tourist centers in the state are Imphal, the capital and
center of all cultural and commercial activities adorned
with two War Cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission, Govindajee Temple, Women Bazaar,
etc. Besides, the Bishnu Temple at Bishnupur built in
1467 AD, the Loktak Lake, the biggest freshwater lake
in the eastern India, Keibul Lamjao, the only floating
national park in the world, the Orchid Park at khongampat,
etc. are attractive places of tourist’s interest.
(sq. km )
|Females per 1000 males
|Ratio of urban population
|Literacy Rate (1991)
Domestic Product (Rs. million at current prices
Capita Income (Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)
Manipur is situated
in the northeastern region of the country. As one might
say without hesitation, the land is a paradise come true
on earth. Literally meaning, the jeweled land. Manipur is
richly endowed with natural beauty and splendor. Home to
Sangai, a rare species of deer and Siroy Lily, the only
terrestrial lily grown on the hill tops of Siroi hill, St.
Clair Grimwood described it as " A Pretty Place more beautiful
than many show places of the world." Late Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru paid a fitting tribute by describing it as "Jewel
Manipur is bounded
by Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south, Upper Myanmar
in the east and Cachar district of Assam in the west.
Manipur is comprised of nine districts: Bishnupur, Chandel,
Churachandpur, Imphal East, Imphal West, Senapati, Tamenglong,
Thoubal and Ukhrul.
Formerly a kingdom whose oral histories,
mainly the royal chronicle, the Cheitharol Kumbaba, indicate
its establishment in the 1st century AD, it was formed
by the unification of ten clans under the Ningthouja clan.
It has been historically the site of trade routes between
India and Myanmar. Manipur became a part of the British
Empire in 1891 and was the arena of the last land battle
between the Japanese and the Allied forces during World
War 2. Even though Manipur had never been part of any
of the great Indian empires, upon the departure of the
British, Manipur became a part of India in 1949. Manipur
achieved full statehood on January 21, 1972, with a Legislative
Assembly of 60 seats of which 19 are reserved for Scheduled
Caste. The State is represented in the Lok Sabha and 1
for Scheduled Caste. The State is represented in the Lok
Sabha by two members and by one member in the Rajya Sabha.
Society and Culture
is characterized by its simplicity and egalitarian values.
The people are warm and cooperative. Women enjoy high
status in the society. Old people are given due respect
and reverence. Economic level of the people is more or
less uniform. Manipuris love games and sports and have
given the world the game of Polo.
Even though Manipuris are Hindu, the Indian caste system
is not the basis of social stratification. Instead, society
is divided between the Meiteis, the Bamons (Brahmins of
Indian origin), Pangans (Muslims, also of Indian origin)
and lois (social outcasts, some of whom are descended
from prisoners of war from Burma and India). Manipuris
rarely intermarry, and even today, do not marry within
the salai, as the original ten clans are known. Society
is organized around neighborhoods, called leikais. All
activities, from ear-piercing ceremonies, to festivals
and cremations center around the leikai. The approval
of the leikai is the highest the community-minded Manipuri
In the field of art and culture, Manipur is best represented
by the classical Manipuri style of dance. A style peculiar
to itself, its inspiration is purely religious, and the
dance usually relates to the Raas Lila, the love story
of Radha and Krishna. Lai Haroba (feast of dances, representing
celebrations of Gods / Goddesses), Pung Cholem (Mridanga
dance), Mao Naga dance, the Priestess dance of Malbe Jagoi,
Thangal Surung dance etc. reflect the vibrant culture
of the 29 different tribes of Manipur. Witnessing the
exquisite Manipuri dance - drama, in its original colorful
settings, is simply an unforgettable experience.
The rich culture and tradition of the Manipuris are also
depicted in their handloom clothes and handicrafts. The
Manipuri handloom and handicraft are world famous for
its craftsmanship as well as ingenuity, colorful, colorfulness
The people are artistic and creative in their thinking
and outlook. Every house possesses a loom, and Manipuris
weave with a passion and style, unrivalled by any other
state. Manipuri bed covers of Moirangfee and flower designs,
silk and cotton sarees, scarves, blankets and shawls,
in distinctive shades and weaves, make for an enchanting
collection. A wide range of artistic handicrafts from
bamboo, papier mache, decorative ivory, dolls and jewelry
make for prized souvenirs. These exquisite handlooms and
handicrafts are sold at Khwairamband market, the largest
exclusive women's market in the country, which is a must
on every visitor's itinerary.
Manipur is a land of festivals. Number of festivals is
celebrated throughout the year with pomp and gaiety. Important
ones are Ningol Chakouba and Yaoshang. Ningol Cackouba,
a festival of the Meiteis is the celebration of family
union. On this day, married women along with their children
go to their parental house to be treated to a grand feast.
Their parents and brothers give them gifts and the guests
in return offer them blessings. It is observed on the
second day of the new moon in the Manipuri month of Hiyangei
Celebrated for five days commencing from the full moon
day of Phalguna (february/March), Yaoshang is the premier
festival of Manipur. The Thabal Chongba - a kind of Manipuri
folk dance, where boys and girls hold hands and sing and
dance in a circle, is particularly associated with this
festival. Boys and girls and old women collect donations
from house to house and the money so collected is spent
in a number of parties and feast. Indeed, Yaosang to Manipur
is what Durga Puja is to Bengal, Diwali in north India
and Bihu to Assam.
Economy and Infrastructure
Agriculture and allied activities
is the single largest source of livelihood, for a
majority of the rural masses, and is also the mainstay
of the state economy. Industry in Manipur is not very
well developed. However, the state is now making rapid
strides towards industrialization, with the setting
up of many large and small-scale industrial units.
The main industries of Manipur are pharmaceuticals,
steel re-rolling, plywood, bamboo chipping, cement,
vanaspati and electronics.
The state is well connected by airways and roads.
Railway tracks are being laid for better transportation
Hotels of Manipur
The State has
hotels of star and non-star category catering to the
needs of the tourists visiting Manipur. Besides it
has resorts, restaurants and cafés, which cater to
the needs of all segments of travelers.