Tripura formed the backdrop of many of Rabindranath Tagore’s novels and songs and to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary, the state government is planning a year-long programme.

“The poet visited the state seven times and accepted hospitality of four successive kings. He wrote ‘Bisharjan’, ’Rajarshi’ and ‘Mukut’ with the history of Tripura as the theme,” Pannalal Roy, author and researcher who studied the relation between Tripura kings and Tagore, said.

When after the untimely death of queen Bhanumati, King Birchandra Manikya became very sad, he received a book of poems by Tagore who was an unknown poet at that time.

The book ‘Bhagnahriday’ touched his heart.The king then sent his secretary, Radharaman Ghosh to Tagore’s house at Jorasanko in north Kolkata in 1882 when he was just 21 years of age and felicitated him, Roy said.

After that on an invitation of the king, Tagore first came to Tripura in 1899. The relation between the king and the young poet was very deep and whenever the king went to Kolkata, he used to meet the poet, Roy said.

When the poet started writing the play ‘Rajarshi’, he asked the king for some historical inputs which were promptly provided. After the death of Birchandra, Radhakishore became the king and the friendship became deeper.

Of the seven times he visited Tripura, five times were during the reign of Radhakishore. The last time he visited the state was in 1925 when Radhakishore’s son Birbikram Kishore was the king, he said.

As part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar laid the foundation of a convention complex named after Tagore on May nine.

Sarkar had said the facility named Rabindra Convention Complex, would be built at a cost of Rs 22 crore and take 20 months to complete.

Apart from this, the government has decided to name villages, localities and roads after the poet, Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Anil Sarkar said.