The History And Origin Of Tiprasa(Borok) And Its Kingdom

5 min


The history of Tiprasas (Boroks) is one of the oldest in the world. It’s about 8,000 – 12,000 years ago (i,e. The period between 10,000 B.C and 6,000 B.C) in the middle of the stone-age. Caucasian and Mongolians entered this country through the western border and the north-eastern border of India respectively.

The main community of these Mongolians was Bodo or Boro speaking community who belong to the Tibeto-Burman family of the Indo-China group. As far as our knowledge goes, in the remote past, far quite some time, a large province spreading over the entire North-east India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma was known as Kirata land. Dr. A.H Dhani considered that these Bodo (Boro) speaking people were known as kiratas and slash in the great epic of the Mahabharata.

According to Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji, these Bodo (Boro) speaking people of Mongolian race who spread over the entire Assam Valley and some parts of North Bengal and East Bengal, was a large part of the present population of the North-east region.

In due course of time, a branch of these Boro speaking people gradually proceeding and moving aside from Noagaon of Assam to southward dominated first Kwchar (Kachar) and then some parts of Sylhet (now in Bangladesh).


In the subsequent period of time, this group of Bodo people moving aside further towards the south established a Manikya dynasty by dominating hill Tipperah and its nearby provinces.
Later on, the exiled King from Noagaon district of Assam founded the capital of the kingdom at Kolongma of Borok valley of the south. According to Sri Manojit Das, a resident of Karimganj of Assam, an etymologist and a follower of Sukumar Sen, Tipras who came from the river Kolong and river Kapil, first recognized and named the Borok river as Kholongma or Big Kolong.

Because of distortion of pronunciation, it took its shape as ‘Khalongma’. In Kokborok language, the word ‘Borok’ means human being. This is why from river ‘Borok’ a place of human settlement, in due course of time, has been named Borak. Sri Manojit Das believes that when Tipra dynasty established its kingdom and dominated over the Borak river valley the non-plain land used to have submerged under water almost throughout the year and just to mean the ‘great King of Waterland’ they started using the word ‘Tiphra’.

In Kokborok water-related words such as ti, twi and tui were found to have been used by the Tipras and the Burmese word ‘Phra’ means lord. Later the word ‘Trphra’ came to be pronounced as ‘Tipra’ or ‘Twipra’. From that time they probably named this land of their domination as Twipra-ha or Twipra.

Here Sri Manojit Das conjectures that the word ‘ha’ is a Tibeto-Burmese word meaning land. In this way, the word ‘Twipra-ha’ after Sanskritisation assumed the name ‘Twipra’. He has further written that in the subsequent period of time, the Tipra kings established the second capital of Tipra Kingdom at bhanga of Karimganj district of Assam, more southward from khalongma of Kwchar (Kachar) of Assam.

Till today a big pond and debris of bricks spreading over the area of sq. Miles are found to seen as a living historic legacy of Twipra kingdom in this region.
A mention has been made about King Yash and his son Monga in the Chronicle of the Twipra Kingdom edited by Kali Prasanna Sengupta.

According to Sri Manojit Das, the capital, which was been named after Bonga, is ‘Bonga-ha’ or ‘Bhanga’ of the recent times. The Austric water related word ‘Bong’ and the Tibeto-Burmese word ‘ha’ being used to mean land, conjointly gave a birth to a word ‘Bong-ha’ which means water land.

And the land-related word ‘Bonga’ has been evolved out from the word ‘Bong-ha’. Perhaps, the Twipra prince as a lord of Waterland has been named as the king Bonga. He also said that almost throughout the year the valley region of Karimganj of Assam used to remain under water.
The history of Tripura, so far as it is written, begins with the settlement of Yayati’s exiled son Druhyu of the famous Lunar Dynasty of the Mahabharata. But it is not free from criticism.

Because it has been observed that some historians and writers of the country always try to write Twipra history in such a manner that history of the Boroks or Tippras has a close link with the ‘Indian history’. Because, if all Druhyu were a Borok or Tippra king, then Druhyu would have been a Kokborok word.

But, in fact, Druhyu was or is not a Kokborok word and there fore it has no meaning in Kokborok. So, it is assumed that Druhyu is a distorted word or altered name and it is a Sanskritised word.

However, Druhyu is the mythological ruler of the Boroks of Tippra, so the name of their king must have been a Kokborok name, for that matter all the Non-Kokborok names of the Borok Kings might have been Sanskritised by the Indo-Aryan minded writers in the past.
It may be mentioned here that the meaning of the word ‘Twipra’ in Kokborok (mother tongue of the Boroks) as mentioned in J.E.

Webster’s North-Eastern Bengal District Gazetteers (1910), is ‘the country towards sea’. The hill people of Twipra (Tipra) in his book Tanvier’s travel in India. The term ‘Twipra’ is originally derived from two Kokborok words, ‘Twi’ meaning water and ‘Pra’ meaning adjoining land, junction of the area.

Thus this word ‘Twipra’ literally means the tributaries of rivers or the adjoining to water areas. But the water ‘Tripura’ is a Sanskritised form of the original name Twipra. It is very essential to note this fact that the word ‘Tripura’ has comparatively less affinity with Boroks (Tippras), but also has its own original and historical significance and meaning.
Before 1920, Twipra Princely State was known as “Hill Tipperah”.

This territory was distinguished from the neighboring plain ‘Tipperah’, which constituted one of the districts of British India in the lower plains of East Bengal (now Bangladesh).

It was only in 1920 when, on the presentation of the ‘Durbar’ (Royal Court), the Government of British India agreed that the Princely State should be known as ‘Independent Tripura’ instead of ‘Hill Tipperah’.

This was stated in the Memorandum on the Indian States, 1932-33, brought out Calcutta.
The terrible stories of the Indian freedom movements, India-Pakistan partition, great relocations of people of this Sub-continent, the rise of democracy, socio-political movements and the unnatural demise of King Bir Bikram Manikya caused the fall the monarchy of Tripura.

Coming back to the period of transition of Tripura Princely State from monarchy and democracy, it is seen that Prince Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarma was a minor and nearly 15 years at the death of his father King Bir Bikram Manikya (17 May 1947 at 8:40 pm).


Than, council of regecy was formed to run the adminstration under the presidentship of Queen Kanchan Prabha Devi, mother of Kirit Bikram, on 8th August 1947. Even before the Indian Independence, the Regent Maharani could realize what a troublesome situation was in store for her if India was partitioned.

Therefore, before partition she putr her claim over those areas, which were once within the principality of Tripura’s bigger entity and save it from isolation. So, as situation arose, B. K. Debbarma, Chief miniter of the State, was sent to Delhi to place the demand before the Central authority. The Chief Minister held parleys with the high disnitaries including Sardar Patel.

Within a few months after the death of King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadum Debbarma, Tripura Pricly State faced a great crisis and there was a threat both from internal and external forces.

The President of the Council of the Regency was under severe pressure and had to apt to join the Indian Union. In the meantime, the Queen on the advice of the Government of India had to dissolve the Council of Regency and became herself as the sole Regent on 12th January 1948, and after about more than a year she on behalf of the minor Maharaja Kirit Bikram, had to sign the Tripura Merger Agreement on 9th September 1949.

Thereafter, the administration of the Tipperah Kingdom became a part of Indian Union from 15th Octuber 1949 A.D and later it was administrated by the Chief Commissioner A. B. Chatterjee, as a ‘C’ category State.

Thus, the death of King Bir Bikram was followed by a period of political vacume, chaos and confusion. This situation was nearer to anarchy due to lack of able leadership, communal riots in East Bengal, influx of refugees, struggle for succession, occupation by the Muslims, attempts at annexing Tripura with Pakistan.

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Tutan Debbarma
I am a possibility believer, blogger by profession and musician by heart.


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