STATE PROFILE

STATE PROFILE

            Manipur is one of the Border States in the northeastern part of the country having an international boundary of about 352 kms. long stretch of land with Myanmar in the southeast. It is bounded by Nagaland in the north, Assam in the west and Mizoram in the south. It has a total area of 22327 sq. kms. It lies between 23.80 N to 25.70 N latitude and 93.50 E to 94.80 E longitude.

            Geographically, the State of Manipur could be divided into two regions, viz. the hill and the valley. The valley lies in the central part of the State and the hills surround the valley. The average elevation of the valley is about 790 m above the sea level and that of the hills is between 1500 m and 1800m. The hill region comprises of five districts viz. Senapati, Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Chandel and Ukhrul and the valley region consists of four districts, viz. Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur. The hill districts occupy about 90 percent (20089 sq km) of the total area of the State and the valley occupies only about tenth (2238 sq km) of the total area of the State. Imphal is the capital city of Manipur.

      Historical Background :

Manipur existed as a princely State in its early stage and involved in a number of disputes with its neighbour Burma (Myanmar ).  As per the Peberton Report, 1835, the territory of Manipur was very large as compared to the present one. It had never been static rather fluctuated at various times of different kings. King Pamheiba generally known by his other name Garibaniiwaj, was one of the great conquerors of Manipur. During his reign the Manipuris had acquired very considerable power. In the  years 1725, 1735, 1738 and 1749, King Garibaniwaj repeatedly invaded Burma (now Myanmar), defeated Burmese Armies and devastated many parts of Burma. Manipur also faced Burmese invasion in her later period say in the year 1890 which led the so called seven years devastation in her history. 

During this period the then king Gambhir Singh of Manipur took shelter in Cachhar district of Assam. There he re-organised the army with the assistance of the British and ousted the Burmese from Manipur. Slowly, the British started interfering in the administration of Manipur. This ultimately led to a full fledged war with the British in 1891. The Manipuri heroes faced the wellarmed (with guns) and massive British forces with swords and spears. The last phase of this battle was fought at Khongjom and ended on 23rd April 1891. The Manipuri forces at Khongjom, led by Major Paona were defeated eventually by the British forces. Many soldiers, including Major Paona himself, had laid down their lives in the battle field. So this day, the 23rd April has been commemorated every year by the Manipuris as “Khongjom Day“ by delcaring a state holiday.

After the battle of Khongjom , the palace “Kangla” was captured by the British and subsequently Yuvraj Tikendrajit along with General Thangal were executed at a public place, on 13th August 1891.This day is still remembered and observed as “The Patriots Day“ since 1891,.After the defeat in the war, Manipur came under British rule.

Another significant event is that the first free Indian tricolour flag was hoisted on the Indian soil at Moirang (45 k.m. from Imphal) in Manipur on 14th April, 1944 by the I.N.A. led by Netaji Subashchandra Bose. Again in the second world war, Manipur was in the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and Allied forces. Many soldiers and officers of the Allied forces lost their lives in these battles and their final resting places are still maintained in two cemeteries by the British War Graves Commission at Imphal in Manipur.

In the year 1947 on August 15, Manipur regained her lost political status of a Sovereign independent Kingdom. The Maharaja of Manipur enacted the Manipur Constitution Act ,1947, establishing a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislative assembly.

            Shortly after this, on 15th October 1949 Manipur was merged into India through a merger agreement between the Government of India and the then Maharaja of Manipur and ended the era of the independent kindgom of Manipur. Hereafter, Manipur became a part of the Indian union. The State achieved its statehood in the year 1972.

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