Before merger to Indian dominion on 15th October, 1949, the princely state of Tripura was an independent kingdom under the Tripuri dynasty as independent ruler where 185 Kings ruled consecutively. The Ujjayanta Palace was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya during 1899-1901 and design of construction being performed by Martin & Burn Company.
It is one of the glorious heritage sites of Tripura as well as India. The Palace was named as Ujjayanta Palace by Rabindranath Tagore, the first Novel prize winner from Asia. According to Article-11 of United Nations declaration on the right of indigenous people “The Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs.
This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature”.
It is to be mentioned that in accordance with “The Ancient monuments & Archaeological sites and remains (Amendment & validation) Act. 2010 under section 20L(2) the decision of the central Govt. shall be final in policy to direct authority and here the decision of the State Govt. is in contrary to “The Tripura Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1997” under section 5(2) clause –C.
JAC has stated that if there is any Heritage Conservation Committee formed by the State Govt. following Heritage building Act. they should rethink the matter and place the appropriate authority early in view of retaining the name of Ujjayanta Palace before the inaugural function of the Museum.
JAC has mentioned that such an initiative taken by the State Government is against the integrity of Tripuri people. As there are few days left for the inauguration of the museum, it depends upon the union government whether they intervene with state government or just abide by the decision of the state government.
“Ujjayanta Palace binds us together and how come a government just take decision to rename it”, said Anthony Debbarma , Secretary of Borok People Human Rights Organisation based in Agartala. He also added that the palace is a symbol of a kingdom which is one of the largest in the world, so union government must intervene and respect the sentiments of the indigenous people by not renaming it as Tripura State Museum.