Tripura is a state in Northeast India. The third-smallest state in the country, it covers 10,491 km2 and is bordered by Bangladesh (East Bengal) to the north, south and west, and the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram to the east.
The Bengali Hindu people form the ethno-linguistic majority in Tripura. Indigenous communities, known in India as scheduled tribes, form about 30 per cent of Tripura’s population. The Kokborok speaking Tripuri people are the major group among 19 tribes and many subtribes.
Tripura lies in a geographically disadvantageous location in India, as only one major highway, the National Highway 8, connects it with the rest of the country. Five mountain ranges—Boromura, Atharamura, Longtharai, Shakhan and Jampui Hills—run north to south, with intervening valleys; Agartala, the capital, is located on a plain to the west. The state has a tropical savanna climate, and receives seasonal heavy rains from the south west monsoon. Forests cover more than half of the area, in which bamboo and cane tracts are common. Tripura has the highest number of primate species found in any Indian state.
Tripura is an agrarian state with more than half of the population dependent on agriculture and allied activities. However, due to hilly terrain and forest cover, only 27 per cent of the land is available for cultivation. Rice, the major crop of the state, is cultivated in 91 per cent of the cropped area. According to the Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Government of Tripura, in 2009–10, potato, sugarcane, mesta, pulses and jute were the other major crops cultivated in the state. Jackfruit and pineapple top the list of horticultural products. Traditionally, most of the indigenous population practised jhum method (a type of slash-and-burn) of cultivation. The number of people dependent on jhum has declined over the years.
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