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Manipur

Manipur is a state/Union Territory of India.

Manipur is a state in northeastern India. Capital city of Manipur is Imphal. Manipur is bounded by the states of Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west. It shares international borders with Myanmar to the east.

The Meiteis form the major ethnic group. Their language is Meiteilon (also known as Manipuri). Manipuri was recognized as a national Indian language in 1992. Manipur is considered a sensitive border state. Foreigners entering Manipur (including foreign citizens born in Manipur) must possess a Restricted Area Permit which can be obtained from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office in the "metros" (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata) or certain other state government offices. Permits are valid for only 10 days, and visitors must travel only on tours arranged by authorised travel agents, in groups of four. Furthermore, they may come to Imphal only by air and will not be permitted to travel outside the capital. Manipur has two representatives in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha.

Polo was originated in Manipur. British soldiers and planters took it back to England, modified the rules and made it popular around the world. Rosa macrocarpa, the beautiful species of rose, was discovered by Sir George Watt in Manipur in 1888. Sarit Sarak, a relatively unknown and unique martial art, comes from Manipur. Manipur is famous for its classical and folk dances, including the graceful and soft Ras Lila, the acrobatic Pung cholom among others. Kaibul Lamjao National Park in Loktak lake is the natural habitat of the rare and endangered Brow antlered Deer (Cervus eldi eldi). Locally known as Sangai, it is one of three species of Elds deer in the world confined to South east Asia. The Siroi Lily (Lilium Macklinae Sealy) is a beautiful lily found only in the upper reaches of the Siroi Hills in Manipur's Ukhrul District. Lord Irwin described Manipur as the "Switzerland of India".

Manipur came under British rule as a princely state in 1891. The Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature. The legislative assembly was dissolved on the integration of the state with India in October, 1949. Manipur was a union territory from 1956 and became a full-fledged state in 1972.

During the Second World War, Manipur was the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and Allied forces. The Japanese swept over East Asia and came up to Manipur. They were beaten back before they could enter Imphal and this proved to be one of the turning points of the War. There are two cemeteries maintained by the British War Graves Commission, which are the final resting places of several Indian and allied soldiers who died here.

Imphal Tulihal Airport is located about 8km from the heart of the city and is connected directly from the major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and major cities of North Eastern States namely Aizawl, Silchar, Dimapur etc by Daily/bi-weekly/other basis with the Domestic Air services like Air India, Indigo, King Fisher, Jet Airways, Jet Lite, Spice Jet, Air Deccan etc. Other major cities of India is connected to Imphal via Kolkata/Guwahati. From Guwahati daily on the NH 39 via Dimapur and Kohima many private buses available. From Dimapur daily on the NH 39 via Kohima Manipur many private buses available. From Silchar daily on the NH 53 via Jiribam many private buses available. There is no direct train service to Imphal. But travellers can travel upto Guwahati or Dimapur (nearest rail head from Imphal).