History

     The district of Thoubal, which occupies the bigger portion of the eastern half of the Manipur Valley, takes the shape of an irregular and triangular with its base facing north. It lies between 23 45' N and 2445' N latitude and 9345' E and 9415' E longitude. It is bounded on the north by Imphal district, on the east by Ukhrul and Chandel districts, on the south by Chandel and Churachandpur districts and on the west by the districts of Imphal and Bishnupur. It has an area of 514 sq.kms. as supplied by the Surveyor General of India. Its average elevation is not very much different from the rest of the Manipur Valley which is about 790 metres on an average above the sea level. Although the district is a part of the valley, the area of the district is not entirely plain. Many rivers flow through the district and many lakes dot its surface. Some of the which are closely inter-twined with many folk tales and stories, of which mention may be made of the fishing and other episodes of the love story of the legendary Khamba-Thoibi. In fact, all important lakes of Manipur, with the exception of Loktak, are in this district. The State of Manipur used to supplement its meager resources from the annual lease of the lakes in the past.
    Although little is known about its ancient history, the district has in recent past, seen many bloody and disgraceful battles. Through the district runs an international road that leads to Myanmar (Burma) via Moreh and Tammu and this road is, in the days before the independence of India, the route of many military expeditions and counter-expeditions by the forces of Manipur and Burma, and later on, by that of the British Government. It Is in this district, at Khongjom, that the last battle of the independence of Manipur was fought in April, 1891 by a few and ill-equipped soldiers of Manipur against the might of the British empire where the sun does not set, as the saying goes. It is not just an irony of the fate that Major Paona Brajabashi and others would meet their last days in this battle. The battle symbolizes the honourable deed of an extreme sacrifice for his motherland, knowing fully well that the fight would mean sure defeat.
    Among the natural calamities that had occurred in the past, mention may be made of the serious cholera epidemics of 1931 which took a heavy toll of the district population. Although the epidemic is widely spread throughout the Manipur valley it is felt in the district.
    The district came into existence in May, 1983 through a notification of the Government of Manipur, ( Secretariat :Revenue Department Order No.6/1/73-R ( Pt.VII) dated May 24, 1983) ( Manipur Extraordinary Gazette No. 76 of the same date) under the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act.1960. By the said notification, Thoubal sub-division of the erstwhile Manipur Central District ( now Imphal district ) with all its administrative units was transferred to form a new district under the name of Thoubal with its head-quarters at Thoubal. Later, in November, 1983, Thoubal was bifurcated into Thoubal and Kakching sub-divisions comprising of Kakching and Waikhong Tahsils with all their existing villages ( Manipur Gazette Extraordinary No. 343 dated November, 25, 1983 ), the headquarters of Kakching sub-division being Kakching.
   The district has two community development blocks one within each sub-division, each block coinciding with its respective sub-divisional areas minus the statutorily notified urban portion. It has 9 main towns. namely, Lilong ( Thoubal ), Thoubal,Yairipok, Shikhong Sekmai, Wangjing, Heirok, Kakching, Kakching Khunou and Sugnu and a part of Samurou whose major portion is in the Imphal District. Thoubal and Kakching are Municipalities.

 

Rivers

    Important rivers that flow through the district are the Imphal and the Thoubal. The Thoubal river originates in the hill ranges of Ukhrul and is an important tributory  of the Imphal river. On its course, it passes through Yairipok and Thoubal before joining the Imphal at Irong near Mayang Imphal. The Imphal river rises in the hills of Senapati district and flows south. It forms the boundary demarcating line of Thoubal district on its north and the west. During the dry seasons these rivers are lean and thin but, during the rainy monsoon periods these rivers are very wild and frequent floods occur causing widespread damage to the paddy fields, property and   life. These rivers were once good means of transport for valuable merchandise. Other rivers in the district are the Wangjing, the Arong and the Sekmai. These rivers originate in the hills of Ukhrul district. The Arong river flows through Khangabok and falls into Kharung Pat. The Wangjing river flows west via Heirok and Wangjing before joining the Loushi Pat. With the advent of cheap and faster means of road transport these rivers no longer serve as routes of transportation of goods. Still they provide good building materials in the shape of sand, pebbles and boulders and a means of livelihood for a large number of people inhabiting along their courses.

 

Lakes

    The south-western portion of the district is a low-land forming a part of the Loktak Lake region and this area has a number of shallow and rain fed lakes, the important ones being Kharung, Ikop, Pumlen, Lousi and Ngangou. On the northern portion there is Waithou lake form by the drainage waters sandwiched between Waithou hill on the west and the villages and paddy fields on the east. Due to constant siltation and reclamation of vast areas for agricultural purposes the lakes are gradually shrinking in size and at present some of them are only in name. These lakes drain into the Imphal river. They provided very good fishing ground for a variety of fishes in the recent past.

 

 

 

 

 

Hills

     The district is dotted by a few hillocks and hills of low heights. Some of them are without, part of Khekman range, Mantak, Kwarok and Thongam Mondum-Punam. Of these, Punam hill has an elevation of 3310 ft. above sea level. Geologically, Khekman range belongs to the Brail Series and Simsang formation. Good vegetation once covered these hills. But constant deforestation have made them barren and unattractive. As the pressure on land increases with a rapid increases in population, there has been a tendency in recent years to use the hills sites for better  productive plantation, specially pineapples. 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate

     On the whole, the district has an equitable and pleasant climate. Rainfall is relatively abundant and widespread. The rainy season starts in June with the onset of the south-west monsoon and last upto September. Intermittent rains continue even upto October along with the retreat of the monsoon. As in the rest of the State, the district is also under the effect of the so-called ' Vagaries of the monsoon' with the alternating droughts and floods. During the rainy season the rain water in the hills quickly flow down to the valley and all the rivers and small streams rises to the full brim, frequently flooding its embankments. As the lakes became full, the low lying areas around them are easily amenable to flood. Drainage is slow and takes a long time. The cold season last from December to February. During the winter months light rainfall occurs under the influence of the  north-east monsoon, March and October are by far the most pleasant months  in the year. April and May are not hot season followed by occasional thunder storms. Of Late, some changes in  the climate  calendar in the state are observed which some expert meteorologists attribute the cause as mainly due to deforestation in the hills surrounding the valley.
     The only centre which records authentic meteorological records in the district is the Rice Research Centre, Wangbal. Rainfall recorded there in 1989 is 1306.80mm as against a mean annual rainfall of 1318.39mm during 1983-89. For the sake of comparison with its neighboring Imphal district, the corresponding figures recorded at the  State Mechanized Farm at Lamphelpat ( Imphal ) are 1391.20mm and 1243.50mm respectively. The summer months are never oppressive with the average maximum temperature fluctuating between 32C to 35C during April-June, the mercury seldom going beyond 37C. In December-February with the start of the cold winter months the average minimum temperature fall to 6C to 4C, the temperature going below 0C.

 

Flora and Fauna

      Various types of trees are found all over the district. But the more commonly found varieties include Pipal trees. Kabulliua, ( Oravila robusta ), Khok ( Albizzia Spp), Tera ( Salimalia Malabarica ), Sileima ( Eugenia pracox), Tairen ( Cedrela loona ) etc. Bamboos and  plantain trees are common everywhere. Various types of fruit-bearing plants also thrive in the districts. Important varieties are pineapple, pear, peach, Jack fruit, banana, mango, lemon, plum, guava, amla etc. The habit of the local people to plant banyan trees along the road side and bamboos and fruit bearing trees within their compounds give the rural areas a permanent green scenery. Recently, the Government as also introduced plantation of quick growing trees under the social forestry programme along the road side.
    In spite of its rich vegetation, due to the absence of any forest worth the name within the district wild animals are not found abundantly, Deer and Jungle fowl are some of the varieties found at present occasionally along the slope of eastern hills adjoining the district. But the lakes support a variety of wild birds such as partridge, snipe, duck, geese, etc. particularly in winter months. These birds are mostly migratory in character. Some of them are seen coming from far off Siberia. With the gradual conversation of the lakes into agricultural lands these migratory birds are seen in increasingly fewer members in recent times.

 

Mineral Resources

       The district is generally poor in mineral resources. Among the minerals found in the district, brine spring are of some significance. This springs are found along the foothills on the eastern part of the valley. Water from this springs are boiled and salt is extracted by the method of evaporation.
    Salt is manufacture in the form of beautiful cakes and they are consider to have a good medicinal property. These salt cakes are used in ceremonial purposes also. Important places where brine springs are found are Waikhong, Sikhong, Chandrakhong, Ningel etc. The district has a number of places where red clay suitable for pottery is found. These are mainly available on the eastern side of the valley around Waikhong, Nongpok Sekmai, Thongjao, Chairel etc. Naturally these areas are associated with pottery of very good types. Some qualities of low grade iron ore is found at Kakching. 

 

 

 

 

Agriculture

      Agriculture Is the most important source of livelihood for the people of the district. More than 70 per cent of the total population of the district are directly or indirectly depended on agricultural activities. The valley is fertile and the topography of the district provides good opportunity for irrigation, natural as well as artificial. Rice accounts for above 90% of the total land area under cultivation. Although the average land holding is one of the lowest in India, yield per acre is comparatively high. With the increasing use of fertilizers and the modern methods of cultivation, there is a great scope of increasing the overall production. 
    In food grains, Thoubal is a surplus district producing above 75,000 tones of rice in 1987-88 accounting for above 25% of the total rice production in Manipur. The Kakching belt which provides more than 50%of the total rice exports of the district may be rightly termed as the 'rice basket of Manipur'. The soil of the district is fertile and with the help of irrigation facilities from the Imphal barrage, the Thoubal Multipurpose Project, Sekmai barrage  and other minor irrigation works, double cropping is widely practiced in the district.
    In some areas, even triple cropping is practiced - the first paddy crop starting late February or early March, second paddy crop in July and early August and the third crop of mustard seeds, pulses etc in November.
    Other crops grown in the district are sugarcane, oilseeds, maize, potatoes, pulses, chilies, vegetable etc. The district is the largest producer of sugarcane in Manipur. Its cultivation is mainly confined to Thoubal, Wangjing, Kakching, Kakching Khunou and Wabagai. Although maize is grown throughout the district, it is cultivated as major cash crop around Serou, Pallel and Kakching belt. Oilseeds, mainly mustard seeds, are found all over the district. Recently cultivation of sunflower has also started. Vegetables such as cabbages, cauliflower, brinjal, different kinds of peas, gourds, pumpkins etc are found in abundance.
    Among the plantation crops, pineapples are the most important and are cultivated in the slopes of low hills and hillocks. Langdum, Waithou and Poirou Tangkhul are mainly important for these crops. Although tea plantation is yet to take its shape in the district a blend of local variety of very good taste is grown in Pallel and Waikhong area. Tobacco was once cultivated in the district widely. Another important plantation crop is chilies.

 

Animal Husbandry

      Important livestocks found in the district are cattle, buffaloes, goats, horses and ponies, pigs, dogs etc. According to 1987 livestoks census, there are about 1,20,000 cattle and 8,000 buffaloes in the district. They are reared for milk and for motive power in cultivation works. Cattle accounts a little more than 82%of the total number of livestock in the district. Sheep, goats and pigs are kept mainly for their meat. Fowls and ducks are the most important poultry found in the district, fowls alone accounting for 60.91% of the total  poultry in the district.
     There are 7 veterinary hospitals and 22 dispensaries in the district giving benefits of inoculation to more than 20,000 cattle heads. Significant progress have been made in the district in the direction of production of milk, breeding of better varieties of cattle and poultry, and  generation of employment through piggery and poultry development.

 

 

 

 

Fishing

     Fishing provides an important occupation for a large number of people in the district. The activity Is mainly conducted in the lakes and the enclosed low lands besides small ponds within the precincts of the household. Waithou, Kharung and Ikop are specially important for 'Ngaton', a variety of small fish noted  for its taste. This fish as also Ngaaroi, Pengba, Tharak, Ngahou, etc.    ( all local names ) was once caught in the lakes Of the district in good measures. But the large scale use of pesticides for agricultural purposes and the reclamation of the habitat and the special breeding grounds of these fishes are largely responsible for their gradual disappearance from the lakes and their catch now-a-days is almost negligible. There are 2 fish farms in public sector and 44 farms in private sector during 1987-88. Production table fishes in that year amounted to 3.5 tones and fish fingerlings to 11.9 lakhs  numbers.

 

 

 

 

    
Electricity and Power

 The district does not have any power house, either hydel or diesel. It gets its supply of power from the Loktak Hydro Electric Power House. But the quantity of power available through the Loktak grid cannot fully meet the need of the district. There is only one 33/11 KV sub-station. To augment power supply and to improve transmission and distribution of electricity in the district one 20 MVA, 132/33 KV sub-station at Kakching and another sub-station of 33/11 KV at Wangjing are under construction. Inadequate availability of power is a major constraint in the way of proper and rapid development of agro-based industries in the district.

 

 

 

 

 

Roads

     The district has a fairly developed system of road transport. All towns and important villages in the district are connected either by the National or State or district or village roads. The total road length in the district in 1987 is 506.40 km which compares very favourably with the total district area 514.sq.km. It is the only district in the state where the road length per km. is almost at per with the area per sq. km. of area against the state, average of only 19.17 km. The National Highway No. 39- Indo-Burma Road, passes through the heart of the district and connects Lilong with Pallel via Thoubal. From Thoubal an important district road goes east to Sikhong Sekmai via Yairipok. On the southern portion, the state highway connects Kakching, Wabagai and Sugnu with Imphal via Mayang Imphal. The district has 35 km. of National highways, an equal number of kms. of state high way 60.40km. of district roads and 376 km. of village roads. The widening of the district and state highways, construction of a number of bridges and culverts and metalling of kaccha roads will go a long way in further improving the road transport systems in the district.

 

 

 

Fair and Festivals

       The district is mainly inhabitated by the Meiteis, the majority of whom have professed Hinduism about 500 years ago and the important fair and festivals observed in the district are a mixture of Hindu culture and the age--old traditions and local beliefs. the biggest festival is the Dol Jatra ( Yaosang in local Manipur langauge ). It is observed in the month of March beginning with the full moon day of Phalguna ( Lamda ) for the next five full days. It is a festival of colours and all people, young and old of both sexes, participate in it. During the day time, girls and small children come out in groups and beg money. Boys joined them in fun and merry making. During the night , boys and girls dance together to the accompaniment of music and drums.
     Rath Yatra ( Kang ) is another important festival and it is performed in the month of Jyaistha   ( Engen ) for seven days starting from the second of that month. On the first and the seventh day raths carrying idols of Jaganath, Balabadra and Subedra are drawn and flowers and bhogs are offered to them. During the night Choideb Palas are organised and songs are sung in praise of the almighty. Other festivals of no less importance are Janma Ashtami, Durga Puja, Ningol Chakouba ( Bhugni Bhuajn ) and Manipuri new year day. Ningol Chakouba is a festival peculiar to the Manipuries. On this day all women, married and unmarried, are invited and fed by their relatives and gifts presented to them after the feast. In between these festivals there are Ras and Lai Haroaba dance. Asvina, Kartika and Vaisakha whereas Lai Haraoba is a festival performed in the old traditional Manipuri style to appease the Umang Lais ( forest gods ).
     Muslims constitute the next biggest constituent of the population. Their main festivals are Idul Fitr, Idul Zuha ( Bakrid ), Maharram and Milad-Un-Nabi. On Id days visitors are invited and fed and presentations given to them. Friends and relatives visit each other's houses and greetings are exchanged. Among the tribal mention may be made of the Gang-Ngai festival of the Kabui's, the Kut festival of the Kuki/Thados and the Luita of the Tangkhuls. Christmas is the biggest festival amongst the Christians. 

Places of Historical importance and Tourist interest
Khongjom

     It is situated above 10 kms. to the south of Thoubal, the district headquarters ( 32 kms from Imphal ). It is the place where last war of Manipur's independence was fought between the Manipuri and the British soldiers. It has got a memorial erected on a small hillock, Khongjom is well served by the National highway. An eight-bedded Tourist home has been functioning there since 1988. 

Sugnu

     Situated 74 kms. from Imphal, the place is an important trading centre on the south of the district. From it a Beautiful view of the Imphal river can be seen. It is on the Imphal - Sugnu State highway.

Waithou

     The place is important for its scenic beauty. There is an inspection bunglow on the hill-side over looking the Waithou Lake. The place is noted for its tasteful pineapples. An exotic and delicious variety of local fish known as 'Ngaton' used to be available at this place abundantly till a few years back from now. It is on the National highway about 3 kms. from the district headquarters. 

Kakching

     It is the sub-divisional headquarters of Kakching sub-division and is a famous trading centre of a variety of vegetables, fishes and rice next to Thoubal, the biggest town in the district. The place is easily approachable from the National highway and is connected to the other State highways.

Thoubal

     It is the district headquarter of Thoubal district and also the sub-divisional headquarters of Thoubal sub-division. Situated at a distance of 22 kms. from Imphal,  the National highway No. 39 divides the town almost into halves from  north to south length-wise. The Thoubal river flows through the centre of the town from east to west. It is the biggest town in  the district and is one of the most important trading centre of the district. The town has all the infrastructures of a fast developing urban area.

Pallel

     It is a place situated at the border of Thoubal and Chandel districts and is the meeting place of plain areas of Thoubal and the hill areas of Chandel. Indo-Myanmar road from Imphal to Moreh passes through it. With its hills and rivers the place has a beautiful landscape. Typical agricultural Products and nice handicrafts of the hilly people are regularly found in its daily market.

 

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