North Tripura - Unakoti

9th December 2011: 
Today our plan was to do Unakoti as a day trip. Normally, it is not possible to do Unakoti in one day, as there is a gate system operating which makes return before dark impossible. But we managed to do it! 

Let me explain - t
he distance between Agartala and Unakoti is 178 kms of which about 100 kms passes through a 'disturbed area'. Hence, there is a gate system in part of NH-44, between Teliamura and Kumarghat. The gate starts at 8.00 a.m. and closes at 4.00 p.m. on both sides. So it is practically not possible to do Unakoti trip as a day trip from Agartala. 

However, Mr Biswas, who operates the Ginger Hotel's Travel/Taxi desk, is also a transport-contractor to a sub-contractor of ONGC, in Agartala. On 9th Dec he had to go to Assam border to pick up some stuff for ONGC, with a TSR Escort (Tripura State Rifles). So he suggested we hire his taxi, join him in that escort, branch-off at Kumarghat and do Unakoti and then rejoin his returning escort party. That's how Unakoti got done as a day-trip for us!

We left Ginger Hotel at 6:30AM and joined Mr Biswas with front and rear Armed Escort Jeeps. We first stopped at small temple (rebuilt by Mr Biswas) where he did a brief aggarbatti puja and we were on our way on NH44 headed West and then North towards Assam border. 

At Kumarghat, we peeled off towards Unakoti and by Noon reached Kailashahar and turned left there to reach Unakoti by 12:20PM 

The Monolith bas-relief carvings of Shiva and other gods were huge 30 feet high. Read more details about this site at Wiki and PIB-GOI

We spent nearly an hour clambaering up and down steps built at site to view the carvings. 

Stairs leading up to upper levels of ridge

Biswas at the temple on the NH44 Highway

Our armed TSR Escort to Dharmanagar

At Kailashahar we turn left for Unakoti

A Signpost at Unakoti entrance

Looking down the wall of carvings from top 

 On our way back, we had a nice Bengali rice-plate lunch in this hotel at Kumarghat ... and juicy Pinapple slices as dessert!