Holy Pilgrimage – Manipur and Meghalaya
ManipurManipur : Maneepoor maṇipur) is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur consist of Meitei, Pangal, Naga, Zomi, Kuki,Mizo and Meitei people, and is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; it also borders Burma to the east. It covers an area of 22,347 square kilometres (8,628 sq mi).
Manipur, as the name suggests, is a land of jewels. Its rich culture excels in every aspects as in martial arts, dance, theater and sculpture. The charm of the place is the greenery with the moderate climate making it a tourists' heaven.
Taking into account the state's geographical location, Manipur can serve as the India's Gateway to the South-East Asia. The proposed Trans-Asian Railway Network (TARN) if constructed, will pass on from Manipur, connecting India to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. As such, economists suggests that Manipur could transform into a bustling economic powerhouse state in the next couple of decades.
The Meiteis (Meeteis), who live primarily in the state's valley region, form the primary ethnic group (60% of the total population) but occupy only 10% of the total land area. Their language, Meiteilon (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 Muslims (Meitei-Pangal) also live in the valley; the Kukis, Nagas, Zomis and other smaller groups form about 40% of the population but occupy the remaining 90% of the total land area of Manipur. Manipur is considered a sensitive border state.
Manipur is one of the seven states of Northeast India. The state is bound by Nagaland in the north, by Mizoram in the south, by Assam in the west, and by the borders of the country Burma in the east as well as in the south. The state capital of Manipur is Imphal.
LanguageThe official languages of the state are Manipuri (Meitei) and English.
Manipuri language (Meiteilon)Meiteilon, the official language of Manipur, has a long history. Courses on Manipuri Language and Literature are offered as a subject up to M.A. level in both Central and State Universities. It is the main language of communication among all different tribes and people inhabiting Manipur. English is also slowly gaining ground as a common language of communication. Hindi is also in use by the migrants from northern India. Meiteilon has been recognized as the Manipuri language by the Indian Union and has been included in the list of scheduled languages (included in the 8th schedule by the 71st amendment of the constitution in 1992). Meitei is taught as a subject up to postgraduate level (Ph.D.) in Indian universities, apart from being a medium of instruction up to the undergraduate level in Manipur.
Meitei Mayek (Manipuri script)Meitei Mayek is a script, commonly referred as Mayek, which has been used since ancient times. The origins of the Manipuri alphabet, or Meetei Mayek as it is know in Manipuri, are shrouded in mystery as many historical documents were destroyed at the beginning of the 18th century during the reign of King Pamheiba. Some believe the alphabet has been used for almost 4,000 years.
Between 1709 and the middle of the 20th century, the Manipuri language was written with the Bengali alphabet. During the 1940's and 50's, Manipuri scholars began campaigning to bring back the old Manipuri alphabet. In 1976 at a writers conference all the scholars finally agreed on a new version of the alphabet containing a number of additional letters to represent sounds not present in the language when the script was first developed. The current Manipuri script is a reconstruction of the ancient Manipuri script. Since the early 1980's the Manipuri alphabet has been taught in schools in Manipur.
Languages of hill peopleThere are 29 different dialects spoken in Manipur. Six main hill dialects recognised by Government of Manipur for medium of instruction & examination up to class XII are:
1. Thadou-Kuki, dialect of Thadou people, the second language in the state after Meiteilon during Colonial Period.
2. Tangkhul, dialect of Tangkhul people
3. Paite, dialect of Paite people
4. Hmar, dialect of Hmar people
5. Mao, dialect of Mao People
6. Rongmei dialect of Rongmei people
7. Maring dialect of Maring Naga/Maring,Maring Khoibu,Maring Narum-saibol people
TransportationTulihal Airport, Changangei, Imphal, the only airport of Manipur, connects directly with Delhi, Kolkata Guwahati, Silcher and Agartala. National Highway NH-39 links Manipur with the rest of the country through the railway stations at Dimapur in Nagaland at a distance of 215 km (134 mi) from Imphal. National Highway 53 (India) connects Manipur with another railway station at Silchar in Assam, which is 269 km (167 mi) away from Imphal. The road network of Manipur, with a length of 7,170 km (4,460 mi) connects all the important towns and distant villages.
On April 9, 2010, Union Minister of India, Shashi Tharoor announced that the central government is considering a rail link from Manipur to Vietnam
HinduismIt was in the 15th century that a particular form of Vaisnavism was adopted and spread under the reign of King Kyamba through to King Khagemba in the 19th century. Towards the end of the 19th century and at the advent of the 20th century, a great force of Gaudiya Vaishnavism came and spread in Manipur. Over the last couple of decades there has been a revival of Sanamahi religion and this was evident in the significant growth of the "non-mainstream" religion category in the 2001 census which amounted to 17% of the population. Due to the revival of demographic profile of the state, Sanamahism will now be included in the next Government of India population census in 2011. According to the 2011 census Hinduism is identified with 46% of the population.
Cultureheatre and society in Manipur are intimately linked, as in many parts of the world. Manipuris are a culturally enthusiastic people. Cultural spirit has never been allowed to be blown out despite the area's remoteness from the outside world. This is why it still thrives in the Manipur valley.
Theatre has always been part of the Laiharaoba festivals since time immemorial. Theatre in Manipur today can be broadly divided, based on the texts, into religious and secular. The former is the adaptation of religious epics or some episodes from them, performed mainly in the sacred sphere such as temples. Within this Gauralila (the story of the childhood days of Caitanya Mahaprabhu), Sanjenba (an episode from the play between Krishna and his cows and his Gopis), and Udukhol (an episode from Krishna's childhood days) can be incorporated. They are seasonal performances commanding spiritual devotions among the audience.
Manipuri dance (Ras Lila)
A classical form of Manipuri dance based and inspired by the theme of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha's love story and the devotion of the Gopis (companions) toward Lord Krishna. This graceful and slow movement of the dance makes it one of the most acclaimed classical dances of India. The costume is elegant, as there are nicely embroidered clothes that give luster to the beauty of the art. This dance is very exciting dance.
Sri Radha Raman Temple, Kanchipur, ManipurKanchipur is a town in the Indian state of Manipur, and a suburb of the city of Imphal. During the reigns of Joy Singh and Gambhir Singh, Kanchipur served as Manipur's capital city. Currently, Manipur University is located within the town.
Kanchipur contains the Shri Radha Raman Temple of Kanchipur at the old Langthabal place on Hill Ridge near the Manipur University campus. It was dedicated by Maharaj Churachand in 1917. The temple structure is raised on a square pedestal, facing south. It is not in use now.
Temples in Meghalaya
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )