Ancient Manipur

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"Ancient Manipur", also known as "Kangleipak",[1] was a civilization, concentrated along the central plains of the present day Manipur, India.[2][3][4][5][6] The Kangla served as the foremost capital city of Ancient Manipur (Kangleipak) since time immemorial till the late 19th century AD.[7] It has its earliest evidence of monarchy right from 15th century BC, during the reign of Emperor "Tangja Leela Pakhangba" (1445 BC-1405 BC).[8][9]

The grand statues of Kanglashas, the dragon lions, standing inside the Kangla.
The ancient temple (rebuilt) of Lord Pakhangba inside the Kangla.

History[change | change source]

Layout of the citadel of Kangla, the foremost ancient capital city of Manipur

The imperial history of Ancient Manipur began with the reign of Tangja Leela Pakhangba in 1445 BC.[8]

The game of polo (Sagol Kangjei) was invented during the reign of King Kangba (1405 BC-1359BC), the successor of Tangja Leela Pakhangba.[10] This remarkable achievement was recorded in many ancient Meitei scriptures including the Kangbalon and the Kangjeirol.[10]

Ancient rulers[change | change source]

There is a genealogy of ten successive foremost rulers in ancient Manipur kingdom.[11]

Name of the rulers Period (in Christian year) Period (in Maliyapham year)
Taang-jaa Lee-La Pakhangpa 1445 BC- 1405 BC -
Ningthou Kangba 1405 BC- 1359 BC 00 MF- 39 MF
Maliyapham Palcha 1359 BC- 1329 BC 39 MF- 69 MF
Ningthou Kaksuba 1329 BC- 1297 BC 69 MF- 101 MF
Ningthou Tonkonba 1297 BC- 1276 BC 101 MF- 122 MF
Ningthou Pottingkoi 1276 BC- 1251 BC 122 MF- 147 MF
Ningthou Laanbichaa 1251 BC- 1229 BC 147 MF- 169 MF
Ningthou Sapaiba 1229 BC- 1209 BC 169 MF- 189 MF
Ningthou Puthiba 1209 BC- 1199 BC 189 MF- 199 MF

After the reigns of these ten kings, there is a great historical gap, from 1199 BC to 44 BC.[12]

Name of the rulers Period (in Christian year) Period (in Maliyapham year)
Samlungphaa 44 BC- 34 BC 1354 MF- 1364 MF
Poireiton 34 BC- 18 BC 1364 MF- 1380 MF
Singtabung 18 BC- 08 BC 1380 MF- 1390 MF
Paangminnaba 08 BC- 01 BC 1390 MF- 1397 MF
Luwang Khunthiba 01 BC- 05 AD 1397 MF- 1403 MF
Luwang Punshiba 05 AD- 33 AD 1403 MF- 1431 MF

After this, the reign of Nongta Lailen Pakhangpa started from 33 AD, with the annexation of the Kangla by the Ningthouja dynasty.

Geography[change | change source]

The civilization was concentrated in the central plains of the present day Manipur, India

The territory of Manipur (Kangleipak) is mountainous and thereby, ancient Manipur consists of several smaller region each with its own dialect, cultural peculiarities, and identity.[13][4]

In fact, there were seven independent kingdoms ruled by the seven clan dynasties in Ancient Manipur. These seven principalities had their own capital cities.

Capital cities Latin transliteration Respective kingdoms Latin transliteration Ruling dynasties Latin transliteration
ꯏꯝꯐꯥꯜ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Imphal Kangla ꯏꯝꯐꯥꯜ Imphal ꯅꯤꯡꯊꯧꯖꯥ (ꯃꯉꯥꯡ) Ningthouja (Mangang)
ꯂꯨꯋꯥꯡꯁꯪꯕꯝ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Luwangsangbam Kangla ꯂꯨꯋꯥꯡꯁꯪꯕꯝ Luwangsangbam ꯂꯨꯋꯥꯡ Luwang
ꯅꯣꯡꯌꯥꯢ ꯂꯩꯀꯣꯢꯄꯨꯡ Nongyai Leikoipung ꯃꯌꯥꯡ ꯏꯝꯐꯥꯜ Mayang Imphal ꯈꯨꯃꯟ Khuman
ꯀꯣꯡꯕ ꯃꯔꯨ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Kongba Maru Kangla ꯀꯣꯡꯕ ꯃꯔꯨ Kongba Maru ꯑꯉꯣꯝ Angom
ꯃꯣꯢꯔꯥꯡ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Moirang Kangla ꯀꯦꯀꯦ ꯃꯣꯢꯔꯥꯡ Keke Moirang ꯃꯣꯢꯔꯥꯡ ꯁꯂꯥꯢ Moirang Salai
ꯇꯥꯛꯅꯈꯥ ꯄꯨꯔꯨꯛ ꯁꯧꯄꯤ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Taknakha Puruk Soupi Kangla ꯇꯥꯛꯅꯈꯥ ꯄꯨꯔꯨꯛ ꯁꯧꯄꯤ Taknakha Puruk Soupi ꯈꯥ ꯉꯥꯟꯄ Kha Nganpa
ꯂꯩꯁꯪꯈꯣꯡ ꯀꯪꯂꯥ Leishangkhong Kangla ꯂꯩꯁꯪꯈꯣꯡ Leishangkhong ꯁꯂꯥꯢ ꯂꯩꯁꯥꯡꯊꯦꯝ Salai Leishangthem

Language[change | change source]

The Ancient Manipuri language (early form of the modern Meitei language) had a rich granary of Meitei scriptures (Puya (Meitei texts)), of numerous topics, written in the archaic Meitei script.[14][15] One of the oldest scripture is the Wakoklon Heelel Thilen Salai Amailon Pukok Puya, written in 1398 BC (verified by the National Archives of India, New Delhi).[16]

Ancient Manipuri alphabet

Culture[change | change source]

Illustration of common people of Manipur

Daily life[change | change source]

Most people of ancient Manipur were farmers tied to their lands. Their dwellings were restricted to immediate family members.

Architecture[change | change source]

The ancient architectural designs of common houses were believed to be sustainable, eco friendly and affordable. It gives a cooling effect during hot summer and a warming effect during chilling winter.[17]

Religious beliefs[change | change source]

Kangla Temple.JPG

The ancient religion of the indigenous ethnicities of the hills and the plains is the Sanamahism. The abstract concept of the space time entity is the ultimate God creator of the universe.[18] Beliefs in the divine and in the afterlife were ingrained in the civilization of ancient Manipur from its inception. The ancient rulers were based on the divine right of kings.[18]

Military[change | change source]

Manipuri horseman

Lallup system[change | change source]

Lal-lup system (literally, Lal means war; lup means club or association or organization) was a predominant system in ancient Manipur. According to the system, every men of indigenous ethnicity of above 16 years of age was a member.[18]

Gallery[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Reference[change | change source]

  1. http://kanglaonline.com/2012/04/ancient-name-of-manipur/?amp=1
  2. https://www.imphaltimes.com/it-articles/item/5532-is-32-000-years-of-meitei-civilization-a-sign-of-tribalism
  3. http://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=reviews.books.Review_Kangleipak_The_Cradle_Of_Man
  4. 4.0 4.1 https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/puwarimeitei.html#1.GEOGRAPHIC%20LOCATION%20OF%20MANIPUR
  5. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/puwarimeitei.html#(i)%20The%20Ancient%20(before%20christ)
  6. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/puwarimeitei.html#(ii).%20The%20Early%20Period
  7. http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=manipur.Kangla.Kangla_The_ancient_Capital_of_Manipur
  8. 8.0 8.1 https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/meiteikings.html
  9. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/puwarimeitei.html#Main%20Source
  10. 10.0 10.1 https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/sagolkangjei.html
  11. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/meiteikings.html
  12. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/meiteikings.html
  13. http://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=manipur.History_of_Manipur.Discovery_of_Kangleipak_8
  14. http://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.The_Puya_and_Cheitharol_Kumbaba
  15. https://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/puwarimeitei.html#2.HISTORICAL%20DOCUMENTS
  16. http://paochelsalaitaret.net/puya/puyaproof.pdf
  17. http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=education.Scientific_Papers.Scientific_Principles_of_Ancient_Manipuri_Yumjao_House_and_its_Courtyard_By_Khwairakpam_Gajananda
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 http://e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=manipur.History_of_Manipur.Discovery_of_Kangleipak.Discovery_of_Kangleipak_2