This chapter presents an overview of Manipur State, Tourism Resource Analysis, Tourism Infrastructure Analysis, Institutional Setup, Ongoing tourism projects, Prioritisation Strategy, Tourism Product Planning and Proposals for sub circuits/ destinations, Block cost estimates etc.
Manipur one of the seven sisters of the North East is located in the slopes of the Sub-Himalayan Ranges in the North East of India at latitude 23.80º N to 25.68º N and longitude 93.03º E to 94.78º E. Manipur has been the home of rich culture and heritage and is often described as the Jewel of India. The region is bound by Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Cachar district of Assam in the west. In the east it shares an international border with Upper Burma (presently, Myanmaar). Manipur covers a total geographical area of 22,327 Sq. Km. Of the total area; about nine-tenths constitute the hills which surrounds the remaining one-tenth valley.
Physiographically, Manipur is divided in two distinct physical regions - an outlying area of rugged hills and narrow valleys and the inner area represent the features of flat plain topography with all associated land forms. The hills cover approximately 90% of the total geographical area of the state. The hill ranges are higher on the northern side of the state and gradually diminish in height they reach the southern part of the state. Nearly 60% of the total geographical area of the state is covered with forests.
Manipur has two major river basins, viz. the Barak River Basin and the Manipur River Basin. The total water resources of the two basins have been estimated to be 1.8487 million hectare metre in the form of annual yield. The Barak River originates from the northern hills and is joined by a number of tributaries such as Irang, Maku, Tuivai, etc. and thereafter enters Cachar District of Assam. The Manipur river basin has eight major rivers such as Imphal, Iril, Nambul, Sekmai, Chakpi, Thoubal and Khuga. All these rivers originate from the surrounding hills. Almost all the rivers in the valley area are in the mature stage and, therefore, deposit the load in the Loktak Lake. The rivers draining the Manipur Hill Area are comparatively young due to the hilly terrain through which they flow. These rivers are corrosive in nature and assume turbulent form in rainy season. Important rivers draining the western area include Maku, Barak, Jiri, Irang and Leimatak. Rivers draining the eastern part of the State include Chamu, Khunou and other short streams.
Approximately 42.63% of the total geographical land is degraded. The natural vegetation occupies an area of about 14,365 sq. km. which is nearly 64% of the total geographical area of the State. The vegetation consists of a large variety of plants ranging from short and tall grasses, reeds and bamboos to trees of various species. Broadly, there are four types of forests below:
Teak, Pine, Oak, Uningthou, Leihao, Bamboo, Cane, etc. are important forest resources growing in plenty. In addition, rubber, tea, coffee, orange, cardamom, etc. are also, grown in hill areas. The forests offer avenue of livelihood and employment to large section of the hill population.
Manipur became an integral part of the Union of India on 15th October, 1949 as part ‘C’ state. This was replaced by a Territorial Council of 30 elected and 2 nominated members. In 1963, a Legislative Assembly of 30 elected and 3 nominated members was establishes under the Union Territories Act, 1962. Statehood was conferred on Manipur on 21st January, 1972. Imphal is the capital city of Manipur. Other major cities are Bishnupur, Chandel, Senapati, Thoubal, Ukhrul etc.The state is divided into 9 states which are given in the table below:
Manipur has a population of 23.88 lakhs (2001 Census provisional figure). Of the total population, 58.9% live in the valley and the remaining 41.1% are in the hill areas. The hills are inhabited mainly by the tribal and the valley by the Meiteis (including Meitei Muslims). The distribution of area, population and density, literacy rate, etc. as per the 2001 Census provisional figures is as below: