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Tripura, the land of History and Legends


 Dungur is a holy place in Tripura and of Tripuri people. It is one of the pilgrimages in Tripura and a tourist place. Every year on the day of Pous Sankratni large number of people gather here on that occasion. People come here to immerse their ancestral remains in the holy river of Gumti.

Since when this site became religious important pilgrimage no one can ascertain as there is no written records. But there is a legends pertaining to this pilgrimages. Some people may consider as unauthentic. But Tripuri people consider it as true like that of Ramayana's story. It is in the heart of every Tripuri people, they consider as legends, and the mythology is told every night by the grand parent to their grand children.

The Mythology: Once upon a time there was a Tripuri priest in a village; he was very busy in the priestly activity. Every day he has to go some one or else house for different function. He had no time to look after the family and house hold affair as well as the agricultural work of jhum. His wife is also engaged with him for the same purpose, had no time to over see the family. They had two beautiful daughters, namely Raima and Saima. The family affair is fully dependant on them; they had to go for jhum or huk, cut it, sow seeds, clean and all the related activity.

It was once a rainy day, there was a sudden storm. These sisters had no place to go, no shelter, they had to stand under a tree but it did not help. They were totally drenched; the younger sister was shivering in cold. Her sister Raima could not bear it, she felt very sad. She said, 'Saima, I can not see you shivering this way, there is no Gairing, a machan for us to take a shelter. If we would have gairing today, we could have taken shelter there, but alas none. So any one who would build a Gairing for us I shall accept him as my husband. Let he be ant, grass whopper, bird, monkey, snake, demon or any thing.'

That day they could no longer work any more and went back home. Next day when they went for jhum work, they found a beautiful new gairing. They were very glad to find it in their jhum or huk. When it was lunch time, Raima told her sister to invite her brother in law for the lunch. When called, the husband of Raima came, was a big python. She was scared and hid behind the house, but Raima saw him as human being only. The python would eat most of their lunch; they had to share only a little part. This way they became very thin and lean.

One day their father priest asked younger daughter the reason, which she told in detail. The father planned and told elder daughter to go to others jhum for an exchange work. That day, he along with Saima went to their jhum, and told her to invite her brother in law for the lunch as usual. The python came and found his father in law, and saluted him. When the python saluted him, he severed the python in two pieces, and dumped it in a deep a gorge.

At this point of time, Raima's bangles, chain, ear tops etc all felt down all of sudden. She could under-stood the reason and rushed to her home. Upon reaching home she enquired about the reason she had had to her sister. She told her in detail about it. After getting the information Raima went to their jhum filed and searched for her husband's dead body, along with a dog. She could not locate it, but because of the dog she took along with her which found the dead body of python, in a Khumpui flower field, a kind of shrub flower found in jungle.

Raima cried holding the head of her husbands. Though other would see as python, but Raima would see as human being only. She cried until she was totally submerged in grief. Then she urged and requested her husband not to leave her alone in this world, as she would also accompany her. As she continued crying, her tears turned into a stream, she continued crying and prying her husband to wait and take her away along with him. So the stream turned into a small river, she stood there only. The water level rose gradually from knee to hip to chest to neck and ultimately above her head and submerged into the water. The river is since named as Khumtwi meaning by water originated from flower, later changed to Gumti to Gomati.

The python was none other than Lord Siva in the guise of python, and Raima was none other than Parvati, they came in this guise to give people respite from the world so sin and form river for the people of Tripura.

The place of immersion of Lord Siva had since been known as Dungur. Since then the place had became a sacred and pilgrimage to the Tripuri people. They also started immersing their ancestor's remains every year on the day of Pous Sankranti. A large fair is being held every year on the occasion, at the site of immersion. Now a day, government sponsored cultural programs are being organized day and night every year. It is one of the most sacred places for Tripuri.

A dam had been constructed here in the water fall or Dungur for hydele power. It has caused massive destruction of jungle, natural resource, submerged many wild life like deer, jackle and many rare and endangered animals. The dam water had also submerged large area of cultivable land belonging exclusively to Tripuri people living there. The Dam had caused massive land alienation and displacement from their ancestral place where they lived for thousands of years. Dam had reduced many rich Tripuri family into a pauper,  land less and beggars.  There had been many psychological patients created out of this sudden mental shock. The governments compensation had been too little and to late, as compare to the forced eviction from their land.

There had been demands to dismantle the dam, as the dam is hardly producing any electricity. The expenditure on the dam is more than the revenue generated out of selling electricity. There are now many other ways of generation electricity in Tripura, like gas based, which is more economic and available in sufficient amount to continue for another 50 years. and restore the land to those affected peoples , so that they can get back their past agricultural land and starts life a fresh. Many representation had been given to many governmental heads, but nothing had achieved. A consolidated movement is required to achieve this goal.