The Boundaries of Manipur – Naoroibam Indramani (Part 5)


(1) Description of the southern boundary line and pillars:

The Boundary Commission was assembled on January 27, 1894 and it started the demarcation work of the boundary from the spot where Tinzin river flows i.e. the south-east corner of the border of Manipur. On 9th February, 1894 the party of the Boundary Commission reached Tinzin Chaung, known to the Chins as the Tui Sa, starting on the east from the point where the Tinzin Chaung enters the Kabaw valley in latitude 23° 49’ 30” from the hills on its west up along the course of this stream in a general north westerly direction to one of its sources called the Kenzoidung or the Kenyoidung. The Commission placed the first boundary stone at the uphill of the headwaters of the Kenyoidung and the Commission placed the 2nd boundary pillar on a knoll where the Kukio-tang and Tang join. The Tang was formerly known as Letha range which was the watershed between the Manipur and Chindwin rivers and the Manipuris called it Dimpi. These two pillars was being placed the boundary so far decided and on for 155 yards to No. 2. The magnetic bearing from No. 2 to No. 1 was 101 to, its position was latitude 23° 56’ 10”, longitude 93° 57’ 32”.

From the place where No. 1 pillar and No. 2 pillar were placed, south-west along the Tang for about 4 miles to the source of the Yangdung stream at which point selected to place No. 3 pillar. Its position was latitude 23° 56’ 0” longitude 93° 54’ 12” on a knoll free of angle on the watershed. No. 4 pillar was 86 yards downhill. The No. 4 boundary pillar was placed at the head of the Yangdung stream. From here in a southerly direction down the Manipur river for about 600 yards, and then westward up the Yangkhai stream to its source, at which point, on a saddle on the top of the range of hill immediately to the west of the Manipur river was placed boundary pillar No. 5 in latitude 24° 0’ 5” and longitude 93° 44’ 87”.

After camping at Tui Ta, the party crossed the boundary stream and proceeded to the range known as Lentang. The boundary stream ran up to the highest point, which was a triangulation station 5,250 ft., called like the range, Lentang, here the boundary pillar No. 6 was placed. The boundary stream flowed its course in westerly direction till its junction with the Tui Vai, which was few hundred yards south of the Chibu salt spring. From here to the south up the Tui Vai and Tui Vel for 2 miles and then westwards up the Chining stream to its source at which point was placed No. 7 pillar on a saddle on the ridge between the Tui Vai and Tui Vel at latitude 23° 57’ 10”, longitude 93° 33’ 58”, then westwards down the Salam stream to its junction with the Tui Vel, and down that river for 250 yards in a northerly direction to its junction with the Tui Mong and up that stream to its source on a knoll on which was placed No. 8 pillar. At this point rised sources of four streams-Tui Mong, Tui Lak, Tui Kui and Tangha, when down this latter stream the boundary ran for about 21/2 miles and then up a precipitous ravine to the summit of the triangulated point Lunglen.

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(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.

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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 boundary 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 cleared 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 triangulation 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.

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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 south 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.

To be continued.


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