Know more about Manipur, minus violence

Manipur Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake in Manipur

Manipur is burning. The beautiful state located in the Northeastern part of India is in the news for the ongoing violence between Meiteis and Kuku tribe for the last several months.

It has witnessed bloodshed, more than 100 people were killed and thousands were displaced. Houses have been burnt and properties vandalized, things are far away from normal.

But have you ever wondered what the state of Manipur is like?

Here are some points you must know about Manipur.

1. Geographical and Cultural Significance: Manipur is a state located in Northeast India, bordered by Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, and the country of Myanmar. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, including hills, valleys, lakes, and rivers. The state is culturally diverse, with a rich heritage of art, music, dance, and martial arts. Manipuri dance and classical music form an integral part of the state’s cultural identity.

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Rasleela performance

2. Historical Significance: Manipur has a long and intriguing history. It was an independent kingdom for many centuries before it came under British rule in the 19th century. The state played a significant role during India’s struggle for independence, with notable figures like Rani Gaidinliu and Bir Tikendrajit leading resistance against the British colonial forces.

3. Natural Beauty and Biodiversity: Manipur is blessed with stunning natural beauty. Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, is a major tourist attraction. The state is also home to numerous picturesque valleys, such as the Imphal Valley, which is surrounded by lush green hills. Manipur boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna, with the Keibul Lamjao National Park being the only floating national park in the world, known for its endangered species like the Manipur brow-antlered deer, also known as the Sangai.

4. Sports and Recreation: Manipur is often referred to as the ‘Land of Polo’ as it is believed to be the birthplace of modern polo. The state has a strong sporting culture and has produced many renowned athletes, particularly in the field of football and boxing. The annual Manipur Sangai Festival showcases various traditional sports and indigenous games, attracting both local and international participants.

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Polo in Manipur

5. Handloom and Handicrafts: Manipur is known for its exquisite handloom and handicraft traditions. The state is famous for its intricate textiles, particularly the handwoven shawls and sarees, such as the Manipuri phanek and the Moirang phee. Skilled artisans also produce beautiful pottery, woodcraft, and bamboo crafts, reflecting the state’s rich artistic traditions.

6. Indigenous Communities and Festivals: Manipur is home to various indigenous communities, each with its distinct culture and traditions. The state celebrates numerous vibrant festivals throughout the year, showcasing cultural diversity and showcasing the rituals, music, dance, and traditional attire of different communities. Some popular festivals include the Lai Haraoba, Yaoshang (Holi), and Ningol Chakouba.

7. Imphal: The capital city of Manipur, Imphal, holds historical and strategic significance. Imphal is known for its ancient temples, such as the Shree Govindajee Temple and Kangla Fort, which have cultural and historical significance. The city also has important institutions like the Manipur State Museum, showcasing the state’s art and history.

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Kangla Fort in Imphal

8. Loktak Lake and Floating Phumdis: Loktak Lake, situated near Moirang in Manipur, is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its unique floating phumdis (vegetation) that float on the lake’s surface. These phumdis serve as habitats for various plant and animal species, including the endangered Manipur brow-antlered deer (Sangai). The lake and its surroundings have been designated as the Keibul Lamjao National Park to preserve its biodiversity.

These points provide a glimpse into the cultural, historical, and natural aspects of Manipur. The state’s scenic landscapes, cultural heritage, and unique traditions make it a fascinating destination that offers a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant cultural experiences.

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The News Mill is a Guwahati-based digital media with focus on content from across Northeast India and beyond. We can be reached through [email protected]