Ukhrul District, the land of the colorful Tangkhuls was marked out first a Sub-Division in 1919 during the British Raj. Then in November 1969 it was upgraded to a full-fledged district, bearing the nomenclature of Manipur East District. The area of the district was 8,200 Sq.Km. according to the CSI Publication 1976. Later Tengnoupal District, now called Chandel District was carved out from this district on 15th July, 1983 and the area of the then Manipur East District was sliced down to 4,544 Sq.Km. and the title of the district was changed into Ukhrul District in 1983. Ukhrul is a district in the north eastern state of Manipur in India. It lies about 84 Km kilometres to the east of Imphal.
State: Manipur in the north east of India.
Best time to Travel: October to March.
Weather Conditions: The climate of the district is of temperate nature with minimum and maximum degrees of 3 C to 33 C. The average annual rainfall is 1,763.7 mm (1991). Location: Ukhrul is situated about 83 km from Imphal, the state capital of Manipur in India.
|2.||Population (2000 Census)|
|vii) Literacy rate||62.54% (approx.)|
|viii) Density||24 per sq. km.|
|ix) Growth rate||32 Decennial|
|B. Sub-Division wise population distribution|
|v) Kasom khullen||6,341|
|3.||No of inhabited villages||230|
|Sub-Divisionwise village distribution|
|v) Kasom Khullen||25|
|4.||Altitude||913 m - 3114m (MSL)|
|5.||Temperature||3°C to 33°C|
|6.||Rainfall||1600 mm to 2100mm|
|7.||Location||24 N to 25.41 N, 94 E to 94.47 E|
|8.||Dates of administrative establishment|
|A. Ukhrul Sub-Division||1919 A.D.|
|B. Manipur East-District||1969 A.D.|
|C. Re-Christening of Ukhrul District||1983 A.D.|
|D. Ukhrul Autonomous District Council||1984 A.D.|
|E. Sub-Divisional Offices|
|v) Kasom Khullen|
|i) Superintendent of Police||1 No.|
|ii) Police Stations||9 Nos.|
|i) Imphal-Ukhrul-Jessami (NH-150)||199 kms.|
|ii) Imphal - Kamjong(BRTF) Road||127 kms.|
|iii) Imphal - Phungyar -Tengnoupal||104 kms.|
|iv) Imphal - Kasom Khullen||55 kms|
|i) 43- Phungyar (ST) AC|
|ii) 44- Ukhrul (ST) AC|
|iii) 45 - Chingai (ST) AC|
Ukhrul District is bounded by Myanmar in the East, Chandel District in the South, Imphal East and Senapati Districts in the West and Nagaland State in the North. The terrain of the district is hilly with a varying heights of 913 m to 3114 m (MSL). The district HQ. Ukhrul is linked with Imphal, the state capital by a NH 150about 84 Km. By ordinary passenger bus it takes about 3 hours. The climate of the district is of temperate nature with a minimum and maximum degrees of 3 C to 33 C. The average annual rainfall is 1,763.7 mm (1991). The exact location of the district in the globe is 24N - 25.41 N and 94 E - 94.47 E. The rainy season in the district is from May to beginning of October broadly but Winter is chilly. The highest peak is the Khayang peak-3114 m (MSL), though the more popularly know peak is the Shirui Kashung Peak - 2,835 m (MSL). Ukhrul, the District HQ, is 2,020 m (MSL). Most of the major rivers originate from the crevices and slopes of this Shirui Peak. The terrain of the district is rippled with small ranges and striped by few rivers. 1. Somrah - Angkoching range, striped by Sanalok and Namba Lok; Shangshak - Phungyar range adjacent to which is the Shokvao - Mapithel - Kasom range striped by Tuyungbi and Taret Lok in the middle and Thoubal river in the West and Kachai - Hoome - Tampak Ngashan (Mahadev) range, striped by the tributaries of Thoubal river in Eastern side and Iril River in the Western side.
|The Total Geographical Area||454400 ha.|
|Population||140778 (2001 census)|
|Climate||Sub-Tropical Monsoon Type|
|Average annual temperature||30°C Max & 3°C Min|
|Soil||alluvium, lateritic black regur and red ferruginous|
|Latitude||24°28/ and 25°41/ North|
|Longitudes||94°45/ and 94°80/ East|
|Population||1,09,275 (Male-56,997 and Female-51,278)|
|Literacy rate||62.54% (approx.)|
|Density||24 per sq. km.|
|Growth rate||32 Decennial|
|Sl. No.||Category||Area (Ha)||% to the total District Area|
|4.||Land with /without scrub||148347.82||32.65|
Maklang and Tuyeng are the important rivers for Kasom Khullen and Kamjong Sub- division. The Thoubal river starts from the district and run through the Ukhrul North and Ukhrul central sub-divisions. It is the longest and biggest river in the district.Chammu and chingai rivers are running through Ukhrul North Sub-division. These rivers are not useful for transportation as the current of the rivers are very stong and wild during the rainy season and very thin during winter. They are useful for fishing and irrigation.
Climate and Rainfall :
The whole district is having the monsoon type of climate. As the district headquarter lies on the top of the high hills it is very cold throughout the year. It is always covered by the clouds. Regarding weather of the district Headquarter, the sudden changes of the position of cloud are openly seen within a few moments. but in other places outside the district Headquarter, it is hot in summer and very cold in winter. However, the whole district is having a moderate temperature.
The hill range that lies in the district Headquarter Ukhrul Central sub-division has got very cold climate in winter while other parts of the vast hilly areas of the district have got moderate climate throughout the year. The coldest months of the district are December and January. During this period, the temperature at the Ukhrul district head-quarter uses to come down 3°C and even 0°C.
An Area of 22,000 hectares of the district is under cultivation. Rice, Maize, Potato, Pulse, Cabbage, Leafy vegetable, chillies, Groundnuts etc. are the main agricultural products. Banana, sugarcane, fruits like lemon and orange are also planted. Plantation of cotton is also done for their domestic consumption.
There has always been some form of relationship between the Tangkhuls and the Meiteis in terms of political alliance and trade relation. Some items of Naga material - culture indicate a long history of contact between the plain and hills. The “Elephant Cloth” (Leirungphi), for instance, resplendent with complex animal designs, worn by the Nagas of Manipur, has its origin in the wish of the ruler of Manipur in the mid-seventeenth to present his Naga allies with a special cloth. The popular Tangkhul shawl “Changkhom” is also known as “Karaophi” in Manipur. The Tangkhul dance (pheichak) was known as “Chingkheirol” in Manipur, from the fact that it came from “Chingkhei” (North East of Imphal).
During the reign of the most powerful Meitei King Pamheiba a.k.a. Garib Nawaz (1709-1748) for the first time, the heartland area of the Tangkhul country was brought under the suzerainty of Manipur. In 1716, the king’s forces invaded the great Tangkhul village of Hundung and sixty eight prisoners were captured. In 1733, the king sent a military expedition to Ukhrul and conquered. The outcome of the expeditions incurred heavy casualty on the King’s forces; the royal chronicles record the death of seventy Meitei soldiers. The defeat of these two big villages situated in the heart of Tangkhul country was landmark in the establishement of the Meitei political hegemony over the Tangkhul hills which started feeling the brunt of the Meitei power. The Ningek inscription of king Garib Nawaz refers to the Khullakpa of Okhrul (Ukhrul). Ukhrul was the headquarters of the Tangkhul Long (Tangkhul Assembly), as well as the Tangkhul annual fair locally known as “Leh Khangapha” used to be held at Somsai in Ukhrul. Hence the fall of Ukhrul in 1733 in the hands of the Meitei Maharaja herald the fall of the Tangkhuls country.
The next significant relationship between the hills and the valley took place during the reign of Bhagyachandra (1759-1762 and 1763-1798). In 1779 king Bhagyachandra established a new capital at Langthabal about seven kilometers south east of Imphal. For the nest 17 years Langthabal remained as the capital. He employed many Tangkhul and Kabui Nagas in the digging of moats around the new capital of Langthabal. Of the Tangkhul chiefs, Khullakpa of Hundung and Ukhrul made friendship with the king. The Tangkhul Chiefs of Ukhrul, Hundung and Huining came to pay respect to the king. King Bhagyachandra allocated land to the Tangkhuls for settlement of a Tangkhul village in the valley at a place called Puru pat.
The relationship between the Tangkhuls and the Meiteis during the mediaeval period was not only of wars and conquests. They also carried on trade and commerce. The Tangkhuls supplied cotton to the valley. They also came and did sale and purchased in the Sanakeithel which was the principal market in Imphal. The Tangkhuls are used Manipuri coin of bell-metal locally called ‘sel’ as a medium of exchange which was first introduced during the reign of Khagemba (1597-1652).
The boundary of Manipur and Burma ( Myanmar ) was laid down by an agreement signed between the British authorities (East India Company) and Burma on 9th January, 1834 on the river bank of Nighthee ( Chindwin). The Article No.4 (iii) of this agreement relates to the Tangkhul country. “Fourth (iii) - On the north, the line of boundary will begin at the foot of the same hills at the northern extremity of the Kabo Valley and pass due north upto the first range of hills, east of that upon which stand the villages of Chortor (Choithar), Noongbee (Nungbi), Nonghar (Nunghar), of the tribe called by the Munepooriis (Manipuris) Loohooppa (Tangkhul), and by the Burmahs Lagwensoung, now tributary of Manipoor.”
As a result of this boundary demarcation without the knowledge let alone consent of the Tangkhuls, many Tangkhul village situated in Somrah hills are include under Burma. Later, when India and Burma attained national independence, the Tangkhuls found themselves totally dismembered belonging to two different countries.
Art and Culture
The life and art of the Tangkhul are attractive and captivating. Their different costumes and wears, utensils,architecture, monumental erections and memorial set-ups depict their dexterity in art, which also speak of their sense of beauty and finesse. Though there are common costumes and wears, both for male and female, there are also some costumes and wears exclusively meant for male and female.
Some of the traditional clothes and wears
|1.||Chonkhom (Women's moslty)||1.||Malao||1.||Phangyai|
|2.||Haora(Man's mostly)||2.||Laokha||2.||Kahang Kashan|
|3.||Tangkang (for man and woman)||3.||Kahang Malao||3.||Seichang Kashan|
|4.||Luirim (man’s mostly)||4.||Thangkang||4.||Thangkang Kashan|
|5.||Raivat Kachon (Common)||5.||Khuilang Kashan||5.||Kongrah Kashan|
|6.||Khuilang Kachon (woman’s mostly)||6.||Shanphaila|
|7.||Phingui Kchon (common)||7.||Kuiying Muka (upper cover)|
|9.||Phorei Kachon (man’s mostly)||9.||Zingtai Kashan|
Music and Dance
Tangkhuls are music lovers and their songs are soft and melodious. Apart from encoding into the music the varied seasonal and cultural ideas and philosophies, music is a medium wherein historical events are also related in the lyrics. In as much as religious fervor is incorporated and composed in the songs, the romantic nature of the people also finds its expressions in the music. There are various varieties of songs, some are mood special, some are festival/seasonal specials. These folksongs and folklores can be taught and sang by anybody , anytime, but there are also some specific musical expressive melodies of every region or area.
These folksongs and folklores can be played or accompanied by musical instruments. Some of the musical instruments are: 1. Tingteila (Violin), 2. Tala (Trumpet), 3. Phung (Drum), 4. Mazo (Woman’s mouth-piece), 5. Sipa (Flute), 6. Kaha Ngashingkhon (Bamboo pipe) etc.
Corresponding to the rhythmic composition of the songs, the dances of the Tangkhuls are also rhythmic and these are eventful and vigorous. Thrilling as they are, there are also some special occasional dances, like the Kathi Mahon - dance for the dead, Laa Khanganui - virgin dance during Luira Festival, Rain Pheichak - war Dance etc.
Traditional Tools/ Implements Ornaments
The house structure is more or less similar for all the villages, but the carvings on the posts and blinks vary from village to village and area to area. To display the splendour and wealth of the rich and noble families, tree trunks - TARUNG are erected in front of the house. Some even erect Monumental/Memorial stones in the courtyards or at some prominent sites in the village area. Construction of all these entails strict ritualistic procedures and norms.
Flora and Fauna
Ukhrul District is best introduced by its beautiful Shirui Lily, Lilium Mackleanae Sealy, grown only on the peak of Shirui Kashung, some 18 Km. East of the district HQ. Ukhrul. This world famous Shirui Lily, which belongs to the lilium family was discovered by Frank Kingdon Ward in 1946 when he came to Manipur Hills for botanical collection on behalf of the New York Botanical Garden. The rareness and the uniqueness of this Lily is that, it has seven colours when examined through a microscope. Later, Frank won the prestigious prize of the Royal Horticulture Society Award, Landon in 1948. This Lily plant is 2ft. to 3ft. tall, consisting of a hard stem around which lanceolate leaves are spirally arranged. Shirui Lily was declared the State Flower in 1989 on March 21. Native to Tangkhul Hills and grown only on Shirui Peak, it is endemic to the region and considered as the most fabulous wealth of the Tangkhuls.
The District is gifted with rich flora and fauna. There are hundreds of varieties of trees , barderian flowering plants, orchids of enumerable hues and kinds, Epiphetic ferns, varied species of plants and shrubs. Some of the known species of plants and trees are : Alder (Alnus nepalensis), Prunus cirosirdes, Symingtonia, Acacia auriculifornis, Parkia javanica, Paraserrianthes falcotaria, Michelia oblanga, Cmilina arborea, pinus kerya, robinea psedudoacacia, besides various iris species, wild roses, red and white rhododendrons etc.
This tropical forest is also the habitat of many valued species of birds and animals. Many threatened species like, the tragopan blythii, pangolin (ant eater), salamander, tiger, porcubine, hooting monkey, leopard, big-small and medium size black bears, elephant, wild buffalo, wild boars, deers and stags, wild goats and many unidentified species are found in this region. Birds of various colours and sizes are also found here including some migratory birds. An area of 100 Sq. Km. around Shirui Peak has been declared as the National Park in 1998 by the Government of Manipur. Some of the important species of fish are; Golden Mhaseer (Tore Putitora) locally known as Ngara, Snow trout (schizothorax), locally know as khainguila, Barilius guteltus, locally called ngapaila, Mastcembelus, locally known as chipang, Botia species, locally known as masengla, Naemecheilus species, locally known as hangkorkhai, Chana species, locally known as khaiva, Pontius species, locally known as khaiwonla and khaipukla, Esomus species, locally know as wonsangla, Gara species, cyprinio semiplotus, glyptothorax plailigopanoide, botisdorio, xenden cacila etc.
A variety of fauna is found in the district. To an avid explorer of wild life the rich variety of rare birds and animals of this district will be of immense interest. Among the larger kind of animal, though very rare, the elephant is said to be found in the great Agon Ching range which boarders is the district with Myanmar ( Burma) Leopard and tigers are rarely seen. There are two kinds of black bear. Bishon or mithun is found mostly at eastern Ukhrul. Crested porcupine and pangolin are rarely found. Other animals found are jungle cat, wild pig, otter, field mouse, stag, etc. Monkeys of toque and baboon species are also seen.
The district has very rich variety of flora. From amongst the flowers, the Shirui Lily (Lilium Mackelind) has achieved international fame because of its uniqueness. A British botanist named F Kingdomward discovered the uniqueness of this lily flower in 1948. This lily flower blooms in may and june of every year and also grows nowhere in the world other than on the slopes of Shirui hill range of this district. The local name of the flower is Kashongwon. According to the local legends the kashongwon is also the protective spirit which resides on the now called shirui peak. Now the flower becomes named as Shirui Lily. Haramwon is also another flower the colour of which is snow white. It takes its name Haramwon (snow white) from the snow that fails on Songrei peak where the flower blooms. Mention may be made of other names of the flowers, viz. chamtheiwon, nuisiwon, shiriwon, sikreiwon, Shilungwon, kokruiwon (rhodendron), Khayawon and Muivawon.(Reference : A tourist guide to Shirui Lily).
The evergreen forests give the district a sylvan look. Some commonly found trees in the district are :
Ukhrul District is best introduced by its beautiful Shirui Lily, Lilium Mackleanae Sealy, grown only on the peak of Shirui Kashong, some 18 Km. East of the district HQ. Ukhrul. This world famous Shirui Lily, which belongs to the Lilium family was discovered by Frank Kingdom Ward in 1946 when he came to Manipur Hills for botanical collection on behalf of the New York Botanical Garden. The rareness and the uniqueness of this Lily is that, it has seven colors when examined through a microscope. Later, Frank won the prestigious prize of the Royal Horticulture Society Award, Landon in 1948. This Lily plant is 2ft. to 3ft. tall, consisting of a hard stem around which lance late leaves are pirally arranged.
Shirui Lily was declared the State Flower in 1989 on March 21. Native to Tangkhul Hills and grown only on Shirui Peak, it is endemic to the region and considered as the most fabulous wealth of the Tangkhuls. The District is gifted with rich flora and fauna. There are hundreds of varieties of trees, barderian flowering plants, orchids of enumerable hues and kinds, Epiphytic ferns, varied species of plants and shrubs. Some of the known species of plants and trees are : Alder (Alnus nepalensis), Prunus cirosirdes, Symingtonia, Acacia auriculifornis, Parkia javanica, Paraserrianthes falcotaria, Michelia oblanga, Cmilina arborea, pinus kerya, robinea psedudoacacia, besides various iris species, wild roses, red and white rhododendrons etc. This tropical forest is also the habitat of many valued species of birds and animals. Many threatened species like, the tragopan blythii, pangolin (ant eater), salamander, tiger, porcubine, hooting monkey, leopard, big-small and medium size black bears, elephant, wild buffalo, wild boars, deers and stags, wild goats and many unidentified species are found in this region. Birds of various colours and sizes are also found here including some migratory birds.
An area of 100 Sq. Km. around Shirui Peak has been declared as the National Park in 1998 by the Government of Manipur. Some of the important species of fish are; Golden Mhaseer (Tore Putitora) locally known as Ngara, Snow trout (schizothorax), locally know as khainguila, Barilius guteltus, locally called ngapaila, Mastcembelus, locally known as chipang, Botia species, locally known as masengla, Naemecheilus species, locally known as hangkorkhai, Chana species, locally known as khaiva, Pontius species, locally known as khaiwonla and khaipukla, Esomus species, locally know as wonsangla, Gara species, cyprinio semiplotus, glyptothorax plailigopanoide, botisdorio, xenden cacila etc.
Since the knowledge of geology of the state is still too incomplete, mineral-prospecting remains awaited. Poor communication facilities, inaccessibility and inclement climate have been the constraints in mineral explorations. However, the first attempt of systematic geological survey in Ukhrul District in the recent years have located quite a number of minerals whose mining potential needs be assessed after a detailed study. As it is clear from the Mineral Map, more occurrences of the minerals of whatever indication it is, are met with in the eastern longitudinal half of the state where the rocks are comparatively of older Disang formations. A part of the 220 km long ophiolite belt running north-south is also extended into the eastern border areas. These metamorphose rocks have more possibilities to undergo greater mineralisation. Investigations have revealed the occurrence of the following minerals.
A substantial deposit of good quality limestone suitable for use in the manufacture of cement has been located during the recent years by the Geological Survey of India near Ukhrul. Limestone has also been located at a number of other areas e.g. Hundung, Mova, Khonggoi, Lambui and Paoyi. In the Ukhrul area, limestone occurs in two bands. A reserve of 579 M tonnes has been proved by drilling to a depth of 105 meters. Other deposits are 0.26 M tonnes at Khonggoi and 1.88 M tonnes at Hundung. All these deposits taken together are expected to be able to feed a cement plant of modest capacity of 200 tonnes per day for about 45 years. But the present installed capacity is only 50 TPD (tonne per day). Evaporities
Evaporities are the mineralised salt sediments from the evaporation of saline waters specially the seawaters. These are used in fertilizer, chemical, drug and building industries. Minor occurrences of magnesium and other salts in Kongai area of Chingai sub-division of Ukhrul District have been located.
A number of brine wells occur at Chingai, Challao, Nameri, Luchai-Khullen, Mariem and Kharawam in Ukhrul District and at Ningel and Chandrakhong village in Thoubal District. The spring water is locally used in making salt cakes.
Chromite deposits containing partly metallurgical grade ore have been located at Kwatha and Khudengthabi in Chandel District and near Shirui Peak in Ukhrul District. Open cast mining has been operated by M/s Orissa Industries Pvt. Ltd., Rourkela. Possibilities of locating bigger deposits are indicated. Production of Chromite in 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97 are 643 MT, 784, 470 MT and 62 MT respectively.
Ferrous Alloy Metals
Nickeliferous magnetites, copper and cobalt have been located at Kwatha, Khudengthabi and Namphesha along the ultramaphic expositions near Moreh. The ore grade and size of deposit need further assessment with investigations extended into the northern strips of the ultramaphic belt. The possibility of locating platinum in this ophiolite belt has been observed (NEC).
Minor occurences of these minerals have been reported from the ultramaphic suites of rocks particularly in the Ukhrul and Moreh areas.
Semi Precious Stones
Jadeite, a semi-precious mineral occurs in the Indo-Burma borders. While Burma and China have abundant resource of these minerals, Indian occurences are very poor. Other compact coloured minerals include the surpentinites found in the same belt.
The alluvial soils and some of the residual soils in the valley contain clay. The character of the clay is clay is such that it can not be used in the manufacture of white-ware. Bricks, sanitary and channel pipes can be manufactured from it. The clay deposit at Kangvai (Churachandpur District) has been recommended for use in terracotta industries. This deposit has a reserve of 2.52 M tonnes. The clay deposits at Thongjao, Sekmai and some other villages are used in pottery. The rest are fit for brick industry.
Lignites have been located at Kangvai (Churachandpur District) and some other places but they have found to be uneconomical. The Central Ground Water Board encountered gas emanations during exploratory drillings in search of ground water potentials at eight different places in Imphal and Bishenpur Districts. Of these, the samples from Wangkhei (Borehold No.4) and Lamphel (Borehole No.14) were put to test at the laboratories of the GSI and the ONGC, (IFCD, 1984). The GIS laboratory test revealed the gas to be inflammable and almost odourless with very faint carbide like smell. The chemical composition of the gas emanation was
Samples of oil and gas emanated at Lamphelpat well were analysed with the following results:
Oil is a mineral which is normally not exposed on the surface. Although, the oil sample tested indicates resemblance to crude oil, the final answer to the existence of oil bearing structure is yielded only by actual drilling. Drilling is not done in an unknown area without securing the sub-surface picture by "other means" as it is very expensive operation. These "other means" are mainly geophysical prospecting methods which according to Prof. D.K. Ganguli of Manipur University , has remained pending with the programme of GSI and the ONGC in this state.
Oil, which consists of gaseous, liquid and sometimes solid hydrocarbons in mutual solution is mainly of marine origin. Once formed in the source rock, it migrates along the state untill it meets a suitable structure or trap where it is stored underground with the salt water at the bottom, the liquid oil above it, and the gas at the topmost part. the Indo-Stanvac Oil Prospecting Project in Bengal Basin found the strata without oil reserves but with evidence of oil bearing once with a dip towards the SE-direction. In the theory of migration, Prof. Ganguli's belief is that the same oil from the Bengal Basin must have migrated eastward leaving pockets in Bangladesh , Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Andaman where such occurrences have already been detected.
Manipur has the same stratigraphic sequence of the same age in oil laden Assam and other places mentioned above including Myanmar . The gas encounters in Manipur Valley were during groundwater surveys and not during an oil-prospecting mission. Proper intensive geophysical surveys therefore, may revealed a better picture of the oil structures of the state.
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