Pu Ngulkhup - 'The Patriot of Kuki War of Independence' (1917 -1919)
- Part 1 -

Espirit de corps *

Pu Ngulsong (the father of Pu Ngulkhup) : Way back in 1819 - 1826 Pu Ngulsong was the most prominent chief in the South-eastern region of Manipur. The King of Manipur - Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh and Pu Ngulsong were good friends, their friendships had been passed on from King Chourajit Singh. It was during these years the Burmese time and again waged war against the Kingdom of Manipur. The war Popularly known as AWA - LAN (Burmese war) was a total 7 (seven) long years.

Because of this repeated and tiresome war the lives of the people in the kingdom of Manipur were so miserable that all the lands were left barren and uncultivated, as such, no development works could be taken up which naturally resulted to starvation and tragic miseries. The seven years war and its effect was so terrible that it was well recorded in the History of Manipur CHEITHAROL KUMPABA and christened as CHAHITARET KHUNTAKPA.

Because of his fame and popularity during those days in the region as mentioned, the king of Manipur Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh sought the help of Pu Ngulsong to fight against the AWAS ( Burmese) and drive them off from the Soil of Manipur. The king's request was accepted and as such, Pu Ngulsong well prepared his soldiers christening them as " Lonpi Sepoy". In those days Manipur Valley and hills were separately administered, unlike these day as valley kingdom and hill fiefdom".

Besides, the king of Manipur also sought the help of king of Cashar. The King of Cashar also accepted the request and help the King of Manipur to fight against the AWAS (Burmese). Hence, with the help of Pu Ngulsong Chief of Lon pi and the King of Cashar the AWAS (Burmese) were driven off till NINGTHI TUREL in KABO VALLEY of Burma (Myanmar). The so called AWA LAN (Burmese War) was won and Manipur was freed from the Burmese bondage. In the aftermath of the war KABO VALLEY was under the regime of Pu Ngulsong, which was usurped only after the coming of the British and setting up its Empire keeping India and Burma under its regime.

Since the battle of AWA LAN was won and Manipur was freed, the King of Manipur was very much pleased with Pu Ngulsong for his heroic help in defeating the Burmese. As such, the King of Manipur Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh felt obligated to pay something good in return and called Pu Ngulsong to his Konnung (Palace) in Imphal and presented him one LANPHI (War dress / Shawl) with a sword as a token of Love and gratitude.

After giving these token of presentation, the king of Manipur Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh visited Lonpi village and then climbed the highest hill top called GAMVET MOL (Sight view mount) the hill top where all places could be viewed. From this hill top GAMVET - MOL the king of Manipur Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh demarcated by viewing the boundaries of Lonpi with the Location as follows: East - the stretch of Land as far as the eyes could viewed ie, from TARET river upto the stretch of ZANGDUNG river in the West including KABO VALLEY (Chin Dwin). These were the instant order and the rightful ownership of Land given by the King Of Manipur to Pu Ngulsong Chief of Lonpi. Because of these very reason the MANGVUNGS ( families of Pu Ngulsong ) with Pride and boastfully said ... " from TARET upto ZANGDUNG is the birth right Land of the Mangvungs."

Despite the fame and honour he gained for being the most prominent chief in the region, Pu Ngulsong was very much worried about the families of his elder brother "Longjate" ( the head of Mangvung families ) who were dwelling in Chin - hill, Gangpimol villlage at the mercy of KAMHAOTE (Kamhao - dynasty). In order to bring out the families of his elder brother "Longjate" from the regime of Kamhao - dynasty in Chin - hill, Pu Ngulsong Sought the help of Maharaja Chandrakirti Singh.

The king by accepting the request made an arrangement by selecting 30 (Thirty) well armed soldiers and sent to help Pu Ngulsong . Along with those 30 (thirty) soldiers Pu Langhel Chief of Loibol and some other Kuki Chiefs led by Pu Ngulsong who were well armed ... with much effort could reached Chin hill, and as they had planned they could successfully fled out with" Longjate" ( the families of Pu Ngulsong's elder brother) at night and get them back to Manipur safely. They were then settled at Mantripukhri temporarily with the King's permission.

With the wide spread of Pu Ngulsong's fame in the region Pu Haotinkhup the King of "Kamhao - dynasty" in Chin-hill invited Pu Ngulsong to his Kingdom. Accordingly Pu Ngulsong along with his selected 30 (thirty) strong and wise men set out to meet Pu Haotinkhup. When reaching, Pu Ngulsong and his men were warmly received by Pu Haotinkhup. It was a special occasion of HANJU (A wine of bravery ) being celebrated in the Palace where Pu Ngulsong and his men joined the celebration.

Amidst the celebration of boozing and eating with everyone in a world of fantasy ... Pu Haotinkhup with all emotion said .... Ngulsong - 0, do you have any Lyrical melody? Pu Ngulsuong who quip and said ..... yes, I do! I have an Ode.

Pu Ngulsong's Ode:

"Ami aja peng chehe,
Mitin lai jang tom tuisunga
Peng mi urn lou e ".
Millions of men have born
Not all, but a few
Are born with exception.
An Ode in response by Mrs Haotinkhup, (Queen of Kamhao - dynasty) :
" Jang tom tuisunga peng mi urn Iou e
Katoi song .. O tuilurn pholngou Nangjingjin eirn 0".
A few are born with exception
My beloved Ngulsong, the Pholngou (Vaphol)
O... are you my guest.

After their lyrical melodies were sung to each other, they all embraced one another as a sign of love and respect. They then had a fun - game of shooting competition and the best shooter was Pu Ngamjil Guite (one of the men of Pu Ngulsong ). Pu Haotinkhup (Chin King) with amazement and admiration asked Pu Ngulsong .... how many more expert shooter do you have like Ngamjil?

Pu Ngulsong retorted and said .... not very much, I have only 30 (thirty) like him (Ngamjil). The duo then sat together and settled the boundaries of their lands in which Pu Haotinkhup made declaration that the location from the stretch of GUNDUNG in the East upto the whole of THANGKAIGAM with KABO VALLEY belongs to Pu Ngulsong. Finally, the formal agreement they made was that they should not wage war against each other, that too with another pledged to keep their settled boundaries unbroken.

However, with the arrival of the British and setting up its Empire in India and Burma keeping under its regime, it was the end of an era for the king of Manipur and the chief of Lonpi as well. But the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Manipur. Had the British did not come into India and ruled over Manipur, the Chief of Lonpi would have been not only a chief, but a real king in the province of TARET upto ZANGDUNG.

To be continued......

* Courtesy: Espirit de corps, a souvenir released in connection with the unveiting of the statue of Pu Ngulkhup Haokip, Kuki war hero. This was published in Huieyen Lanpao - English Edition. This article was webcasted at on 24th March 2010.

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