Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Manipur At Glance

manipur map

A picturesque north eastern state, located at the easternmost corner of India, with Myanmar in the east, Nagaland in the north and Mizoram in the south, is named as a 'Land of Jewels'. Although the land still remain an obscure destination for overland travelers but its natural beauty and unique culture mesmerizes whoever steps in. The virgin shades of green and blue bestow an enchanting charm that bears signature natural fervor and a singular culture.

Manipur is a home to varied tribes and all of them have own singular culture and customs. There are number of tribes such as Naga, Kuki, Chin and others reside in the land but the predominant ones are the neo-Vaishnavite Meitei who are battling to have Meitei script used in local schools. Apart from various tourist spots, Manipur is famed for traditional dances, spicy cuisines and sports polo that is claimed to invented here. The dense forests of Manipur is not only a home to rare flora and fauna but drug traffickers and dozens of guerrilla armies also. Foreigners need permit to enter the state.

History of Manipur

Unlike any other popular states, Manipur do not have much recorded history. Based on ancient historical findings, Pakhanga ascended the throne of one of the seven main principalities in 33 AD and carried on a long dynasty till 1891. From 1891 AD the state ruled under British and saw the end of kingdom of Manipur status. The second World War saw many up and downs in the state where fierce battle took place between Japanese and the Allied forces. The Japanese couldn't enter Imphal and turned to a major breakthrough for Allied Forces.

On October 15, 1949, Manipur was included in the Indian Union as part 'C' State. In 1957 this was replaced by a Territorial Council of 30 elected and two nominated members. Manipur attained full-fledged statehood on January 21, 1972.

Geography & Climate of Manipur

lotus lake in manipur
Lotus Lake in Manipur
The Manipur is the eastern most part of the country and bordered by Nagaland in the north, by Mizoram in the south, by Assam in the west and Myanmar in the east and south. There are two distinct regions divide the state - the outer of the state covered by rugged hills and narrow valleys and inner part of the state covered by flat plain, with varied land forms. The regions are diverse in nature in respect to physical features and flora and fauna. The major river basins are the Barak 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.

The climate of Manipur is influenced by the hills surrounded by it. The small northeastern state is being sandwiched by hills by four sides. The state is perched at the height of 790 meters above sea level and generally enjoys an amiable climate. The Summer is warm and pleasant because of thick vegetation all around and Winter is chilly. The maximum temperature in the Summer reach to 32 degree C and in Winter it sometimes falls below zero.

Demographics of Manipur

Manipur has a population of 2,380,000 (2001 Census). Majority of people live in the valley and some tribes in the hilly region. The hills are inhabited mainly by the tribes like Nagas, Kukis (Chin-Mizos)and smaller tribal communities. The major tribes or population consists of Meiteis (including Meitei Muslims known as Meitei Pangal or Pangal and "Bhamons" who are literally non-Meiteis) who lives in the valley.

Culture & Heritage of Manipur

a) Festivals of Manipur - Manipur is inhabited by number of tribes and they have diverse festivals, enjoy fun and frolic all the year round. Throughout the year Manipur is busy with different types of festivals. The festival of Manipur reflects the essence of its culture, social and religious aspiration. Some important festivals are Yaoshang Festival, Kut Festival, Rath Yatra, Chumpha Festival, Durga Puja and many more.

b) Archery - Archery is the most loved game of the north east and Manipur is not an exception. The bows and arrows in this sport are made up of traditional bamboo and vary in length and sizes. The competition is held everyday in Manipur on various low lying stretches of ground just below a stand of conifers. It has started from tribes of Manipur and become a popular sport in Manipur.


c) Manipuri Dance - Manipuri dance is famous all over the world and a perfect representation of the culture. The dance is often devoted to religious themes, while the love story of Radha and Krishna. The 29 tribes of Manipur have different dances to offer - Lai Haroba (feast of dances, representing celebrations of Gods), Pung Cholem (Mridang dance), Mao Naga dance, the priestess dance of Malbe Jagoi, Thangal Surang dance etc.  dominates it.

Related Links

Manipur Tourist Attractions

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