Churachandpur, Manipur: Churachandpur town is the district headquarters of Churachandpur district of Manipur.
The town is locally known as Lamka ("Lam" means path or way and "Ka" means junction). Thus Lamka means a place located at the road junction. Lamka is the most multi-cultured and cosmopolitan town in Manipur, the reason being the town was created for commercial reasons. The residents are referred to as "CCpurians" or" Lamka-ites".
Churachandpur is the second-largest town of Manipur, after the state capital, Imphal. It is the fastest growing town in Manipur state. The town is well-developed with good infrastructural, industrial and educational facilities.
Churachandpur is located in the Churachandpur district of Manipur. The geographical coordinates of Churachandpur are 93.15 degree E and 24.0 degree N at an altitude of 914.4 meters above sea level. Churachandpur is about 59 km from the state capital Imphal.
Churachandpur is the largest district of Manipur state. The terrain of the district is mainly hilly, with narrow valleys that support wet rice cultivation. The district is bounded by Assam and Mizoram on the west, Imphal on the North, Myanmar in the South and Chandel district on the east. The main hills of the district are: Uikohtangbung hill, Vangai hill, Gallamthang hill, Behengtang hill, Thingbunglhang hill, Thangchingtang hill. The rivers that flow through the district are: Barak river, Leimatak river, Makru river, Manipur river, Tuivai river, Khuga river, Irang river.
Churachandpur derives its name from the Manipur Raja Churachand Singh who once ruled the area.
People in Churachandpur:
Churachand is inhabited by tribes such as Paite, Simte, Milhiem, Gangte, Zou, Hmar, Thadou, Vaiphei, Tedim, Lusei and Manipuri Meitei. They mainly belong to the Tibeto-Burman family. The main languages spoken here are Paite, Zou, Simte, Vaiphei, Hmar etc.Of all the tribes, the Paite tribe dominates the population. Most of them have adopted Christianity and consist of converted Protestants and Roman Catholics.
In addition to tribes communities like Nepalese, Biharis, Malwaris, and Punjabis also inhabit the area. These communities lead in the business and industrial sector.
Agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery are the main occupations of the local tribes. They mainly cultivate Rice, maize, pulses and vegetables.
The tribes have their own law and order system within their community. The tribes basically belong to the Tibetan-Burmese culture and most of them have got converted to Christianity. This conversion greatly helped the tribes in the field of education, employment and economic development. A number of English medium schools were established with hostels and old ages. People started seeking education and working in better organizations. This in turn led to the fast development of the town. With the expansion of automobile industry, health centers, hotels, industries and a number of offices coming up, Churachandpur today is one of the fast developing towns of Manipur.
Festivals in Churachandpur:
The main festivals of Churachandpur are:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Christmas - The tribes of Churachandpur who have converted into Christianity celebrate Christmas with great joy and grandeur. The tribes who celebrate this festival are mainly the Kuki, Naga and Hmar tribes. Offering prayers, reading of gospels, eating, dance, feasting, singing of hymns, lectures on Christ, sports etc. mark the festival. It is celebrated on 24th and 25th December.
4. Kut festival – This is a Post-Harvest festival celebrated in the month of November by the Kuki tribe. It is a state holiday on this festival. The festival is marked by various cultural events such as traditional dances, folk dances, songs, sports and the most popular Miss Kut contest. It is a festival of peace and thanksgiving to the Almighty for the harvests.
5. Gan-Ngai festival- This is celebrated by the Kabui Nagas for five days in December-January. It is a colorful blend of rituals, feasts and dances.
6. 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.
In addition to the tribal festivals, the other communities celebrate their festivals like Holi, Diwali, Sankranti, Dussera, Navratri, Shivratri etc.
Nearest Big Town:
The nearest big town to Churachandpur is Imphal which is about 59 km away. Imphal is the state capital and an extremely well-developed city.