Known As The Angkor Wat Of The North-East, Unakoti In Tripura With Carved Hill-Sculptures Is Full Of Mysticism!

by Mallika Khurana
Known As The Angkor Wat Of The North-East, Unakoti In Tripura With Carved Hill-Sculptures Is Full Of Mysticism!

Unakoti is a gem, chiselled and hidden. A mediaeval stone gate leads to massive stone and rock sculptures in the Unakoti region of Tripura, about 178 kilometres from Agartala. A well-known but undervalued beauty of India, the cultural monument is concealed by the lush trees of the Jampui Hills. The Lost Hill of Faces is in Unakoti which is also known as The Angkor Wat of the North-East!

Fascinating Caves Of Tripura

Unakoti Tripura
Photo Credits: Canva

The area around Unakoti was formerly a thriving centre of religion. The skilled artisans who crafted the stone statues brought the local mythology to life. The annual Ashokastami Mela, which takes place in April every year, is the sole reminder of its former importance.

Unakoti means “less than a crore” in its literal meaning. The narrative that served as the basis for these engravings portrays Lord Shiva and his legendary wrath. The story says that during one of his visits to Kashi, Shiva was travelling with 99,99,999 Goddesses and Gods. The group stayed over here for the night, and it was anticipated that they would rise early to depart for their pilgrimage’s objective. None of the other Goddesses or Gods woke up with the exception of Lord Shiva. The name of the location derives from the destroyer, who, enraged at his companions, ran amok on the property and turned everyone to stone.

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The Legend Behind The Lost Hill Of Faces

In accordance with another myth, Kallu Kumhar was a skilled craftsman who pleaded to accompany Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva, and their followers to Mt Kailash. Parvati then suggested that in order to please the god, he should make a million stone statues of Shiva and his devotees. He just had a single night to finish it, which presented a challenge. Craftsman Kallu came one sculpture short of producing one crore, yet he was still a brilliant artisan. Unakoti became a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination while the Pala dynasty ruled Bengal, while some archaeologists speculate that it may have also been used as a Buddhist sanctuary for meditation.

Every crack in the rock is filled with history, and interesting mysteries, myths, and tales! 

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva