Unakoti, meaning one less than a crore (10 million), is a district in Tripura (Kailashahar town) with mythological significance going back to many centuries ago. Considered as a holy place with myths and legends associated with Lord Shiva, the place is famous for larger-than-life rock-cut sculptures, which were created between 12th and 16th centuries.
Legend has it that renowned sculptor Kalukumardreamt of Lord Shiva who said he could attain immortality by carving out 1 crore rock-sculptors within a single night. The sculptor worked hard, along with his associates, and was short of just one sculpture when day broke out. His task and his dream of attaining immortality remained incomplete.
Enormous rocks have been carved out to give shapes of various Hindu gods and goddesses. The most prominent among them is a 33ft-high bust of Lord Shiva (called Unakotiswara Kalabhairava), with a partially broken headgear, which is believed to have stood tall at 11 ft. While goddess Durga stands on one side of this sculpture, goddess Ganga with her Capricorn is sculpted on the other side.
A large Ganesha is also carved as rock-cuts and stone images of Vishnu, Nandi, Narasimha, Ravana, Hanuman, and several unidentified deities intrigue new and old visitors. Some sculptures depict Tantric, Shakti and Hatha yogis, making archaeologists believe that these sculptures may also have been inspired by Lord Shiva.
Unakotiwitnesses thousands of pilgrims who go there to take a dip in the SitaKunda during auspicious occasions of Shivaratri, Makar Sankranti and Ashokashtami.
How to Reach: Unakoti is easily accessible by air and road.
By Road: To get to Unakoti, one can hire a taxi from Agartala, the state capital.
By Air: Reach Agartala airport and hire a cab till Unakoti, which is approx. 145 km. You can also take one of the bi-weekly Air India flights from Agartala to Kailashahar. Unakoti is just 7–8 km from the main Kailashahar town.