Magnificent Manipur, literally meaning a "jewelled land is studded with Lush hills, emerald green valleys, turquoise lakes, cascading rapids and deep dark woods. Its amazing beauty has won admiration from every visitor Lord Irwin described it as the 'Switzerland of India', while Mrs. St. Clair Grimwood called it as "a pretty place more beautiful than many show places of the world", but, the most fitting tribute was paid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who called it as the "Jewel of India".
The recorded history of the State dates back to 33 C.E., when Pakhangba, an Indian adventurer founded a dynasty which ruled here uninterrupted till the Burmese invaded and occupied it from 1819 to 1826. The region came under the reigns of the British, after the defeat of the princely State (Kangleipak) in the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. Manipur witnessed fierce battles between the Japanese and Allied forces during the World War II. The invading Japanese forces failed to capture Imphal and had to retreat, which was one of the turning points of the War. Manipur merged with India after it gained independence from British rule. It became a Union Territory in 1962 and attained Statehood on 21st January 1972
The stunningly beautiful State has around 77 per cent of its geographical area under forest it is very rich in biodiversity, where large areas are still covered by virgin forests teeming with rare and varied species of flora and fauna. The Siroy Lilium makineae) flower and Brow-Antlered Deer (Cervus eldi eldi), locally known as Sangai can only be found in Manipur
The State is also proud of its rich culture and heritage and is distinctly identified to the world by its own art forms and cultural expressions. Manipuri dance, the world famous classical dance form of the State epitomises beauty and grace. Manipuri is indeed the art expression of every citizen of the State and is closely associated with the worship of Lord Vishnu. The Sankirtan and Ras Leela are revered musical traditions enacted at every major occasion. The rhythmic tribal dances of the State are equally captivating and noted for their colourful costumes. The exquisite handlooms and handicrafts of the State demonstrate the artistic and creative outlook of the Manipuris. The people of Manipur are also known for their rich sports and martial traditions.
Manipur, an undiscovered tourist haven is a land of limitless wonders and a trip to the State lingers long in the mind of the visitors.