The boundaries of Manipur – Naoroibam Indramani

Contd. from 6 January 2019: There were very few bamboos which was rather a curious circumstances as the banks if the streams were generally lined with them. They then went uphill, at first the ascent was steep, but not so bad as on the left bank of the river, then up a gradual ascent till a height of over 6,000 feet was reached. When well on the spur and about 4 miles from the Tui Pu, the road passed near a little streamlet to the left, i.e., south and about 20 yards from it. There was a good camping-ground, but as the water was scarce they decided not to halt, but to proceed on to some water a few miles further along the road. After still going uphill along a spur which led to the Tang, they suddenly turned down the khud to the north. From thereon, the road had been made by the Manipur party, but was very steep and bad. It led them through fine trees of immense size for one and half miles with a drop of 500 feet from the main route down to a lake in the middle of primeval jungle on the banks of which they camped for the night.

The lake was about 100 yards by 60 yards with an average depth of two and half feet, the bottom was muddy. This little bit of water, hidden away in dense jungle, was near one of the sources of the Tui Pu, it was little known by the Chins, in fact of all their following only one had been down to it before.

However, it was satisfactory to know of its locality as there was none to speak of between the Tui Pu and Shilmong along the road. The ‘Bins called the place Tui Pu which signifies “big water”. Hidden away on the middle of dense jungle at so high an altitude in the midst of very steep khuds, one might had expected to have heard a weired legend connected with it, but such was not the case.

On 5th February, Mr. Carey, Mr. Porteous, Captain Longe and Mr. Dent returned to the main road along previous route, while the remainder took a rather more direct road. On the top of the spur, where the pathway down to Tui Pu led off from the main route.

Their route took them towards the Tang, gradually ascending through thick jungle, while the tops of the hills were bare. Those patches generally face south, while the northern side was covered with dense jungle. On the top of the Tang, they got a beautiful view of the surrounding country. To the south-west the Gambo, one of the sources of the Tui Pu, and its whole valley leading down to the plains was very distinct. This river, believed to be the one chosen by Pemberton in 1834, was supposed to be identical with the Nanpalaw and from this point his choice had proved to be a good one. The Tarn ran north and south and formed the watershed between the Chindwin and Manipur rivers. To the west was the village of Shilmong, and in the distance range after of hills, mostly running north and south, were plainly visible. On descending towards Shilmong, Howbi peak was first visible, that was a triangulated point from the Manipur side and was very prominent feature as that rose to a height of about 5,000 feet just at the southern end of the Manipur plain. Shilmong or Lenacot- the latter name being at that time obsolete was considerably lower than the Tang. It was very small village of about 25 houses, inhabitants being Yoes. There were still the remnants of an old stockade round the village. There they found their rations which had been stored for them by the Chins.

On 6th February, they left at morning with an escort of 40 rifles under Lieutenant Baillie to proceed to the high triangulated peak, 7,837 feet, known as Katong. The remainder if the party under Captain Kerr and Lieutenant Trydell stayed in Shilmong. They marched past the old Lenacot post which was occupied by their troops in 1891-92, across the Yangdung stream, being at that time on the main route to Manipur from Tiddim. The village of Yangdung, consisting of 12 houses and inhabited by the Yoe Chins, was visible to the east of the road, that was stockaded and on the side of a spur. They then passed through the deserted village of Kunam, which formerly was on the main road, but at that time the site was covered with long grass and part of the old stockade and a few posts only were left. The Chins deserted that village because that was on the main road was much disturbed by the troops continually passing through, so they determined to shift and had changed their position further east and on the Kana stream, forming two villages Kunam and Linkang.

After passing the site of the old village they left the main road which ran on due north and dropped down hill to the east encamping on the left bank of the Kana stream, which flowed north for some considerable distance and then into the Manipur river near Shugnu. Their camp was cold and damp, height by 3,686 feet and surrounded by large trees. The village of Kunam was situated about one mile further up stream but was quite hidden away from the main road above on account of the steepness of the Khuds, while its offshoot was a little more up the stream and had seven houses in it. The headman, Kansan, was responsible for both villages, he was, not a reliable man. The inhabitants were Yoe Chins.

On 7th February, crossing the Kana stream, which had its headwaters near Katong, they proceeded up a very steep hill and on to a spur leading from Kantong, along which they marched till just under the top of the peak. The ascent was very steep, passing through open ground and thick jungle alternately. They camped 400 feet under the top of the peak quite close to one of the sources of Kana stream, which was there very small and they obtained their water for most port from holesdug in its watercourse. Height was 7,460 feet. in the afternoon they went on the top of the hill and found to their surprise that Mr. Dent thought the highest hill in the neighbourhood was not on the Tang itself, but it an offshoot from it.

The Tu Nang, a source of the Tapay which rose at this point, flew east at first and then north between triangulated point 7,834 and triangulated point 8,504. This stream flowed into the Chakpi and eventually into the Manipur river. The main ridge ran from a point one mile south of Katong and joined triangulated point 6,504. The Kana stream rose from the western slopes of Katong, flowed west for about 4 miles, and then north. The Kenyoidung, which was the southern source of the Tui Sa, rose where the Tang and the Kukoi Tang ridges joined. To the south-east of the Kukoi Tang flowed a stream which rose at the junction of this ridge with the Tang and flowed in the Tui Lem and thence into the Tui Pu, the other branches of which were the Gamho and the Shelen, these were divided by the spur along which they marched from Hianzen to Lenacot. On

8th February, they went up to the top of the hill again on that day. Mr. Dent went along the northern spur from this point through dense jungle to survey in that direction, while the others went to find the source of the Kenyoidung, which they had not yet discovered. The jungle was very thick with fine large trees consequently great difficulties were experienced in determining it, and they returned without being able to go so.

On 9th February, they went on that day along the Kukoi Tang ridge and about 3 miles from their camp, they discovered the sources of the Kenyoidung in the middle of dense jungle. In addition to the jungle being composed of many and large trees, peak in the neighbourhood, from the main watershed, materially increased the difficulties of the work and it was not till they had spent two whole days chiefly employed in felling trees that they were successful.

On 10th February, they returned to the headwaters of the Kenyoidung and there placed the first boundary stone, uphill and on a small knoll they placed the second. These two pillars being placed the boundary so far decided on the ran up the Tui Sa and up the Kenyoidung branch of it to No. 1 pillar and on for 155 yards. to No. 2. From there, it ran along the main ridge i.e., the Tang to where the big spur to Katong joined it.

On 11th February, on that day, they left their camp at Katong and marched south on to the Tarn, and then along it to the south for 2 miles, the boundary taking the same ridge. There was a small pathway, evidently very rarely used, this various hillocks opening out on to a bare patch absolutely free of jungle. Here it was determined at a height of 7,400 feet, to place the third pillar, and from this point in a westerly direction flowed the Yangdung stream which was selected as the boundary. No. 3 pillar was placed on a defined knoll about 150 yards from the tip of the ridge. No. 4 pillar was 86 yards downhill. No. 4 pillar was placed at the head of the Yangdung stream. There were several small sources which joined and formed the Yangdung, and considerable time was spent in selecting the post suitable. After having placed the pillars they proceeded down the spur to the west and after a tedious march, halted on the Yangdung stream to which place the escort left behind at Shilmong had changed camp.

On 12th February, halted in camp while the Manipur party started for a camp on the Manipur river. Their camp was on the right bank of the Yangdung stream where there was small level bit of ground very suited for a few troops.

On 13th February, marched to the Manipur river. They followed their road leading to Lenacot for a mile and then proceeded west and gradually turning north they followed the spur which ran down to the junction of Manipur river and the Yangdung stream. This latter stream, which also formed the boundary, followed to the west of their route which led them up the described village of Kutel and then along a spur with a series of small hill-tops on it. The height of the site of Kutel was about 5,000 feet above sea level and they droped down very suddenly to the camp on the Manipur river 2,250 feet. The Manipur river there was about 100 yards wide from bank to bank but had at that time only 40 yards of water, general direction in which the river flowed was south.

On 14th February, they halted for the day. The camp was immediately north of the jungle of the Yangdung and the Manipur river and on its, left bank. There the hills did not come close down to the river bank and there was sheltered and comfortable halting place. From here on to Lunglen, the end of the boundary, they travelled along no regular tracks except near a Chibu salt well.

On 15th February, a party went across the Manipur river to try and discover if there was route to march along and to select a suitable stream up which to take the boundary. A stream called the Yangkai which flowed into the Manipur river on its right bank, about 600 yards below the mouth of the Yangdung, was chosen. It was a small stream and of no importance except that it formed part of boundary.

On 16th February, Mr.Carey, Captain Longe and the Manipur party started west on that day.

to be contd.

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