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Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established

Oinam Kennedy Singh *

Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established
Pix by Deepak Ningthoujam



KANGLA The ancient capital of Manipur is located ideally in the heart city Imphal. The place was served as ROYAL PALACE since the period of Pakhangba and written clearly with a dark black ink in Cheitharol Kummaba (The Royal Chronicle of MANIPUR). According to the legend believed that the area was ruled by Khaba before the reign of Pakhangba.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established
Pix by Deepak Ningthoujam



The literal meaning of KANGLA is DRY LAND and it belongs to the Meitei language. From earlier times it is an important historical as well as archeological site. The kingdom of Manipur was established from here only and still now serves as important venue for Manipur Political activities. The place was capital of several Kings namely King Khagemba (15971652 AD), King Khunjaoba (16321666 AD), Maharaja Bhagyachandra (17621798 AD) and Maharaja Gambhir Singh (17881834 AD).

The state was ruled by BURMESE RULERS from the year 18191826 AD and period was known as Chahi Taret Khuntakpa (The Seven Years Devastation). The short period marked the dark image in the history of Manipur. After this devastated period King Gambhir Singh shifted capital to Langthabal, which is located at a distance of 8 Kilometres from the Palace. Kangla again become capital during the empire of Nara Singh in the year 1844 AD.

1891 Anglo-Manipur War:

The year 1891 is the unlucky period in the history of state; BRITISH RULER conquered the land on 27 April 1891. A few names of well known person during the time are King Chandrakriti, Surchandra, Senapati Tikendrajit and Yubaraj Kulachandra. British attacked the state from three different sides namely Silchar, Kohima and Tamu (a part of Mayanmar). Since time, the place has been occupied by security forces especially Assam Rifles.

Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established
Pix by Deepak Ningthoujam



MONUMENTS AND SACRED PLACES INSIDE THE COMPLEX:

In addition to political and archeological site it is also a sacred place for Meitei. Numerous holy shrines are scattered in every nook and corner of the palace. Scores of devotees from different part of the land as well as from its neighboring states like Assam, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and even from Bangladesh and Mayanmar visited the palace every year. Researchers identified there are more than 360 important shrines in the complex.

A few names of the sacred places are:

Nungjeng Pukhri Devotees believe it is the abode of Lord Pakhangba. The holy pond is situated in the Uttra (North-West) side of the palace. Religious possessions are performing here on festive seasons and other auspicious days according to Meitei Calendar. Other ponds include Manung Nungjeng, Chingkhei Nungjeng and Lai Pukhri.

Nunggoibi This shrine is the important place for Huyein Lalu Chanba (a ritual ceremony) and dedicated to Goddess of War.

Manglen The corner houses number of graves for Manipur Kings. The cremation site was constructed in the year 1738 AD by Maharaj Garibaniwaz.

Kangla Men Surung In olden days this was the official place to conduct erat-thouni (coronation ceremony). According to the result of prayers King decided for how long he will be able to rule the state.

Other structural buildings are Main Gate (Kangla Gate), Two Statues of Kangla Sha, Temple of Shree - Shree Govindajee, Stone Inscription, Marshal General Slim's Cottage, Sir Akbar Hydri's tomb, Samadhi of Maharaj Bodhachandra and Memorial Stone at Kekrupat.

Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established
Pix by Deepak Ningthoujam



HANDOVER OF KANGLA TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND OPEN FOR PUBLIC:

On 20th November 2004, the site was handover to Manipur Government and open for Public Visit in the presence of India Prime Minister. From the time till now, many restoration and protection process is going on.

ROLE OF KANGLA IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OF MANIPUR:

Today one can freely visit the fort from sunrise to sunset. The complex is well maintained and protected by related organizations and committees. Scenic beauty of the area and pleasant environs make an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate for a moment. Each corner of the complex offers bewitching scenario and captivates the attention of visitors. The site has become one of the main tourist attractions in the capital city Imphal.

Kangla - A place where the Kingdom of Manipur was established
Pix by Deepak Ningthoujam



MANIPUR described as the JEWELED OF INDIA is a precious gift of Mother Nature. IMPHAL city features several attractions like EMA KEITHEL, SHREE SHREE GOVINDAJI TEMPLE, BIR TIKENDRAJIT PARK and STATE MUSEUM.

Please make a plan to visit the unexplored destination of INDIA and witness the gift of Mother Nature.


* Oinam Kennedy Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net. This article was posted on October 22, 2013.

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