Manipur is a state in north-eastern India. It is bordered by the Indian states of Nagaland to its north, Mizoram to its south and Assam to its west, and Myanmar to its east and south. Imphal is Manipur’s capital city.
Since ancient times, Manipuri people – also known as the Meitei, have been living in the valleys of the land where state of Manipur is today. In early 17th century, the Pangals (a Muslim group) also settled in the valleys and since then have been living in this region along with the Meitei.
During the British rule from 19th century to mid-20th century, Manipur was made one of the princely states of British India. The British left Manipur in 14 August 1947 - a day before Indian independence from them, after which a democratic form of government was established for Manipur with a “Maharaja” as the Executive Head, by the Manipur Constitution Act, of 1947, and Manipur officially became an independent country.
On 15 October 1949, Manipur was merged into India through the Shillong Merger Agreement, and became an Indian state.
Manipur has around 115 cities and towns, which are divided into 16 districts. Some cities and towns of Manipur include: Imphal, Kakching, Moirang, Moreh, Wangoi, Nambol, Yairipok.
Manipur’s population, like its area, is small. The state has only around 3100 residents. Of these over 40% follow Hinduism, around 9% follow Islam, and another 40% or so follow Christianity. The people of Manipur are known as Manipuri or Meitei people, and most of them speak Meitei, though many also understand Hindi. Most of them belong to different tribes, and their clothes, habits and culture is highly colorful to witness.
The people here are also known to be very hospitable, and always make visitors feel pleasantly welcomed.
Manipur is home to many different tribes and cultural groups – all of whom added to the state’s culture and traditions over the years, making it diverse, colorful and unique in its own way.
Manipur’s women are usually traditionally dresses in outfits known as Innaphi and Phanek which are the most common, especially during traditional occasions. They also have a special skirt-like clothing which has the designs of horizontal stripes in black and white.
Manipuri dance is an integral part of the state’s culture, and provides a visual treat with its colourful costumes and amazing moves. It is an ancient dance form, which has now become famous across India - and is definitely something to watch out for when you’re in Manipur.
Various different festivals are also celebrated across Manipur, such as: Kut, Gang Ngai, Yaosang, Kwak Jatra, by the tribal Villagers in the state especially.
The official language of Manipur is Manipuri language, which is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken widely across Manipur.
Apart from this, Hindi and Bengali are also spoken to a large extent, along with a number of dialects of the languages spoken by regional tribal groups.
Manipuri cuisine consists mostly of dishes made with rice (which is a staple across the state), fish and meat and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) along with spices, ginger and garlic, etc. usually cooked in mustard oil.
Some popular Manipuri dishes include:
For inter-state travel, Manipur has a domestic airport connecting to cities in other states. For travel within cities, there are many other modes such as rickshaws, buses, and private vehicles like 2-wheelers and cars, cycling or even walking.
Airports - Manipur has just one airport, which is domestic (with flights connecting to cities in other states in the country, i.e.-
Manipur has 2 train stations from where trains to various cities, towns and villages within Manipur or surrounding states can be boarded –
Some must-see places in Manipur are:
Some places for a short vacation or a weekend getaway in Manipur are –
Manipur offers some interesting things to do for the adventure lovers. These include –
Manipur also has some places of historical significance and architectural beauty, such as –