TODAY -

Linthoi Chanu's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne"
The complete version of the formation of a divine kingdom
- Part 2 -

L Memo Singh *



The last chapter gives the account of downfall of the kingdom as well as the consolidation and restoration of the same to its bright future. After King Naokhamba the seventh descendant of the serpent king the successors of the Kanglei throne were becoming weaker and all the other clans and dynasties who once vowed loyalty to the capital brooded over their own plans for separate throne and lost for power over the Kingdom.

The six great dynasties which were once the capital's backbone one and then another grew more powerful than its neighbours and held a kind of overlord over the rest. Ultimately they gathered three provinces known as Luwang, Khuman and Moirang leaving the cental palace to collapse.

Young King Sameirang, the ninth successor of the Kanglei throne remained helpless to bring back the splendor of Kangla, the capital of Kanglei but watching painfully the falling down of the kingdom into pieces. However, his young child, the crown prince, Ura- Konthouba assumed his father's gentleness as the root cause of the capital's downfall.

King Ura-Konthouba succeeded the throne and became the most aggressive ruler the whole kingdom had ever known. He never hesitated to slaughter his enemy or anyone who stood in his way. He vowed to restore the ancient pride and certainty not to yield compassion over betrayals. The ferocious warriors of the Khaba clan became the first trusted subordinate to king Ura-Konthouba when their lady Nungjengshu became the Queen of Kangla.

She bore four sons but her husband cared less about number as long as he had someone as vicious himself to succeed him someday. The four princes namely Naohal, Yoicharon, Hongnemyoi and Ra-nga were given military, weaponry and cavalry training to the best satisfaction of their father. However the third prince, Hongnemyoi was not similar to his brother. The King thought that his third son was delinquent.

King Ura Konthouba was growing old. He never planned to give the throne to his weakest and most invisible prince in the family. He removed Naohal and Yoicharon from succession because they were disfigured before the process of coronation. The King also did not like to coronate Hongnemyoi as the crown prince. There was no compromise between the father and the son and the prince went out of the kingdom.

Linthoi Chanu has given the account of political affairs of Angom, Khuman, Luwang and Moirang relating to the Ningthoujas during the exile period of Hongnemyoi. The prince went to live in disguise along the Shelloi Langmais in the Nongmaijing Hills to the east of kingdom. Shelloi Langmai were a kindered group of the Angom who were a sort of bride giving ally of the Ningthouja kings. However, since the times of Sameirang and Ura-Konthouba there had started a long period of Angom-Ningthouja revalry.

Despite such conflict, Hongnemyoi married Petanga, the daughter of the Shelloi Longmai Chief. Her parents knew the identity of the prince though it was concealed for some reasons. As a result of conflict with Ningthoujas, the Shelloi Langmais attacked the prince who was staying at the house of Patanga who helped her husband escape by a stratagem to the Khuman country where the prince took shelter. The chief of Khuman Amukoi or Punshi Yoimoiba or Adon Ningthou Punshiba was a wise and far sighted statesman.

He knew Hongnemyoi very well. He betrothed his daughter, Santing Ngangbi or Keirunghanbi to the prince and the marriage of his daughter with the prince was held with the objective that one day or other day his daughter would be the queen of Kanglei. Over and above this, under his aegis Princess Namul Chaobi, daughter of the king of Moirang, Sana Lakhwa was married to the prince as a part of matrimonial alliance with a wealthy clan like Moirang.

The king of Khuman, Adol Ningthou Punsiba sent his son-in-law, Hongnemyoi to Luwang country to get instructions in administrative affairs. Hongnemyoi was well equipped by the trials and tribulations of his sojourn in the principalities of neighbouring clans and wisdom of the instructions from the great scholar, philosopher, Luwang Chief, Hongnem Luwang Ningthou Punshiba. During his stay in Luwang country King Ura Konthouba died and Queen Nungjenshu summoned her son, Hongnemyoi to ascend the throne of Kanglei at Kangla. Lairen Ngangoi Hongnemyoi Khuljao ascended the Kanglei throne as Meidingu Naothingkhong.

Naothingkhong's reign was almost a full year but the seat next to the Kanglei throne, the place for the Kanglei Queen remained empty and adjacent to it Queen Keirunghanbi sat, Queen Namul Chaobi knelt next to her calmly. The king asked Keirunghanbi to occupy the queen's place countless time but she refused persistently assuming that Petanga would come one day. The Queen did not stop her dedicated search for the Shelloi lady even when the king struggled to put the past behind and asked the searchers to continue the pursuit in secret.

As expected, Petanga, the first wife of King Naothingkhong came to the palace and there was their reunion. But Petanga breathed her last in her husband's arms. There are different version about the death of Petanga. Manipuri poets are describing the love between the young couple, a young married girl full of hope and aspiration for her lover-husband who was ultimately to become the king of Kanglei. When Petanga came to the palace and found the Khuman princess sitting on the left side of the king, she was disappointed and she died of shock.

Unlike these versions, Linthoi Chanu is also telling a typical story of love of King Nathoingkhong and his wife Petanga, a story of unique adventures and tragedies. She compares Petanga, a simple and devoted tribal girl of the Shelloi Longmai with a stubborn, authoritative and possessive princess of the Khuman country who was taking a high moral stand to preserve persistently the Queen's place of the kingdom for the sake of Petanga who saved her husband's life.

Linthoi Chanu's "The Tale of Kanglei Throne" is also a masterpiece of modern historical writing. It is not only an entertaining and comforting book but also a window to see the precious legendary figures of the early history of Manipur.

Linthoi Chanu is a young writer, born and brought up in a family of Arts, a resident of Uripok Sorbon Thingen, Imphal. She had graduated from the Mysore University and completed her MA in English in the Puduchery University. In the field of writing she has a good start with this book edited by the retired IAS officer, Shri R.K. Nimai Singh

Concluded.....


* L Memo Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The wruter is a freelance writer & columnist and can be contacted at laishrammemosingh(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on June 10th, 2018.


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