Asm: মণিপুৰ maṇipūra
From Skt/Hin: mani, ‘jewel’, ‘gem’; and Skt/Hin: pur, ‘fort’, ‘city’.
Local myths tell of the snake god Vasuki casting jewels across this land, filling it with natural beauty. King Gharib Nawaz (Mei: Meidingu Pamheiba) made Hinduism the state religion in 1714 and ten years later the state was renamed Manipur.
Manipur maintained its independent status as a princely state under the British Raj and chose to join India at Independence in preference to Burma.
The Meitei people in the plains and around Imphal valley represent around 53% of the population; Naga and Kuki-Zo hill tribes account for about 40% between them.
One of the leading Indian classical dance forms, Manipuri, originates from here: a soft, expressive dance featuring stiff, cylindrical skirts.