Manipur is one of the Northeastern states of India The state which literally means “jeweled land,” is known for its lush greenery and is popular with travelers from all over the world. The magnificent state is renowned for its customs, musical genres, dance styles, and its mouth-watering cuisine. A large portion of the state is covered in woods, which are home to some of the rarest plant and animal species.
Here are 18 fascinating facts about Manipur.
1. In 1949, Manipur joined the Union of India, and it became a state in 1972.
2. Manipur is also referred to as ‘Kangleipak’ or ‘Meiteilepak’ in Meitei language.
3. Manipur is the birthplace of Polo and it has the oldest polo ground in the world at Imphal’s Mapal Kangjeibung.
4. Meitei are the majority ethnic group of Manipur. Nearly half of the people living in the state are Meiteis.
5. The first ruler of Manipur was Nongda Lairen Pakhangba. Around 33 AD, he founded the Kingdom of Manipur.
6. Manipur has been inhabited since 30,000 BC, according to archaeological discoveries. The four Khangkhui caverns have been inhabited ever since the stone age.
7. Legends say that the inhabitants of Manipur are originally Gandharvas –the celestial singers and dancers. Just like Kashmir, Manipur also has a reputation of being Gandharva-Desa.
8. The 40 sq km Keibul Lamjao National Park, located on Loktak Lake is the only floating animal sanctuary in the world. On its peculiar habitat of bowl-shaped islands called phumdi (made of weeds), which float on the surface of the lake, the beautiful brow-antlered “dancing deer,” or the Sangai, can be found here.
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9. Manipur’s Ima Keithel, also known as the mother’s market, is a lovely location for shopping. This is a 500-year-old antique market that is solely run and managed by women.
10. Pudond Makhong, Ngangkha, and Walom, three distinctive traditional ceramic crafts made by married women, are found only in Manipur. In addition, it is well known for its intricately made tribal dollhouse. It depicts the traditional attire of 29 Manipuri tribes.
11. In Manipur, just outside the Ukhrul district, Shiroi Kashong Peak of the Shirui National Park is home to the extremely rare and endangered Shirui Lily (Lilium Maclineae).
12. In 33 AD, Nongda Lairen Pakhangba is thought to have been Manipur’s first king. As one of the brides of the Pandava warrior-prince Arjun, Manipur’s princess Chitrangada gained fame in the ancient epic Mahabharata.
13. Of the 126 kinds of bamboo identified in India, 53 are found in Manipur which also produces over 10 lakh tonnes of bamboo annually. Additionally, bamboo is also used in Manipuri cuisine.
14. Manipur is a dry state. People, however, enjoy the local liquor made from rice and fruits.
15. The artisans’ village in Andro is a unique attraction to visit in Manipur where you can get to see how the state’s 29 tribal communities go about their daily lives.
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16. When the INA forces were marching alongside the Japanese forces against the British forces in World War 2, the Azad Hind Faujcinaj flag was first unfurled at Moirang. Moirang is the place where the popular INA Museum is located.
17. After the rebel factions banned the usage of the Hindi language, television shows, and films in the year 2000, Hindi films are no longer released or screened in Manipur.
18. Manipur is one of the northeastern sister states that require an Inner Line Permit. An official government document known as the Inner Line Permit enables visitors to a protected area. The Manipuri government issues the Inner Line Permit, which specifies the dates of the visit as well as the locations to be visited.
What a state with a rich culture Manipur is. We can only describe the intriguing features of this state; nevertheless, seeing them in person will be a whole other experience.