Culture of Manipur: A Land of Festival, Art and Culture

Manipur is an Indian state in the northeast. Its city is Imphal. It is one of India’s seven sister states. Its name means “A Jeweled Land” in Hindi, also known as the “Switzerland of the East.” This area may not have the mine of the Gems, but it is second only to Kashmir, India, in terms of natural beauty, so it is not wrong to call it the state of the Gems and Jewels.

Nagaland is in the north, Mizoram is in the south, Assam is in the west, and Myanmar is in the east. The seven sister states are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. Each state has its culture, including different ethnic groups, religions, and languages. Manipur is not only a gift from nature to India but also a place where many different cultures come together. It is the birthplace of both the sport of polo and the traditional dance form of Ras Lila.

Manipur looks like a perfect place to live. Some people also refer to Manipur as the “golden city.” Manipur is, of course, very beautiful. The Sangati deer can only be found in Manipur, and the Siroi lily flowers can only be seen on the Siroi hill in Manipur. This type of lily flower can only be found here. In the Juco Valley, you can find the rare Zuco flower. Manipur has a lot of rare medicinal plants, flowers, and ferns. It also has a lot of rare medicinal plants.

People have called it the “Switzerland of the East” and the “Kashmir of the East.” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called it the “Jewel of India,” and Lord Irwin, who went there in 1931, called it the “Jewel of India.” It was called a “flower of the lofty heights” by the Japanese army.

History of Manipur

Manipur has a long and glorious past that goes back to the time of Christ. The Mahabharata talks about Manipur. One of Arjuna’s wives, Chitrangada, was from Manipura. There are many ideas about where the Meitei people came from. Still, many anthropologists and historians think they are Tibeto-Burmese people who came to the Imphal Valley and stayed there. Many kings ruled Manipur, free and independent until the early 19th century.

Puyas, which some people also call Puyas Puwaris, tells the story of the Miti king of Manipur. It has information in the Mitti writing about Ningthau Kangbalon, Chitharol Kumbaba, Ningthau Lambuba, Poretan Khunathokpa, and Panthoibi Khongkul. This is all of the information that was known at the time of the Miti king Maharaja and the people who worked for him.

People living on the hill have traditional stories and folk tales. Manipur has been called Tili Koktong, Pori Lam, Sanna Leepak, Mitrabak, and now Manipur at different historical points.

Its city was called Kangla, Yumphal. Manipur’s main city is now called Imphal. People from this state are called many different things, like Miti, Piri Miti, Maiti, and Miti.

Jean King Maharaja ruled this state for 3500 years, and Puwaris, Ningthau, Kangbalon, Ningtharol, Lambuba, Chitharol, Kumbaba, and Piritan made all of his records. Up until 1955, more than 108 King Maharaja ruled this country.

The first king of Manipur was a man named Ningthau Kangba. BCE 1129–44, when the country didn’t have a king, there was chaos everywhere. During the Anglo-Manipuri war at Khongjom in 1891, Manipur became enslaved for the first time in history. In 1891, the British made Manipur a royal state. It was the last of the independent states to join British India.

Manipur got its freedom on August 28, 1947, but the joy didn’t last long because India made Manipur a state on October 15, 1949.

Culture of Manipur

People from many different tribes, such as the Kuki, Naga, Pangal, and Mizo, live in Manipur. These people speak many different languages. This state has many unique cultures and arts, and it is surrounded on all sides by blue hills. Everyone in this state cares a lot about art and culture, and there won’t be a single girl who can’t sing or dance.

The richness of these people’s art can be seen in the beautiful handlooms and other things they make. People here have a lot of superstitions, but they have good reason to believe in their religion and routines.

In this state, people of all faiths and castes live together peacefully. There are many people from the Miti tribe here, and they all like to live in the valley, just like the Naga, Kuki, and Mizo tribes do.


People in this state called Manipuri “Miti language.” This language is also on the list of important Indian languages made by the Indian government. Even though this state is small, a lot of people live there, and 1.5 million people around the world know Manipuri.

People speak the Manipuri language from East India and Manipur. Manipuri is also spoken by people who live in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Manipuris can also speak English and other languages well. The kids at this school are taught in five different languages. Languages like Tangkhul, Kuki, Lushai, Hamar, Patte, and Thadu are taught to the children here.


Major religion in Manipur

Many Hindu and Christian people live here, but many people from other religions also live here in big numbers. The people here have unique customs, which they are very proud of.

Food of Manipur

Food of Manipur

Manipur’s food is the native food of the Meiteis, who comprise most of the country. Their main food is rice, which they eat with some veggies and fish on the side. The people of Manipur love fish, and their favorite is Ngri, which is made by fermenting it.

The main ingredients in Manipuri food are chili and pepper. There are no masalas, so the food is healthier and doesn’t need oil. People in this state like Ngari (fish), Iromba, chamfoot, morok, and several native herbs are often used in their food. In Manipur, the food is more spicy than in other northeastern states.

People in Manipur like to grow herbs and roots only found in this area, like Mario napakpi, awa phantom, Mario nakuppi, Mayang-ton, and toning-khok, in their home gardens. Manipur grows rare and unique kinds of veggies, mushrooms, and herbs. Some of their most famous dishes are nga-thong (fish curry), roti (a typical Manipuri vegetarian dish), change pomba (made with fermented soya and mustard leaves), and Chamthong or kangshoi, which is a stew made with seasonal vegetables.

The most famous dishes are Eromba, Ooti, Nga thongba, Singju, Kangsoi, Chagem pomba, Kelli chana, Chamfut, Bora, and many more.


Phanek and Innaphi are what Manipuri women wear when they go out in public. Phanek is a fabric wrapped around the upper torso or the waist, like a skirt that goes down to the legs. Phanek is woven uniquely, with black, white, red, or blue stripes across the fabric and geometric designs on the edges. Innaphi is the name for a scarf or a wrap. The shirt is worn on top of a chaddar wrapped around the head and upper body.

Men in Manipur wear white kurtas and Dhotis, which are pieces of cloth tied around the waist. The top is a red-and-black-striped scarf that is only worn in the winter. They also love to wear white pagri or turbans on their heads.

Dance & Music of Manipur

Radhe Krishna Dance of Manipur

Manipuri dance is an important Indian dance called Jahapar Jagoi dance. This dance is named after this state. This Ras Leela dance shows how Radha and Krishna loved each other through dance. Besides this, some dances are about Goddess Parvati instead of Lord Shiva, who is called Shakti. During Lai Haraoba, the god of this state is also danced on Umang Lai. The classical dance of Manipur, pung, and color comes from the Sanskrit book Natya Shastra, like other dances in India. However, this dance of Manipur has a big impact on the culture of India and Southeast Asia.

Festivals of Manipur

The festivals in Manipur show how the people feel about their social, cultural, and religious lives. There aren’t many months without a festival. In Manipur, people enjoy events like Lungaiini Ningol Chachaba, Yaoshang, Gangai, Chumpha, Chiroba, Kang and Hikru Hidongba, Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Ada, and Christmas. All of the holidays here happen when the Hindu calendar says they should. All of India’s holidays are also celebrated in Manipur.

Art and Handicrafts of Manipur

Art and Handicrafts of Manipur

One of the most popular arts and crafts in Manipur is hand-block painting. As a reward for their bravery and good leadership, the Maharajah gave the warriors and village heads Khamen Chatpa, which is a hand-block-printed towel. Manipur is also the country that makes the most things out of bamboo. People also like to make pots and weave fabrics. In Manipur, a reed called kauna is used to make double-weave mats.


Manipur Tourism

This small state is good for tourism. Here is the only place where you can see beautiful lakes like Loktak. This lake is quite beautiful. Here, people of all faiths live together. The most important thing, though, is that many Hindu and Christian people are here.

This state’s culture and past are very old and full. Many kings called Maharaja ruled over this kingdom. People say that this state was ruled by 108 kings named Maharaja. People in this state love to dance a lot. People in this state also like to watch plays.

Tourists keep coming back to Manipur because the weather is good and the natural scenery is beautiful. 

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