Churachandpur district
—  district  —
Khuga Dam in 2006

Churachandpur district is located in Manipur
Churachandpur district
Location in Manipur, India
Coordinates: 24°20′N 93°41′E / 24.333, 93.683Coordinates: 24°20′N 93°41′E / 24.333, 93.683
Country  India
State Manipur
District Churachandpur
Elevation 914.4 m (3,000.0 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 271,274
 • Density 59/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Official Meiteilon (Manipuri)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 795128
Telephone code 3874
Sex ratio 969 females per 1000 males[1] /

Churachandpur is the largest district in the Indian state of Manipur.


Origin of Churachandpur on the bank of Khuga (Tuitha)[]

Located southwest of Manipur, Churachandpur District covers an area of 4570 km² and is the largest district within the state of Manipur. The terrain of the district is mainly hilly, with narrow valleys that support wet rice cultivation. Churachandpur town is the district headquarters. Churachandpur (given from the name of Manipur Raja Churachand Singh) is the second-largest town of Manipur, after the state capital, Imphal. Churachandpur is called the "second town" of Manipur and remains the fastest growing town in the state. The inhabitants of Churachandpur town are sometimes called "CCpurians" (since CCpur connotes the entire district population).

The town's population is made up of a number of communities including the Thadou, Hmar, Vaiphei, Paite, Lusei, Simte, Milhiem, Gangte, Zou and immigrants Tedim Chin mainly from Myanmar (now Burma). These communities mainly belong to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi groups of the Tibeto-Burman family. A significant number of Meitei and other plain communities also live in the town but the population is mainly dominated by the Paites and the others Zomis tribes. Though each and every tribe can understand the different dilects, Paite of the Zomi group is the most popular language in the district.

Reclaiming the marshlands of Lamka[]

Before WW II, the Churachandpur valley (or Thutha valley) was a tiny, mosquito-infested village on the west bank of the Tuitha (Khuga) river. The indigenous tribes traditionally survived on jhum or shifting cultivation on the hills surrounding the Churachandpur valley. They simply avoided the malaria-prone Churachandpur valley till the introduction of wet rice cultivation sometime during the inter-War period. The neighboring Mizo (Lushai) tribes - probably from Champhai valley - were credited with the introduction of wet rice cultivation in the area. A Thadou legend has it that rice grain was first discovered in the nest of a squirrel beside the Chindwin river (Shaw 1929: 29).[2] Though paddy cultivation took off only in the 1930s, knowledge of this grain was as old as legend among the Chin-Kuki-Zomi communities.

Here the shift from jhum hoe to paddy plough in the 1930s was nothing less than an agricultural revolution. For the first time, the availability of surplus food led to the birth of specialised services which sustain a tribal township in Southern Manipur. With this division of labour emerges a new tribal middle class -- merchants, shop-keepers, pharmacists, clerks, contractors, civil servants, clergy, teachers and bankers -- who populate the provincial town of Churachandpur. Since then this little hamlet called Churachandpur expanded towards the west bank of the Tuitha (Khuga) river. Note that "Tuitha" literally means "good river" in Lushai dialect. Henceforth, the river valley ceases to be the haunt of killer malaria, dreaded as a "malignant spirit" in the past. In recent years, urban sprawl put pressure on land, resulting in price hike. It led to the loss of agriculture land to housing sites in order to accommodate new urban settlers. This process will increase CCpur's dependence for food grain on outside supply. Given Manipur's fondness for bandhs and blockades, the prospect of increasing dependence on external food supply seems none too exciting.

Westward Expansion: Songpi/Suangpi (Old Churachand)[]

The post-War period witnessed the rapid growth of Lamka village until it engulfed the old village of Songpi (also known as Old Churachand or Mission Compound) further west. The western village of Suangpi was originally a separate village, 15 km west of Lamka village. The western frontier of Suangpi (Old Churachand) and the eastern frontier of Lamka had different origins until they recently merged. For a long time, Suangpi village was regarded as more important than Lamka village. When the Manipur hill areas were reorganized in 1919, Suangpi was made one of the four sub-divisional headquarters. The following year, B.C. Gesper was posted at Suangpi as the first SDO of the new administrative area. (See Chinkhopau 1995; Neihsial 1996).

In 1921, a lambu (colonial interpreter) renamed Suangpi village as Churachandpur in honour of a Meitei prince from the Imphal valley. Mahajara Churachand visited Snuagpi village during a feast thrown for returning war veterans who had served in the Labour Corps in France during World War I. Later, Christian missionaries (NEIG Mission) set up their headquarters at Songpi village in 1930 (Nengzachin 1974:11). Thus, Suangpi became Mission Compound or Old Churachand. The new name of Songpi village later extended to include the commercial town of Lamka, which sprung up around two market centres, Old Bazaar and New Bazaar. Whereas Lamka began as a bazaar at the confluence of roads, the western Suangpi village was a Christian Mission Compound. The converging interests of tribal traders and entrepreneurs at Lamka, along with Christian missionaries (at Suangpi), gave birth to the present vibrant Lamka town.

The Northern and the Southern Frontiers[]

By the 1970s, the commercial frontier of Lamka in the east and the missionary frontier of Songpi in the west had practically merged together. The next possible direction for urban expansion was in the north and the south. Tuibuang in the north sprang up as the administrative frontier that houses most of the district headquarters. Meanwhile, New Lamka became the southern frontier of new urban settlers. In fact, New Lamka is a miniature CCpur town that combines different historic personalities associated with Lamka bazaars, Songpi mission and Tuibuong offices. Churachandpur town, therefore, consists of at least four distinct layers of settlement histories. Though Lamka loses much of its skilled population to other big cities, the town population keeps growing due to a continuous stream of rural migrants from interior villages. Like most Indian towns, the urban infrastructure of Lamka suffers from lack of investment, lack of urban planning, and poor management. As the town expands without upgrading its infrastructure, the ugly side of urban growth like solid waste, traffic congestion and air pollution are now at the doorstep of CCpur town.


Khuga Dam: Artificial fresh water lake[]

File:Khuga dam.JPG

Khuga Dam in 2006

The resumption of the Khuga dam project kick-started a new economic process fueled by construction and related activities. This project, it appears, is partly responsible for the recent increase for demand and consumption of cement and steel (partly an index of economic health) within Lamka town for private housing construction. The Khuga dam has already created a beautiful artificial lake at the southern tip of Lamka town near Mata village. This multi-purpose project irrigates 150 square kilometres of land within 20 km of the dam site and will also supply 5 million imperial gallons (23,000 m³) of drinking water and 1.75 MW of electricity for the town. The dam project began in 1983 with an estimated cost of Rs. 15 crores. It was set to be completed within four years; however, the project came to a standstill due to alleged financial irregularities. The ethnic conflict of 1997-98 also hampered further progress. When the project was resumed in 2002, the estimated cost had risen to over Rs. 280 crores. Till date, this multi-purpose project remains the biggest investment made by the Govt. of India within Churachandpur district. The structure of the earthen dam has been completed, but some components of this multipurpose project remain incomplete. June 2007 is the revised dateline for the completion of the project. The project received negative media attention and a lot of resentment due to inefficient handling of land acquisition and compensatory payments to the displaced people around the dam site. The project's undue delay also complicates the problem of compensation.

Though Churachandpur is the second biggest town of Manipur, it has no urban status according to the latest official records. On 11 July 2006, A.K. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of Autonomous District Council, CC Pur, declared some parts of the town as "census town". The list of localities included in the town census are Tuibuong, Bijang, Sielmat, Zenhang Lamka, Rengkai, Luooa Veng, Nehru Marg, New Lamka, Salem Veng, Hill town, Upper Lamka, Chapel Lane, Headquarter Veng, Chiengkonpang, D Phailian, Bungmual, Pearsonmun, Thingkangphai, Ngathal, Kawnpui, Mualkot, Gangpimual, Mission Veng, Lhangmem, Gangte Veng, Zenlang Veng, Pangzawl, and Lanva (28 in total). In the absence of any clear criteria for inclusion or exclusion, the whole exercise was arbitrary. There are certain localities at the very heart of the town which are excluded form the census town - such as Zomi Colony, Hmar Veng, Simveng, Hiangzou, and Zoveng.


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Churachandpur one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[3] It is one of the three districts in Manipur currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[3]

Churachandpur town is well-served by telephone companies like Airtel and Aircel in addition to BSNL, which formerly monopolized the telecom service.


Churachandpur town is connected to the state capital Imphal city by Tidim road (also known as National Highway 150). The town is just over a 1 hour drive from Imphal airport (about 65 km).


According to the 2011 census Churachandpur district has a population of 271,274 ,[4] roughly equal to the nation of Barbados.[5] This gives it a ranking of 575th in India (out of a total of 640).[4] The district has a population density of 59 inhabitants per square kilometre (150 /sq mi) .[4] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 19.03 %.[4] Churachandpur has a sex ratio of 969 females for every 1000 males,[4] and a literacy rate of 84.29 %.[4]

The district is inhabited by several tribes, mainly belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group, such as Thadou, Hmar, Paite, Vaiphei and Zou tribes. Apart from these, there are the Gangte, Simte, Mizo, Tedim Chin, Milhiem/Miria and some Manipuri Meiteis. There are also other non-Manipuri ethnic groups like Nepalese, Biharis, Malwaris, and Punjabis. While the Nepalese excel in the milk industry, the Malwaris are well known for their business acumen. Despite the commercial origin of Churachandpur town, the indigenous people have few entrepreneurs and traditionally worked in the government sector. In fact, the town has been over-represented in civil services at the national level.

Area: 4570 km² Rank 1/9
Literacy Rate (2001) 84.29% [1] Rank 2/9
Literacy by Gender Male 88.34% [1] Female 80.13% [1]
Population (2011 Census) 271,274 [1] Rank 5/9
Population % to state population 9.97% [1] (2011 Census)
Sex ratio 969 (2011 Census) [1] 993 (2001 Census), 1004 (1961 Census)
Temperature 41oC Maximum 0oC Minimum
Humidity 89% Maximum 20% Minimum
Longitude 93.15oE 94.0oE
Latitude 24.0oN 24.3oN
Altitude 914.4 metres (District Hqrs.)
Population Density 50 (2001 Census) Rank 6/9
Telephone Code + 3874
Postal Code Churachandpur 795128 Chiengkonpang 795158
Digital Map of Churachandpur MapmyIndia


Languages spoken include Aimol, a Sino-Tibetan tongue with less than 3000 speakers, written in the Latin script.[6]


Places of tourist interest[]

  • Khuga dam near Mata village: It is one of the most beautiful artificial lakes of North-East India, comparable to Barapani (Umium) lake at Shillong. The dam site is just 7 km south of Churachandpur town; it has become a favourite picnic spot for local residents.
  • Indigenous arts & handicrafts: Bamboo or wooden art objects are available at several shops, including New Bazaar and Old Bazaar. A wide variety of tribal shawls is also available.
  • Tribal museums: There are two small tribal museums at Tuibuong and Thangzam Road (Hill-Town).
  • Ngaloi Falls at Ngaloimoul village, Tuibuong TD Block the latest sensation of the district. Enchanting Water falls with green scenery is emerging as the most important tourist spot in the district.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Census of India: Provisional Population Totals and Data Products – Census 2011: Manipur". "Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India". 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Shaw, William (1928) "Notes on the Thadou Kukis", Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (NS), XIV
  3. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Barbados 286,705 July 2011 est." 
  6. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed (2009). "Aimol: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th edition ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  1. Census of India 2001: Manipur Series 14 (Provisional Population Totals), Imphal: Directorate of Census Operations, Manipur.
  2. Chinkhopau (1995) Churachandpur District, Churachandpur: Published by Author.
  3. District Statistical Handbook - Churachandpur: District Statistical Officer.
  4. Gangte, Thangzam (undated) Churachandpur Chanchin (An Account of Churachandpur)
  5. Ginsum, H (undated) Lamka Vangkhua (Lamka Town).
  6. Kamkhenthang, Dr. H (1995) "Lamka Town vis-a-vis Churachandpur", Shan (daily), 21 December.
  7. Kamkhenthang (1998) "Lamka (Churachandpur)" in B.D. Ray, A.K. Neog & H.K. Mazhari (eds.) Urban Development in North-East India : Potentiality and Problems, New Delhi: Vedams Books.
  8. Manipur State Archives, Imphal: Manipur State Durbar 1907-1947 - Papers related to the Court of the President of Manipur State Durbar, Hill Misc. Case No. 28 of 1945-46, Phungkhothang Chief of Hiangtam Lamka; also Misc Case No. 504 of 1934 Phungkhothang Chief of Hiangtam Lamka.
  9. Neihsial, Dr. Tualchin (1996) This is Lamka: A Historical Account of the Fastest Growing Town of Manipur Hills, Churachandpur, India: Zogam Book Centre & Library.
  10. Nengzachin (1974) "North East India General Mission Tanchin" in Jubilee Thusuah 1974, Churachandpur: Evangelical Convention Church; pp. 1–18.

External links[]

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