A relaxing boat ride on the serene Gomati river transfers your consciousness from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to pondering about the past when ancient men and women roamed this place called Chakrakma or Chabimura. This place is a combination of forested hills, rocky riverbanks, and concealed caves that must hide many a secret. Till recently, Chakrakma lay asleep under the canopy of dense forests away from human eyes, but in 2018, the government of Tripura re-discovered the area and its treasure of ancient rock carvings and caves. Chakrakma instantly became popular among the tourists looking for adventure and thrill and is today a much sought-after tourist destination in the state.
This beautiful destination offers a boat ride on the river Gomati which takes you to a spot in the jungle from where you can trek to the caves. During the boat ride, you can see rock carved images of Gods and Goddesses on the rocky hillside that flanks the river. There are many of them and you are left to imagine how the ancient artists could have carved the rocks in this manner.
Chabimura/ Chakrakma is located in the Gomati District which is 82 kms from Agartala. Today, it has become famous for cave trekking. This place was not known to many until 2018 when Tripura tourism started promoting it. People were curious about the rock carvings and the mysterious cave, so they began to visit Chakrakma. Now it is a full fledged tourist destination with cafeterias and gift shops. It also has a lodge where tourists can stay overnight.
My friends and I had seen many photos of the place and so we were also curious to explore it ourselves. We fixed a date and went to the tourist destination. On the day of our journey we departed from Agartala at 9.30 in the morning, and after two and half hours of journey we reached our destination at 12 pm. We parked our car in the parking area and rushed to book a boat. We found out that all the boats had already been booked and so we had to wait for an hour for our turn. As it was already noon we decided to use this free time to have lunch knowing fully well that a heavy meal just before a trek might not be wise. We, however, took the risk and ate at one of the cafeterias.
After an hour had passed, we got the boat and started our journey on river Gomati. Our tryst with wonderment started almost immediately. A few minutes into the boat ride, we reached our first spot and saw many rock carved images on the hillside which includes the images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartika and many other Gods and Goddesses. It was not possible to step off the boat, as the hill is very steep.
We then began our journey towards the second spot. During the journey we saw tourists on a rowing boat instead of the speed boat that we opted. Even though the rowing boat takes double the time the tourists seemed happy and peaceful. We got so late they were already returning, the irony!
After a few minutes of boat ride we reached the second spot where we saw a huge rock carved image of Chakrakma mwtai (God), also known as Maa Durga in the country. It is about 20 feet high. This image depicts the killing of the demon Mahishasur by Maa Durga. People came here to pray and we, too, got off the boat and prayed. We also got a closer look of the image which is truly extraordinary.
We then left for the cave which is located between the first spot and the second spot. The cave trekking was fun as we had to walk through a flowing water stream that had many slippery rocks. The hill rose on both sides and were covered of trees which prevented sunlight from entering. Tripura tourism made the trekking easier by cutting the rocks to create a makeshift stairway. They also put wooden stairs at various parts to make the climb easier. We climbed through a very narrow pathway between the rocks which was very challenging but we managed to reach the other side. We then reached the cave and found that it is not very deep. Once you enter, you will see that the cave forks into two directions. We dared not enter the smaller caves as it was very dark. We decided to go back.
The experience of spending the day at Chakrakma was amazing as it had everything from boat ride and sightseeing to cave trekking, not to forget the lodge where you can spend the night in the lap of natural beauty. If you ever visit Tripura this place is a must visit!
This article is created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.