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 :
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
has been commemorated every year by the Manipuris as “Khongjom Day“ by
delcaring a state holiday.
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