Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. Manipur is sometimes called alternative names such as Kangleipak or Sanaleibak. It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east. It has long connected the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, enabling migration of people, cultures and religions.
During the British Rule, the Kingdom of Manipur was one of the princely states. This merger is disputed by groups in Manipur as having been completed without consensus and under duress. The dispute and differing visions for the future has resulted in a 50-year insurgency in the state for independence from India, as well as in violence between ethnic groups in the state.
The main language of the state is Meeteilon (Manipuri). By comparison, indigenous tribal peoples constitute 20% of the state population; they are distinguished by dialects and culture that are often village-based. Manipur’s ethnic groups practice a variety of religions.
Manipur has primarily an agrarian economy, with significant hydroelectric power generation potential. It is connected to other areas by daily flights through Imphal airport, the second largest in northeastern India. Manipur is home to many sports, the origin of Manipuri dance, and credited with introducing polo to Europeans.
The 2012–2013 gross state domestic product of Manipur at market prices was about 10,188 crore (US$1.5 billion). Its economy is primarily agriculture, forestry, cottage and trade driven.
Manipur acts as India’s “Gateway to the East” through Moreh and Tamu towns, the land route for trade between India and Burma and other Southeast Asian countries.
Manipur has the highest number of handicrafts units and the highest number of craftspersons in the northeastern region of India.
Manipur produced about 0.1 gigawatt-hours (0.36 TJ) of electricity in 2010 with its infrastructure. The state has hydroelectric power generation potential, estimated to be over 2 gigawatt-hours. if half of this potential is realised, it is estimated that this would supply 24/7 electricity to all residents, with a surplus for sale, as well as supplying the Burma power grid.
Manipur’s climate and soil conditions make it ideally suited for horticultural crops. Growing there are rare and exotic medicinal and aromatic plants.
The state is covered with over 3,000 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi) of bamboo forests, making it one of India’s largest contributors to its bamboo industry.
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