Agartala: Ujjayanta Prasad, the former royal palace of Tripura`s Manikya kings and which served as the Legislative Assembly until 2011, will soon be opened to the people as a museum, officials said today.
The palace situated in the heart of the capital is the main tourist attraction in the city and was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya during 1899-1901 at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.
The earlier royal palace of the Kingdom of Tripura was located 10 km away from Agartala and was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 1897. It was later rebuilt as Ujjayanta Palace, said Panna Lal Roy, who studied its history.
"Work for renovation of palace is almost complete, new galleries have been created to accommodate antiques and statues as the palace will be the new address of the state museum which will be open to the common people within this month," the curator of Agartala museum, P Bhattacharya, said.
Also to be accommodated in the national level museum will be the lifestyle material of Tripura’s nineteen tribes, old coins and scriptures, said an official of the Higher Education department.
The princely Tripura kingdom merged with India in October 1949 and the Tripura government bought the palace in 1972 from Maharaja Kirit Bikram Kishore and turned it into the Tripura Legislative Assembly.
The Ujjayanta Palace compound covers an area of approximately one kilometre. The main block covers 800 acre comprising public halls such as the Throne Room, the Durbar Hall, Library and the Reception Hall.
The Chinese Room of the palace is particularly notable, the ceiling of which was crafted by artisans brought from China.
The two-storied palace has three large domes, the largest of which is 86 ft (26 m) high and rests atop a four-storied central tower.
The palace has neo-classical style with tiled floors and carved front doors.