Tippera - Encyclopedia

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TIPPERA (Tripura), a native state and also a British district of India, in Eastern Bengal and Assam. The state, which is known as Hill Tippera, represents that portion of the raja's territory that was never conquered by the Mahommedans. The dynasty, which is of great antiquity, was converted to Hinduism many centuries ago; but the people still profess an aboriginal religion, similar to that of the neighbouring hill tribes. The raja owns an estate of 570 sq. m., yielding an income of more than £40,000, in the British district, where he ranks as an ordinary zamindar. His residence is at Agartalla, just within the boundary of Hill Tippera.

The British district of Tippera, with administrative headquarters at Comilla, has an area of 2499 sq. m. It has a flat and open surface, with the exception of the isolated Lalmai range (too feet), and is for the most part laid out in well-cultivated fields, intersected by rivers and khals (creeks) partially affected by the tides. In the lowlands the soil is light and sandy; but in the higher parts a deep alluvial soil alternates with bands of clay and sand. The principal rivers are the Meghna, or estuary of the Brahmaputra; and the Gumti, Dakatia, and Titas, which are also navigable for a considerable portion of their course. There are many marshes or bils. The wild animals include tigers, leopards, wild boars and buffaloes. The climate is mild and healthy. In 1901 the population was 2,117,991, showing an increase of 19% in the decade, being the highest rate in the province. Mahommedans form nearly three-fourths of the total. Rice is the staple crop, followed by jute; betel-nut and betelleaf and chillies are also grown. The chief exports are rice, jute and betel-nuts; and the principal imports cotton goods, salt and kerosene oil.

The eastern border of the district is traversed by the AssamBengal railway, with branches from Laksham to Chandpur and Noakhali; but waterways remain the chief means of communication.

Tippera came under the East India Company in 1765; but more than a fifth of its present area was under the immediate rule of the raja of Hill Tippera, who paid a tribute of ivory and elephants. At that time Tippera with Noakhali formed part of Jalalpur, one of Shuja-ud-Din's divisions of the province of Bengal; but in 1822 it was separated, and since then great changes have been made in its boundaries. With the exception of a serious raid in 1860 by the Kukis or Lushais, nothing has disturbed the peace of the district.

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