My visits to Manipur have always been short. The itinerary did not have any space to include local sightseeing in Imphal but I managed to visit Kangla Fort, which stands tall for nearly 2000 years. Such is its enormity that I managed to visit it thrice and yet I could not complete it; I hope I can return to complete it the fourth time.
The Fort used to be the seat of Manipur’s power till it was captured by the British in 1891 and post-independence, was occupied by Assam Rifles until 2004. Located next to the Imphal river, the Kangla Fort is also a holy place for religious worship and ceremonies for the Meitei community. The Kangla Palace is also in the campus along with the prominent statues of Kangla Sha, a mythological animal believed to be the protector of Meitei Kings. The memorable monuments inside the Fort are the Ruins of the Citadel, Ruins of the Uttra, Temple of Shree Shree Govindajee, Ebudhou Pakhangba Temple amongst many others.
Legends has it that one of the most important rulers of the Meiteis, King Khagemba (translated as Conqueror of China) frequently invaded China and one of those battles is said to have taken place in the Chinese province of Yunan, about 500 miles from the present day Imphal. His son built the moat on the western front and reworked the fortification of the fort using the brick making skills of the Chinese prisoners captured in war.
Read the entire blog on the forts of North East India here.