HISTORY OF MANIPUR
Ruled by kings for over centuries, the ancient history of Manipur dates back to 33 A.D. The birthplace of Modern Polo, a land of exquisite culture and diverse ethnicity, the rich and vibrant past of Manipur still remains unexplored. One of the remarkable events in the history of Manipur is the Battle of Imphal (4th to 6th April 1944), an intense battle which marks an important role in India’s freedom struggle. Manipur officially became an Indian state in the year 1972. This land of pristine natural beauty and ancient structures can transport you to the prehistoric ages. A historian’s utopia, a land of ancient relics, war memorials, monuments, and temples- Manipur is truly a blast from the past.
Affluent in natural as well as cultural beauty, the state boasts of rather unconventional ways to display its rich heritage. Manipur takes pride in honouring its wars and struggle for freedom through memorials and various other sites. While remembering its own heroes, such as Bir Tikendrajit, General Thangal, Paona Brajabashi and Haipou Jadonang, the state also commemorates those from other lands, such as the memorial built in remembrance of the Japanese soldiers who laid down their lives in Manipur.
CULTURE AND PEOPLE
Manipur is home to a diverse indigenous group of people, each unique in their culture and dialect. From the globally acclaimed Manipuri dance to the ancient form of martial arts Thang Ta and the various forms of folk dances and music, Manipur the jeweled land has lots to offer to a visitor.
A state blessed by nature where nature and adventure meets, Manipur is a scenic wonder. This land of natural caves offers a unique experience to explore the hidden corners of nature. The state is rewarded with multiple rivers and waterfalls, the sparkling beauty of its water bodies knows no equal. Nestled within green hills and valleys, Manipur intrigues the wanderer in you.
A dream destination for any adventure lover or wildlife enthusiasts, Manipur has it all. World’s only floating national park, a number of endangered species of animals, the Sangai deer, clouded leopard, and golden cat are all major attractions of Manipur. Yet it is in its flora that Manipur really shines. Home to over 500 rare orchid species, just take a deep breath, and step into the majestic, natural world of Manipur.
Revel in the opportunities the Jeweled State throws your way, for Manipur’s abundant nature is great if you seek adventure. From rough terrains to lush green plains, dense forest to roaring waterfalls, this state is sure to appease your thirst for adventure. Experience this mesmerizing land of green with a twist- Manipur offers you a chance to try windsurfing over the vast plains of Loktak lake. Get the kick of adrenaline at one of the least explored places in India. Manipur will not fail to astonish travelers and adventure seekers.
ART AND CRAFT
Famed throughout the world for their dexterous styles, Manipur is one of the largest producers of bamboo crafts in India and you will find items such as dolls, handmade baskets, musical instruments, bamboo umbrellas and more. Absolutely irresistible, all crafts in the state are unique to the tribes who make them, crafts handed down over the generations. Kauna (water reed) products, cane articles, pottery, artistic weaving, and wood carving are some of the favorites for tourists. Manipur has carved a niche for itself in traditional forms of handicrafts, take joy in picking your arts and crafts from the best of the best.
One of a kind, the shops of Manipur will have you dumbstruck at the plethora of choices before you. Its handloom industry booming, it also has the only “all women” market in the world, a show of feminine might. The skill of Manipur is not limited to textiles, people’s exemplary skill at pottery knows no equal. The items on show never fail to enchant, these skills passed on from each generation make Manipur the best place to shop.
If there could be one word to describe a Manipuri cuisine; that would be “healthy”. The food is rich in aroma from the local herbs and is mostly steam cooked rather than fried. A typical Manipuri platter mainly comprises of rice, vegetables, salad, a curry of fish or meat. The Meiteis from the valley have one of the most elaborate vegetarian platters. Chak-hao Kheer, a delicious kheer made of black sticky rice and milk is quite a delicacy. Most ingredients used are organic and similar to the Southeast-East-Central Asian cuisine. Never miss a chance to taste the local ethnic food and relish it.