Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west; it also borders Myanmar to the east. It covers an area of 22,347 square kilometres (8,628 sq mi).
The Meeteis, who live primarily in the state's valley region, form the primary ethnic group. Their language, Meeteilon (also known as Manipuri), is also the lingua franca in the state, and was recognized as one of the national languages of India in 1992. The Kukis or the Zoumis (people belonging to Zo descendants) and Nagas live in the hills of the state. Manipur is considered a sensitive border state.
Foreigners entering Manipur (including foreign citizens born in Manipur) must possess a Restricted Area Permit, which can be obtained from the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office in the "metros" (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai) or certain other state government offices. Permits are valid for only 10 days, and visitors must travel only on tours arranged by authorised travel agents, in groups of four. Furthermore, they may come to Imphal only by air and are not permitted to travel outside the capital.
Manipur came under British rule as a princely state in 1891. This ended the independent status of the Kingdom of Manipur, the last kingdom to be incorporated into British India.
During the Second World War, Manipur was the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The Japanese were beaten back before they could enter Imphal, and this proved to be one of the turning points of the War.
After the War, the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature. In 1949, Maharaja Bodhchandra was summoned to Shillong, capital of the then Indian province of Assam. The legislative assembly was dissolved on the accession of the state to the republic of India in October 1949. Manipur was a Union Territory from 1956 and later became a full-fledged state of India in 1972.
There has been a separatist movement in Manipur since the early 1970s, with several groups engaged in violent action in order to achieve their goal, i.e. a sovereign Manipur.
Special permission must also be obtained for those who wish to enter Manipur, as it is considered a "sensitive area" on account of its political troubles and geographical location.
Manipur is one of the eight states of Northeast India, and one of the Seven Sister States. The state is bounded by Nagaland in the north, by Mizoram in the south, by Assam in the west, and by the borders of the country Myanmar in the east as well as in the south. The state capital of Manipur is Imphal. The state lies at latitude of 23°83’N - 25°68’N and longitude of 93°03’E - 94°78’E. The total area covered by the state is 22,327 km². The capital lies in an oval-shaped valley of approximately 700 square miles surrounded by blue mountains and is at an elevation of 790 metres above the sea level. The slope of the valley is from north to south. The presence of the mountain ranges not only prevents the cold winds from the north from reaching the valley but also acts as a barrier to the cyclonic storms originating from the Bay of Bengal.