Less than a crore

June 12, 2013

My book club friend, Shruti, told us once about a place called Unakoti, in Tripura. Her description of it made me want to pack my bags and take the next bus out. I couldn't actually do that, but I did get my research specs on. And she was right, it looked beautiful. Then the other day, more than a year after she told us about it, someone mentioned it again. And once again, I found myself typing it out on our trusted friend, Google.

Unakoti is one of those hidden wonders in a country that hasn't been explored by this individual right here (I say as I point to myself). It literally means, one less than a crore. Why? Because there are less than a crore rock cut and stone images of gods. The stories behind these structures are just as interesting as the structures themselves.

There are two stories behind this large scale art. According to one, Lord Shiva and other gods visited Tripura and decided to spend the night. Shiva warned the gods that they must wake up at sunrise, but none of them did. So he left them, turning them into rock structures. The other talks of a sculptor named Kallu Kumhar, who was a devotee of Parvati and wanted to join her and Shiva at Kailash Parvat. Shiva agreed to take him, if he could make one crore images before sunrise. Kallu Kumhar worked hard, but was one sculpture short by the next morning. And hence, Kallu and the rock images were left behind. I'd like to believe the first story.

I do have a number of places I'd like to visit in India (right on top is Valley of Flowers, of course), and Unakoti is definitely in my top five. What's on your list?

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  1. Roopkund is no. 2 in my top 5 list-- this mystic lake in uttarakhand has the mysterious presence of human skeletons. This is at the threshold of Trisuli & Nanda Ghunti mountain

    No. 3 would be bedni bugyal, which is a unique alpine meadow in Uttarakhand.

    Pristine is the word :)

  2. Wow! You've given me some more places to Google. This is awesome.


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