Get Immersed in Dance, Art, & Cultural Heritage of Manipur this Holiday Season!

The honorable list of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2013 has welcomed Manipuri Nat-Sankirtana, an art form initiated in the 18th century by the local King Bhagyachandra Singh. This news was enough for my five classmates to explore Manipur. We are Delhi University’s MA History students who always love to explore the cultural heritage of different Indian cities. holidayrentalsbllog manipur Overview The term Manipur simply stands for 'jeweled town', a phrase that precisely justifies its small, scenic land on which the Mother Nature has been super liberal in her bounty. If nature leaves one speechless, the cultural heritage lures one to praise the local art and traditions every now and then. Quite polite and hospitable, the people here belong to different colorful communities such as Nagas, Meiteis, and Kuki-Chin-Mizo, all living in total harmony since centuries. These people’s legends, folklores, martial arts, dances, exotic handlooms, colorful handicrafts, and indigenous games form up a rich and diverse cultural heritage that allure any tourist with the mystique and an inexorable ‘joie de vivre’. Cultural Attractions The state is a montage of traditions as well as cultural designs. In the arena of art and culture, its classical and folk dances best represent the state. Raas Lila or Sankirtana, the most famous performing art, is full of melodies and dances, which demonstrate the Lilas (sports) of child form of Lord Krishna with the milkmaids (gopies) who always long for spiritual union with Him. The dance is performed in front of Shree Govindajee Temple in Imphal throughout night seasonally and especially on the full moon days of Basant, Sarada, and Kartik. Manipuri Mridanga (Pung) is the drum-based soul of Sankritana music and classical dances and assumes as an indispensable part of all social and regional ceremonies here. It is performed before the Sankirtana and Ras Lila and is characterized by the sound modulation ranging from soft murmur to a loud climax. Held in April or May, the ‘Lai-Horaoba’ as a spring festival is symbolized by a ritualistic and stylized dance done for peace and prosperity by the Meiteis. Representing Creation, this tribal folk dance expresses aestheticism, innovation, and nature of tribal living. You can enjoy watching the colorful costumes and unique rituals in fiestas such as Lui-ngai-ni (seed sowing gala celebrated by the Nagas in February) and KUT (the largest celebration by the Kuki-Chin-Mizo community on 1st November). The festival also features the Maibi dance, a way of reliving past life. The Maibis as the priestesses depict the entire perception of cosmogony of the Meiteis and demonstrate their way of life. Starting with the creation process, the Maibis demonstrate the construction of houses along with different occupations for sustenance. Truly, the tribal dances have a high imaginative and aesthetic value. In the capital, the Manipur State Museum near Polo ground is a well preserved home of the state’s culture, history, and nature. You can see a long royal boat, tribal clothing, polo equipment, golden bird, tribal ornaments, local textiles, and more. Apart from the special kid’s gallery, the museum conducts science fairs and cultural appreciation courses. The rich culture is also depicted in their handicrafts and handlooms famous for its vivacity and ingenuity. It seems that each woman here is a born weaver, as the creativity is simply matchless. Handloom products such as sarees, bed sheets and covers, tribal shawls, and curtains are best sold in the capital’s Khwairamband bazar, the biggest women's market in India. For a true handicraft treat, a visit to the ancient hamlet of ANDRO is indispensable. Nestled 27 km towards east of capital, Andro houses a cultural complex that is full of potteries belonging to the North Eastern area of India and a 'Doll-House' showcasing dolls of 29 established tribes of Manipur. Best Time to Have a Cultural Visit April/May

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *