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Manipur
 
Surrounded by blue hills with an oval shaped valley at the centre, rich in art and tradition and surcharged with nature's pristine glory. Manipur lies on a melting pot of culture. It is birth place of Polo. This is the place where Rajashree Bhagyachandra created the famous Ras Lila, the classical dance of Manipur, out of his enchanting dream by the grace of Lord Krishna. Her folk dances reveal the mythological concept of creation of Manipur.
The following are the places of significance at Manipur:

1) Shri Shri Govindajee Temple: This temple is adjacent to the palace of the former rulers of Manipur; it is a sacred center for Vaisnavites. It is a simple and beautiful structure with twin gold domes, a paved courtyard and a large congregation hall. The presiding deity, Radha Govinda is flanked by idols of Balaram and Krishna on one and Jaganath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on the other.

The Chief Priest of Sri Govindaji temple is Sri.Gurumayum Yalma(Lai Sangalkpa-Shandilya Gothram).He has been performing Pooja for the past 30 years and the deities were kept in his house during World War-II for safety.
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2) Loktak Lake is like a miniature sea. It is the largest fresh water lake in the North-East. Sendra is a hillock of an island of Loktak lake, 48Kms away from Imphal City on Tidim road. From the Tourist bunglow, set atop Sendra island, visitors can get a birds eye-view of the unique Loktak Lake and the floating mass called "Phumdis".
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On the way back there is a village called Moirang village. It was from the village of Moirang that the graceful, Khamba Thoibi dance originated. It was also at Moirang that flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14, 1944. There is an INA Museum exhibiting letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other articles associated with INA.
 

3) Sri Radha Madhava Sanskrit Mahavidylaya at Nambol, Manipur: Nambol is 12 Km from Imphal. Prof.G. Lal Gopal Sharma is the Principal of the Vidylaya. Nearly 700 students are studying from Std I to X, and there are 30 teachers. The Vidyalya has got 10 acres of land and the present building occupies 2acres of land only. While Sanskrit is the main language they are also teaching English and Manipuri. Prof. Sharma expressed his desire that the lotus feet of His Holiness should touch the school premises. Both boys and girls are studying in the school. RAS LEELA festival is also an important event conducted here in the evenings.

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There is no separate Panchangam in Manipur as they are following Bengali Panchangam. Important festivals are;

1. Manipur New Year same as Bengali new year in April.
2. Vasanth Panchami-Saraswathy Pooja.
3. Upakarma.
4. Janmshatami
5. Ratha Yathra
6. Durga pooja
7. Holi
8. Diwali
9. Mahalaya Paksham
10. Karthik Purnima and Vasantha Purnima(Ras Leela)

Major Manipuri's are followers of Sri Krishna Chaithanya Mahaprabu. Both ladies and gents are wearing Srigandha on their fore-head from the bridge of the nose. The ladies are in their traditional dress (like Burmese). There was a Ptd.Shanthi Das Gosai, follower of Sri Rama. The King Karibanivas alias Pamiceba who was the King at that time converted the local Tribes into Ramandi (Ramnam Japa), the seven sects among the tribes are very brave. So the King added "SIMHA" (lion) after their name. In the due course Simha changed into SINGH. They are not Punjabis. They are Hindu Vaishnavites.
 

VEDAPARAYANAM AT MANIPUR

With the Blessings and guidance of Their Holiness, a Veda Parayanam was organized by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam at Sri Govindaji Temple, Imphal, Manipur from 1 to 3 May 2010 for the welfare of North-East India.

Dr. S. Venugopala Sastri and Sri Suryanarayana Sastri performed the Parayanam. On 1st May, a photo of Sri Veda Vyasa and Kalasa were installed and aavahan of 1) varuna sahita Veda Vyasa, 2) Navagrahadevataas, 3) Mrutyunjaya, 4) Kshetrapala, 5) dhanvantari, 6) vaastu devataas was also performed followed by Vedaparayanam. Veda Parayanam was peformed on the second day from 9am to 4.30 pm.

On the third day, after the Veda Parayanam, Sri Rudram was chanted. After kalasa puja and yathaasthaanam of the Devatas, the holy water was poured on the Shiva Lingam kept inside Govindaji mandir. Teertha prasadam was distributed to devotees. Local people who enthusiastically offered support in conducting the Parayanam were honoured. The event was covered by media including All India Radio, Doordarshan and other local news channels.

 
With the blessings of Their Holiness a Samaveda Parayanam was organized by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in Manipur from 15th to 21st July 2010 for the welfare of the North East states of India. This is in continuation of the Veda Parayanam performed by Dr. Venugopala Sastri and Sri Suryanarayana Sastri in the first week of May 2010.

The Samaveda Parayanam was performed by Pundit Sri Vaman Chatterjee of Kolkatta at Sri Vishnu Panchayatana Mandir, Charhazare, Senapati district, Sri Bansidhari Mandir, Hejamleikai, 5 kms from Imphal and at Sri Govindaji Mandir, Imphal. The Samaveda Parayanam at Sri Govindaji Mandir coincided with the Rath Yatra. The parayana was well attended.

During our stay at Imphal, Manipur we visited a village called Moreh, in the Indo-Burma border, which is 110kms from Imphal on NH 39. Nearly 500 Tamil families are living in this village. There are 8 Hindu Temples in Moreh and the main temple being Sri Angalaparameswari Mandir. This temple is situated right on the Indo-Burma border. One of the entrances of the temple is on the Burma side. They observe all the festivals of South India. The main festival is “Thee Midhi” (fire walking) during Panguni Uthiram and Ganesha festival. The Burmese Tamilians are the major donors for this temple and they sponsor these festivals.
 
 
 
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