History of inception of the temple
The Shaktipeeth (seat of Divine Energy) of Tripursundari Devi is situated at a distance of 2 hours from Agartala, in the state of Tripura. As the temple of the Devi is situated on a hillock in the shape of a tortoise, this seat of Divine Energy is also called ‘Kurmapeeth (kurm means tortoise)’. The temple has idols of two Devis, the large idol being one of Tripursundari Devi and the small one of Choti Ma Devi (the little goddess).
As per a belief King Dnyan Manikya was intimated in a dream to move the idol of Devi from Chattagram (Chitgaon), presently in Bangladesh, to Tripura. He complied and in 1501 A.D. installed Her idol on the existing hillock, then known as ‘Rangamati’. Then King Kalyan Manikya dug a huge lake known as ‘Kalyan Sagar’ in the vicinity of the temple. When digging this lake the idol of Choti Ma was found. Based on the Puranic reference of the temple, Tripura was the capital of Magadheshwari state. Based on the Holy text ‘Shakta’ this place is also referred to as ‘Shaktapeeth’. It is at this very spot that Tripursundari Devi annihilated the demon Tripurasur.
Tortoises giving up their lives at the Holy feet of the Devi
The lake in front of the temple has tortoises more than a hundred years old. When a tortoise from the lake realises that it is going to die it leaves the lake, crawls over the temple steps and enters the temple and after circumambulating the temple gives up its body. There is a mausoleum (samadhi) of tortoises who have given up their bodies in the vicinity of the temple.