Manipur is the
ancestral territory of the Manipuri people. Manipur is currently under
Indian colonial rule. It is situated in the north-east corner of India
and bounded in the east by Myanmar (Burma). The present territorial area
is 22,327 sq.km. It lies within 23.83 degree N to 25.68 degree E
latitude and 93.03 degree E to 94.48 degree E longitude.
A fertile alluvial valley extends north-south in the middle and it is
surrounded on all sides by hill ranges forming a part of the eastern
Himalayas. Though constituting only about 12 p.c. of the total
geographical area, the valley is settled by more than 75 p.c. of the
total population of 1.8 million (1991 Census).
The royal chronicle Cheitharol Kumbaaba maintains an nonstop historical
record of the land and its people since 33 A.D. Throughout the history,
the valley was, and continues to be, the core region where the
distinctive Manipuri culture and way of life took shape and where
political developments having repercussions throughout the Indo-Burma
region often originated.
Among the Manipuris, the Meiteis form the predominant ethnic group and
they traditionally inhabit the valley. The surrounding hill ranges are
settled by many tribes. They are broadly grouped together and known as
the NAGA and the KUKI tribes. While the Meiteis thrive on wet
cultivation, the tribal populations subsist largely on the
slash-and-burn technique of cultivation and depend heavily on the valley
for their needs.
In recent decades, however, the steady influx of immigrants from the
Indian subcontinent into the hill areas and into parts of the valley and
also the internal migration of tribes from the valley, have disturbed
the traditional settlement patterns and demographic balance both in the
hills and the valley of Manipur.
The tribal ethnic groups have their mutually distinct cultural heritage.
The members of a tribe communicate among themselves in their own
dialect, but the Manipuri language is the lingua franca used for
inter-tribal communication and by all Manipuris settled inside and
The tribal dialects are in varying stage of development; they are all
written in the Roman script. The Manipuri language had evolved from
Meiteilon, the native language of the Meiteis which is written in its
own script. All the tribal dialects as well as the Manipuri language
belong to the Tibeto-Burman family of languages, just as all the
indigenous ethnic groups in Manipur are of the southern Mongoloid stock
Of the 18th national languages constitutionally recognized in India, the
only language from the Tibeto-Burman family so recognized, though done
so under political compulsions of the ongoing liberation struggle, is
the Manipuri language.
Anybody whose mother tongue is Manipuri language or who identifies
himself/herself as a Manipuri, whether living inside or outside Manipur,
belongs to the Manipuri people. There are about three million Manipuris
in the world today. The Manipuris as a people are thus bound by a common
language and culture and by inheritance of a common ancestral territory
now called Manipur. Imphal
Overlooked by a circle of distant hills, the capital of Manipur, Imphal,
lies in an almost completely flat basin at an altitude of around 785m.
Though devoid of dramatic monuments, it is at least given a sense of
openness by its large avenues; but even the rivers and canals that run
through the town are unable to give it any visual appeal. Instead, the
real interest in Imphal is supplied by its people, whose handsome
Meithei faces are adorned with the long and distinctive tikki (forehead
mark) of Vishnu.
Although the valley is predominantly Hindu, Imphal feels more like
Southeast Asia than India, and visitors tend to be confronted by a
language barrier: most people understand neither English nor Hindi.
The green state of
Manipur, and Imphal its capital, has all the fine, merged, tints of a
as a Jewel of India lies south of Nagaland & North of Mizoram.
the international boundary with myanmar on the western & Southern
The climate of Manipur is moderate. The valley
gets the reflection of the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter
from the neighbouring hills. The months of November, December, January
and February remain dry and the remaining eight months are more or less
rainy. January is very cold in winter and May-June are the hottest in
MANIPURI LANGUAGE (MEITEILON):
Meiteilon , the official language of Manipur , has a long past history
.Manipuri Language and Literature has been offered as a subject upto
M.A. level. It is the link language among all different tribes and
people inhibiting it.
MEETEI MAYEK (MANIPURI SCRIPT)
Manipur has its own script (Mayek ) which has been in use since the
ancient times. Though it has been stopped to be in use for certain
period , now it was made revived and became increasingly popular.
There are 29 different dialects spoken in Manipur. Five main tribal
dialects recognised by Government of Manipur for medium of instruction &
examination upto class V are :
How to Get
Imphal is connected by regular domestic flights
link with Delhi via Guwahati. Additional flights link Imphal with
Dimapur (In Nagaland). Dimapur, 215-km, away is also the nearest
railhead. NH 39 links Imphal with Guwahati and NH 53 links it with
Silchar , both in neighbouring Assam . But for the tourist, it is best
to fly in.
Domestic tourists do not need any permit but if one is travelling or
transiting through Nagaland, an inner line permit is necessary.
Subdivisional officer, Dimapur will issue permits for in bound
travellers while deputy commissioner, Imphal, will issue the same for
out bound travellers. Valid identity cards with a picture are necessary
for obtaining permits. There are both private hotels and government run
tourist lodges in Manipur. For more details, contact: Tourist Officer,
Directorate of tourism, Imphal, Manipur.
The capital of Manipur, Imphal, is well
connected with the rest of the country by air. Imphal connects the place
with Guwahati, Delhi, and Calcutta.
Rail - As Manipur has no railway network, the nearest
railhead to reach Manipur is Silchar in Assam.
Manipur is well linked with the rest of the country by both national
and state highways. The state transport corporation plies regular
scheduled buses from Imphal to the other cities in the region
465 kms, Aizwal- 374 kms, Dimapur- 216 kms, Guwahati- 579 kms,
Itanagar- 413 kms, Kaziranga- 346 kms, Kohima- 123 kms, Shillong-
More Information About Manipur........