Manipur Profile

Manipur in northeast India is a small beautiful state with Imphal as its capital. The word Manipur literally means “a jeweled land” and the state was described as the “Jewel of India” by the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The state attained full state hood on 21 January 1972 with a Legislative assembly of 60 seats.

Manipur has a geographical area of 22,327 sq km and is situated at an altitude of 790 meter. To the north of Manipur lies Nagaland, to the south lies Mizoram, to the west is Assam and to the east it is bordered by the international boundary of Burma.  The state is surrounded by mountain ranges all around. The Barak river, the largest river of Manipur, originates in the Manipur hills. The state is blessed with lush green beauty and is surrounded by blue hills with an oval shaped valley. Manipur enjoys moderate climatic condition.

Agriculture is the main mode of living of the people. People of Manipur are also engaged in handloom sector which is the largest cottage industry in Manipur.

The state is the birth place of the game Polo which was known as Sagol Kangjei or Pulu and is also famous for its Manipuri dance the Ras Lila created by Rajashree Bhagyachandra. Manipur also boosts of its rich culture and tradition. People of Manipur are very enthusiastic about their traditional art and dance forms. Ras Lila is the highest expression of artistic genius, devotion and excellence. Manipur is a land of festivities. Throughout the year different festivals are celebrated by the different tribes of the state. The main tribes living here include among others Aimol Tribe, Anal Tribe, Chiru Tribe, Gangte Tribe, Maram tribe and Hmar tribe.

History of Manipur

The State of Manipur, as per the royal chronicle or Cheitharol Kumbaba, was established in the 1st century AD. The Manipur Kingdom was formed by the unification of ten clans under the Ningthouja clan. The state also has historical significance. Manipur was also the place of trade routes between India and Myanmar and also during World War II which served as the arena for battle between the Japanese and the allied forces. In accordance with the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, a democratic form of government was established in Manipur and the Maharaja was appointed as the Executive Head. The arena became a part of independent India in the year 1949. The state government also consisted of an elected legislature. In the year1956, Manipur became a union territory of India, and remained till 1972. It was given the status of a state in India, On January 21, 1972.

Manipur in Ancient Times

The earliest known ruler of Manipur can be dated back to Tang, the 14th generation ruler of Qi tribe that occupied the central part of the present day China, who founded the Tang-Shang dynasty later. After him Tangja Leela Pakhangba-his son and Kangba-his grandson ruled over the region. Kangba ruled the Manipur region from 1405 BC to 1359 BC, after which Koikoi (his son) took over. He was one who introduced Cheraoba (the dating of Meitei calender), known as Mari-Fam and the surnames like Keirambam and Koikoijam.

Manipur History

Between the tenure of Kokoi and that of Korou Nongdren Pakhangba, who ruled around 934 BC the records of Manipur have obscure information. After Korou Nongdren Pakhangba we get to know about Chingkhong Poireiton, whose tenure lasted from 34 BC to 18 BC.  The information regarding on what happened in-between these two Kings is again vague. Still, it is believed that there were no rulers in the Manipur area, for about 700 years during this period, which was then known as Tai-Pong-Pan.

The Early Period (33 AD-1149 AD)

The Early Period in the history of Manipur traces back to the 1st century AD, when Nongda Lairen Pakhangba was the King of the Region. In 33 AD he ascended the throne. After him, Meidingu Yanglou Keiphaba ruled over Manipur and his reign lasted from 965 AD to 983 AD. The last major name of the Early Period is that of Meidingu Loitongba, who ruled over Manipur from 1121 AD to 1149 AD. His son Atom Yoireba in 1149 AD ascended the throne.but by 1162 AD he was driven out by Hemtou Iwang-Thaba (his brother).

The Medieval Period (1467 AD-1798 AD)

The Medieval Period in the history of Manipur reminds the name of Medingu Senbi Kiyamba who became the king at the age of 24, in 1476 AD. From 1708 AD to 1747 AD, Manipur was under the rule of King Meidingu Pamheiba, who extended his kingdom to the Nongnang (Cachar), Takhel (Tripura), in the west from Kabow valley in the east.

manipur History

Ningthou Ching-Thang Khomba, became the king in 1747 AD and ruled for the next 4 years. He was the son of Samjai Khurai-Lakpa (the eldest son of Pamheiba). In 1751 AD he was expelled by his brother Borot-sai. After Borot-sai, Gaurisiam became the King of Manipur and he also signed a treaty with the British, encouraging trade and commerce. Gaurisiam died in 1763. After his death, of Ningthou Ching-Thang Khomba became the king of Manipur. It was during his rule that the name "Manipur" for "Sanna-Leipak" or "Meitrabak" came to existence.

The Modern Period (1819 AD-Present)

The modern period started when King Marjeet ruled over Manipur, in 1819 AD. In the same year Manipur the Burmese attacked and won over Manipur and Chahi-Taret Khuntakpa became the king. Gambir Sing in the year 1825, led Manipuris in an attack over the Burmese and declared himself as the ruler of Manipur. His son Maharaja Chandrakirt, after his death, ascended the throne, at the age of two. The eldest son of Chandrakirti, Maharaja Surchand after his father, ascended the throne and ruled for 5 years from 1886 AD to 1890 AD.

In the year 1890, Angousana and Zillangamba, the younger brothers of Surchand revolted against him, along with Jubaraj Tikendrajit. Later, the elder brother of Tikendrajit,Kullachandra became the king.
On 27th April, in the year 1891 British waged an open war against Manipur and conquered the region. After that the region was ruled by only two kings Maharaja Churachand Singh (1891-1941 AD) and Maharaja Budhachandra Singh (1941-1949 AD).

Manipur History

During World War II Manipur witnessed fierce battles between Japanese and the allied forces. The Japanese were beaten back before they could enter Manipur. When India became independent in 1947, the Manipur Constitution Act of 1947 was passed due to which Manipur had the democratic form of Government with Maharaja as an executive head and an elected legislature.

The state of Manipur was merged into the Indian Union in 1949. Under the terms of merger agreement signed in 1949 the Government of India announced the formal annexation of Manipur in 1949.
In 1972 Manipur became a full fledged state of India with a Legislative assembly of 60 seats. In 1949, Manipur was merged into independent India. On 21 January 1972, Manipur was granted statehood.

Geography of Manipur

Manipur is bounded by Nagaland in the North, Mizoram in the South, Assam in the west, and by the borders of the country Myanmar in the east. The state is surrounded by mountain ranges all around. The main river basins in Manipur are the Barak River basin which lays to the west, the Manipur river basin in central Maniour, the Yu river basin in the east and the Lanye river basin to the north. The Barak river, the largest river of Manipur, originates in the Manipur hills.

Geography of Manipur

Manipur is characterized into two distinct physical regions-an outlaying area of rugged hills and narrow valleys and the inner area of flat plains with all associated land forms.67 % of the geographical area of the state is hill tract covers with forests. The climate of Manipur varies from tropical to sub alpine.

Manipur is blessed with a unique flora and fauna system. There are rare and endemic plant and animal life. Orchids grow in abundance in the state. There are 500 varieties of orchids growing in Manipur. Siroy lily grows atop the Siroy hills. Fauna species like hoolock gibbon, slow loris, spotted linshang, hornbills, Sangai the dancing deer etc are found in Manipur. The minerals that are present in Manipur are limestone, asbestos, chromite, copper, nickel, lignite and salt.The state has its own emblem, bird and animal. The State Emblem is Kangla Sha. The State Bird is Nongin and the State Animal is Sangai.

Climate of Manipur

Manipur is blessed with a clean climate round the year. The state has two main seasons separated by two transitions: the winter season and the monsoon season.

The winter season is from December to February. Then is the Pre-Monsoon season in the months of March and April. The monsoon season is from the month of May to September, and the post-monsoon season in the month of October and November.

Geography of Manipur

The southwest monsoon chiefly determines the weather and rainfall throughout the state. The state has tropical to temperate climate depending upon elevation. Rainfall varies from 1000 mm to 3500 mm and average rainfall is 1500 mm. Temperature ranges from sub-zero to 36 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature in summer is 32 degrees. In winter the weather remains much cold. The temperature goes down below zero degrees. The region also experiences snowfall.

Forests in Manipur

In Manipur around 67% of the land area is under forest. The wet forests and pine forests are found in the state. In Manipur 500 types of orchids can be seen out of which 472 have been identified. Only a single terrestrial lily is grown in the forest hilly region i.e. ‘Siroi Lily’

Geography of Manipur

The fauna of Manipur comprises of Ukhrul, the Sloe Loris, the Hoolock Gibbon,  Mrs. Hume's Barbacked Pheasant, Blyths Tragopan, the Clauded Leopard, the Spotted Linshang, Burmese Pea-Fowl, and four different species of Hornbills.Manipur is famous for the Dancing Deer Sangai which is unique in all the mammals.

Quick facts

Forest Cover
  • Very Dense Forest: 720 sq. km
  • Moderately Dense Forest:5,818 sq. km
  • Open Forest: 10,681 sq km
  • Total:17, 219 sq. km
  • Of State's Geographic Area:77.12 %
  • Of Country's Forest Cover:2.54 %
Tree Cover
  • Culturable Non-Forest Area (CNFA):2,864
  • No. of trees per ha of CNFA:13.6
  • Tree Cover:136 sq km
  • Of State's Geographic Area:0.61%
  • Of CNFA: 4.75%
Recorded Forest Area

  • Reserved Forest: 1,467 sq. km
  • Protected Forest: 4,171 sq km
  • Unclassified Forest: 11,780 sq km
  • Total: 17,418 sq km
  • Of State's Geographic Area: 78.01 %
  • Of Country's Forest Cover: 2.25%
Forest & Tree Cover
  • Total Forest & Tree Cover:17,355 sq km
  • Of State's Geographic Area:77.73%
  • Of Country's Forest Cover:2.23%
  • Per capita Forest & Tree Cover:0.73 ha

Minerals in Manipur

The Manipur government has been developing the mineral industry for quite some time now. The government is also taking measure to explore more into this field. The geological survey of India reports that the theree district Ukhrul, Chandel and Churchandpur are very rich in minerals. Good quantities of mineral deposits have been found here like salt, copper, chromite, limestone, nickel, asbestos and lignite, however, the most important mineral found here is lignite.

Geography of Manipur

Minerals also play a major role in the revenue of the state. Different minerals that can be found in the state are limestone, which is important for cement and is found in parts of district of Ukhrul like Kangoi,  Hundung and Kasom. Asbestos are also found in some parts of Moreh, Nepali Basti, Kwatha and in the eastern part of Ukhrul district. Chromite is also found in Chandel district in Shiroi hills and near the Nepali Basti. Copper is found in Ninghti, Kwatha and Humie of Ukhrul district and also in Chandel district.

Rivers in Manipur

Barak River

The Barak River is the biggest and the most important of the rivers in the Manipur hill territory. It is considered a legendary river in Manipur. It is part of the Surma-Meghna River System. The major tributaries of the Barak River are the Jiri, Dhaleshwari, the Singla, the Longai, the Madhura, the Sonai, the Rukni and the Katakhal. The Barak River originates from the Manipur hill territory, near Mao Songsang. At the source there are a lot of hill stream namely Gumti, Howrah, Kagni, Senai Buri and Durduria.

Manipur Geography

The river has an elevation of 2300 metres. It flows west through Manipur, then southwest leaving Manipur and enters the state of Mizoram. Geologically Barak valley lies on ancient alluvial sediments.  Barak River is proposed to be declared as National Waterway-6 by the Government of India.

Manipur River

In Manipur there are two river basins - the Barak river basin and the Manipur river Basin. Manipur River is a river of Burma. The Manipur river basin has eight major rivers namely, Iril, Imphal, Thoubal, Nambul, Sekmai, Chakpi, and Khuga. All the rivers  are in mature stage when it reaches Manipur and deposit the load in the Loktak Lake.

Imphal River

The Imphal River is one of the important rivers of Manipur. It is a tributary of the Manipur River. The river joins the Manipur River in Thoubal district. The river flows past the Loktak Lake and the city of Imphal. It joins the Lilong River, 10 km to the south. The Imphal River rises in the hills of the Senapati district and flows south. The river forms the northern and western boundaries of the Thoubal district.

Quick Facts on Manipur

Area: 22327
Population: 27,21,756
Capital: Imphal
State Language: Manipuri
State Emblem: Kangla Shaa
State Bird: Nongyeen
State Animal: Sangai
State Game: Manipuri Polo
State Flower: Siroi Lily
Density of Population ( per Sq Km.): 82
Literacy Rate: 59.89%
Altitude: 790mtrs.above MSL (Imphal)
Latitude: 23.830N to 25.680N
Longitude: 93.030E to 94.780E
Rainfall: 1467.5mm(Avg.)
Rainy Season: May to October
Literacy Rate: 68.87
Schedule Tribes: 33(Recongised by Government)
Assembly Constituencies: 60(40 General, 19 ST, 1 SC)
Parliamentary Constituencies 2:(One for Inner and One for Outer)
National Highways: 3(39-Indo-Myanmar road, 53-New Cachar Road, 150-Jessami-Tipaimukh Road)

Iril River

The Iril River runs through the eastern suburbs of Imphal. The name of the river is derived from two words ‘ee’ and ‘ree’. In Manipuri language ‘ee’ means blood and ‘ree’ means river. Hence it becomes Blood River. The river originates from Sirong. It flows through Ngamju village. The river then runs through Sagolmang and flows through Lamlai, Top, Naharup, Pangong and Irilbung and finally joins the Imphal River. The river has endangered indigenous fish species called Ngaton Meitei Sareng.

Economy of Manipur

The state of Manipur is known as the 'Switzerland of the East'. Agriculture and allied activities form the backbone of the economy of Manipur.

Weaving and pisci-culture are other important and traditional means of livelihood in the valley, logging, cultivation of a few cash crops, handloom and handicrafts are the traditional sources of additional income in the hills. Handloom industry is the largest cottage industry in Manipur. The distinctive feature of the handloom industry ids that women are the only weavers. Moreh has become an important business centre because of border trade with Myanmar.

Agriculture in Manipur

manipur Economy

Agriculture plays an important role in the development of Manipur’s economy. It engages about 76% of the total working population.

The size of the cultivated area is only 9.41% of the total geographical area of the state. Out of the total cultivated area, 52% is confined to the valley. Half of the total valley area, which accommodates 67% of the total population, is occupied for agriculture purposes.

The state produces sizeable quantity of paddy, wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds such as mustard, groundnut, soybeans, sunflower, ginger, turmeric and fruits like pineapple, lime/lemon, banana, orange, papaya, plum and vegetables like, cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, peas, carrot, pumpkin.

Industries in Manipur

After agriculture the important industries of Manipur are handloom and handicraft industries. Handloom sector is an important source of income especially for the women of the state. It provides maximum employment opportunities after agriculture. The main handloom products of Manipur are sarees, bed sheets, curtains, towels, tablecloth, fashion garments with intricate designs, scarves, pillow covers, woolen shawls among others. Handicrafts of Manipur have a unique place among the various crafts of the country and have their won aesthetic and artistic value.

Industries in Manipur

The handicraft industry also blooms in Manipur. Basketry is one of the famous occupations of the people. The baskets are made for domestic purpose, social and religious ceremonies. Fishing equipments are made by people. Pottery is also one of the important occupations of the people.
The per capita net income (SDP) of the State based on a quick estimate at current prices was Rs.11,370/- for 1999-2000 as against the All India Average of Rs.16,047/-. The average annual growth rate of the State Domestic Product was 10.52% in 1999-2000 as against 8.03% of the manufacturing sector. The cane and bamboo crafts of Manipur are not only famous in India but also world wide. The Bamboo production of Manipur is above ten lakh ton per annum. The number of artisans engaged in cane and bamboo craft is around 1.50 lakh.

Manipur is one of the states in northeast India. It is known as ‘jewel of India’. The state capital is in Imphal. Manipur is a state of unique traditions and culture. The culture of Manipur is very different and so Manipur has been successful in making a unique identity of its own. Manipur presents a variety of traditions and cultural patterns. The most important aspect of Manipuri culture is that the people of Manipur oblige to the traditional style along with the contemporary ones.

Culture of Manipur

The Manipuri society is an amalgamation of culture of different tribes and communities living here and so Manipur has been successful in making a unique identity of its own. The society of Manipur presents a variety of traditions and cultural patterns.

The people of Manipur are very fond of their tradition. The society here portrays uniqueness of art and culture. Each ethnic groups of the Manipuri society has its own distinct art, music and dance forms. The most important aspect of Manipuri society is that the people of Manipur oblige to the traditional style along with the contemporary ones.Each ethnic groups of Manipuri society has its own distinct art and craft forms. The Manipuri people are skilled craftsmen and their craftsmanship is depicted in the handicraft and handloom cloths. The handicraft and handloom of Manipur is famous worldwide for its craftsmanship, colorfulness and sheer beauty.

Culture of Manipur

The society of Manipur represents festivities. Festivals are held here round the year. The Shree Govindjee temple situated here is the most important part of the religious aspect of the Manipuri society. Ras Lila here is the highest expression of artistic genius, devotion and excellence. The Manipuri dance is the epitome of artistic genius of the Manipuri people. This dance form is again one of the classical dance forms of India. Two other important festivals are:


The society of Manipur is all the more beautiful for its unique cuisine. The cuisine here is healthy and organic. The food of Manipur is both vegetarian and non vegetarian. Manipuri society relish rice, vegetables, fish, salad and Ngri very well.

Manipur situated in the Northeastern part of India comprises of tribal people and community.  The main tribes living here include among others Aimol Tribe, Anal Tribe, Chiru Tribe, Gangte Tribe, Maram tribe and Hmar tribe.


The people of Manipur are very fond of their culture and tradition. Each tribe of the state has their own culture and tradition. The people of Manipur find many reasons in their fairs and festivals for celebration in the company of vibrant dances and music. Ra Lila is one of the major dance forms of Manipur. The people of Manipur celebrate different festivals throughout the year. The people of Manipur are also very much fond of food. Rice is the staple food of the manipuris.Religion also forms the backbone of the Manipuri society. Besides animism, the people of Manipur also follow different religions, like Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. These tribal people are also very expert and creative and their artistic work can best seen in their handloom and handicrafts.

NGOS in Manipur

NGOs in Manipur

NGOs are non-governmental organizations that work for the upliftment of the people and that operate independently from any form of government. These are the organizations that are not bound by profit-motifs. There are several NGOs located in Manipur. Listed below are the NGOs of Manipur.

NGOs in Imphal

Action for Welfare and Awakening in Rural Development

Aim: welfare and awakening on environmental issues.
Phone: 385-411356

Sadar Hills Area Development Programme
Aim: empower the people through their active participation in their development.
Phone: 385-2228669

Manipur Voluntary Health Association
Aim: to make community health a reality through people’s participation.
Phone: 385-2223795

Lifeline Foundation
Aim: To encounter public health conditions in Manipur in the context of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
Phone: 385-2224186, 2222936

NGOs in Thoubal

The Social Upliftment Organization
Aim: development of under privileged youths and people of rural area.
Phone: +91-9856684431

Socio Economic Development Organization
Aim: poverty eradication, sustainable economy of the society, enhancing health and sanitation, environmental protection, peaceful co-existence of the society.
Phone: 3848-223153

Community Development Programme Centre
Aim: to eliminate violence against women.
Phone: 3848-223494

Alliance for Development Alternatives
Aim: sustainable development for a peaceful co-existence.
Phone: 3848-261285

NGOs in Ukhrul

The Volunteers for Backward Classes Development Project
Aim: to bring peace, love, progress and prosperity on earth through overall development of the society.

Self Counseling cum Referring Centre
Aim: to give counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS, to arrange nutrition, education for the effected child.
Phone: 09436623837

NGOs in Kakching

Rural Peace & Progressive Society
Aim: help the poor people to develop themselves and became an important part of the country.
Phone: 3848-261250

Kha-Manipur Yoga and Nature Cure Association
Aim: to build an all-round healthy society through conservation and utilization of bio-logical and natural resources.
Phone: 3848-261320, 261336

NGOs in Senapati

Rural Development Association
Aim: to promote tourism, organic farming, handicraft and handloom, and to bring quality education.
Phone: +91-9436086209

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