A Jeweled Land: MANIPUR
Manipur… the land of pearls, the land of jewels tucked away on the tip of the India’s North Eastern borders, is a small state of exotic natural wealth. Famous for its Manipuri dance and the temples, Manipuri life and cuisine has a great impact of the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Bhutan. Literally speaking it is the Pearl among the seven sisters of the North eastern states. Looking like a cup, surrounded by mountains and hills, this beautiful place Manipur, has music in its atmosphere and rhythm in the feet of its people. Related with the rest of the country since days of Mahabharata, Manipur is sure to enchant the people with its natural wealth and the exotic performances of the Raas Leela.
Area: 22,327 sq kms
Best Time to Visit: September to March
One of the North eastern states of the Indian subcontinent, this small state is on the tip of the North east. Sharing its borders with Myanmar in the east, Tripura in the south, Mizoram in the south west, Assam in the North west and Nagaland in the east, Manipur is a culturally rich state.
The climate varies form place to place and although summers can be a bit hot, the state can be visited throughout the year.
Manipur has an ancient history and its history dates back to the days of Mahabharata. The state was ruled by the kings who possessed a jewel, a Mani, which was not only exotic but of great value. This Mani gave the state the name of Manipur. According to the Mahabharata, the name Manipur was always there and there was a hill named Mahindrapore which is still situated in the eastern corner of the state.
Manipur was ruled various clans like the Naga clan ruled the Northern parts and the Meities ruled the valleys. Manipur was often attacked by the neighbouring Myanmar rulers until it came under the British rule in the 19th century. After independence it became the Union Territory and was given complete statehood in 1972.
The Meitees who speak Manipuri, inhabit the plains; the Kuki and Naga tribes of the hills, speak Tibetan - Burmese dialects. The geographical divisions of the inhabitants of the state make the people all the more interesting. Though Christianity is practiced on a high level in Manipur, basically the people are Hindus and follow Vaishnavism. The main source of income for these people is agriculture and the other sources are handicrafts and mending and managing the livestock.
Manipur just like the other north eastern states have always been cut off from the rest of the country. But with its high natural wealth and cultural traditions it is soon coming in to the limelight. The natural wealth of this state and its famous Manipuri dance are the two things that the tourists are attracted towards this place. The Manipuri dance, developed in the temple of Manipur, ages back as a form of worship to the Lord developed into a unique dance recital. Its beautiful costumes and the slow gaits of the performers leaves one mesmerized.
The cuisine of Manipur is a blend of Burmese and Bengali cuisine. It is the place of Manipuri Dance, of rich natural wealth, of the Loktak Lake and the Lamjao national park… Manipur is a real tourist destination.