One might not able to locate where Manipur lies! Intellectuals have been even confused on several occasions on where about this state is as a foreign nation. Their assumptions seem a dream come true today! The youths and teenagers are fashion cognisant and that too not Indian apparel, but foreign lifestyles. The business of fashion in Manipur is more advanced than other cities of India, leaving those metropolitans.
Manipur is an extraordinary place, full of charm, beauty and creativity. It lies in the North-Eastern region of Indian Sub-continent, between 23.5 oN-25.3 oN Latitude and 93.4 oE-95.3 oE Longitudes, bordering Myanmar in the east, Nagaland state in the north, Assam and Mizoram in the west. Encircled by nine hill ranges, Manipur is marked out by a picturesque valley in the midst. The total area of Manipur is 22,327 sq. km. Out of this only 2,238 sq. Km are valley while the remaining areas are covered with hilly tracts.
Manipur, a small state which lies on a melting pot of culture is regarded as one of the world’s beauty spots. The Rasa Lila, a classical dance of Manipur is world famous for its gentleness and serenity. Modern day polo was first played here as royal sport. Thus, the world credited the state as the home for polo game 레플리카.
The place of surpassing attractions include superb panorama of evergreen hill ranges, the soil of Khongjom soaked with sacred blood of martyrs, the first battle of Anglo-Manipur war of 1891 at Kangla, the erstwhile capital of Manipur Kingdom. The Loktak lake-the largest freshwater lake in the North East, natural habitat of Brow-antlered deer at the Keibul Lamjao National Park-the only floating National Park in the world, the I.N.A. Memorial at Moirang where the first tricolour flag of Indian Independence was hoisted by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Siroi Lily found only on the Siroi Hills, the symmertical two Second World War cemeteries, exquisite handloom and handicraft products of world fame.
Manipur is famous for the ‘Ema Keithel’ – women’s market at Khwairamband bazaar- the only and the largest market in the world run by women, the gold-domed Shri Govindajee Temple, the Saheed Minar, the Khonghampat Orchid Yard, the Tharon Cave at Tamenglong, the Khanghui Cave at Ukhrul, the Kangla Park and the Moat surrounding the old historical palace of the Maharajas of ore-British period.
Manipur is not only the gateway to the North Eastern region but also a fascinating destination for discerning tourists. Legends say that the discovery of Manipur is the result of the delight the Gods took in dancing. It is this remarkable bid that gives Manipur a unique identity of her own. Blessed with a salubrious climate, famous for its distinctive cultural pattern and its evergreen scenic beauty, extend the tourists a cordial invitation to visit Manipur.
The shops and malls located here are flooded with foreign goods. From trousers, shirts to shoes and even caps – all are highly fashionable with excellent quality. Thanks to various factors – remote locations, border area, indefinite blockades and of course, the pressure from revolutionaries.
Two major shopping malls are very popular in Manipur. Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade was established on July 17, 1998. The mall is a four-storey building with different plot sized shops. Unlike Mumbai and Delhi, it is not own by one proprietor or retail guru. Every shop owner is the owner of his own shops or plots. The first floor has around 25 shops with a vast area of 28 square metres each. Cost wise, each shop has retail value of Rs 7-10 lakhs. Second floor housed around 60 smaller shops with an area of 12 square metres. The top floor housed several offices and a cable operator, ISTV which is the sole cable channel in Manipur.
The second floor shops are rented for Rs 750 -1000 per month. Besides apparel and lifestyle cloths, there are beauty saloon, cosmetics and restaurants inside the Gambhir Singh Shopping Arcade. The name ‘Gambhir Singh’ is dedicated to the great kings of Manipur Kingdom who freed its people from the clutches of Burmese (present day Myanmar) invasion. Thus, people here used to say, the shopping mall freed from normal and orthodox lifestyles. Ever since the mall came, teenagers and youths here are fashion conscious and they could compete with any models and actors from Bollywood.
The other shopping mall is Leima Shopping Plaza at Governor Road, behind the Polo Ground. The word ‘Leima’ refers to ‘respected lady’ in regional language. Definitely, the plaza is meant for women in general. It has around 35 shops and others are in the final stage to be open for the public. The Leima shopping Plaza was earlier a huge movie theatre with modern Dolby system and other modern facilities, named ‘Friends Mini’. Hollywood box office grosser like ‘The World is Not Enough’ and Bollywood superhit ‘Hum Aap ke Hai Kaun’ were the last movies the Manipur cinemagoers could remember. But due to the revolutionaries ban on Hindi films in the state since last 4-5years, people stop viewing cinemas. The owners of the theatre had then converted it into the current plaza. Like the previous shopping mall, it is the hunting ground for the foreign fashion.
When a teenager wears foreign outfits, naturally the looks need to be transformed to match with his dresses. For this, several saloons and parlour exists within the plaza. One might wonder how this fashion trends starts in this small state. Reaching Manipur is not one’s cup of tea. It takes nearly 3 days from Delhi by rail till Guwahati, then another night journey by bus. Reaching Imphal by airline could cost heavy expenditure, around Rs.12,000-Rs.15,000 per person. Lack of communication and improper contact with other part of the country is hampering the Indian fashion to reach the mind of Manipuris youth staying here. And when films and other source of Hindi serials have been forbidden from the youth’s life, where do they get inspiration of latest fashions?