Unakoti in north-eastern parts of Tripura is home to India’s largest bas-relief sculptures that date back to 7-9thcenturies, if not earlier.These carvings are located in a beautifully landscaped forest area with green vegetation all around which add to the beauty of the carvings.
Unakoti literally means in Bengalione less than a crore, hosts an ancient Shaivite place of worship with huge rock reliefs celebrating Lord Shiva and his family.The marvelous rock carvings and murals with interspersed waterfalls offer an excellent view.
Going by mythological descriptions that Global Connection lent an ear,when Lord Shiva was going to Kashi (Varanasi) along with one crore gods and goddesses including him, he made a night halt at this location. He asked everyone to wake up before sunrise and then went to bed.
But the next morning, except Shiva himself, no one else could get up before sunrise. This made Shiva set out for Kashi alone while cursing the rest of his team to become stone images.
Another story suggests about a blacksmith named Kallu, who wanted to live with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on the Kailash Mountain. Lord Shiva bet him that if he could make one crore idols in the course of just one night, he would take Kallu to Kailash.
Kallu worked hard and carved out all images but one. Instead of Lord Shiva, he carved out himself in the final image, making it one short of a crore. Hence, he could not go to Kailash. Whichever story may be true, let Global Connection Siliguri assure you that a visit to Unakoti is a must for a globetrotter.
The images at Unakoti are of two types: rock-carved figures and stone images. Not all of them have been excavated yet.
Among the ones visible, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high.