The boundaries of Manipur – Naoroibam Indramani

Contd. from 20th January 2019:  (2) The reasons why this line was selected in preference to others :

The orders of the Government of India were that the line was to be in the latitude of Permbeton’s line and drawn so as to exclude Lenacot from Manipur – With these orders in mind, starting from Tin Zin, a river line was selected instead of a range of hills because these latter are so ill-defined in this neighbourhood. The Tui Sawas selected instead of the Tui Pu (which is probably Pemberton’s boundary, namely, the Nunsailung) because this line included to Burma the two Thado villages of Haulkan and Hinazan, which for about 40 years have payed tribute to the Kamhow tribe. From the Kengyoidung source of the Tui Sa the boundary was made to run along the Tang for about 4 miles because there are no suitable rivers till the Yangdung is reached which flows north-west into the Manipur river. Having survived at this point, some difficulty was experienced in selecting a line to the west because the large rivers all runs north and south while it was essential to the interest of Burma that the line should take as westerly a direction as possible and should on no account trend off to the north. There were three courses open : (1) that straight line should be drawn between the most prominent features on the hill tops; (2) to run the boundary along latitude 24°; (3) or to select small streams or ravine running east and west and place pillars at their sources.

No. 1 and 2, it was considered, would not be well enough defined and besides it would have been necessary to erect pillars in the valleys as well as on the hill tops and this the third course was selected. As may be seen from the above description of the boundary line the pillars from 5 to 8 inclusive have been in each case placed at the sources of two streams up and down which the boundary has been made to run. No pillar has been erected on Lunglen as the boundary between Lushai and Manipur is till undefined.

(3) Remarks on the country in the vicinity or the boundary line:

The following notes have been made to more easily identify the bounday in case of discussion.

To total length of the northern boundary to the Chin Hills in a straight line is roughly 50 miles. The most southerly point is the place where the Tui Sa enters the Kabaw Valley; this is also the most easterly while the most northerly and, curiously enough the most westerly point is Lunglen, the latter point being 12 miles roughly north of the former.

Commencing from the eastern end of the line the Burman village of Tinzin in the Kabaw Valley is situated approximately three and half miles to the north-east of its easterly end; it is on the left bank of the Tui Sa which forms the boundary,. Following the line of the boundary, Haulkam, a Thado Chin village, is about 2 miles to the south. The triangulated point Kaiching, 5,017 feet high, is situated about 3 miles north of the Tui Sa and is the highest point on the watershed between the Tui Sa and the river to the north, flowing parallel with it. This point is visible from Haulkam. Further on 2 miles to the south is the triangulation station Molben, altitude 6,343 feet; this hill is cleard of jungle on the top except for one tree, it is cone-shaped and a very prominent landmark and is visible from Tinzin.

Hear Molben and about one and half miles to the south-west is the Thado village of Hainzan. Due north of Molben is the spur called the Teyontang, which juts put in a south-easterly direction from the Tang and separated the Kengyoidung and Tui Lem source of the Tui Sa. The Tui Lem has its origin near the triangulated point 6,504 feet, which is a high hill on the Tang about 4 miles north of the boundary line.To the south-east of the triangulated point 6,504 feet is the traingulation station Katong altitude 7,864 feet; this is joined to the watershed by a ridge. It is curious to note that this point is the highest in this neighbourhood and yet is not on the main watershed. Streams rise here from every quarter; the spurs leading from it are very broken and it would look if in past ages there had been a great landship, which had entirely changed the course of the streams and the position of the watershed.

A little further on the boundary passes between the sources of the Kan flowing north-east and the Tui Pu flowing south-east. The small Yoe village of Tangsi is situated just sputh of the line near the Yangdung stream, and consequently falls to Burma. About 4 miles further on the Yoe village called Yangdung is passes one mile north of the boundary and in Manipur. According to the orders of the Government of India, the Yoe village called Shilmong, formerly known as Lenacot, falls in Burma about one and half miles south of the line. Arriving at the Manipur river, the boundary crosses four streams before reaching Lunglen, namely, the Manipur river flowing south, the Tui Ta, the Tui Vai, and Tui Vel flowing north. On the range immediately west of the Manipur river is the hill point called Hengyang about 4 miles due north of No. 5 pillar.

The next range of hills running between the Tui Ta and Tui Vai is the range called Lentang, which continues south as far as the latitude of Tiddim; on this range, about six and half miles south of No. 6 pillar is the hill point called Album; a little on is the site of the deserted Chasad village called Mongbum, situated on a hill called Kovet, just over a mile to the north-east of the line. The boundary then crosses the Tui Vai within a few hundred yards south of the Chibu salt-spring. From here to Lunglen there are no points of interest. The whole country to the west of the Manipur river through which the boundary runs is uninhabited and little is known of it except by Shikaris.

Western boundary of Manipur :

The western boundary of Manipur was never complicated in comparison with that of the southern boundary. Most of the boundary lines on the western side, it was well demarcated by Barak river and Jiri river. The Barak river is originated from Liyai and Tungjoi of Mao area and flows down towards the north-west direction after joining with some small streams. After demarcating the western boundary line of Manipur near Chakha, Dunnang, and Khunphung, it further flows down southward and joins with Makru river in the Tamenglong border, Irang river at the Churachandpur border and Tuibai or Tipai river at Tipaimukh, the western border of Manipur. After the Barak joins with Tipai river, its course is turned northward direction demarcating the western boundary of Manipur from the point of Tipaimukh to the point where the Jiri river joins at Jirimukh. Jiri river is originated from the area of Magulong and it flows down demarcating some portion of the western boundary of Manipur from Magulong to Jirimukh.

The Tuibai (Tipai) river was made the boundary of Manipur from the time of king Garibaniwaj. In the year 1735, king Garibaniwaj, for the purpose of settling the boundary of Manpur set up a stone at the junction of Kwai, Toowai or Tuibai (Tipai) and Tanganglok rivers. It is inscribed in Manipuri Character on the stone that the land on the northern side of Tuibai or Toowai river belongs to the king of Manipur. The inscription is still legible.

In the year 1786 also king Jai Singh (Bhagyachandra) went to Tipai and settled the boundary of Tripura and Manipur. He also confirmed the boundary which was settled by king Garibaniwaj. In the year 1830, during the reign of king Gambhir Singh, with the view of settling the boundary in conjunction with the Government, Achoiba Luwangba, king of Moirang was employed on behalf of the king, and Jenkin, Grant, Gorden, and Pemberton were employed on behalf of the Government. The commission settled the boundary and put a flag in favour of Gambir Singh under Kanchaon tree at the mouth of Tipai river, another flag and stone on the opposite the river in favour of the Government. Hence, that the river Toowai (Tipai) forms the boundary of Manipur was not only known to the Government of India but it was known from time immemorial to the Lushais and the Kookis living there.

Regarding the western boundary at Jiri river, we may come across to the agreement signed between Gambhir Singh and Commissioner, F.J. Grant in 1835. Mention may be made here some past accounts of shifting the Chandrapur Thana to the Jiri by Gambhir Singh.

After the death of Govinda Chandra, the ruler of Cachar several claimants at once put forward their claim over Cachar. But the most serious claim was that of Gambhir Singh who applied for a lease of Cachar for 20 years on an annual tribute of Rs. 15,000/-. His claim was supported by captain Grant, Commissioner of Manipur, but seriously opposed by Captain Jenkins and Lieutenant Pemberton, who pointed out that it would be dangerous to entrust the difence of Cachar to the weak ruler of Manipur. Lord William Bentinck, the Governor General of India was in favour of annexation of Cachar Valley to British India. A hilly tract in the eastern part of Cachar was given to Gambhir Singh, the plains were annexed on August 14, 1832 and a Cachar District was formed. The boundary between Manipur state and the newly formed Cachar district still remained undefine. Finally the Governor General and Supreme Council communicated the following resolutions to Gambhir Singh in 1833 declared as follows—

`with regard to the two ranges of hills, the one called the Kalanaga range, and the other called the Noonjai range, which is situated between the eastern bend of the Barak and the western bend of the Barak, we will give up all claims on the part of the Honourable Company there unto, and we will make these hills over in possession to the Rajah, and give him the line of the Jeeree and the western bend of the Barak as a boundary, provided that the Rajah agrees to the whole of what is written to this paper.”

Accordingly after signing the agreement between Commissioner F.J. Grant and Gambhir Singh, the Chandrapur Thana of Gambhir Singh was shifted at the eastern side of the Jiri river. From this period of agreement, the western boundary of Manipur is still existing well defined and fixed unchanged till date.

Eastern boundary of Manipur :

Between the mountains which have been forming the eastern boundary of the Manipur valley, and the Ningthee river, there is a narrow strip of level country called the Kabaw valley, which, commencing from the foot of the hills in latitude 24° 30′ north, extends south to 22° 30′, where it terminates on the left bank of the Kathe Khyoung or Manipur river which falls into the Ningthee, and marks the southern limit of the Kale king’s territory.

to be contd.

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