Manipur (ʊər/ (listen)) is a state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi) and has a population of almost 3 million, including the Meitei, who are the majority group in the state, Loi, Yaithibi, Kuki, and Naga peoples, who speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages. Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. It has long connected the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia and China, enabling migration of people, cultures, and religions.
During the Raj, the Kingdom of Manipur was one of the princely states. Between 1917 and 1939, the people of Manipur pressed for their rights against British rule. By the late 1930s, the princely state of Manipur negotiated with the British administration its preference to be part of India, rather than Burma. These negotiations were cut short with the outbreak of World War II. On 11 August 1947, Maharaja Budhachandra signed the Instrument of Accession, joining India. Later on 21 September 1949, he signed a Merger Agreement, merging the kingdom into India. This merger has been 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 repeated episodes of violence among ethnic groups in the state. From 2009 through 2018, the conflict was responsible for the violent deaths of over 1000 people.
The Meitei ethnic group represents 53% of the population of Manipur state. The main language of the state is Meitei (also known as Manipuri). Tribes constituting about 20% of the state population are distinguished by dialects and cultures that are often village-based. Manipur's ethnic groups practice a variety of religions. According to 2011 census, Hinduism is the major religion in the state, closely followed by Christianity. Other religions include Islam, Sanamahism, Buddhism etc.
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 and the origin of Manipuri dance, and is credited with introducing polo to Europeans.
Manipur is mentioned in historic texts as Kangleipak or Meeteileipak Sanamahi Laikan wrote that officials during the reign of Meidingu Pamheiba in the eighteenth century adopted Manipur's new name.
According to Sakok Lamlen, the area had different names in its history. During the Hayachak period, it was known as Mayai Koiren poirei namthak saronpung or Tilli Koktong Ahanba; in the Khunungchak period, it was Meera Pongthoklam. During the Langbachak era, it became Tilli Koktong Leikoiren, and finally was known as Muwapali in the Konnachak epoch.[page needed]
Neighbouring cultures each had differing names for Manipur and its people. The Shan or Pong called the area Cassay, the BurmeseKathe, and the AssameseMeklee. In the first treaty between the British East India Company and Meidingu Chingthangkhomba (Bhagyachandra) signed in 1762, the kingdom was recorded as Meckley. Bhagyachandra and his successors issued coins engraved with "Manipureshwar", or "lord of Manipur", and the British discarded the name Meckley. Later on, the work Dharani Samhita (1825–34) popularised the Sanskrit legends of the origin of Manipur's name.
The term Kanglei, meaning "of Manipur/Kangleipak", is used to refer to items associated with the state where the term Manipuri is a recent given name.