Melaghar (Tripura): Neermahal, the iconic
red and white palace on the famed Rudrasagar Lake here in West
Tripura, has become a tourist hot spot, a long 81 years after
it was built.
Taking note of its rising popularity among tourists, the
Centre has decided to provide money for a facelift of the
palace built by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in
Officials of the Tripura Tourist Department said that
the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism, headed by
Sitaram Yechury, had last February recommended renovation of
the water palace, a blend of distinct Hindu and Islamic
The Standing Committee has asked the Tripura government
to prepare a detailed project report for renovation of
Neermahal, the only palace of its kind in eastern India
and comparable to the lake palace in Udaipur in Rajasthan.
The committee has proposed to increase the water level
of the lake, construction of a ring road around the palace,
retrofitting of the palace and preservation of biodiversity.
The officials said that a Rs 40-crore project had been
envisaged, which includes renovation of the building,
development of catchment areas of the lake, preservation of
bio-diversity, dredging of the lake and rehabilitation of the
fishermen`s community and protection of their livelihood.
There is also a plan to preserve the bio-diversity and
take proper care of Noyacherra, a stream which is the source
of the lake.
Extensive dredging has been planned for increasing
the water level of the lake which has shrunk to just 374
hectares at present from 2,066 hectares in 1947.