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THE LAST RULER

The erstwhile Ruler of Tripura Maharaja Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur passed away in Kolkata on 27th November 2006. The state funeral took place at state capital Agartala on the 29th November. With his highness’s sad demise the thousand years old eventful history of Manikya Dynasty comes to end.

Bikach Chawdhuri


The King Is Dead – Long Live The King.
Maharaja Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur – the last ruler of the state of Tripura passed away in Calcutta on 27th November 2006 as a result of cardiac failure. He was 73. He left behind his Maharani, four daughters and the only son – Yubaraj Pradyut Kishore.

The body of late Maharaja was brought to Agartala on 29th November and a befitting state funeral took place at Agartala on the same day. Thousands of common people gathered at the royal palace at Agartala to pay their last homage to their beloved Maharaja. On the same day according to the royal tradition, the Yubaraj Pradyut Kishore was formally coronated as the 180th Maharaja of Tripura. This is a mere formality because the erstwhile princely state merged with the republic of ITroops carry coffin of Maharaja.   ndia on 15th October 1949 and virtually there is no state left to be ruled. But according to the royal tradition the throne can never be left empty. The institution of kingship remains.


The Maharaja Kirit Bikram was coronated as Yuvaraj on the 15th December 1940 when he was just 7 years old (born on 13th December 1933). His illustrious father Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya died on 17th May 1947 just three months before India’s independence. 14year old Kirit Bikram assumed the charge of the state of Zamindari at Chakla Roshnabad by a royal decree on the same day. The Raj Mata Kanchan Prabha Devi ran the affairs of the state on behalf of the minor ruler as the Regent.

 


Bereaved royal family
As was desire of the late Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya – the regent Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi signed the instrument of Accession on 15th October 1949 in order to merge the state of independent Tripura with the Republic of India.

According to the provision of the Accession document, Yubaraj Kirit Bikram formally became the Maharaja of Tripura on attaining 21years age in 1954. Thus there is no room for any confusion whether Kirit Bikram was officially declared as Maharaja on not. His status as Maharaja of Tripura was duly recognised as the legal successor to throne of Tripura state by the government of India, even though the state merged with the republic of India.
Crowd at the Ujjayanta Palace
With the abolition if Privy Purse through amendment of the constitution in 1969, the use of honorific prefixes like Raja, Maharaja, constitution in 1969, the use of honorific prefixes like Raja, Maharaja, Rani, Maharani, Nawab etc were also prohibited. But in the hearts of the millions of people, the century old reverential addresses of the ex-Rulers continue even today. The funeral procession of the Late Maharaja Kirit Bikram witnessed an unprecedented mass participation and solidarity which proved beyond doubt that the royal family till enjoy enormous love and reverence of the people. The newly coronated Maharaja Pradyut Kishore was greeted with thunderous applause immediately after the investiture ceremony at the Royal Palace on 29th November.
Last Journey
The Manikya Dynasty of Tripura claimed their descent from the lunar race of Mahabharata. According to Rajmala, the Royal chronicle of Tripura-Maharajas, Yajati was the first Ruler of the Dynasty followed by ‘Druha’ and ‘Tripur’. According to ‘Genealogy’ maintained as ‘State Papers’ by the Royal family Maharaja Kirit Bikram was the 179th descendent of Manikya Dynasty. Now Maharaja Pradyut Kishore becomes the 180th ruler.

The modern era of Tripura started with Maharaja Birchandra Manikya who ruled between 31st July 1862 and 14th December 1896. He was a great visionary, a great scholar in Vaishnava literature and also a good musician, excellent photographer, and a versatile poet too. He recognised the talents of Rabindranath Tagore, when his fame as a poet was some too loud. The Maharaja sent his royal emissary to Jorasanko in 1882 when Tagore’s first book of verses BHAGNA HRIPeople greet Maharaja Pradyut after his coronationDAY was just published. Maharaja Birchandra congratulated the young poet and prophesied that he would be the greatest poet one day. The successive rulers of Tripura were known for their patronage of art and culture. In fact they themselves were also very great proponents in different fields of art, culture and music.

The late Maharaja was an ardent lover of art and crafts and also had great regards for traditional heritage. He had collections of coins, curious, antiques and extremely valuable historic collections of timeless beauty and grace.
Princess of Guwalior & Rajasthan Chief Minister Basundara Raje flanks bereaved MaharajaMaharaja Pradyut waves at crowd
Bikach Chawdhuri. The writer is known for his love for cultural and literary history of Tripura. He has written a number of books on above subjects.