By Nikita Biswas and Abhishek Dubey (@becausetravelling)
We have been travelling across India for years now. And we’re always on the lookout for offbeat places. So of course, we were thrilled to discover Neer Mahal.
We took a 15-day trip to Tripura. There are daily direct flights from Delhi, and most are scheduled in the morning because it tends to rain a lot through the day.
We hired a private cab from Agartala City to Melaghar District in Tripura. The journey was almost 2.5 hours as it was pouring heavily. This ride is one of the most beautiful we have experienced, passing through major scenic landscapes and dense forest areas.
The Boat Ride
We crossed the beautiful Rudrasagar Lake, with mist green grass and the aroma of the wetland. It is a beautiful slice of rural India. Once we got down and approached the nodal point of the Lake, we realised we needed a boat to reach Neer Mahal. Since the big speedboats are not allowed to leave without any less than 20 people, we had no option but to wait as it was raining. We did not want to take the single-hand boat because of the rising water level. It is always a safer option to take the medium or the bigger boat, as Tripura experiences a lot of rain on usual days.
Some sort of miracle hit the sky and it stopped pouring. The sky was clear, so we decided to take our own “Haath” boat (hand boat). If you want to explore the stillness of the Lake and admire the nature around you, a hand boat is a perfect choice. No, we did not paddle it ourselves. It was done by a kind-hearted man who was sweet enough to walk up to us and offer a ride.
We were a bit concerned about the depth of the water. However, the boat paddler ensured that he would get us all safe. The lake was huge. You could see the entire frame of the Mahal from far off, making you realise that you might not be able to catch the sight through a camera lens. It took us 35 minutes to reach the Mahal and we had just 1 hour to explore the entire place. It is wise to explore Neel Mahal within that time to avoid the excessive crowd around the place.
Exploring Neer Mahal
Neer Mahal was built by Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarman Bahadur, ruler of the Makinya Dynasty in 1938. It is a combination of white and red painted buildings. The Eastern side of the Mahal had a huge circular theatre, drama, and dance room and open-air space. On the other hand, the western side has a well-maintained terrace garden and a huge open space for you to enjoy some good time alone in peace.
We took some amazing shots and had a great time exploring all the corners of the Mahal. On our way back to land, the rain gods showed no mercy, it was thundering; scary, adventurous, and cinematic at the same time. When we got off the boat and reached the shore, the weather was perfect for a hot cup of tea.