Manipur, described as the “Jewel of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru is a nature’s delight covered by blue hills around the state. Sharing international boundary with Myanmar, Manipur lies to the north of Mizoram, south of Nagaland and east of Assam.
Manipur : At A Glance
Kangla Shaa (Nongsaba), i.e. half lion and half dragon
Brown Antlered Deer (Sangai)
Mrs. Hume’s bar-backed pheasant (Nongin)
Pengbe (Osteobrama Belangeri val.)
Siroi Lily (Lilium)
Uningthou (Phoebe hainesiana bradic)
Number of Scheduled Tribes:
992 females for each 1000 males (Census Report of India, 2011)
115 per square kilometer
Major Crops :
Maize, Oil seeds, Pulses, Rice, Sugarcane, Wheat
Major Plantations :
Rubber, Coffee Major Fruits, vegetables & spices: Cabbage, Brinjal, Carrot, Cauliflower, Bean, Knolkhol, Potato, Pea, Radish, Tomato
Major Minerals :
Geographical Location :
Latitude 23.83 0 N to 25.68 0 N & Longitude 93.03 0 E to 94.78 0 E
Encompassing an area of 22,327 sq. kilometers, Manipur is divided into 9 administrative districts for smooth administration.
Manipur has a total population of about 2,570,390 out of which 1,290,171 consists of male population and 1,280,219 female populations. (Census Report of India, 2011)
The literacy rate of Manipur is 79.21% with a male literacy rate of 86.06% and female literacy rate of 71.73%. (Census Report of India, 2011)
The hilly topography of Manipur influences the climate of the state. Manipur has a pleasant climate having warm summers with maximum temperature rising to 32’ C. Winters are very cold and chilly with temperature decreasing below 0’ C. Snowfall and frost occurs in some soaring mountains of the state. Monsoon visits the state generally during the months from May to September receiving an average annual rainfall of 147 cm.
Manipur has an agrarian–based economy with about 66% of the population engaged in agriculture. Handloom industry, being the largest cottage industry adds to the economy of the state. A distinct feature of handloom products is that they are entirely woven only by women.
History of Manipur
The British took hold of Manipur as a Princely state as a result of the defeat in the Anglo–Manipuri War in 1891 AD. Manipur hold many events and battles of Seconds World war between Japan and the Allied Forces. The Japanese soldiers failed to enter into Imphal as they were forced back which marks an important event in Manipur history. Consequently, the Manipur Constitution Act of 1947 AD paved the way for the formation of a democratic government in the state with the then king Maharaja Budhachandra as the Executive Head along with an elected legislature. After India achieved independence in 1947 AD, the Princely State of Manipur was annexed to the Indian Union in October, 1949 AD. Manipur continued to remain as a union territory from 1956 and later gained the status of a full-fledged state of India on 21st January, 1972 AD.
Culture of Manipur
The tribal population of Manipur includes Anal, Aimol, Chothe, Chiru, Koirao, Hmar, Gangte, Kom, Koireng, Maram, Maring, Lamgang Mao, Meitei, Paite, Moyon, Tarao, Monsang, Tangkul, Zou, Thadou, Vaiphei and Zeliangrong (Rongmei, Zemei and Liangmei). The meiteis, the primary ethnic group, residing in the valley region of the state comprises 60% of the total state population. The Nagas, Kukis, Hmars and some of the smaller tribes share 40% of the total population of Manipur.
Festivals, music and dance of Manipur are symbolic of its unique cultural, social and religious scenario. The people of Manipur are artistic and love merrymaking which finds a great place in the celebration of festivals in the state. The major festivals celebrated are Gan-ngai, Chumpha, Kang, Ningol Chakouba, Cheiraoba, Heikru Hidongba, Yaoshang, Kut, Christmas and Ramjan Eid.
Manipuri dance forms include folk, classical and modern. Folk songs of Manipur consist of Pena Ishei, Lai Haraoba Ishei, Khullong Ishei etc. Some other songs are Manohar Sai, Gaur Padas, Khubaishei, Napi pala and Raaslila songs. Maibi Dance, Nupa Pala, Pung Cholom, Khamba Thoibi and Raaslila are some of the unique dance forms of Manipur which adds to the glory of the festivals of the state.