In the year 1930, the ruler of the then princely state of Tripura commissioned a British company to construct a summer resort for him. The Maharaja got his palace – which was called Neermahal – nine years later. It was built right in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake. Ever since, it’s been a major attraction for those who visit Tripura.
Human activities around the Rudrasagar Lake in the past 50 years have however affected the water level drastically. It is believed that the lake has shrunk by more than 40 per cent in the last half a century. Most of it is due to the rising population level in the adjoining areas: there were only 12 families living in the vicinity of the lake when the company handed over the palace to the Maharaja. Today more than 200,000 people are dependant on the lake. Therefore, the problem of the lake vanishing completely in some decades loom large, and before it gets wiped out from the face of the earth, you must pay it a visit.
This summer residence was inspired by the Mughal style of architecture. Interestingly, every year in the month of August a big festival is observed by the locals called Neermahal Water Festival. The festival goes on for 3 days and many colourful cultural programme and event take place in the evening. A big attraction of the Neermahal Water Festival is the boat race that happens in lake. Different kinds of boats participate in the competition. Apart from that, there’s a swimming competition too which is organised during the festival.
The palace is divided into two parts: the western side is known as Andar Mahal. It was made specially for the royal family.The eastern side is an open-air theatre where drama, theatre, dance and other cultural events were organised for the enjoyment of Maharajas and their families. The palace has 24 rooms in total. Neer-Mahal has two stairways leading down to a landing on the water of the Lake. The Maharajas used to travel to and from the palace by hand powered boats.