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E-Pao! Travel - A visit to Phayeng

A visit to Phayeng

By: Paonam Sophia Devi *

On the 3rd Foundation of 'Saathoulup' (Sahitya Thoupang Lup), Ghari i.e 25th Nov 2006, we altogether more than fifty of us went for survey at Phayeng. We were guided by our advisor of Saathoulup, Sharatchand Thiyam. On this very day, we began our journey from Keishampat at around 9.45 am.

To the north-west of Imphal, about 15 kilometres away there is a holy place called Phayeng.

It only took 45 minutes to reach there. The place was surrounded with full of green areas, felt with clam and steady-cool air. At the foot of the hills a river canal called Maklang Turel is flowing steadily and quietly, it's a very beautiful place.

Phayeng is also one of the sacred place in Manipur which is quite unknown.

This is so-called a sacred and holy place, because in this place cutting of trees is also not allowed, spitting is also prohibited in this area, as it leads to destruction giving lots of problems to the people who are living here. In this place, there is seven holy places (Laipham taret). Some of the places are now already grounded and converted into paddy fields.

When we reached there, we were guided by Hera, Brozen, Kumar, Tomba, Mani etc of Phayeng sharing details and information of this area. When we started on our way, at first we came across a place call 'Loukunthem'. After that we continued our journey and came through a place called 'Loijinglam'.

At the left of his place, leads a way to Hangoipat, near a place called Chiru. It is believed that five years back, in China, there was a crab (Waikhu) which was quite huge. Once a passer-by meet this huge crab, he is destined to confront lots of problems in his life.

During our way, the place were filled with tall trees resembling a dense forest. The path was not good enough, sloping sometimes and again the way was quite narrow too. So, we have had some difficulty all our way.

We reached the sacred place at around 12.40 pm. The name of this holy God is Laijing Ningthou.

Originally, Phayeng was known as Chaakpa. But it changed and was replaced by Phayeng because once many thousands years back when human beings and god were believed to be inter-connected to each other, a Goddess (Lairembi Phouoibi) came and she were to go to the place called Konchaibi.

But it was very late and she spent the night in Chaakpa (now called Phayeng). Next day, when the goddess was trying to leave the place, she said - Phairange which means - 'I'm leaving'. So, thus then it was called Phayeng.

The place were looked after by the village committee. it is celebrated once a year in March i.e Lai Haraoba. In this day, the God is offered with a feast (Chaklon Katpa), fruits, sweets by maiba or maibi. opposite to the holy-site about twenty foot-steps away, there lies a dug-out ground. It is called Lai Khonghampham.

A hollow spot sighted there, is said to be believed that, water flowing down there reaches all the way to Kanglapat. After we left the place we came around at 1.05 pm through a place called Koubru Haraopham.

It was established in the year 1978-79. This all were built by the village committee and no sanction was there from Government side. It is very sorry to hear that this kind of holy-sites have no support from the Government.

After that we came out through on the other side, met the same river which we came across at the beginning i.e Maklang Turel.

Again we met some passers-by. We asked about this norms of customs. He told us that during this Lai Haraoba, drinking alcohol is a must and mandatory. Even dogs and pigs are cooked and celebrated on this very day.

So, we completed our survey by knowing lots about this place. It is thus very important to know about our own origin and ourselves.

Knowing our own identity is very important in this age.




Paonam Sophia Devi wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on March 07th, 2007.


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