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Hill Tipperah

Tripura Police

Tripura State Rifles


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Tripura was a Hindu Kingdom consisting of a strip of the fertile plains east of Bengal, and a large tract of the territory beyond, which had a reputation for providing wild elephants.

At times when Bengal was weak, Tripura rose to prominence, and extended its rule into the plains, but when Bengal was strong the kingdom consisted purely of the hill area, which was virtually impreg­nable and not of enough economic worth to encourage the Muslims to conquer it. In this way Tripura was able to maintain its full indepen­dence until the 19th century.

The origins of the kingdom are veiled in legend, but the first coins were struck during the reign of Ratna Manikya (1464-1489) and copied the weight and fabric of the contemporary issues of the Sultans of Bengal. He also copied the lion design that had appeared on certain  rare tangkas of Nasir-ud-din Mahmud Shah I dated AH 849 (1445 AD). In other respects the designs were purely Hindu, and the lion was retai­ned on most of the later issues as a national emblem.

Tripura rose to a political zenith during the 16th century, while Muslim rule in Bengal was weak, and several coins were struck to commemorate succesful military campaigns from Chittagong in the south to Sylhet in the north. These conquests were not sustained, and in the early 17th century the Mughal army was able to inflict severe defeats on Tripura, which was forced to pay tribute.

In about 1733 AD all the territory in the plains was annexed by the Mughals, and the Raja merely managed his estate there as a zamin­dar, although he still retained control as independent King of his hill territory.

The situation remained unchanged when the British took over the administration of Bengal in 1765, and it was only in 1871 that the British appointed an agent in the hills, and began to assist the Maharaja in the administration of his hill territory, which became known as the State of Hill Tipperah.


Hill Tipperah at first was incorporated in Bengal and from 1905 was a part of East-Bengal and Assam.

In 1920 Hill Tipperah received back its ancient name Tripura. In 1947 it became a territory of the Republic of India and in 1969 a state. 


The actual logo of the state consists of its name in Bengali lettering and the Asoka-capital, being the emblem of India, in the colors of the rainbow.




The heraldic symbol of the raja’s of Tripura was a. lion. It is of a particular style with long thin legs which, but for the lions’ paws it has, make it possible to confuse it with a horse or even with a chinese qilin.[1] It was depicted on coins struck from 1464 by raja Ratna Manikya (1464-’89). He probably followed the example of the Bengal Sultan Jalal al-Din Muhammad (1415-’32) who had struck a large silver medal showing a lion in 1421. As this medal was the badge of Bengal ambassadors at the beginning of the 15th century, we may suppose that the lion, or at least the beast depicted, was meant to be the symbol of the Bengal sultan. A lion was the emblem of high-ranking military officials throughout the Christian and Muslim world, as the Sultan of Bengal indeed was. [2] We may be sure that these lions were also interpreted as such by the Chinese court because they were the symbols of military officials of the second rank in the Chinese military hierarchy. As we know, those lions were also shared by the rulers of Burma and Tibet in times of Chinese suzerainty. [3]


Modern coins with the Tripurese lion were struck from 1821 by Rama Ganga Manikya (1813-’26) and his successors until 1869. The lion was augmented for the occasion with a trident, rising from his back, and being the particular weapon of the Hindu-god Shiva.


Silver rupee of Ishana Chandra Manikya, 1849.

Lion with trident surrounded by lotus-leaves. The emblem means: The raja’s government.

Coins with the lion-and-lotus emblem were struck 1464-1869


From the reign of Vira Chandra Manikya (1862-'96) there is a European-style achievement on Tripurese coins  struck 1869-‘96. This achievement has been used until 1947. A coloured version is on the cover of a modern publication of the Rajmala, the Tripurese Royal chronicle. It is:


Arms: ¼: The first Azure a mermaid Argent, the second Azure a heart inversed Or, the third Argent a right hand Or and the fourth Argent five balls two, two and one Or..

Crest: Four pennons  the uppermost Gules, charged with the effigy of Hanuman, the lower dexter Vert and the lower sinister Yellow, in saltire, and a trident per pale Gules charged with a crescent Argent.

Supporters: Two lions Argent.


The meaning of the four symbols on the shield is not known but can probably be found in the Rajmala.


Hill Tipperah


The achievement of the raja of Hill Tipperah, designed by Robert Taylor for the Durbar at Delhi of 1877, shows a new arrangement of some of the symbols of the earlier achievement.


Raja of Tipperah


Arms: Argent, a trident gules and a chief azure, a crescent and a mermaid of the field.

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined argent and gules, a lion rampant guardant Argent, holding a hurt in his paws.

Supporters: Two lions argent.

Motto: virta saram ekam (Courage is the Essence).

(T. 87 [4])


It is not known if this achievement was actually used or accepted by the raja.


Tripura Police





The emblem of the Tripura Police shows what could be the modern emblem of the State of Tripura. Ir is:


Emblem: Two mountains proper and a rising sun Or

Crest: The Asoka-capital with its motto, being the emblem of India.

Garland: Branches of laurel Or.


The emblem is displayed on a oval shield parted per fess Gules and Azure.

The banner of the Tripura Police is pointed and fringed on the lower edge, parted per fess Gules and Azure, charged with the emblem of the Tripura Police with the legend TRIPURA POLICE in white lettering below.


Tripura State Rifles




The Tripura State Rifles were founded to meet the challenge of extremist activities in the state of Tripura. The Tripura State Rifles Act was passed by the Tripura Legislative Assembly on 22 May 1984 and was assented to by the President of India in July 1984.


The emblem of the T.S.R. consists of three native spears in saltire, charged with the letters TSR, surrounded by a garland of laurel and with the motto VEERTA BANDHUTA on a ribbon below.


The three spears symbolize the people, the state and the armed force respectively. The motto means “Brave Comrades”.


The banner or flag of the T.S.R. consists of two horizontal breadths green and yellow, charged in the middle with the emblem, the black parts changed in orange.


About T.S.R.


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© Hubert de Vries, 2009-09-28

[1]  Erroneously translated as “unicorn” (as it is always depicted with two horns), emblem of a chinese military official of the first rank.

[2]  Eaton, Richard M. The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1993.

[3]  These lions were always depicted statant, sejant or rampant and never running like the qilin.

[4] Taylor, Robert M.A. Cantab Bengal Civil Service: The Princely Armory. Being a display of the arms of the ruling chiefs of India prepared for the Imperial Assembly held at Delhi on the 1st day of January 1877. Printed for the Government of India at the Government Central Printing Office, 8 Hastings Street, Calcutta 1902.

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