Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kaina Ching-Road to Heaven


It is a beautiful hillock about 29kms from Imphal on Imphal-Yairipok Road. Kaina is a sacred place of the Hindus. According to legend, one night, Shri Govindajee appeared to his devotee Bhagyachandra, Maharaja of Manipur, in a dream and asked him to build a temple enshrined with his image carved out of a Jackfruit tree which was then growing at Kaina. Hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place a saintly solemnity Ceremonial dances depicting the divine dream are performed as Rasa Lila at the Mandop.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Loktak Lake

Loktak Lake
The Loktak Lake is located at 48 km. from Imphal.The Lake seems to be just a natural part of Manipur.But the civilisation of manipur was woven around this lake.Since then the goddess lake has been feeding their children.
The livelihood of manipuris of that time mostly depend on this lake.This is the largest fresh water lake in Northeast India.
Loktak lake is considered to be the lifeline of the State of Manipur due to its importance in the socio-economic and cultural life of the people and also plays an important role in the ecological and economic security of the region.

The staple food of Manipur is directly linked to Loktak lake. The lake is rich in biodiversity and was des ig nated as a Wetland of International Importance under Ramsar Convention in 1990.
From the Tourist Bungalow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a birds eye view of life on the Lake-small islands that are actually floating weed on which live the Lake people , the shimmering blue waters of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached Cafeteria in the middle of the lake is an ideal tourist spot, Boating and other water sports are being introduced here. Fishermen and their families who live near the shores of lake in neat huts also build their houses on island of floating weed that dirt around the lake.A myriad hues grace the lake from the warm golden glow of dawn to the peach, pinksand greys of the day and the absolute silver of high noon. The lake has floating islands on which people have set up habitats.The skills of the habitats around this is spestacular in boating,fish catching etc.
In this recent years,the lake is under threat of being decreased in size and depth due to the activities of the people around the lake.This will create unbalanced ecosystem.It is now and now only to save this lake.

The Kangla

Kangla
The Kangla is a sacred and ritual place of manipur.KANGLA is the most sacrosanct place for the Manipuris since time immemorial, as it is a place regarded as the ‘navel’ of their ancient kingdoms and mythologies. Customarily also it is a sacred place where coronations (Phambal Tongba) of their kings had been successively carried out, particularly from the time of their god-like king Pakhangba in 33 A.D. till the last king, Bodhachandra Singh of the dynasty. Bodhachandra Singh was coronated in the year 1943 as the successor of Maharaj Sir Churachand Singh, K.C.S.I.C.B.E. (Knight Commander Star of India Commander British Empire) who abdicated the throne in favor of his eldest son in 1941 and spent his last days in solace at the holy place of Nabadwip, West Bengal.
The coronation was carried out in a traditional fashion. After the arrival at the palace from Kangla the King’s formal official coronation was carried out at the royal Darbar Hall located on the western side of the present Govindajee’s Temple in the presence of a large gathering of audience of the public including ministers and other high ranking civil and military officials. The proceeding of the royal coronation was conducted under the auspices of C. Gimson, the Political Agent of Manipur on behalf of the Viceroy of India dressed in the viceregal ceremonial uniform.
Such is the place of Kangla located just at the heart of the Imphal city which is methodologically, customarily and historically so important for all the Manipuris but had since been occupied by the British after they had conquered the State as described above. In fact, on 15th August, 1947 the British flag (the Union Jack) which had since been flying high at Kangla Fort till 14th August went down quite in a stooping manner and was replaced in its place by the brilliantly signing Pakhangba-insignia embedded red flag of independent Manipur showing that they (the British) had, in principle, returned the historic place to the hands of the people of Manipur as their genuine property.

Khongjom


The Historic Place of Manipur where the Manipuris fought for their freedom for their motherland and for their offspring.By blood manipuris are born not to live under control of others.This Sacred place witness the very spirit of manipuri people.
Khongjom is on the Indo-Burma road. The small town is a place of great historic importance. Here Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur, proved his valour against the invading British Army in 1891. He gave his life for his home country at the foot of the hill. A war memorial on the top of this hill renders the place even mor impressive. For accommodation, contact the Khongjom Tourist Home, 220802.

Khongjom Day is celebrated every year on the 23rd of April.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Moreh

Moreh


The international border town is located on the Indo-Myanmar Road 110Kms south east of Imphal. Being a commercial town, it attracts a large number of people from away from Tamu, its Myanmarese counterpart which was of late given face lift. The recent opening of the Border Trade turned Moreh into an important commercial hub in the North-East. Right on the other side of the border, at Namphalong, there’s a big Myanmarese shopping complex selling all kinds of Thailand and Chinese consumer goods. The shopping complex serves as a poor man’s alternative to Bangkok’s National Stadium Shopping Arcade. Things come much cheaper there. Conducted Tours are organized from Moreh to Myanmarese towns like Kalimiew and Mandalay. Such a tour is of the rare opportunities.

Meetei Mayek

Meetei mayek


Meetei-Mayek is the script which was used to write Meeteilon (Manipuri) till the 18th century. The script nearly became extinct as a result of a mass burning of all books in Meeteilon ordered by Ningthau Pamheiba who ruled Manipur in the 18th century. The main person behind this atrocity was Shantidas Gosain who had come to Manipur to spread Vaishnavism, on whose instigation the king gave the order. The king embraced Vaishnavism, took the name Garibnawaz and made Vaishnavism the state religion. Subsequently, Bengali script was adopted to write the language and is being used till date. Recent research has resurrected this script, and it is now being given its due place.


It is indeed difficult to trace the exact period of the origin of the Meetei Mayek. The burning of vital historical documents or the Puyas of Kangleipak (Manipur) written in Meetei Mayek during the reign of King Pamheiba in the early 18th century, made the effort all the more difficult. However, Meetei Mayek experts and authorities say the script dates back as early as 3900 years ago. (Kanglei Eeyek Wari, Kangjia,1996).

According to the very few Puyas that survived, such as, Wakoklon Thilel Salai Singkak, Wakoklol Thilel Salai Amailon, Meetei Mayek comprised of 18 alphabets. Even during the reign of King Pamheiba (1709-1748), all documents were written in these 18 alphabets. Pamheiba embraced Hinduism in 1717. Few years after this, he ordered the destruction of pre-Hindu places of worship and the burning of all the Puyas of the Kangleichas or the citizens of Kangleipak. After the massive destruction of the pre-Hinduism records of Meetei philosophy, literature and history, the king and his descendents tried taking total control over the cultural, literary and religious affairs of the people. But the official effort of the Konung or the Royal Palace to impose a concoction of Bengali, Devnagri and Gurumukhi script on the people was not welcomed by one and all. Between 1709 to 1941, Bengali script replaced Meetei Mayek and subsequently became the official script of the Konung. During this phase, there were many voices of dissent.

The most strident voice of dissent came from a Meetei scholar, Laininghan Naoria Phullo (Naorem Phumdrei). Naoria started the movement to revive Kanglei or Meetei tradition in 1930 from a village called Jaribon, Laishramkhul in Cachar in Assam. He developed a script and named it after him. The Naoria Mayek challenged the script imposed and propagated by the Konung in Kangleipak (Manipur). It had 24 alphabets. The voice of revivalism and the new script soon spread to the entire Kangleipak.

An organization called the Meetei Marup was formed in 1947 in Kangleipak to propagate the Naoria Mayek. Serious debates on the script began in 1950. A state level committee called the Mayek Lupteen Committee (MLC) was formed in 1958 to conduct a study. A sub-committee of the same group concluded that there are only 18 alphabets in the Meetei Mayek. Though the effort of Naoria Phullo was appreciated, another conference on Mayek in 1969 discovered that some of the alphabets of the Naoria Mayek were Bengali and Devnagri. The same conference also found out that not a single ancient Meetei Puya was written in Naoria Mayek. After a thorough study of an original Puya called "Wakoklon Thilel Salai Amailon Pukok" the participating judges recommended that the actual genuine Meetei Mayek had only 18 alphabets.

The most significant development in the history of the Meetei Mayek happened in 1976. During the "Writers Conference" in the same year, all the groups working towards the development of Meetei Mayek officially endorsed the 18 alphabets and urged the government of Manipur to popularize the script. The supporters of the Naoria Mayek did not oppose the move. Thus the present Meetei Mayek re-emerged with new vigor. The nine letters called the Lom Eeyek, which are derivatives of the previous 18 were added so as to incorporate additional phonetic sounds present in Meeteilon as a result of historical changes. On the 19th of January, 1983, the Education Department of the Government of Manipur, prescribed "Meetei Mayek Tamnaba Mapi Lairik" as text book for students of class VI.

Lord Govinda Temple

Govinda Temple

It was during the reign of the King Bhagyachandra that most of the hindu religion advanced in Manipur.This Govinda temple is the live example of the hindu culture of that time.The dome shape roof of the temple,the huge rounded pillars and various other features of the temple exhibited the architecture skills of the time.
This is the golden temple of Imphal, which is an important Vaishnavait centre. This temple is dedicated is Lord Krishna also popularly called 'Govinda'.

Shri Govindaji temple is the house of four deities, who are actually common forms of the one and only- Lord Vishnu, Preserver of the Hindu trinity. Inside this temple a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu is placed, with those of Balaram and Krishna on one side, and of Lord Jagannath on the other side. Prayers and dances on the Krishna theme are held here regularly.

Structurally, this temple consists of two golden ceremonial domes and a huge raised hall. It is situated in the heart of the town adjoining an old palace, and is highly revered by the people of Manipur.

Langthaband: Langthabnand is an historic palace situated on the Indo-Burma road, in the hilly terrenes of Imphal. This ancient palace is nestled among formally planted pine and jack fruit trees and also houses a number of house and temples. Over looking the University of Imphal, this place is located at a distance of 8 km., from it.

Maibam Lokpa Ching

Maibam Lokpa Ching

The Embassy of Japan's first Secretary Masahiro Tamoi returned here a dejected man after he was denied entry into Tamu of Myanmar today.

Minutes after reaching the border town of Moreh this morning, Masahiro was scheduled to proceed into Tamu but was halted before crossing over as Myanmarese security officials posted on the Indo-Myanmar border contended they had not been informed of the visit.

Producing relevant visiting documents including valid visa permit, the First Secretary was seen intensely trying to prevail upon the Tamu-based Myanmar officials from around 11 am till about 2.30 pm only to be denied entry.

Reasons cited by the Myanmar officials pertains to non-receipt of 'precise' intimation from higher authorities in Kalemyo even though they accepted the fact that Masahiro possessed travel documents issued by the Myanmar Embassy.

When the Deputy Director of Immigration Office U Aye was approached at his office located near Mrinal Bridge by masahiro, the former perused through the papers and endorsed its authenticity but nevertheless expressed helplessness in allowing further foray to the Japanese official until the visit was cleared by Kalemyo-based officials.

Besides explaining procedural norms, the Immigration Officer insisting that approval of higher authority is inevitable to enter Tamu.

The Japanese official had to also wait for nearly three hours being told that Kalemyo authorities are being contacted.

With the wait yielding no positive response a visibly peeved Masahiro prior to leaving the Tamu office demanded that the Immigration Officer state all the problems concerning the visit in the travel document of the Embassy official.

On his return to Moreh, masahiro told this reporter that the matter would be deliberated through the diplomatic channel and whatever action is necessary would be pointed out to the higher-ups as myanmar officials manning the Tamu offices are helpless to cope with such a situation.

Accompanied by representatives of Indo-Japan Friendship Association, masahiro Tamoi had reached Moreh at around 10 am and was soon seen intensely engaged in getting the clearance from Myanmar authorities.

He confided that purpose for his visit concerns culling information on sojourn of japanese troops in Manipur and nearby areas during World War II and personal assessment of memorial sites of martyred Japanese soldiers.

Masahiro, who probably had a bumpy ride on the Indo-Burma road, said he was fascinated by the scenic beauty of Manipur's hill range and with the exception of the road, the landscape resembles the landscape in parts of Japan.

He also conveyed of visiting the Maibam Lokpa Ching memorial site in Bishnu-pur district yesterday along with top ranked State officials of Art and Culture Dept.

During the visit, it was agreed to replace eucalyptus trees in the memorial park with other variety as the former is internationally considered to be harmful to the soil, Masahiro said while adding that construction/repairing works in the park will begin in the early part of next year.

On his visit to a Kabui settlement area near Langthabal Kunja the Japanese official is informed to have become inquisitive on seeing close physical/facial similarities with Japanese people.

He also posed questions on brewing processes of the local liquor.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dzuko Valley

Dzuko Valley

The highest peak, Mount Iso, on the Barial ranges stand at 2,997 meters above mean sea level with its highest inter-mountain valley of Dzuko at 2,500 meters.
Situated at an impressive height above mean sea level, Dzuko valley experiences temperature far below freezing point in winter. Some local scientists are reported to have recorded the minimum temperature in mid winter (early January) to around minus 14 degree Celsius.In recent years the Dzuko valley had become much prominent when trekkers started writing eloquent prose on the attractive nature of the valley. During the summer flowering season and in mid winter many trekkers visit the valley, quenching their thirst for a sight of the valley and relishing in its beauty and charm.
Ice sheets covering the upper layer of the river are as thick as six inches, and may be more. This easily bears the weight of several people standing at a time in the frozen river.Ice formations is an attractive feature in the valley. Icicles hang in rows from sheltered rock faces, giving off an icy, bluish effect that could turn one’s blood blue with delight.
Like in any nature reserve where the ecosystem is of a delicate character, the fragile ecosystem of the Dzuko valley had considerably been tampered with by reasons of human intrusion.
The colourful, attractive Dzuko valley in all its nature’s best would of course welcome people to come and appreciate it, but it cannot be said that it would tolerate people coming and destroying the very reason for which it is being favored.
This brings to one’s mind the all important question of how much of our people are aware of the need to protect and conserve nature in the interest of our land and future.

Siroy Lily

Siroy Lily


Shirui Lily (also called Siroy Lily) is a Himalayan flower. Shirui Lily (Lilium mackliniae), known as Shirui Kashung Timrawon, in Manipuri language, is a rare and endangered species common to Manipur. It is the state flower of Manipur.

It grows in the Ukhrul district of Manipur at an elevation of 1730-2590m above sea level. It grows best in partial shade with abundant humus, preferably leaf mould, and kept moist at all times.

In 1946, Dr. Frank Ward, a botanist and his wife Jean Macklin came to the Manipur hills to collect botanical specimens on behalf of the New York Botanical Society and made the sensational discovery of the Shirui Lily. It bagged the prestigious merit prize in the 1948 Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show in London. It was named after Jean Macklin.

Shirui Lilies are seasonal flowering plants and are at their best in May and June when they bloom. The peak season is between May 15 and June 5. The plant grows to a height of 30 cm to one metre and bears one to seven flowers a plant. The flower is light pink in colour and its beauty lies in its bell shaped petals.

There is a general feeling among naturalists that the habitat of the famed Shirui Lily has been considerably diminished by uncontrolled human intrusion.

Sangai-Brow antlered deer

Sangai



Sangai is one of the rare breed of deer.This type of breed is flourish in only three parts of Asia.Sangai is commonly known as Brow-antlered deer and the scientific name, Cervus eldi eldi McClelland. It lives in the marshy wetland in Keibul Lamjao. Its habitat is located in the southern parts of the Loktak Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in Eastern India. It is also one of the seven Ramsar sites of international importance. The habitat of the Sangai is now protected as the Keibul Lamjao National Park.

The Sangai is the State animal of Manipur, and is projected as the social and the cultural identity of the State. In order to protect the animal from poachers, people living around the Keibul Lamjao National Park have formed local clubs and non-governmental organisations and together they form a collective body known as the Environmental Social Reformation and Sangai Protection Forum, in short called as ESRSPF. Units of the ESRSPF are spread out all across the lake area.

Even though the Govt. has taken many steps to save Sangai,there are still threat for this animal to extinct.Due to inactivity of the Govt. organisation,killing of Sangai by hunters and also due to drastic changes in ecosystem.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cheitharol Kumbaba

Cheitharol Kumbaba




Today I'm going to discuss something special something that concern about the history of Manipur. Half of todays manipur public do not have much knowleges about the history of Manipur.Either we are not aware of our history or do not have efficient source for that.It is the right time to haunt our history and find our own identity.
Cheitharol Kumbaba, the chronicle of the kings of manipur, give various accounts of manipur history. The Cheitharol Kumbaba is a court account of the state, which claims to record events from the founding of the ruling dynasty in 33 CE. The document is thus probably the oldest chronicle in the region, written on hand made Meetei (Manipuri) paper made from tree bark in locally made ink with a quill or a bamboo pen. All in all it comprises more than 3000 leaves. This volume contains a copy of the original text of the Cheitharol Kumbaba, which is authorized by the Palace and the English translation from the original composed in archaic Manipuri script ( Meetei Mayek). Explanatory notes and a glossary complement this interesting source of information. Scholars working on East and South Asia will find this volume enlightening and the text will be useful for those readers engaged in social anthropology, religious history, archaeology, human geography and linguistics.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

many secrets

It was a late summer,no rain at all ,I along with my grandmother(mother's) in a small mat sitting in the courtyard in the dusk.She was narrating a story,I still remember the very words that my grandma had told me that day......Then with a sigh of relief,she started .."It was in the midst of the Second World War that most of the Manipur roads and transportation were developed".This New Cachar Road was formerly known as Tongjei maaril,she continued.She smiled and said "today's youth like you wouldn't like that experienced but it was interesting to us".Four days continous journey through this Tongjei maaril was the regular duty for business at that time.She recalled the various songs they used to sing through journey to forget their obstacles...After that she switched the story to the Rasa Dance.It was brought to manipur during the reign of the King Baghyachandra.Suddenly she stood and smiled at me.I couldn't read her mind.I wondered what my grandma going to do now.I came to know what Rasa Dance actually is that day.The calmness of the dance,the finger movement and the various steps she followed, an ordinary woman or man of these days wouldn't be able to follow that.Many more secrets are there that I learned from our ancestor.My blog is here to share all of your experienced and various accounts of Manipur.Keep Posting!!!!!!!!!!