interpret the excavations at Boxanagar in West Tripura and Pilak in South Tripura, which have yielded telltale evidence of the peaceful co-existence of the Hindu-Buddhist culture.
This school attributes the derivation of the name Tripura to a Kokborok (indigenous language) compound of twi (water) and pra (near), justifying the name with reference to Tripura’s proximity to the vast water resources of the then East Bengal (now Bangladesh).
The Manikya dynasty’s court chronicle Raj Mala says Tripura’s authentic history had actually commenced from the year 1432 when Maha Manikya had ascended the throne.
In the subsequent centuries, the Manikya dynasty’s domain had extended well into Bangladesh, encompassing the entire Comilla district and parts of Noakhali and Sylhet districts.
“The Hindu-Buddhist culture at Pilak had flourished from the 8th to the 12th century. The findings there are very significant — a stone image of the sun god, Tathagata Buddha in meditation, Lord Vishnu and the mother goddess; remains of a Buddhist stupa and a temple,” said Jawahar Acharjee, Tripura’s leading numismatist and historian.