A Complete Travel Guide On Planning A Trip To Damboor Lake In Tripura
North-East India has numerous lakes, and when I traveled to the far eastern side of the country, I witnessed some of the spectacular lakes of the region. My sixty-days northeastern India ride enabled me to explore some of the biggest and famous lakes of the area. I visited the Umiam Lake in Meghalaya, Dipor Bill, and Haflong lake in Assam, Tam Dil, and Rih Dil in Mizoram and Loktak Lake in Manipur. When I traveled to Tripura, I got another chance to explore yet another big lake in north-east India. This time I visited the famous Damboor Lake in Tripura, and I was overwhelmed by the size of the lake. Not only was I astonished by its size, but I also understood the importance of the lake in the daily life of the local people. My trip to Damboor Lake in Tripura coincided with the Tirthamukh Mela. The Tirthamukh Mela is an annual festival celebrated in Tripura and gave a glimpse of the culture of Tripura. In this article, I will be sharing a detailed travel guide on planning a trip to Damboor Lake in Tripura. I will be listing all the necessary information like route details, road conditions, and accommodation facilities at Damboor Lake. I will also try to explain why one should visit Damboor Lake. In a separate blog post, I will try to share my experience of my trip to Damboor Lake. I hope this article would be helpful for anyone planning to visit the Damboor lake and explore the remotest areas of Tripura.
Why Plan A Trip To Damboor Lake In Tripura?
Damboor Lake is famous for its massive size and breathtaking view. With a size of 41 sq Km, it is the biggest lake in the state of Tripura. The lake gets its name from the Damboor (small drum) used by Lord Shiva. The shape of the lake is similar to the Damboor and comprises of nearly 50 islands amid the lake. The lake has a profound impact on the lives of people of Tripura. The lake is revered, worshipped, and is the source of Gomati River, the biggest river in Tripura. The lake is home to a variety of flora and fauna and attracts migratory birds during winter seasons. Damboor lake is a source of fresh water, and it has an abundant reservoir of natural and cultured fishes which forms the main diet of local people. Every year on Makar Sankranti, i.e., 14th January, the festival of Tirthamukh is celebrated at Damboor Lake. Recently, the state tourism department worked on promoting tourism in Damboor Lake. They developed the main island of Damboor lake called “Narkel Kunja” or the Coconut Island. The department is also planning to encourage water sports facilities and building a guest house on the island.
My trip to Damboor Lake coincided with the Makar Sankranti, and I witnessed a sea of devotees visiting the lake, praying and bathing in the water of the Gomati river. Although the massive influx of tourists made my trip miserable, yet it allowed me to understand the local customs and beliefs. Moreover, my trip also coincided with the visit of the state chief minister. Due to this, additional security checkpoints were made, and I had to park my vehicle and walk for some 2-3 kilometers to reach the starting point of the Damboor lake called Mandir Ghat.
Where Is Damboor Lake Situated?
Damboor Lake lies in the Gandacherra region in Dhalai district of Tripura. The lake is 120 kilometers from the state capital Agartala. Dhalai district is one of the eight districts of the state of Tripura famous for its hills and forests. The lakes spread into two districts of Tripura, i.e., Gomati and Dhalai. Depending upon the route, Damboor lake is accessible after a 4-5 hours ride from Agartala. The nearest big town is Amarpur, which is 30 kilometers from Damboor Lake. Alternatively, Damboor lake is accessible via Gandacherra and requires a 20-kilometer drive from Gandacherra.
How To Reach Damboor Lake In Tripura?
Damboor Lake is accessible via road from the state capital Agartala. Tripura comprises of both hills and plains, and as one moves towards Damboor lake, the percentage of hills increases in the landscape. Since the lake lies in the hilly region, the best mode of transportation is via road. Damboor lake is accessible via Agartala as well as from Ambassa and Teliamura. To visit Damboor Lake from Agartala, the route is as follow: Agartala-> Udaipur-> Amarpur-> Jatanbari-> Mandir Ghat -> Damboor Lake.
Also Read: Trek To Reiek Peak In Mizoram
Alternatively, one can visit the lake from Ambassa, which is another big town in Tripura and lies in the proximity of Rock Cut Carving of Unakoti in Kailashahar. For visiting Damboor Lake from Ambassa, the route is Ambassa-> Gandacherra-> Dumboor Lake. When I traveled to Damboor Lake, I was traveling from Agartala and therefore followed the first route. As per my itinerary, I planned to explore the lake after visiting the town of Udaipur and the famous Tripura Sundari Temple. While traveling in Tripura, I was relying on public transport and not on the scooter I used while visiting other northeastern states.
The nearest Airport to Damboor Lake is Agartala Airport, also known as Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport. The airport lies in the city of Agartala and is 120 kilometers from the lake. In terms of railways, the nearest railway station is the Udaipur railway station situated near Matabari. The Udaipur railway station lies on the Lumding–Sabroom section, which comes under the Lumding railway division of the Northeast Frontier Railway. The railway station is famous for its mesmerizing architecture and lies 60 kilometers from Damboor Lake.
Condition of Road For Planning Trip To Damboor Lake In Tripura
Regarding road transportation, the town of Amarpur is well connected by public and private buses plying on the Agartala-Udaipur-Amarpur route. From Amarpur, one has to take shared sumo or winger(three-wheeler vehicle) to reach Mandir Ghar, the beginning point of the boat ride. It is rare to get a direct car from Amarpur to Mandir Ghar, and one has to break the journey in two-part, i.e., Amarpur to Jatanbari and from Jatanbari to Mandir Ghat. The same rule applies while visiting the lake from Gandacherra. The condition of the road from Agartala to Damboor Lake is a mixture of good and bad patches. While the drive towards Agartala is good, the situation deteriorates as the lake approaches. The condition of the road from Agartala to Damboor Lake is as follow:
- Agartala-Udaipur Section: 50 kilometers double laned highway. The highway is also known as National Highway 8 and is part of Agartala-Sabroom Highway.
- Udaipur-Amarpur Section: 30 kilometers of single-lane road. Initially, the way is double lane but switches to single. The condition of the road is average, and the route passes through the dense jungle and hills of the region. The Gomati River runs parallel for some time, making drive beautiful.
- Amarpur-Jatanbari Section: 25 kilometers of single-lane road. The condition of the road in this section worsens further.
- Jatanbari- Mandir Ghat: 15 kilometers of single-lane road. The route mostly comprises of hills and forest and Gomati River flowing parallel. Mandir Ghat is about 2 kilometers from Gomati Hydro Electric Power Project, where the river Gomati originates from Damboor Lake.
Accommodation Facility At Damboor Lake In Tripura
Tourism in Tripura is not as popular compared with Assam, Meghalaya, or Arunachal. The religious people mostly visit Tripura, which is renowned for its temples. While traveling in Tripura, I followed the same principle for accommodation, i.e., staying at the Government Tourist Guesthouse as I did while exploring Mizoram. The Tripura State Tourism Department maintains a tourist guest house at most of the famous places to visit in Tripura. In the case of Damboor Lake, the nearest best accommodation facility is in the town of Amarpur. Since Amarpur is the most prominent and closest town near Damboor lake, it is advisable to stay at Amarpur and explore Damboor Lake. The tourism department has its tourist lodge in Amarpur, known as Sagarika Parjatan Niwas, and it is a beautiful guest house in the town. During my trip to Damboor Lake, I stayed in the same guest house, and I was happy with the facilities and the hospitality. Moreover, the cost of accommodation is less when compared with the quality of room and services. The state tourism department is also constructing a tourist guest house at Narkel Kunja, but currently, it is in the construction phase, and it will take another year or two to host tourists.
Another advantage of staying at Sagarika Parjatan Niwas in Amarpur is its proximity to another tourist destination in Tripura. The famous Chabimura rock carvings on the bank of Gomati river lies 10 kilometers from Amarpur, and one can explore both the sites while staying at Sagarika Parjatan Niwas in Amarpur. The Amarpur bus stand also lies at a walkable distance from the guest house. The city might have a few hotels, but I would strongly recommend staying at Sagarika Parjatan Niwas in Amarpur. In case anyone is visiting the Damboor Lake from Gandachhera, the best accommodation is the Saima Tourist Lodge maintained by Tripura Government. The tourist lodge lies in the town of Gandachhera and is 20 kilometers from Damboor Lake.
Boating Facility And Cost of Boat Ride At Damboor Lake
Exploring Damboor lake and islands within requires a boat ride. The boating facility is available at the Mandir Ghat, and tourists can book boats there. The boats are readily available at Damboor Lake since they are not only used by tourists but also by the locals living on the other side of the lake. The tourism department has also deployed boats for tourists, yet when I traveled to Damboor Lake, I relied on regular services. As already mentioned, my trip to Damboor Lake coincided with the Tirthamukh festival, and the whole area was filled with locals. The boat fare from Mandir Ghat to Narkel Kunja is 120 rupees per person, and the ticket price might go up or down depending upon the festival season. There are two points from where tourists can hire a boat for Damboor Lake. Mandir Ghat for travelers traveling from Amarpur and Dumboor Lake View Point for travelers visiting from Gandachhera.
Other Facilities While Planning A Trip To Damboor Lake In Tripura
As mentioned above, Amarpur is the nearest big town from Damboor Lake. Amarpur has nearly all the facilities from a traveler’s perspective. It has a government guest house, bus stand, and petrol pump. If anyone is looking for luxury, then staying at Udaipur is the best choice. There are limited eateries in Amarpur, and when I search for a decent restaurant, I couldn’t find one. Apart from this, I guess Amarpur has everything to offer, which a traveler seeks.
Regarding the mobile network, I got internet connection until Mandir Ghar, and from there, my cellphone only displayed network connectivity and no internet. Apart from this, I have already mentioned the accommodation facilities and how to reach Damboor Lake. In the future article, I will be sharing my trip to Damboor Lake in Tripura. I will explain how I reached the lake and explored the biggest lake of state amid chaos. I will also try to come up with a separate blog post on Tirthamukh Festival in Tripura. In case you are looking for any additional details I missed, do let me know via the comments or messages. Do read my other posts where I am sharing my detailed travelogue on my sixty days solo ride to north-east India.