Manipur represents population of two ethnic groups, the people who inhabit the hills called the Nagas and those who inhabit the valley called the Meiteis. The hills are also inhabited by the group called the Kukis. Imphal is the political capital of Manipur. The earliest recorded history dates to 900AD. In the course of its history there have been several invasions from Myanmar (Burma) which borders with Manipur and numerous clashes with the Nagas. In 1826, Manipur was brought into India by the treaty of Yandavo by Raja Jai Singh with the British at the end of the Indo-Burmese war. This followed a dispute in accession to the throne. With the intervention of the British the dispute was settled. In 1891 Churachand was nominated the Raja and it came under British rule as a princely state. During World War II Imphal was occupied by the Japanese. After Indian independence Manipur became a Union Territory and subsequently achieved statehood in January 21,1972.


Manipur is inhabited by three major ethnic groups in Manipur - the Meiteis in the valley, the Nagas and the Kuki-Chin tribes in the hills. The Meitei Pangals (Meitei Muslims) form a minority community. Besides this, other communities from the other states of India have also settled in the State. People are predominantly Mongoloid, and speak Tibeto-Burman languages. The Meitei language which is the mother-tongue of the Meitei people is the lingua-franca of the State. 









Culture has its roots in the religion, which enshrines the highest aspirations and the noblest ideals of the people. Manipur evokes memories of its great culture and its well-recognized attainments in that sphere. Vaishnavism spread to Manipur from Bengal and the influence of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was a great devotee himself and even a greater propagator cannot be underestimated. The Govindji temple in Imphal is the Centre of this religious devotion but all over Manipur, where Bhakti movement has taken deep roots there are temples and religious ceremonies and festivals. The immortal songs of Jaideva, the Gitagovinda from Orissa is recited and sung when the Raslila dance is performed and the delicate Manipuri dance form is presented. Manipuri dance is entirely colored by Bhakti and the eroticism or romance is merged in the devotion. Manipur also has a number of folk dances as it has a multicultural composition as the Nagas and Kuki tribes have their traditional cultural ethos.