Moirang, a city and a municipal council is situated in Bishnupur district
of the state of Manipur
. It is located at about 45 kilometres from Imphal
and is a very sacred place for the Manipuri
people. It houses an ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing. The place is also associated with the epic love story of "Khamba Thoibi". In ancient past the ruler of Moirang was considered to be the most powerful king among the seven clan kings of the state of Manipur. The Burmese king used to pay the money for the annual war reparations to the Moirang King, up to the end of Khamba-Thoibi era.
History of Moirang
Moirang also served as the headquarters of Azad Hind Fauj during World War II. For the first time, Indian flag was hoisted in the country in Moirang on 14 April 1944 by Colonel Shaukat Malik of the Indian National Army
(INA). This was done with the help of Manipuri people, including Shri Mairembam Koireng Singh, who were the members of INA. There is also an Indian National Army Museum depicting their struggle for India`s independence. The museum is open from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Demography of Moirang
According to the census of India, the population of Moirang is 16,684. 51 percent of the population comprise males whereas 49 percent comprise females. The average literacy rate of the city is 64 percent which is even greater than the national average of 59.5 percent. Female literacy in Moirang is 55 percent while male literacy is 71 percent. The population in Moirang under six years of age comprise 13 percent of the total population.
Cultural Heritage of Moirang
Meitei folk culture of Moirang is greatly famed and the place also celebrates a number of festivals including Moirang Haraoba festival
. This traditional festival is celebrated in the month of May every year from the olden days. During the festival, both men and women, in hundreds, dance and sing in the honour of Lord Thangjing. Everyone in gorgeous traditional costumes, sing and dance in honour of the Lord here. Moirang also owns the credit of being the place where the graceful Khamba-Thoibi dance originated. This dance form is the exquisite depiction of the Manipuri folk culture. The dance is characterized by female dance performers, singers and vibrant and ethnic costumes.
Indian National Army Museum
Moirang also hosts Indian National Army Museum with the bronze statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
. There is an INA museum exhibiting letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other articles associated with his movement.