Tripura has beautiful rock cut carvings and stone images at Unakoti, Debtamura and Pilak. Most of these carvings are huge in size and made on vertical walls exposed in the open atmosphere.
It is ‘Shaiba’ (Saivite) pilgrimage and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries if not earlier.The marvellous rock carvings, murals with their primitive beauty, waterfalls are not to be missed. Unakoti means one less than a crore and it is said that these many rock cut carvings are available here. As per Hindu mythology, when Lord Shiva was going to Kashi along with one crore gods and goddesses he made a night halt at this location. He asked all the gods and goddesses to wake up before sun rise and proceed for Kashi.
It is said that in the morning, except Shiva himself, no one else could get up so Lord Shiva set out for Kashi himself cursing the others to become stone images. As a result we have one less than a crore stone images and carvings at Unakoti.These carvings are located at a beautifully landscaped forest area with green vegetation all around which add to the beauty of the carvings.The images found at Unakoti are of two types, namely rock-carved figures and stone images.
Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as ‘Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava’ is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high. On each side of the head-dress of the central Shiva, there are two full size female figures - one of Durga standing on a lion and another female figure on the other side. 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 pilgrims.
Deotamura is famous for its panels of rock carvings on the steep mountain wall on the bank of Gomati. There are huge carved images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika, Mahisasur Mardini Durga and other gods and goddesses. This is also called Chabimura. These images date back to 15th-16th centuries.
Gunabati Group of Temples:
On the way from Mahadeb Bari to Badara Mokam , one would find three temples on the left side of the road. Commonly known as Gunabati Mandir Gucchha (Gunabati Group of Temples) , the origin of the temples and the identity of their founders are still shrouded in obscurity. Stone-inscription of only one temple throws some light on its history.
It reveals that it was built in the name of Her Highness Maharani Gunabati (Wife of Maharaja Govinda Manikya), in 1668 A.D. The two other temples also bear contemporary look but their actual history is still to be unveiled. Architecture of these temples resembles other contemporary temples of Tripura except that the topmost parts are without Stupa. Core- Chambers are marked by the presence of pitcher-headed female forms as buttresses. The temple in the middle has a semi-circular core chamber and its vestibule which was large with Stupa like crown , is now almost completely damaged. The crown over the Stupa in the vestibule is beautifully crafted like lotus.
On the southern bank of river Gomati at Udaipur is found the ruins of a big palace built by Maharaja Govinda Manikya (1660-75 A.D.). The Bhubeneswari temple is situated close to this palace. This temple and an important historical episode of king Govinda Manikya’s rule form the plot of Rabindra nath Tagore’s famous novel ‘Rajarshi’ and drama ‘Visarjan’.