The Boundaries of Manipur – Naoroibam Indramani (Part 4)


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 downhill 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 upstream 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 holes dug 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.

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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 dropped 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.

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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.

On 17th February, Lieutenant Trydell with half his men left on that day. The remainder, with half of the Manipur party and Lieutenant Baillie in command, remained in camp on the Manipur river. Lieutenant Baillie and sepoys went on shooting regularly. Due to being attacked by dysentery, Mr. Dent sent his two Surveyors on with the party.

The Burma escort started at 8.30 A.M. and marched west across the Manipur river and then uphill for a very steep climb of 3,108 feet in about two and half miles to the top and then along the ridge for about a quarter mile, where boundary stone No. 5 was placed at one of the headwaters of the Yangkai and the Chika stream. The former flowed west into the Manipur river. The branch of the Yangkai rose a little east of No. 5 pillar quite close to which was a small pond, the Chika, which flowed west and was lower down known as the Tui Ta rose immediately at this point. Camped on the Tui Ta, which was quite a small stream. Length of march was three and half hours, coolies were taking five hours and height was 3,900 feet.

On 18th February, marched uphill to a height of 4,800 feet and then down again to another camp on the Tui Ta. The boundary followed the course of this stream up to the camp, there was small plain three-quarter mile in length and quarter mile wide at the northern end of which ran a small tributary from the west. The boundary was made to take the course of this stream up to the top of the hill. This small level piece of ground was known as Kungs and was covered with long reedy grass. In this valley were several fine wild apple trees which were in blossom and its height was about 3,735 feet.

On 19th February, crossing the boundary stream, the route taken proceeded up a steep hill on to the range known as Lentang. The boundary stream ran up to the highest point, which was a triangulation station 5,250 feet, called, like the range, Lentang. Here was placed No. 6 pillar. This hill was covered with very fine pone trees. There was a curious conical slab of stone about 10 feet high by 5 feet at the base, tapering off to tow at the top, near it were two stones that look as if they had been placed for seats. There was a branch road just about one mile before arriving at this site leading north to a village called Taklang inhabited by Sokte Chins. This village was visible a little further along the road, it was quite small and situated on a hill about 8 miles off. The road was regularly used by Chins and Nagas, being the route to the salt-spring at Chibu.

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On 20th February, the Commission halted while parties went out to survey. The height was 2,950 feet. On 21st February, the column marched back along their old route for half a mile and then down to the Tui Vai. There was tine camping-wound on this river but there was no grass. The valley here was about quarter to half mile wide throughout and the hills on either side were small and not steep. Height of the camp was 2,285 feet.

On 22nd February, the route went south over the low hills near the right to some memorial stones. It was well about one and half yards deep and about one and half yards in diameter, with steps about 1 foot in diameter with its sides supported by sticks. The Chins took the salt water from this well. The Commission camped at the junction of the Sum Tui and the Tui Vai. It was at its junction with the Tui Vai about 12 yards wide scarce. Height was 2,305 feet.

On 23rd February, the route on that day led west across the Tui Vai and then up over some small hills. About a quarter mile from the river, on the bank, another stone was found lying on the ground, with some obliterated writing on it, near a sort of platform made of stones. This stone was meant to represent the boundary between Lushai and Manipur, and was probably erected by the Manipuris in 1872. The route taken was made by the party and was circuitous and in places very steep, ascending 1,600 feet, dropping down 550 feet and up again 400 feet, the last two being in quarter mile each. The boundary from the mouth of the Sum Tui Nui ran up the Tui Vui, i.e. south for about 2 miles to the mouth of the Chining and then west up it to its source on a saddle on the top of a ridge over which the route ran. On this saddle at the source of the Chining which flowed east and the Salam which flowed west was placed No. 7 pillar.

On 24th February, the Commission halted while parties went out surveying.

On 25th February, marched to a camp on the Tui Mong. The road was good but in parts steep. This river, which also formed the boundary flowed south-east into the Tui Vel and joined it about 250 yards below the Salam. The valley where the camp was made was smaller than that of the Tui Vai or Tui Vel. The water in the stream was now scarce, but more was obtained by digging holes. The camp was confined.

On 26th February, marched uphill along a spur and then on to the top on which was placed No. 8 pillar. The boundary ran along the Tui Mong up to this pillar and then down one of the sources of the Tangha and up a ravine to the top of a Lunglen. Height of No. 8 pillar was 4,000 feet. From here the route dropped down steeply to the Tui Kui and followed its course for about three-quarter mile. On its right bank camp was made amid fine bamboos averaging about 60 feet in height.

To be continued.


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