Bishnupur, Manipur: Bishnupur is also known as Bishenpur. It was known as Lamangdong in the past. Bishnupur is an ancient and historical town in the Bishnupur district of Manipur.
Bishnupur is popularly also known as the land of "Dancing Deers". The town is an exotic land of flora and deer's. The traditional beauty and the natural landscapes make the place worth seeing and worth praising destination.
The Bishnupur Bazaar is the popular local market where one can buy all essential goods and local items.
Bishnupur is located in the Bishnupur district of Manipur. The geographical coordinates being 24°38′00″N and 93°46′00″E and it is at an elevation of 828.18 meters above sea level. The Thangjarok River flows near the town. Bishnupur is 27 km from the state capital Imphal.
The Bishnupur district is bounded by West Imphal and Senapati district on the north, Churachandpur district covers on west and parts of south, Chandel district on the south-east and Thoubal district on the east. Thongjaorock, Nambol, khuga, Ningthoukhong, Sunusiphai, Iram, Yangoi are the rivers that flow through the district. The district is made up of alluvial soil, red gravelly sandy and loamy soil.
Bishnupur derives its name from the ancient Vishnu Temple located here. It was also known as the Bishnu Temple.
People in Bishnupur:
The inhabitants of Bishnupur belong to different ethnic groups. The Manipuri Meitei tribe is the most predominant community of the area. In addition to them, there are Manipuri Muslims (Meitei Pangal), Kabui, Naga, Zou, Kom, Vaiphei, Gangte, etc. They speak the Meiteilon language. A considerable number of Biharis and Marwaris are settled here mainly for business.
The Bishnupriya Manipuri language commonly spoken here is an Indo Aryan Language. This language has an ancient origin and is also spoken in Assam, Tripura and other nearby places also.
Agriculture is the main mode of living of the people. The main agricultural crops are rice, maize, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane and potato etc. The main horticultural crops are cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, chilly, pumpkin, gourd, pineapple and banana etc. People are also engaged in fishing activities.
Festivals in Bishnupur:
1. Lai Haraoba festival - This festival is the main attraction of Manipur. It is celebrated in the month of May. During the festival, a number of visitors come here to participate in the festival. It depicts the ancient Manipuri folk culture. Hundreds of local residents, dancers and singers, dressed in colorful traditional costumes come here which adds to the glory of the festival. The festival is dedicated to Lord Thangjing, a Pre-Hindu deity. Music, dance, feast, prayers and cultural programs mark the festival.
2. Cheiraoba festival- This festival is celebrated in the month of April by almost all the tribes. It is a festival of joy. Houses are decorated and offerings are made to deities. It is also a New Year for the Meitei tribe. The typical feature of this festival is that the villagers climb the nearby hilltops and believe that it enables them to rise to heights in their worldly life.
3. Ningol Chakouba - This festival is celebrated by the Meitei community where the married women (Ningol) are invited for a feast at their parental house along with their children. Gifts are given to the women and her children. This is a family bonding festival that falls in the month of November.
4. Yaoshang festival - This is the most popular festival of Manipur celebrated in the month of February / March for five days. It is a colorful festival alike the Holi festival of the Hindus. The interesting feature of this festival is the moonlight dance. Boys and girls sing and dance holding hand in hand. It is a festival of joy and harmony.
5. Ramzan - The Manipuri Muslims celebrate the festival with great joy and festivities. During this month the Muslims fast for 40 days and restrain smoke and drink from pre-dawn till sunset. They offer prayers in the evening and break their fast. On the grand day they offer prayers at the mosques, have delicious dishes, exchange greetings and call on the friends and relatives.
The nearest big town is Imphal which is about 27 km away. Imphal is the state capital and the hub of Manipur.