Tripura, aka: Tripurā, Tri-pura; 12 Definition(s)


Tripura means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

[Tripura in Natyashastra glossaries]

Tripura (त्रिपुर) is the name of a country pertaining to the Āvantī local usage (pravṛtti) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 14. It is also known by the name Traipura. These pravṛttis provide information regarding costumes, languages, and manners in different countries of the world. It is mentioned that this local usage (adopted by these countries) depends on the grand style (sāttvatī) and the graceful style (kaiśikī).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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[Tripura in Purana glossaries]

Tripura (त्रिपुर).—A phantom city built by Maya. Origin. Kaśyapa Maharṣi son of Marīci and grandson of Brahmā had many wives. Of them Aditi got the first place and Diti the second place. Both of them were daughters of Dakṣa Devas were born of Aditi and the asuras were born of Diti. Armies of asuras under the leadership of Śūrapadma, Siṃhavaktra, Tārakāsura, Gomukha, Hiraṇyākṣa, and Hiraṇyakaśipu gave immense trouble to the devas. The devas joined together under the leadership of Indra and fought the asuras. The nectar received from the ocean of Milk always made the devas the conquerors. When Subrahmaṇya slew Tārakāsura the asuras became very weak. At this stage Kamalākṣa, Tārakākṣa and Vidyunmālī, sons of Tārakāsura, did severe penance and made Brahmā appear before them. They demanded a boon that they would never be killed by anybody in any of the three worlds. Brahmā told them to ask any boon other than that. Then they said: "Great Lord, we must live in three cities and then roam about freely in the three worlds by your grace. Every thousand years all the three of us should join together at a place with our cities. After that meeting, we should separate and roam about freely for another thousand years. If at all there is death for us, it should occur only when we three are together and that also by one arrow." Brahmā granted the boon and disappeared. (See full article at Story of Tripura from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Tripura (त्रिपुर).—A city built by Māyā, of gold, silver and iron fortifications for the sake of Asuras.1 Really three towns under Tāraka, Maya and Vidyunmāli; city described. Battle of Tripuram; march of Śiva's army. First battle at Tārakākhyapuram; non-combatants visiting it; fight between Nandi and Vidyunmāli; Tāraka's fight with the Gaṇas; actual battle on the shores of the western sea, described; battle in the air and under water; Tāraka slain by Nandi, as also Vidyunmāli; burning the city including women and children by Śiva.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 17. 13; V. 24. 28; VII. 10. 54 and 68. VIII. 6. 31; XI. 16. 20; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 72. 82. Vāyu-purāṇa 97. 82.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa Chh. 129-130; Chh. 135-140; 187. 8, 14-6; 188. 9-10.

1b) An Asura having his city in the third Talam.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 20. 27; III. 38. 4.

1c) A Tīrtham sacred to Pitṛs.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 22. 43.

2) Tripurā (त्रिपुरा).—A name of Lalitā; worship of.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 5. 31.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Tripura (त्रिपुर).—With one arrow Śiva reduces to ashes three pura, towns with formidable fort walls, which were built by Maya the architect of demons. These towns were in possession of three demons Tārākṣa, Kamalākṣa and Vidyunmāli, sons of demon Tārakāsura. Owing to their invincibility, the three demons become very haughty and a menace to the earth. They cannot be conquered by ordinary heroes. Some super natural energy is necessary and Śiva fulfilled that need.

The Matsyapurāṇa describes the arrow thus: “The arrow with which Śiva consumed the castle Tripura was forged with the potency of the three Devas: 1) Mahā Viṣṇu, 2) Soma, and 3) Agni. ….. Viṣṇu presented himself in the form of violence and strength”.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (purāṇa)
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

[Tripura in Itihasa glossaries]

Tripura (त्रिपुर) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.28.38, VI.83.9) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Tripura) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Katha (narrative stories)

[Tripura in Katha glossaries]

Tripurā (त्रिपुरा) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. Accordingly, as Vīravara praised Durgā: “... thou art the principle of life in creatures; by thee this world moves. In the beginning of creation Śiva beheld thee self-produced, blazing and illuminating the world with brightness hard to behold, like ten million orbs of fiery suddenly produced infant suns rising at once, filling the whole horizon with the circle of thy arms, bearing a sword, a club, a bow, arrows and a spear. And thou wast praised by that god Śiva in the following words ... [Tripurā, etc...]”.

Also, “... when Skanda, and Vasiṣṭha, and Brahmā, and the others heard thee praised, under these [eg., Tripurā] and other titles, by Śiva well skilled in praising, they also praised thee. And by praising thee, O adorable one, immortals, Ṛṣis and men obtained, and do now obtain, boons above their desire. ”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Tripurā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Tripura in Hinduism glossaries]

Tripura (त्रिपुर, ‘a threefold stronghold’) is alluded to in the Brāhmaṇas as a secure protection. But as the passages are mythical no stress can be laid on them as evidence for the existence of forts with three concentric walls.

(Source): Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Tripura (त्रिपुरा): Tripura (meaning three cities, in Sanskrit) was constructed by the great architect Mayasura. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, Maya's cities were destroyed by Lord Shiva.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Tripura (त्रिपुर).—A large district on the far eastern side of Bengal, just south of the Śrī Hatta (Sylhet) area of Assam. In olden times Tripura was part of Bengal. The kings of Tripura had a long-standing relationship with Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda and later with Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Tripura in Marathi glossaries]

tripura (त्रिपुर).—n (S) A district, the modern Tipperah. 2 m A large lamp burned before the idol on the day of the full moon of Kartik; esp. as placed on the lamp-pillar standing in front of the temple. 3 The lights which, on the day of Shivaratra, women burn before the image of Shiva. 4 The lamppillar which is erected in front of a temple.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

tripura (त्रिपुर).—m A large lamp burnt before the idol on the 15th of kārtika.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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