Manipur State Museum, construed as the best in the north eastern region, has carved out a niche for itself in preserving cultural heritage and multi ethnic identities of this multi linguistic state where several rare artefacts are put on display, speaking Manipur's impeccable tastes of artistic creations.
Strangely, visitors to the museum
have constantly been irked by the non display of several rare gold items which are being replaced by photographs of the original due to lack of security personnel.
Lack of adequate security and attendants become the bane of the Museum at least at present.
In the absence of security personnel, several royal gold articles retrieved from different historical places of the state are being kept locked up due to fear of being robbed. More interestingly, the visitors are eager to see the original objects instead of photographs of the rare gold objects which are believed to have been used by kings of the state.
The rare gold objects have been shown to several VIPS who are visiting the museum with the foolproof security. More then 10,000 rare artifacts and historical materials are stacked inside the galleries of the Museum.
Inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on September 23, 1969, the Manipur State Museum located at the heart of Imphal, has expanded into a full fledged multipurpose museum with many different sections, including the ethnological gallery. The Museum, has 7 galleries
Ethnological gallery, Art gallery, Natural historical gallery, Children's gallery,
Hiyang Hiren gallery, Jalan gallery and the Archeological gallery. Much to the chagrin of the general people, three galleries - Arts gallery, Children gallery and Jalan gallery have not been opened due to lack of attendants.
Almost the lighting systems inside the Archeological gallery have also been failed facing a hard time to visitors to view the objects displayed there in the dark. Visitors, however, said among the galleries, the Ethnological gallery was found to be the best maintained.
Through these exhibits, attempts have been made to express Manipur's multi ethnic identities, its aesthetic appeal and the complex social order of the land and its people. The artefacts now on exhibition in the museum express the richness of Manipur's long history.
The fascinating exhibits in the museum include tribal ornaments, headgears,
agricultural implements, domestic implements, hunting kits, smoking pipes and lighters, earthen pottery,indigenous games of Manipur, gold and silver utensils, polo saddlery, traditional hookahs, Manipuri textiles, Meitei ornaments, time measuring equipment, Buddhis relics including gold mark, caskets, rider less horse, arms and armoury, basketry, tribal costumes besides, the statues and dioramas depicting the hill and valley environments of Manipur.
The exhibits in the museum expose a visitor to the ethnological and archeological dimensions of human civilization which helps in understanding the past. It is important to delve into the past and the museums do give the general people and visitors a glimpse into the customs and the practices prevalent amongst different communities and tribes which have inhabited this beautiful and interesting land.
An important lesson learnt by the students of history is that there is no such thing as pure ethnic groups. They are all intermixed. This basic reality states the people in the face when the people and visitors look at the many exhibits. The ethnological and archeological evidence clearly indicates the existence of close interdependence between various tribal communities in Manipur.
Manipur State Museum established in 1969, exhibits objects pertaining to the art and archaeology of the region. The museum has a rich collection of Manipuri costumes, war implements, historical documents and relics, and gives a sample of the state's complex history. The visitors can also see sculptures of the local forest gods, and the motif of the Phakangba, the man who could turn himself into a dragon. Represented in his dragon form, Phakangba is considered as the ancestor of all Vaishnavites. All these things speak about the importance that the Manipuris attach to the organic relations of humanity with nature.
Manipur State Museum, construed as the best in the northeast Indian region has carved out a niche for itself in preserving the cultural heritage and multi-ethnic identities of this multi-linguistic state where several rare artifacts are put on display, speaking volumes of Manipur's impeccable tastes in artistic creations.
It is a virtual treasure vault, housing works of art, archaeology, textiles, natural history besides a portrait collection of the erstwhile rulers of the state and armory of the Royal army.
The museum, which is the representation of the tangible information of history, shows a display of the tribal heritage and the collection of the artifacts of the former Maharajas of Manipur. Costumes of the common people and warriors, arms and weapons of the varied communities and relics and historical documents can be seen here. The priceless artifacts, documents and cultural heritage of a mentioned civilization can be first accessed through a Museum.
Timings : The Museum opens on weekdays and Saturdays and the tourists can visit from 10 am to 6 pm.
Separate admission fee had to be given for Foreign tourists. Additional charges for cameras are taken.