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Manipur
Imphal
Location of Manipur in India
Coordinates 24°49′01″N 93°57′00″E / 24.817°N 93.95°E / 24.817; 93.95
Country  India
District(s) 9
Established 21 January 1972
Capital Imphal
Largest city Imphal
Governor Gurbachan Jagat
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (60)
Population
Density
2388634 (22nd)
107 /km2 (277 /sq mi)
Official languages Meiteilon
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 22347 km2 (8628 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-MN
Website manipur.nic.in
Seal of Manipur

Manipur About this sound pronunciation (Meitei: মণিপুর maṇipur) is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Myanmar to the east. It covers an area of 22,347 square kilometres (8,628 sq mi).

The Meiteis (Meeteis), who live primarily in the state's valley region, form the primary ethnic group. Their language, Meiteilon (Meeteilon), (also known as Manipuri), is also the lingua franca in the state, and was recognized as one of the national languages of India in 1992. The Kukis or the Zoumis (people belonging to Zo descendants) and Nagas live in the hills of the state. Manipur is considered a sensitive border state.[citation needed]

Foreigners entering Manipur (including foreign citizens born in Manipur) must possess a Restricted Area Permit, which can be obtained from the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office in the "metros" (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai) or certain other state government offices. Permits are valid for only 10 days, and visitors must travel only on tours arranged by authorised travel agents, in groups of four. Furthermore, they may come to Imphal only by air and are not permitted to travel outside the capital.

Contents

History

The Kangla Sha, the state emblem
The Kangla Gate (west entrance to the Kangla Fort

Manipur like the rest of of north east India ,was not annexed by any of the previous Indian empires ,this has led to a sharp difference in culture and traditions in Manipur and the north east with the rest of India [1]. Later Manipur came under British rule as a princely state in 1891. This ended the independent status of the Kingdom of Manipur, the last kingdom to be incorporated into British India.

During the Second World War, Manipur was the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The Japanese were beaten back before they could enter Imphal, and this proved to be one of the turning points of the War.

After the War, the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature. In 1949, Maharaja Bodhchandra was summoned to Shillong, capital of the then Indian province of Assam. The legislative assembly was dissolved on the accession of the state to the republic of India in October 1949. Manipur was a Union Territory from 1956 and later became a full-fledged state of India in 1972.

There has been a separatist movement in Manipur since the early 1970s, with several groups engaged in violent action in order to achieve their goal, i.e. a sovereign Manipur..[2]

Special permission must also be obtained for those who wish to enter Manipur, as it is considered a "sensitive area" on account of its political troubles and geographical location.[3]

Geography, vegetation and climate

Geography

Singda-The place where the Highest Mud Dam in India is located
Barak River in its upper course in Manipur

Manipur is one of the eight states of Northeast India, and one of the Seven Sister States. The state is bounded by Nagaland in the north, by Mizoram in the south, by Assam in the west, and by the borders of the country Myanmar in the east as well as in the south. The state capital of Manipur is Imphal. The state lies at latitude of 23°83’N - 25°68’N and longitude of 93°03’E - 94°78’E. The total area covered by the state is 22,327 km². The capital lies in an oval-shaped valley of approximately 700 square miles surrounded by blue mountains and is at an elevation of 790 metres above the sea level[4]. The slope of the valley is from north to south. The presence of the mountain ranges not only prevents the cold winds from the north from reaching the valley but also acts as a barrier to the cyclonic storms originating from the Bay of Bengal.

There are four major river basins in Manipur State, the Barak River Basin (Barak Valley) to the west, the Manipur River Basin in central Manipur, the Yu River Basin in the east, and a portion of the Lanye River Basin in the north.[5] The total water resources of the Barak and Manipur basins have been estimated to be 18.487 cubic kilometres in the form of annual yield.[citation needed] The Barak river, the largest river of Manipur, originates in the Manipur Hills and is joined by a number of tributaries such as the Irang, Maku, and Tuivai. After its junction with the Tuivai, the Barak River turns north and forms the border with Assam State, and then enters the Cachar District of Assam just above Lakhipur. The Manipur river basin has eight major rivers: the Manipur, Imphal, Iril, Nambul, Sekmai, Chakpi, Thoubal and Khuga. All these rivers originate from the surrounding hills.

Almost all the rivers in the valley area are in the mature stage and, therefore, deposit their sediment load in the Loktak lake[4]. The rivers draining the Manipur Hills are comparatively young, due to the hilly terrain through which they flow. These rivers are corrosive in nature and assume turbulent form in the rainy season. Important rivers draining the western area include the Maku, Barak, Jiri, Irang and Leimatak. Rivers draining the eastern part of the state, the Yu River Basin, include the Chamu, Khunou and other short streams.

Physiographically, Manipur may be characterised in two distinct physical regions - an outlying area of rugged hills and narrow valleys, and the inner area of flat plain, with all associated land forms. These two areas are not only distinct in respect of physical features but are also conspicuous with regard to various flora and fauna. The valley region would have been a monotonous, featureless plain but for a number of hills and mounds rising above the flat surface. The Loktak lake is an important feature of the central plain. The total area occupied by all the lakes is about 600 km². The altitude ranges from 40 m at Jiribam to 2,994 m at Mt.Iso Peak near Mao Songsang.

The soil cover can be divided into two broad types, viz. the red ferruginous soil in the hill area and the alluvium in the valley. The valley soils generally contain loam, small rock fragments, sand and sandy clay, and are quite varied. On the plains, especially flood plains and deltas, the soil is quite thick. The top soil on the steep slopes is very thin. Soil on the steep hill slopes is subject to high erosion, resulting in gullies and barren rock slopes. The normal pH value ranges from 5.4 to 6.8.[citation needed]

Districts

Manipur has currently nine administrative districts.

District Area Population Headquarters
Bishnupur 496 208,368 Bishnupur
Churachandpur 4570 227,905 Churachandpur
Chandel 3313 118,327 Chandel
Imphal East 709 394,876 Imphal
Imphal West 519 444,382 Imphal
Senapati 3271 283,621 Senapati
Tamenglong 4391 111,499 Tamenglong
Thoubal 514 364,140 Thoubal
Ukhrul 4544 140,778 Ukhrul

Vegetation

Flowers lining up the Foothills
A tree standing alone amidst the wilderness

The natural vegetation occupies an area of about 14,365 km². which is nearly 64% of the total geographical area of the State. The vegetation consists of a large variety of plants ranging from short and tall grasses, reeds and bamboos to trees of various species. Broadly, there are four types of forests below:

  • Tropical Semi-ever Green.
  • Dry Temperate Forest
  • Sub-Tropical Pine
  • Tropical Moist Deciduous

Teak, Pine, Oak, Uningthou, Leihao, Bamboo, Cane, etc. are important forest resources growing in plenty. In addition, rubber, tea, coffee, orange, and cardamom are grown in hill areas. Food and cash crops make up the main vegetation cover in the valley.

Climate

The Dzuko Valley lying on the border of Manipur and Nagaland has a temperate climate
Monsoon clouds in Manipur

The climate of Manipur is largely influenced by the topography of this hilly region which defines the geography of Manipur. Lying 790 meters above sea level, Manipur is wedged between hills on all sides. This north-eastern corner of India enjoys a generally amiable climate, though the winters can be a little chilly. The maximum temperature in the summer months is 32 degree C. In winter the temperature often falls below zero, bringing frost. Snow sometimes falls in some hilly regions due to the Western Disturbance. The coldest month is January, and the warmest July. The ideal time for tourism in the state, in terms of climate, is from October to February, when the weather remains bright and sunny without the sun being too hot. The state is drenched in rains from May until mid-October. It receives an average annual rainfall of 1467.5 mm. However, the rain distribution varies from 933 mm in Imphal to 2593 mm in Tamenglong. The downpour ranges from light drizzles to heavy showers. The normal rainfall of Manipur enriches the soil and helps in agricultural processes and irrigation. The South Westerly Monsoon picks up moisture from the Bay of Bengal and heads towards Manipur, hits the eastern Himalaya ranges and produces a massive amount of rain in the state.

Population

Manipur has a population of 2,380,000 (2001 Census). Of this total, 58.9% live in the valley and the remaining 41.1% in the hilly region. The hills are inhabited mainly by the Nagas, Kukis (Chin-Mizos)and smaller tribal communities and the valley mainly by the Meiteis (including Meitei Muslims known as Meitei Pangal or Pangal and "Bhamons" who are literally non-Meiteis). Some Naga and Kuki settlements are also found in the valley region.Racially, Manipuri people are far more similar to South East Asians than to mainland Indians [7]. The distribution of area, population and density, literacy rate, etc. as per the 2001 Census provisional figures are as below:

Language

The official languages of the state are Manipuri and English.

Manipuri language (Meiteilon)

Meiteilon the official language of Manipur, has a long history. Courses on Manipuri Language and Literature are offered as a subject up to M.A. level in both Central and State Universities.[citation needed] It is the main language of communication among all different tribes and people inhabiting Manipur. English is also slowly gaining ground as a common language of communication. Meitei has been recognized as the Manipuri language by the Indian Union and has been included in the list of scheduled languages (included in the 8th schedule by the 71st amendment of the constitution in 1992). Meitei is taught as a subject up to postgraduate level (Ph.D.) in Indian universities, apart from being a medium of instruction up to the undergraduate level in Manipur.

Meitei Mayek (Manipuri script)

Meitei Mayek is a script, commonly referred as Mayek, which has been used since ancient times. Though out of vogue for a certain period, in the recent past it has gained popularity.

Tribal languages

There are 29 different dialects spoken in Manipur. Six main tribal dialects recognised by Government of Manipur for medium of instruction & examination up to class V are :

  1. Tangkhul, language of Tangkhul people
  2. Hmar, language of Hmar people
  3. Paite, language of Paite people
  4. Lushai, language of Lushai people
  5. Thadou/Kuki, language of Kuki people
  6. Mao, language of Mao People
  7. Vaiphei, language of Vaiphei People

Transportation

Tulihal Airport, the airport of Imphal, connects the state capital with Delhi, kolkata and Guwahati. National Highway NH-39 links Manipur with the rest of the country through the railway stations at Dimapur in Nagaland at a distance of 215 km. from Imphal. Highway NH-53 connects Manipur with another railway station at Silchar in Assam, which is 269 km. away from Imphal. The road network of Manipur, with a length of 7170 km, connects all the important towns and distant villages.

Religion

Pakhangba

The Sanamahi and Hinduism
The people of Manipur follow several faiths and religions which can be traced down to its unique historical past. Sanamahi is the oldest religion of the land. Manipur preserved this ancient indigenous religion rich in mythology and colorful in ritual, known in this part of the world as Sanamahism. The Sanamahi worshiped is concentrated around the Sun God/Sanamahi. Early Manipuris were the devotees of a Supreme deity "Lainingthou Soralel" following the footprint of their Godly ancestors. That particular kind of ancestor worship and animism, with the central focus of worship on Umang Lai - that is, ethnic governing deities worshipped in sacred groves. Some of the gods(Lais) Manipuris worship are Atiya Sidaba, Pakhangba, Sanamahi, Leimaren, Oknarel, Panganba, Thangjing, Marjing, Wangbaren, Koubru. The religious life of the people, even when they adopted non-mainstream Hinduism, retained many characteristics inherited from their prehistoric ancestors. The essentials of this religion remain recognizable to the present day. Hinduism has an ancient presence in Manipur[8], but did not win widespread adoption until relative recent history. It was in the 15th century that a particular form of Vaisnavism was adopted and spread under the reign of King Kyamba through to King Khagemba in the 19th century. Towards the end of the 19th century and at the advent of the 20th century, a great force of Gaudiya Vaishnavism came and spread in Manipur. Over the last couple of decades there has been some revival of Sanamahi religion and this was evident in the significant growth of the non-mainstream religion category in the 2001 census which amounted to 11% of the population. Due to the revival of demographic profile of the state, Sanamahism will now be included in the next Government of India population census in 2011.[9]. According to the 2001 census Hinduism is identified with 47% of the population.

Christianity

St.Joseph's Cathedral at Imphal

Christianity in the hill tracts of the north-eastern region spread from the 19th century due to Western missionary activity particularly by Baptists. The vast majority of the hill tribes today are Christian. All groups of Nagas and Kukis of Manipur have adopted Christianity like Meiteis adopted Vaishnavism. The Bible is available in Hmar, Vaiphei, Paite, Tangkhul, Thadou, Lushai , Meiteilon and many other dialects. Christianity constitutes 34% of the population.

Islam

Many of the Muslims of Manipur are descendants of Bengali and earlier immigrants and are commonly referred to as Pangals. Muslims form about 8% of the population.

Culture

Main article: Manipuri dance

The Chorus Repertory Theater, Imphal, founded by Ratan Thiyam

Theatre and society in Manipur are intimately linked, as in many parts of the world. Manipuris are a culturally enthusiastic people. Cultural spirit has never been allowed to be blown out despite the area's remoteness from the outside world. This is why it still thrives in the Manipur valley. Theatre has always been part of the Laiharaoba festivals since time immemorial. Theatre in Manipur today can be broadly divided, based on the texts, into religious and secular. The former is the adaptation of religious epics or some episodes from them, performed mainly in the sacred sphere such as temples. Within this Gauralila (the story of the childhood days of Caitanya Mahaprabhu), Sanjenba (an episode from the play between Krishna and his cows and his Gopis), and Udukhol (an episode from Krishna's childhood days) can be incorporated. They are seasonal performances commanding spiritual devotions among the audience. On the other hand, secular theatre is mostly confined to themes which are not religious and is performed in the secular or profane spheres. Within these are Shumang lila and Phampak lila (stage drama). Though the religious genre is loved profoundly by the audience, the torch of theatre is being held aloft by the secular ones. Among the latter also Shumang lila commands a very wide rustic popularity among the audience though the stage drama still doesn't lack its serene and dignified position mostly because of its community based themes and styles. Etymologically Shumang lila is the combination of "Shumang" (courtyard) and "Lila" (play or performance). It is performed in an area of 13/13 ft in the centre of any open space. It is performed in a very simple style without any raised stage or any set designing or heavy props such as curtains, background scenary, visual effects, etc., but with only one table and two chairs, kept on one side of the performance space. Its claim to be the theatre of the masses is underlined by the way it is performed in the middle of an audience which surrounds it from all sides leaving only one passage which serves as both entrance and exit connecting the performance space with the green room. Shumang lila is performed by a touring band of 12-13 professional artistes on invitation basis. These troupes may be either exclusively female (Nupi Shumang Lila) or exclusively male (Nupa Shumang lila). Though the male characters are enacted by the female artistes in the case of the former, what is most intriguing is the enactment of the female roles by the male artistes or nupishabis (male actresses), in the case of the latter. They are feminine in their looks, bodily gestures and facial expressions guised in the masculine souls. Historically the actual seed of Shumang lila was sown in Phagee lila (farce), performed during the reign of Ningthourel Chandrakirti (1850–1886), though traces of it were already present in the episode of Tangkhul-Nurabi Loutaba of Laiharaoba festival. Then it was succeeded by such plays as Ramlila, Sabha parba, Kabul lila, etc. But the real Shumang lila with various rasas (sentiments) was ushered in with the epic play Harishchandra (1918). Then it was followed by others such as Meiraba charan, Thok lila, etc. One of the most successful plays of this era was Moirang parba, an epic play based on the legendary lovers-Khamba and Thoibi of Moirang. On the other hand, the world of Phampak lila (stage drama) performed in the proscenium theatre is similar, in form, to the Western theatrical model and Indian Natyasastra model though its contents are indigenous. The so-called modern theatre descended on Manipuri theatre culture with the performance of Pravas Milan (1902) under the enthusiastic patronage of Sir Churchand Maharaj (1891–1941). The pace of theatrical movement was geared up with the institution of various groups such as Manipur Dramatic Union (MDU) (1930), Arian Theatre (1935), Chitrangada Natya Mandir (1936), Society Theatre (1937), Rupmahal (1942), Cosmopolitan Dramatic Union (1968), and the Chorus Repertory Theatre of Ratan Thiyam (1976). These groups started experimenting with various types of plays apart from historical and pauranic ones. Today Manipuri theatre is well respected because of various excellent productions shown in various parts of the country and abroad. Manipuri plays, both Shumang lila and stage lila,have been a regular feature in the annual festival of the National School of Drama,New Delhi.

Manipuri Dance (Ras Lila)

Ras Lila

A classical form of Manipuri dance based and inspired by the theme of Lord Krishna and his beloved, Radha love story and the devotion of the Gopis (companions) towards Lord Krishna. This graceful and slow movement of the dance makes it one of the most acclaimed classical dances of India. The costume is elegant, as there are nicely embroidered clothes that give luster to the beauty of the art.

Chorus Repertory Theater

The Shrine - the main theater

The auditorium of the theater is situated on the out-skirts of Imphal and the campus stretches for about 2 acres (8,100 m2). It has housing and working quarters to accommodate a self-sufficiency of life. The theater association has churned out internationally acclaimed plays like Chakravyuha and Uttarpriyadashi. Its' 25 years of existence in theater had disciplined its performers to a world of excellence. Chakravyuha taken from the Mahabharat epic had won Fringe Firsts Award, 1987 at the Edinburgh International Theater Festival. Chakravyuha deals with the story of Abhimanyu (son of Arjun) of his last battle and approaching death whereas Uttarpriyadashi is an 80-minute exposition of Emperor Ashoka's redemption.

Indigenous games

The indigenous games of Manipur can be classified as Outdoor and Indoor.

Outdoor

  1. Mukna
  2. Mukna Kangjei (Khong Kangjei)
  3. Sagol Kangjei (Polo)
  4. Yubi lakpi (Coconut Rugby)
  5. Oo-Laobi
  6. Hiyang-Tannaba
  7. Arambai Hunba

Mukna (Manipuri wrestling)

Mukna is a popular sport in Manipur

Mukna is a popular form of wrestling. It has fundamental rules agreed by all Mukna organizations and with Royal Consent. Traditionally the game is controlled and organised by Pana Loisang of the Ruler of the state and village organizations. There are four, Panas-Ahallup, Naharup, Khabam and Laipham, who control all fixtures and times for the games and the State Meet in which the Final is invariably graced by the ruler, who presents the title of Jatra (Champion) for the year along with reward of Thum Nama (A full bag of salt) and Ngabong Phi (hand made cloth of cotton yarn), exemption of all state duties and Ningham Samjin dress (traditional). The game has two categories (1) Takhatnabi (League), (2) Naitom (Knockout). The young talents work and play all the year round with dedication for the title of 'Jatra' (Champion) of Mukna of Manipur.

Mukna Kangjei (Khong Kangjei)

Mukna Kangjei is a game which combines the arts of mukna (wrestling) and Kangjei (Cane Stick) to play the ball made of seasoned bamboo roots. The origin of the game goes back well to Aniconic worship. People celebrate Lai Haraoba (festival to please traditional deities) and include this item to mark the end of the festival. It was believed that Khagemba Ningthou (King - 1597-1652) patronised this game. In later generations, the game is organised in the villages. Presently, associations are formed in Panas with rules and regulations of Mukna Kangjei. The game is played by two teams of seven players each. All players hold a natural cane stick with root, gradually increasing the size of the root, to the length of about seven inches to play the ball made out of seasoned bamboo roots of approximately a diameter of four inches (102 mm). The players put on Mukna Kisi Phijet (dress of cloth knot) to secure protection and holding each other. At present a short pant is added below Kisi (like cloth belt with knots). The game starts by throwing the ball in front of the panjenbas (leaders) of the two teams standing face to face to each other on the line. If possible they can pick up the ball and run. The process of running and obstructing each other to put the ball on the goal line of the ground is allowed, Pun onba (change of side) and end of the game is given by the command of the umpire. The rules for the game are known as Kangjei lon. It has improved a lot and was demonstrated during the Fifth National Games 1999 at Imphal.

Sagol Kangjei

To Manipuris according to Chaitharol-Kumbaba, a Royal Chronicle of Manipur King Kangba who ruled Manipur much earlier than Nongda Lairen Pakhangba (33 AD) introduced Sagol Kangjei (Kangjei on horse back). Further regular playing of this game commenced in 1605 during the reign of King Khagemba under newly framed rules of the game.The game requires perfect control of the pony, the stick and the ball with profiency of riding. The sense of 'fair Play' was the main guided factor of this game.This is played between two teams of Seven players a side. During the time of the late Sir Chandrakirti Singh, K.C.S.I Maharaja of Manipur introduced regular game at Mapal Kangjeibung (now near Tikendrajit Park) on the ground of Sana-Lamjei (length 160 and 80 width in dimension)being one Lamjei equal to 6 ft (1.8 m) The game can be played in smaller ground also if occasion demands. Earlier, there was no definite rules for foul in traditional Sagol Kangjei.Manipur has produced players of outstanding calibres like Jubaraj Bir Tikendraji (Senapati of Manipur Army) as legendary player described by Mrs. Grimhood (1887–90). After 1891, Manipur produced outstanding players like (L) Ojha Tombi and Shyamjai Sharma who never had the chance to play in international tournament. From the history it is an established fact and accepted that Manipur is the birthplace of Polo of the World.

Yubi lakpi

Yubi lakpi is a traditional football game played in Manipur, India, using a coconut, which has some notable similarities to rugby. Despite these similarities, the name is not related to the game of rugby or Rugby School in England, it is in fact of Manipuri origin, and means literally "coconut snatching".

Oolaobi

Oolaobi is an outdoor game mainly played by the female. Meitei mythology believes that UmangLai Heloi-Taret (Seven deities-seven fairies) played this game on the Courtyard of the temple of UMANG LAI LAIREMBI.Number of the participants were not fixed but are divided into two groups ( size now as per agreement). Players are divided as:- (1) Raiders (Attackers) (2) Defenders (Avoiders) Action of raider:Say "oo" without stopping as long as they can continue and try to touch the avoiders. If a raider touches an Avoider is out.This process goes on till avoiders are out or surrender.If a raider fails to say "oo" or out of breadth, Raider is out. Points are counted on the elimination of Raiders/Defenders. Change of Side:If Raiders are tired they declare for change. Now time limit is decided for change. The outline principles of Woo-Laobi is very much similar to that of Kabaddi in India.The ground (court) is not marked, normally the open space available within the premises of the house or temple is used for the game. This game, is very much liked by the girls and also became a source of talent in Kabaddi.

Hiyang Tannaba

Hiyang Tannaba in progress

Hiyang Tannaba (Boat Race) : Hiyang tannaba (Hi Yangba Tannaba) is a traditional function of the Panas. This is held during the month of November. This was introduced during the time of Ningthourel Khunjaoba, the second son of King Khagemba, who dug the Kangla Moat around the Palace to make it impregnable in the year of 1660 after he ascended the throne in 1652.In the traditional function two boats "Tanahi" (Race Boat) are detailed for leaders known as "Tengmai Lappa". In each boat forty Hiroys (Boatsman) operate the boat.The boat which reaches the finishing line is the winner and all boatsman raise their (Now) oars high in the air as a sign of reaching the finishing line first and thus the winner of the race is declared. The leader pays his respect to the deity and the King of Manipur.

Arambai Hunba

People of Manipur are very fond of riding horses specially those who are in the village near the breeding areas. Since the ponies are easily available , the young boys get the chance of riding ponies without saddle on horse back. Sometimes they ride horse using a rope in place of regular bridle throwing branches of small trees in place of Arambai. This practice helped the Manipur Arambai force as a martial art which was very much required during the advance and withdrawal of forces.This art was very popular as an indigenous game of the youth of Manipur. This game is displayed even now , during the festival "Kwak Jatra" after Durga Puja.

Apart from these games, some outdoor games, which are played by children, are in a position of extinction. The games like Khutlokpi, Phibul Thomba, Chaphu Thugaibi etc. are very popular game in Cambodia. Such games are played especially during the Khmer New Year.[10]

Indoor Indigenous Games

Kang

Kang game

Kang is played by both male and female Meities of Manipur. Manipuris believe Kang is a game played by deity " Panthoibi". It is also believed that Manipuris began to play this game well before Vaishnavism came to Manipur. It is culturally a fine game of Manipur specially of Meiteis. It is played under a shed of building on an earth ground (court) smoothly levelled to suit the course of the 'Kang' the target on the court. It is well marked for the respective positions of the players of both to hit the target on the court. It has rules and regulations formed by the associations to suit the occasions of the games either for tournaments or Friendly. The dignitaries of the Palace,even Queen and King also participated on social functions. In olden days 'Kang' was played during summer, starting from Cheiraoba (Manipur New Year) to Kang Chingba. Presently the game is played in several tournaments throughout the year, organised by the Associations. Rules and regulations have been modified to suit the improved process of the game.

Festivals

The various festivals of Manipur are Ningol Chakouba, Yaoshang, Ramjan ID, Kut, Gan-ngai, Chumpha, Christmas, Cheiraoba, Kang and Heikru Hidongba. Most of these festivals are usually celebrated on the basis of lunar calendar. Almost every festival celebrated in other states is observed here and it makes Manipur a mini metropolis.

Ningol Chakouba (November)

A social festival of the Meiteis and many communities of Manipur where the married women (Ningol) are invited (Chakouba-literally calling to a meal;for dinner or lunch) to a feast at their parental house along with their children. Besides the feast, gifts are given to the women/invitees and to their children. It is the festival that binds and revives the family relations between the girls married away and the parental family. Nowadays, other communities have also started celebrating this kind of a family-bonding festival. It is held every year mostly during the month of November. Sometimes it falls in October.

"Ningol" can mean a family's woman or a girl child and is not necessarily married.

Yaoshang (February/March)

Yaoshang is one of the colourful festival of Manipur similar to holy festival.Another feature of this premiere festival is the Thabal Chongba (Dancing in the Moonlight). The boys from various places will come to the site of the festival and dance with the girls by holding on to their hands and moving in circles. It is celebrated for five days starting from the full moon of Phalguna (February/March).

Christmas (December)

Another community comprising of the Zomi, Kukis, the Nagas, the Tangkhuls, the Marings, etc in Manipur are all Christians and celebrate Christmas for two days with prayers, reading of gospels, eating, singing of hymns, lectures on Christ, sports etc. It is usually observed on December 24 and 25.The Kuki are the second largest people in terms of population, next to the Meitei people. Few of them living in the plain area but most of them living in the hill area from generation to generation. Nowadays, one can find a small but rapidly expanding Meitei Christian population both in the urban and rural areas.

Gaan-Ngai

Gaan-Ngai is the greatest festival of the Zeliangrong people. Its a 5 day long festival and is usually performed on the 13th day of the Meitei month of Wakching as per the Meitei Calendar of the lunar year.really in this festival Zeliangrong people enjoys a lot

Ramjan Id

The Manipuri Muslims observed this festival in the very spirits of joy and festivities as in other Muslim world. During this month the Muslims practice self denial by taking a fast, abstaining from smoke and drink from pre-dawn till sunset. After the second day of shawwal, when the new moon is visible they break fast which is also popularly known as Id-Ul-Fitre. They offer prayers at the mosques, have delicious dishes, exchange greetings and call on the friends and relatives. Ramjan is the ninth month of the Hijri year.

Cheiraoba (New Year of Manipur)(April)

Cheiraoching Kaba

People of Manipur clean and decorate their houses and make a sumptuous variety of dishes to feast upon after offering food to the deity on this day. This is the first date of the Meitei Lunar calendar. After the feast, as a part of the rituals, people climb the nearest hill tops (Cheiraoching Kaba) in the belief that it would excel them to greater heights in their worldly life. It is observed during the month of April.

Separatist insurgency

A separatist insurgency began in 1964, although momentum to a more violent phase did not occur until 1978.[11] The Separatists demand a sovereign state separate from the Union of India, a claimed lack of development, plundering of local resources, and a general discontent is part of their argument.[11][12][12] The international Human Rights Watch, argues that human rights violations by Indian Security Forces have only fuelled the insurgency.[13][6] It adds that the Indian Army have at times acted with impunity as anti-terrorism laws in the state make prosecution of human rights violators difficult.[14][15][16][17]

There are currently 34 groups, including non-violent ones, that demand independence from India.[11] In 1999, some of these groups coalesced into an alliance organization called the "Manipur People's Liberation Front." Of these, the three most prominent are the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). The UNLF is estimated to have 2500 active militants, the PREPAK with 1500, and PLA with 3000.[11] The Indian news organization, Rediff, contends:

As of today, Manipur is the worst case scenario in the north-east as far as militancy is concerned. Apart from the fact that there are more militant groups in the state than anywhere else -- at least seven prominent groups operate in Manipur -- the rivalries between these outfits often leads to greater violence.[18]

The situation is further complicated because insurgent groups are not united in the same cause. The Nagas wish to annex part of Manipur and merge with a greater Nagaland or Nagalim, which is in conflict with Meitei insurgent demands for the integrity of their vision of an independent state.[11] There are many tensions between the different Hill tribes and have witnessed numerous clashes between Naga and Kukis, Kukis and Zomis.

Tourism

Manipur as the name suggest is a land of jewels. Its rich culture excels in every aspects as in martial arts, dance, theater and sculpture. The charm of the place is the greenery with the moderate climate making it a tourists' haven. The beautiful and seasonal Shirui Lily at Ukhrul (district), Sangai (Brow antlered deer) and the floating islands at Loktak Lake are few of the rare things found in Manipur. Polo, which can be called a royal game, also originated from Manipur. Some of the main tourist attractions are:

Imphal (Capital)

The city is mainly inhabited by the Meitei and it is just 7 km from the airport of Manipur (Tulihal Airport). The district is divided into East and West and the recently constructed sports complex (Khuman Lampak Sports Complex) is also one of the attractions comprising of every thing, from a cyclists velodrome to the main stadium. Most of the imported goods are sold here at its Paona Bazar, Gam-bir Sing Shopping Complex, Ningthibi Collections and Leima Plaza.

Shree Govindajee Temple

Shree Shree Govindajee Temple

This temple in Manipur diplomatically adjoins the palaces of the former rulers of the then kingdom. The temple is dull in design with gold domes, a paved court and a large, raised congregation hall. The deity in the center has other idols of Radha Govinda, Balaram and Krishna and Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on either side of it.

Keibul Lamjao National Park

Sangai at Keibul Lamjao National Park

Keibul Lamjao National Park, 48 km away from Imphal is an abode of, rare and endangered species of Brow Antlered deer (also known as Sangai). This ecosystem is home to 17 rare species of mammals. The greenery of the place and the moderate temperature makes a pleasant experience to visit[4].

It is the only floating national park of India.

Loktak Lake

Loktak Lake is a freshwater lake where most of the people of Manipur get their share of fish meat. The special treat to watch are the floating islands popularly known as Phumdi which is made out of the tangle of watery weeds and other plants. With a nominal fee, people can hire small boats and see this fascinating way of living on these floating islands. The wetland is swampy and is favourable for a number of species to thrive on. It is in the district of Moirang. Etymology of Loktak is "Lok = stream and tak= the end" (End of the Streams).[4]

Other places of interest

War cemeteries

Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the Second World War, these cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene and well maintained, the graves carry little stone markers and bronze plaques, recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.

Khonghampat Orchidarium

7 km from Imphal, on Highway No. 39 is the Central Orchidarium, which covers 200 acres (0.81 km2) and houses over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include almost a dozen endemic species. The peak blooming season is March - April.

Manipur Zoological Gardens

6 km to the west of Imphal, at the foot of the pine growing hillocks at Iroisemba on the Imphal-Kangchup Road are the Zoological Gardens. Not to be missed is an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai) one of the rarest species in the world, in sylvan surroundings.

Moirang

45 km from Imphal, the town is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture with the ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity Lord Thangjing, situated here. In the month of May, men and women, dressed in colourful traditional costumes, sing and dance in honour of the Lord at the Moirang "Lai Haraoba" which is a ritual dance festival held each year. The town also has a special place in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. It was at Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first unfurled on April 14, 1944.

Loktak Lake and Sendra Island

Bird's eye view of Floating Cafe' on Loktak Lake from Sendra Hill

48 km from Imphal, lies the largest fresh water lake in the North East India, the Loktak Lake, a veritable miniature inland sea. From the Tourist Bungalow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird's eye view of life on the Lake-small islands that are actually floating weed on which live the Lake people, the shimmering blue waters of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached cafeteria in the middle of the lake is an ideal tourist spot.

Kaina

It is a hillock about 921 metres above sea level and a sacred place of the Manipuri Hindus. So goes the story that one night, Shri Govindajee appeared in the dream of his devotee, Shri Jai Singh Maharaja and asked the saintly king to install in a temple, an image of Shri Govindajee. It was to be carved out of a jack fruit tree, which was then growing at Kaina. The scenery in this place is charming and the hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place a religious atmosphere. It is only 29 km from Imphal.

Khongjom

36 km on the Indo-Myanmar road, a war broke out between Manipur and British India in 1891. It is here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valor against the superior force of the invading British Army in 1891. A War Memorial has been constructed on the top of the Kheba Hill. 22 April is celebrated as Khongjom Day every year and is a state holiday.

Tengnoupal

69 km from Imphal. The highest point on the Indo-Myanmar Road, from here, you can have a full view of the valley of Myanmar.and kabo vally is also located in myanmar

Ukhrul

83 km to the east of Imphal, this district headquarters of Manipur East is the highest hill station of the state. A centre of the colourful warrior tribe Tangkhul Nagas, it is well developed and famous for its peculiar type of land-lily, the Shirui, grown in the Shirui hills. Shirui Hills and Khangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursions.

Manipur State Museum

The interesting museum near the Polo Ground in the heart of Imphal has a fairly good display of Manipur's Tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur's former rulers.

Maibam Lotpa Ching

It is a hillock about 16 km from Imphal on Tiddim Road. It is a thrilling spot where a fierce battle took place between the British and the Japanese force in World War II and regarded as a holy place. There is also a monument in memory of the Japanese Martyrs who sacrificed their lives in this fierce battle.

Willong Khullen

File:Erections of Willong Khullen.jpg
Photograph of stone erected during ancient time at Willong Khullen, a village in Senapati District, Manipur, India

Willong Khullen is a village located some 37 Km from NH-39 (Maram) on the Maram-Peren Road. Here a stone erection very similar to the seven Wonder's of the World's Stone Hedge is situated. Some of the tallest stones are as high as seven meters and one meter thick.

Leimaram Waterfall

A popular tourist and picnic spot in Leimaram, some 14 Kms from NH-150 at Nambol. Visitors flocks to this place to look at the waterfall which is some thirty(?) meters high.

Entry to Manipur

Until recently, entry to Manipur was controlled by the central government, for both foreigners and citizens of India. The state government as per directives from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India on November 9, relaxed existing guidelines of the ministry`s circular No. 249 under letter no. 15011/7/95-F.I dated 29/6/1998 and delegated powers to issue Protected Area Permits (PAP):

  • To visiting foreign tourists in a group of two or more persons with a recognized travel agent who would act as an escort of the group up to a maximum period of 30 days.
  • Foreigners married to Indian nationals belonging to Manipur can visit the state on tourist visa for a maximum period of 90 days.
  • IO/OCI card holder hailing from Manipur, visiting foreign nationals engaged in development/welfare project would continue to require prior permission of MHA after examining proposal in consultation with security agencies, MHA may consider issue of PAP to such visits of foreign nationals initially for a period up to 180 days.

The official order of state Home department also mentioned the permitted areas of foreigners to be visit in the state including, Loktak Lake, Imphal, INA Memorial Moirang, Keibul Lamjao Deer Sanctuary, Waithou Lake, Imphal-Bishnupur-Phubala-Moirang-sendra-Keibul Lamjao-Imphal, Imphal _Moirang Lake-Keibul Lamjao-Churachandpur-Khuga River-Imphal, Imphal-Litan-Ukhrul-Shiroy-Sangshak-Imphal, Imphal-Thoubal- Waithou Lake- Khongjom-Kakching- Thongjao-Waikhong-Sugunu-Imphal, Imphal-Khonghampat-Kanglatombi-Kangpokpi-Senapati-Karong-Mao gate-Imphal and Imphal Noneh-Khongsang-Nungba-Jiribam-Imphal.

The official order further mentioned whereas until now foreigners were required to travel by air from Calcutta to Imphal, henceforth, foreign tourists will also be allowed to enter by road along with NH-39 and NH-53. This circuit would be Dimapur-Kohima-Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar, the official order mentioned.

Economy

Macro-economic trends

This is a chart of trends of gross state domestic product of Manipur at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.[19]

Period Gross State Domestic Product (in Rupees, Crores)
1999–2000 3260
2000–2001 3112
2001–2002 3369
2002–2003 3506
2003–2004 3979
2004–2005 4568
2005–2006 5066
2006–2007 5403
2007–2008 5848
2008–2009 6344

See also

  • Manipuri dance
  • Court Chronicle of The Kings of Manipur: The Cheitharon Kumpapa; Original Text, Translation And Notes 33-1763 CE, trans. Saroj Nalini Arambam Parratt (London: Routledge, 2005).
  • Irom Sharmila Chanu
  • AFSPA

References

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Manipur is a state in North-Eastern India.

Get in

Requires Inner-line permit

Stay safe

Many planes people (the maytays) resent the Indian government. The hill tribes (nagas, kookis, zomi/chin) resent the indian government, the maytays and each other. The zomi/chin would like to be united in an independent state with their co-tribespeople in Burma. There are multiple competing tribal militias, who extort money from their countrymen, block roads, and occasionally erupt into warfare/killing. Imphal is gennerally safe (see the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website), but other areas should only be visited with good local information, and the word 'disturbed' means no-go.

Reference

[ http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/india

UK Foreign and commonwealth Office]

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MANIPUR, a native state on the north-east frontier of India, in political subordination to the lieutenant-governor of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Area, 8456 sq. m. Pop. (Igor), 284,465. It is bounded on the N. by the Naga country and the hills overlooking the Assam valley, on the W. by Cachar district, on the E. by Upper Burma, and on the S. by the Lushai hills. The state consists of a wide valley, estimated at about 650 sq. m., and a large surrounding tract of mountainous country. The hill ranges generally run north and south, with occasional connecting spurs and ridges of lower elevation between. Their greatest altitude is in the north, where they reach to upwards of 8000 ft. above sea-level. The principal geographical feature in the valley is the Logtak lake, an irregular sheet of water of considerable size, but said to be yearly growing smaller. The valley is watered by numerous rivers, the Barak being the most important. The hills are densely clothed with tree jungle and large forest timber. Some silk is produced and there are a few primitive manufacturing industries, e.g. of pottery. Rice and forest produce, however, are the principal exports. The road from Manipur to the AssamBengal railway at Dimapur is the principal trade route.

The kingdom of Manipur, or, as the Burmans call it, Kasse or Kathe, first emerges from obscurity as a neighbour and ally of the Shan kingdom of Pong, which had its capital at Mogaung. The valley appears to have been originally occupied by several tribes which came from different directions. Although their general facial characteristics are Mongolian, there is a great diversity of feature among the Manipuris, some of them showing a regularity approaching the Aryan type. In the valley the people are chiefly Hindus, that religion being of recent introduction. Their own name for themselves is Meithei, and their language is a branch of the Kuki-Chin family, spoken by 273,000 persons in all India in Igor. One of their peculiarities is the high position enjoyed by women, who conduct most of the trade of the valley. They have a caste system of their own, different from that of India, and chiefly founded on the system of lallup, or forced labour, which has been abolished by the British. Every male between the ages of seventeen and sixty was formerly obliged to place his services at the disposal of the state for a certain number of days each year, and to different classes of the people different employments were assigned. About four hundred Mahommedan families, descendants of settlers from Bengal, reside to the east of the capital. The aboriginal hillmen belong to one of the two great divisions of Nagas and Kukis, and are subdivided into innumerable clans and sections with slight differences in language, customs or dress. The state is noted for the excellence of its breed of ponies. The English game of polo was introduced from Manipur, where it forms a great national pastime.

The first relations of the British with Manipur date from 1762, when the raja solicited British aid to repel a Burmese invasion, and a treaty was entered into. The force was recalled, and little communication between the two countries took place until 1824, on the outbreak of the first Burmese War. British assistance was again invoked by the raja, and the Burmese were finally expelled from both the Assam and the Manipur valleys. Disputed successions have always been a cause of trouble. The raja, Chandra Kirtti Singh, died in 1886, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sur Chandra Singh, who appointed his next brother, Kula Chandra Dhuya Singh, jubraj, 'or' heir-apparent. In 1890 .another brother, the senapati, or commander-in-chief, Tikendrajit Singh, dethroned the raja, and installed the jubraj as regent, the ex-raja retiring to Calcutta. In March 1891 the chief commissioner of Assam (Quinton) marched to Manipur with 400 Gurkhas, in order to settle the question of succession. His purpose was to recognize the new ruler, but to remove the senapati. After some futile negotiations, Quinton sent an ultimatum, requiring the surrender of the senapati, by the hands of the political resident, F. Grimwood, but no result followed. An attempt was then made to arrest the senapati, but after some sharp fighting, in which Lieut. Brackenbury was killed, he escaped; and the Manipuris then attacked the British residency with an overwhelming force. Quinton was compelled to ask for a parley, and he, Colonel Skene, Grimwood, Cossins and Lieut. Simpson, unarmed, went to the fort to negotiate. They were all there treacherously murdered, and when the news arrived the Gurkhas retreated to Cachar, Mrs Grimwood and the wounded being with them. This led to a military expedition, which did not encounter much resistance. The various columns, converging on Manipur, found it deserted; and the regent, senapati, and others were captured during May. After a formal trial the senapati and one of the generals of the rebellion were hanged and the regent was transported to the Andaman Islands. But it was decided to preserve the existence of the state, and a child of the ruling family, named Chura Chand, of the age of five, was nominated raja. He was sent to be educated in the Mayo College at Ajmere, and he afterwards served for two years in the imperial cadet corps. Meanwhile the administration was conducted under British supervision. The opportunity was seized for abolishing slavery and unpaid forced labour, a land revenue of Rs. 2 per acre being substituted in the valley and a house-tax in the hills. The boundaries of the state were demarcated, disarmament was carried out, and the construction of roads was pushed forward. In 1901 Manipur was visited by Lord Curzon, on his way from Cachar to Burma. In May 1907 the government of the state was handed over to Chura Chand, who was to be assisted by a council of six Manipuris, with a member of the Indian civil service as vice-president. At the same time it was announced that the government of India would support the raja with all its powers and suppress summarily all attempts to displace him. The revenue is 26,000. The capital is Imphal, which is really an overgrown village; pop.

(1901), 67,093.

See Mrs Ethel St Clair Grimwood, My Three Years in Manipur (1891); Manipur State Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1905); T. C. Hodson, The Meitheis (1908).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Hindi मणिपूर (maṇipūra), from Sanskrit मणिपूर (maṇipūra) "abundance of jewels", also the third chakra; derived from मणि (maṇi) "jewel" + पूर (pūra) "abundance".

Proper noun

Singular
Manipur

Plural
-

Manipur

  1. State in north-eastern India which has Imphal as its capital.

Translations








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