The Unakoti Tirtha is a unique place, which can not be compared to
any other place in the country in terms of absolute grandeur and artistry.
Unakoti is deservedly reputed for its 7th - 9th century AD stone and
rock cut images, deep in the forests near Kailashahar. Unakoti literally
means one less than a crore (10 million) i.e. 99,99,999. The place
does not have that many rock-cut sculptures, but these hundreds of
massive rock-cut sculptures and those made out of sandstone, besides
scattered ruins of ancient temples make Unakoti a unique place.
The Legend Says
According to Hindu mythology, when Lord Siva was going to Kashi
through this place, along with one crore other gods and goddesses,
he spent a night here. He had asked his followers to wake up before
sunrise and proceed for Kashi . But, unfortunately, no body woke
up, except for Lord Siva himself . He cursed them to become stone
images. That is why we have one less than a crore stone images there.
The Images at Unakoti
The images found at Unakoti are of two types namely rock-carved
figures and stone images. The famous rock cut carvings are the central
Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures . The central Shiva head
known as ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava’ is about 30 feet
high including an embroidered headdress which itself is 10 feet
high. On each side of the headdress of the central Shiva, there
are two full size images of goddesses - one of Durga standing on
a lion, while the other one is believed to be that of Ganga astride
a capricorn. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are
found half buried in the ground. There are various other stone as
well as rock cut images at Unakoti. Every year a big fair popularly
known as ‘Ashokastami Mela’ is held in the month of
April which is visited by thousands of devotees. Unakoti houses
the largest Bas relief sculpture in India.
Another three-eyed figure a little far away is believed to be that
of Surya or Lord Vishnu. A huge Ganesh figure is also carved in
the Unakoti complex, while there is also a chaturmukha Shivlinga
nearby. Among other rock-cut and stone images are those of Vishnu,
Nandi, Narasimha, Ravana, Hanuman, and several unidentified deities.
The consensus among archeologists is that although the predominant
impact of the Shiva cult is obvious, the sculptures were also influenced
by several other cults like Tantric, Shakti, and Hatha yogis. It
is also assumed that the site dates back to the period between the
12th and 16th centuries AD, and that the sculptures belong to two
different periods of art.
By Air : Kailasahwar town is connected
with bi-weekly Indian Airlines flights from Agartala.
By Road : To get to Unakoti, one
can hire a taxi from Agartala, the state capital.
Hotels & Accomodation
Accomodation is not a problem at Unakoti, Tripura. You can easily
find an accommodation of your at this location.
State : Tripura, in the north east
Best time to Travel : October to
Weather : Hot & Humid.
Location : The Unakoti Tirtha is
located about 180 km from Tripura's capital, Agartala, and just
about 8 km from the sub-divisional headquarters of Kailasahwar town.
General Information & Accomdation info on Unakoti city of Tripura - India