eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura,

Posted by egovindia on June 24, 2006

 Arunachal Pradesh

Area : 83, 743 sq.km. The largest state in the north-east.
Population : 10,96,702. Tribals constitute seventy nine per cent of the population (Mongoloid and Tibeto-Burmese in origin).
Languages : Tribal dialects—Hill Miri, Monpa, Nishi, Sherdukpen, Mishmi, Apatani, Wancho, Dafla, Khamti.
Capital : Itanagar in the foothills of the Himalayas. It has been identified as Mayapur, the 14th century historic city of the Jitri dynasty.

Towns :
Bomdila at a height of 2,530 metres has apple orchards and Buddhist monasteries, the Gompas.
Dirang has apple orchards, sheep-breeding farms and the Kalachakra Gompa.
Tawang is a place of Buddhist pilgrimage and a trout-farming centre.

Geography :
Stretching from the snow-capped eastern Himalayas, at an altitude of 6,000 metres, to the plains of the Brahmaputra valley, Arunachal Pradesh lies at the country's north-eastern tip, surrounded by Bhutan, China and Burma. Assam lies to its south.

Rivers :
Kameng, Subansiri, Siang (later Brahmaputra in Assam), Lohit and Tirap.

Climate :
Varies according to altitude.
Upper regions : Winters are cold and humid. Summers are short.

Rainfall :
400 cm annually. Forests cover two-thirds of the state and are abundant in orchid species some of which are among the world's rarest.

LOOKING BACK :
IN 1826 the British annexed Assam and extended British influence into the northeast region of India. By 1912 the region now called Arunachal Pradesh was being administered from Assam.
In 1954 the area became known as the Northeast Frontier Agency.

Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory in 1972 and then, a full-fledged state in February 1987.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:
Arunachal Pradesh is one of our greenest states with a large part of it covered with forests. You'll see only forest-based businesses here — like timber yards and saw mills, no large manufacturing industry.

Nearly 80 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture. The main crop is rice. Maize, millet and pulses are some of the other crops grown in Arunachal Pradesh.
You could walk miles without seeing anyone. Population density is the lowest in Arunachal Pradesh with only about 10 people per square kilometre. (In comparison, Haryana has a population density of 369; Punjab 401; Bihar 497).

As Arunachal Pradesh is a strategically important border state — with Bhutan, China and Myanmar as neighbours — foreign tourists have restricted access. However the government is trying to promote eco-friendly tourism in some parts of the state.

PLACES TO VISIT :
The 400-year-old Tawang Gompa, India's largest Buddhist monastery.
Namdapha National Park.
The holy Parasuram Kund, a lake near Tezu in Lohit district. A place of pilgrimage for Hindus who bathe here on Makar Sankanti.

 Assam

Assam is the largest and most populated of the northeastern states. It derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘asoma’ meaning ‘peerless’.

Area : Approximately 78,438 sq km
Population : 2,66,38,407. Assamese and tribals like the Garos, Nagas, Kukis, Khasis and Bodos.
Languages : Assamese, though Bengali is spoken in the Barak Valley.
Capital : Dispur
Location : South of Arunachal Pradesh. It has international boundaries with Bhutan and Bangladesh. It is geographically divided into two important physical regions : the Barak Valley and the Brahmaputra Valley.
Traditional Dress : Men: dhoti & kurta. Women: a mekhala (long skirt) with a riha and a dupatta.
Major Towns : Guwahati is famous for its Kamakhya (Kali) Temple and is a centre of Tantric cult and Shakti worship . The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is the world’s biggest centre for CTC tea (Assam contributes 15.6% of the world’s tea production and 55% of the country’s output). Sualkachi is a famous silk centre (Assam is the world’s largest producer of the golden coloured muga silk); Jorhat, well known for its tea gardens, has the oldest extant oil rig; Sibsagar, the ancient capital of the Ahoms, a Buddhist Tai tribe who ruled from the 13th to the 17th centuries, is well known for its massive temples.
River : The 2900-km long Brahmaputra and its 120 tributaries.
Natural Resources : Oil (Assam is the first state in India where oil was struck : in 1889 at Digboi, where Asia’s first oil refinery was constructed), natural gas, coal, limestone, refractory clay and dolomite.

Tourist Sports : The Kaziranga National Park, world famous for its rare one-horned rhinos (which Marco Polo mistook for the legendary unicorns); the Manas National Park, famous for its tigers.
Major Festival Bihu, the harvest festival.
Annual Rainfall : Between 178 and 305cm, one of the highest in the world.
Assam was given its name by the Ahoms who invaded the region in about A.D. 1215. The Ahoms were a Mongoloid tribe with roots in Burma. They gradually consolidated their position in Assam. They adopted the local language, customs and the Hindu religion.
They established a strong monarchy that lasted six centuries, even withstanding the might of the Mughals.
To rule their large kingdom the Ahom rulers appointed Bharphukans or viceroys. The last of the viceroys, a man named Badanchandra, was greedy for power and sought Burmese help. The Burmese took advantage of the situation. They overthrew the Ahoms, dismissed Badanchandra and established political control in Assam. The Ahoms appealed to the British for help. The presence of the Burmese was a threat to the East India Company's commercial interests. The British defeated the Burmese and took possession of Assam.
Assam today is a shadow of its former self. Between 1948 and 1972 it was reduced to one-third its original size. At the time of partition, Sylhet, a predominantly Muslim area, was merged with East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). In 1948 the North East Frontier Agency (the present Arunachal Pradesh) was separated from Assam for security reasons. In the 1960's and 70's the states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram were carved out from it.

The famous tea gardens of Assam were set up by the British in 1836. Most of the tea gardens are found at Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Sibsagar.
The tea garden workers wear colourful, bamboo-and-cane headgear called Japi.
Besides tea, Assam is known for the Kamakhya temple and the one-horned rhinoceros which is found in the Kaziranga National Park.
Its oldest relic is a 5th century stone door dating back to the Gupta period in the tiny village of Da Parbatia.
Other Places of Interest
Sibsagar, once the capital of the Ahoms is dominated by a large water tank from which it gets its name.
The Shivdol temple here draws large crowds during Shiv Ratri.
Joysagar at the edge of the town may be the country's largest man-made lake.
Majuli, in the midst of the Brahmaputra is the world's largest inhabited river island. It is revered for its Vaishnavite monasteries called Satras.
The Namdang stone bridge at Charideo was carved out of a single boulder hundreds of years ago. A busy highway runs through it today.
A Bhutia fair in Darsanga (close to Bhutan's border) has the Bhutanese coming in to sell their curios.

 Manipur

Manipur literally means the land of the gems. This north-eastern state surrounded by Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram has an international border with Burma in the east. Manipur formally became a part of the Indian Union in 1949 and a state in 1972.

Area : 22,327 square kilometres
Population : 23,88,068.
State Language : Manipuri.
Capital : Imphal.

Literacy rate : 59.9%.

Physiography :
Manipur is geographically divided into two distinct tracts– hills and plains. Manipur's hill ranges form parts of the Indo-Burmese Mountain arc, often referred to as the eastern arm of the Himalayas. Though predominantly a hill state, it is watered by the rivers Imphal, Iril, Thoubal, Irang and Barak, which flow from north to south. At its centre is Lake Loktak into which several rivers drain. There are other lakes in the central area. They are used for fishing and duck shooting as well as for boat races.
To the south of Lake Loktak is the Keibul Lamjao game sanctuary famous for its brow- antlered deer found only in Manipur. The Loktak multi-purpose project completed in 1982, has made an impact on the economic development of north-eastern India.

General Information :
More than 2/3rds of the state's area is covered by forests, but these forests are poor in quality and difficult to access. Bamboo and teak are common and magnolia and oak, widespread. Elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers were once common in these forests.

People :
The characteristics of the Manipuri people vary according to geographical divisions.

The Meitees who speak Manipuri, inhabit the plains, while the Kukis and Nagas of the hills, speak different Tibeto-Burmese dialects. Manipuris are enthusiastic polo players, and the game of polo is said to have originated here. 'Mukna-Kangjei', Manipuri free style hockey-cum-wrestling and 'Yubi-Lakpi', a game involving coconut-snatching, are traditional Manipuri games that are simply fascinating to watch.

Climate :
Manipur enjoys a sub-tropical monsoon climate. January is the coldest month and July the hottest. Rainfall on the whole is abundant in the state.

More than 2/3rds of the state's area is covered by forests, but these forests are poor in quality and difficult to access. Bamboo and teak are common and magnolia and oak, widespread. Elephants, rhinoceroses and tigers were once common in these forests.
The characteristics of the Manipuri people vary according to geographical divisions. The Meitees who speak Manipuri, inhabit the plains, while the Kukis and Nagas of the hills, speak different Tibeto-Burmese dialects. Manipuris are enthusiastic polo players, and the game of polo is said to have originated here. 'Mukna-Kangjei', Manipuri free style hockey-cum-wrestling and 'Yubi-Lakpi', a game involving coconut-snatching, are traditional Manipuri games that are simply fascinating to watch.
The state language of this predominantly agricultural state is Manipuri.

King Pamheiba who ruled in the Manipal region from 1709 to 1748 was feared by his neighbours, the Burmese — and for good reason. He had an aggressive policy towards the Burmese and on one occasion his soldiers reached as far as Ava, their capital.
He was known for his kindness to the poor.
After his death, Manipur fell apart due to Burmese invasions and internal strife. Seven clans ruled different areas until Rajarshi Bhagya Chandra unified Manipur. He repelled the Burmese and popularized the Manipuri Ras dances.
In 1819, the Burmese occupied the region and the three Manipuri princes – Marjit, Chaurjit and Gambhir Singh, sons of Bhagya Chandra escaped to Chachar. Gambhir Singh regained Manipur with British help but soon afterwards Manipur became a British protectorate. Gambhir Singh died in 1834 and a British political agent was appointed in 1835.
In 1890, the Raja of Manipur was deposed by his general. The British Chief Commissioner of Assam, Quentin and four others marched to Manipur with a small force but they were captured and killed. A strong British force was then sent. The Raja and the Senapati were captured and executed. A boy raja, Churachand was installed on the throne and during his minority rule, the British political agent administered the state.
Churachand abdicated in favour of his son, Bodhchandra during whose reign the Japanese forces occupied much of Manipur and there was fierce fighting between them and the Allied forces. The INA also fought the British in Manipur,
Bodhchandra signed the merger agreement with the Indian government in 1949 and Manipur became part of India as a Union Territory. In 1972, it attained statehood.
Imphal, its capital is one of the oldest state capitals of India. Founded about 2000 years ago it derives its name from Yumpham meaning homestead.

Manipur, in India's northeast, is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and verdant scenic beauty.
In Imphal, the Govindajee Temple dedicated to Vishnu is a beautiful structure with gold domes, a paved court and a large congregation hall. In Kaina, is a temple built by Kin Bhagyachandra, with the image of Krishna carved out of a jackfruit tree.
The Loktak Lake is a miniature inland sea. Fishermen harvest the water chestnut here, and build their houses on islands of floating weeds.
Langthabal on the Indo- Burma Road has an old historic palace, well-planned temples and ceremonial houses amidst pine and jackfruit trees.
In Moirang is an ancient temple of the deity Thangjing. Every May, men and women, in traditional costumes, sing and dance in the god's honour. The flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted here, on April 14, 1944. An INA Museum exhibits letters, photographs, badges of ranks and a bronze statue of Netaji in uniform. The British and the Indian army cemeteries honouring those killed in the Second World War are at Moirang and Khongjom. At Khongjom there is also a memorial to Paona Brajabashi, a great warrior who died fighting the British in 1891. Khongjom Day is a State holiday observed every year on April 23.
Khonghampat Orchidarium has more than 110 varieties of orchids, including several rare species.
A wide range of handloom material and artistic handicrafts from bamboo, papier mache and ivory, are sold at Khwairamband market, said to be the largest exclusively managed women's market in the country.
The Manipuri classical dance, a dance form in which the body moves with slow sinuous grace, evolved in the 8th century.
Important festivals of Manipur are the Dol Yatra in March, Rath Yatra in June-July and Durga Puja in September-October. Manipuris celebrate their New Year in the second week of April.

Meghalaya

Meghalaya in northeastern India rests on the northeastern shoulder of Bangladesh, south of the state of Assam. A part of Assam at the time of Indian Independence, Meghalaya became a separate state in 1972.

Area : 22,429 sq. km
Population : 23,06,069.
Languages : Khasi and Garo are the principal languages and, together with Jaintia and English, are the official languages.
Capital : Shillong

Location :
Meghalaya occupies a mountainous plateau and lies in an earthquake-prone area. An earthquake in 1896 destroyed its capital, Shillong. It was rebuilt and is today referred to as the "Scotland of the East" on account of its undulating landscape and sylvan surroundings.
Though Shillong is connected by air to Calcutta and Guwahati, it has only 1000 kilometres of surfaced roads and the nearest railway station lies in Assam.

People :
The inhabitants of Meghalaya are mainly tribal—hailing from the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes. A common cultural tradition of all these tribes is the matriarchal law of inheritance. Property and succession of family position passes from the mother to the youngest daughter.
Agriculture is the main economic activity. For long, the tribes practised shifting cultivation but are gradually moving to more settled ways of life. The more important crops are rice and maize. Oranges, pineapples, and potatoes are also grown, as are arecanut, ginger, turmeric, betel leaf and black pepper.

Climate :
The state is drained by a number of rivers, none of which are navigable due to rocky beds and strong currents.

The high altitude and the constant cloud cover keep temperatures low throughout the year. Even in summer, the temperature does not cross 23 degrees Celsius. The state has been aptly named because Meghalaya means "Abode of the Clouds."
The hills facing south towards Bangladesh receive some of the heaviest rainfall in the world.

The inhabitants of Meghalaya are mainly tribal—hailing from the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes. A common cultural tradition of all these tribes is the matriarchal law of inheritance. Property and succession of family position passes from the mother to the youngest daughter.
Agriculture is the main economic activity. For long, the tribes practised shifting cultivation but are gradually moving to more settled ways of life. The more important crops are rice and maize. Oranges, pineapples, and potatoes are also grown, as are arecanut, ginger, turmeric, betel leaf and black pepper.
Khasi and Garo are the principal languages and, together with Jaintia and English, are the official languages.
Though Shillong is connected by air to Calcutta and Guwahati, it has only 1000 kilometres of surfaced roads and the nearest railway station lies in Assam.

The Khasi, Garo and the Jaintia tribes are the original inhabitants of Meghalaya and the state still has a predominantly tribal population. Their cultural traits and ethnic origins remain distinctive, mainly due to their long geographical isolation.
The Khasi and Jaintia trace their ancestry to the Mongolian race.
The Garo, on the other hand, belong to the Tibeto-Burman race and are also called A'chik. They originally predominated in the Garo Hills. To British travellers in the 19th century, the Garos appeared as "bloodthirsty savages". Like the other tribes, the Garo lived in permanent villages with the headman or nokma as a leader.
The British moved into the area in the early 19th century, when Burmese incursions became more frequent and France emerged as a rival colonial power in Indochina. Between 1826 and 1836, all the small tribal principalities in the region were incorporated into British dominions. But the principalities, resenting the loss of autonomy and intrusion of outsiders, frequently rebelled.
In 1828, the Khasi, later aided by the Garo, first revolted, against the construction of a highway through their domains, which saw a large-scale intrusion of Englishmen and Bengalis in the area. The revolt was ruthlessly suppressed in 1833.
To curb the repeated uprisings, the British merged these areas into the state of Assam, with Shillong as the new capital in 1874.
Shillong which is said to derive its name from the deity Shyllong became a favourite holiday resort of the British.
After independence, the hill tribes within Assam agitated for a separate state. Thus, the Indian government created the new state of Meghalaya in 1972, comprising the districts within the Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia hills. Shillong became the capital of the new state.
Meghalaya presents a panorama of rolling hills, pine forests, roaring waterfalls, lakes and a multitude of flora and fauna. But among the many natural wonders found in abundance throughout the state, the caves are unique. There are over 200 caves; many of them still unexplored.
Shillong and the surrounding areas offer several attractions. The horseshoe-shaped Ward Lake is set amidst a landscaped botanical garden. The 18-hole Shillong golf course, one of the best in India, was laid out 90 years ago by the British. The Butterfly Museum has a good display of mounted butterflies and beetles.
Umiam and Naphak lakes attract the fishing enthusiasts, bird watchers and the sports buffs who enjoy its boating, sailing and water skiing facilities. For an acquaintance with the local crafts, the Bara Bazaar is a shopper's delight.
Cherrapunjee, more famous as the rainiest place on earth also has gushing waterfalls like the famed Nohsngithiang falls. The town has limestone caves and its orange honey is also popular.
Mawsynram, which recently recorded more rainfall than Cherrapunji, developed into a pilgrimage centre after the discovery of a cave with a giant stalagmite shaped like a shivalinga.
Some of the most beautiful caves are found in the Jaintia and Garo Hills. Krem Um-Lawan a beautiful cave with numerous cataracts and waterfalls, is the longest and deepest cave in South Asia. Siju-Dobkhakol, in the Garo Hills, is the third largest cave in South Asia. It is home to innumerable bats. Tetengkol-Balwakol, the "cave of dwarfs with inverted feet", has an entrance barely a metre high but it hides a cave nearly 5000 metres long.
Several festivals are observed to mark the changing seasons. In Shillong, Shad Suk Mynsiem, a two-day folk festival, is celebrated during April. The Nongkrem Dances are a 5-day festival commemorating the harvest season. In the Garo hills the harvest is celebrated in November with the Wangala, the 100 Drums Festival.

 Mizoram

Mizoram was part of the state of Assam when India became independent. It became a Union Territory in 1972 and the 23rd state of the Indian Union in 1987.

Area: 21,087 sq km
Population : 8,91,058
Language : Mizos have accepted English as their medium of instruction, but the Mizo language is still widely spoken.
Capital : Aizawl.

Literacy rate : 88.06%.

Location :
Mizoram nestles in the northeastern corner of India and is shaped like a narrow, inverted triangle.
The state borders Myanmar and Bangladesh in the south and east, while its domestic borders are shared with the states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura.

People :
The Mizos are divided into several tribes – the Lushais, Pawis, Paithes, Raltes, Pang, Himars, Kukis, Lakhers and others. They are originally believed to have come from northwestern China and moved towards their present homeland, about 300 years ago. They were earlier worshippers of the spirit called Pathan, but today the Mizo community is greatly influenced by Christianity. Mizos zealously preserve their old customs and lifestyle. This preservation has been possible due to the Inner Line Permit introduced by the British in the last century, which prevented outsiders from settling down in Mizoram, and posing a threat to the indigenous lifestyle.

Main Occupation :
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The ginger grown in this area is famous. Paddy, maize, mustard, sugarcane, sesame and potatoes are the other crops grown.
Industry : The major industries in the state are that of handloom and handicrafts. Sericulture is practised widely.

However, concerted efforts are being made to accelerate the growth of industries in Mizoram and some priority industries have been identified. These include agro and forest-based industries, handloom and handicrafts, electronics and consumer industries.

Climate :
The climate is generally cool and pleasant the year round but during the months of April and May, there are heavy storms that blow in from the northwest. Rainfall occurs between the months of May to September.

The inhabitants of Mizoram are called Mizos which means 'people of the hills'.
According to a Mizo tale the Mizos came out from under a rock at the beginning of time. When a number of them had come out, two Mizos started chattering away and they made such a noise that god thought too many people had come out and closed the opening.
Mizos do not all belong to the same tribe. There are a number of tribes but the main ones are the Lushai, Pawi and Lakher.
Most of the Mizo tribes originally lived in the hills of Burma. The Lushai started moving westwards into India some centuries ago and soon become the dominant tribe in the region that came to be known as the Lushai Hills.
The Lushai came into conflict with the British early in the 19th century when they began raiding areas under British control.
In the 1890's the British sent two expeditions into the Lushai Hills. Posts were set up at various places and a fort called Aijal (which later became Aizawl) was established. In 1895 the territory was annexed to British India.
In 1919 the British declared this area backward and encouraged missionary activity among the tribes. The Lushai and some other tribes converted to Christianity.
The Mizo Hills area was a part of Assam at the time of independence, in 1947. In 1972 it was granted the status of a Union Territory and renamed Mizoram. Mizoram became the 23rd state of the Indian Union in February 1987.

Mizoram is a land of hills.
The hills run from the north to the south towards Myanmar and are resplendent with green vegetation throughout the year. Phawngpui is the highest peak in these mountains reaching 2065 metres. The name actually means a vast meadow, but it is popularly known as the Blue Mountain. Rare species of rhododendron are found on its slopes.
The state capital Aizawl is built on a high ridge and does not see the sun for most of the day, making it an idyllic hill station. The influence of the British is seen in buildings like the Assam Rifles Centre and the Raj Bhavan. The Mizoram State Museum has an interesting collection of Mizo costumes, implements and stuffed animals.
Bazaars in Aizawl and other towns sell locally made artefacts and the Khumbeu, the ceremonial bamboo hat made of wild Hnahthial leaves, popular with tourists.
The Mizos though influenced by western culture have preserved their traditions. The most enduring of these is the Cheraw, or the "bamboo dance". Other dance forms are the Khuallam, a dance for visitors and the Chheih Lam, performed at the end of a day's work. Another surviving tradition is the weaving of the puan, the local costume characterized by its white, black and red stripes. It is worn on special occasions such as weddings and festivals.
Traditional Mizo festivals are all associated with agricultural activities and are celebrated with great gusto.
The two traditional games of the Mizos are the Inbuan, a form of wrestling and the Insuknawr, where two men armed with long bamboo rods strive to push each other out of a circle.
British missionaries introduced the Roman script for the Mizo language and taught the people English. Today English is widely spoken in Mizoram and the literacy rate there is the second-highest in India.

 Nagaland

Area : 16579 square kilometres
Population : 19,88,636.
Capital : Kohima.

Location :
Nagaland in India's northeast, is a narrow strip of territory.

Physiography :
The Naga Hills run through this small state, with Saramati, its highest peak reaching a height of 3841 m. These mountains have some of the richest forest cover left in India.

People :
There are many distinct tribes and sub-tribes among the Nagas, each with its distinctive language and cultural features. Prominent among these are the Kukis, Angamis, Aos, Konyaks, Lothas, Semas and Wanchus. In earlier days, these tribes were known for their fierceness and the periodic raids they made into the neighbouring areas.
Though several towns have developed in the last few decades, the people live mainly in the villages. The main structure in every village is the morung, a narrow elongated building that serves as a storehouse for weapons and a dormitory for the warriors.

Occupation :
For long, the slash and burn techniques of jhum cultivation was followed. Though, only a little more than one-third of the total area in the state is cultivable, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy with 90% of the population involved in it. Development organizations and government initiatives have encouraged the people to adopt terraced cultivation, farm forestry and to plant orchards.
Popular occupations also include sericulture and bee keeping. The Nagas manufacture exquisite artefacts with the simplest of equipment, home made colours and bamboo. Weaving is a traditional art handed down through generations in Nagaland.

Women stitch together strips of colourful cloth to produce shawls in distinctive patterns, each pattern being associated with a particular tribe.

The name "Naga" is derived from the Burmese word "Naka ", meaning "people with perforated ears." The Nagas, who pierced their ears to accommodate big wooden plugs and other ornaments, were given this name as they passed through Burmese territory during their migration from southern China to the Naga Hills. During 1819 to 1832, the Burmese tried to extend their rule in the northeast. But the British in a series of wars against the Burmese eventually annexed the Naga Hills where the Nagas lived.
British occupation brought many deep-rooted changes in Naga life. Spread of education led to increased political awareness. The introduction of English enabled the different tribes to develop a coherent identity, around a common language.
There was disaffection in certain sections. In 1862, the Kukis from the hills devastated a vast region in Tippera, killing nearly 300 people. A British military force penetrated into the Kuki country and destroyed the village of the ringleader. A second Kuki raid was repulsed with heavy losses in 1863.
In the 1920s, the Nagas united under Haipou Jadonang, who stressed the importance of education, and the need to discard superstition. In 1931, he began a Naga civil disobedience – the Zeliangrong Movement in the Naga Hills and proclaimed Naga Raj. Arrested, he was hanged by the British on the false charge of murdering some traders.
The infuriated Nagas chose his 15-year-old niece, Gaidinlu, as their leader. She organized an army and a network of spies to report every movement of the British troops to her and urged the Nagas to withhold taxes.
The British finally captured her on 17 October 1932. As she refused to withdraw the agitation, she was thrown into prison where she languished till India's independence in 1947.
Nagaland became a full-fledged state of the Indian Union in 1963.

Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, is a hill station which became famous during World War II as the place where the Japanese advance was halted in April 1944. The War Cemetery that was originally a tennis court,
and the Memorial, record the sacrifices made by a handful of soldiers against the Japanese. An inscription there reads: "When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today."
Though Nagaland is a landlocked state with no direct access to the sea, some old Naga folktales relate to the sea, suggesting that their ancestors might have been a seafaring people. Seashell jewellery is on view at Kohima's state museum where one can also see a huge drum resembling a war canoe of Polynesian design.
The Catholic cathedral on Aradura Hill in Kohima is one of the biggest cathedrals in the Northeast. It houses the biggest wooden cross in India. The Dzakou Valley – the "Valley of Eternal Charm" has striking foliage of evergreen cane, rare orchids and rhododendron. The valley's crisp, cool air, meandering streams and flora attract several trekkers. The Japfu Peak presents an enchanting view of Kohima.
The Intaki Wildlife Sanctuary near Dimapur, one of Nagland's major towns, has some of the world's rarest species of animals and birds.
Ruzaphema, a small town has colourful bazaars and a wide range of tribal handicrafts. Mokukchung is another picturesque town and the old capital of the Ao Nagas.
Music and dance are very important to the Naga culture. Dressed in bright tribal gear, bearing shields and spears, the Nagas love to perform war dances, especially during festivals. The festival of Sekrenyi is celebrated by some tribes during February, when all work in the fields cease. Moatsu, observed by the Ao tribes in May is a 6-day festival marking the beginning of the sowing season.

 Sikkim

Sikkim became a protectorate of India in 1950 and a state in 1975.

Area : 7,096 sq kms.
Population : 5,40,493. The Lepchas, Bhutias and the Sherpas are the major ethnic groups inhabiting the state.
Language : The local language is Nepali, while English is the official language.
Capital : Gangtok

Location :
Sikkim, India's second smallest state, is located in the northeastern part of the country. Nepal borders it in the west and Bhutan in the east, China lies to the north and northeast, and West Bengal to the south. Because of its location, it has a political and strategic importance.

Physiography :
Sikkim is surrounded on three sides by steep mountain walls. Kanchenjunga, India's highest peak and the world's third highest mountain is in Sikkim. The locals have traditionally viewed the mountain as both a god and the abode of gods.
A number of glaciers descend from Kanchenjunga into Sikkim. The river Teesta is formed from one such glacier.

Economy :
The economy of Sikkim is based on agriculture and animal husbandry. Maize, rice, wheat and barley are produced in terraced fields in the valleys. Beans, ginger, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and tea are also grown. Sikkim is one of the world's main producers of cardamom. About one-third of Sikkim is forested. It also has a rich and varied animal life, including the black bear, panda, numerous species of deer, and the Tibetan antelope.
Copper, lead, zinc, coal, graphite, and limestone are among the minerals found in the state, though not all are commercially exploited.

Until the early 1970s, Sikkim had only cottage industries, producing handwoven textiles, carpets, and blankets—as well as traditional handicrafts. Now there are a number of small-scale industries.

Transport :
Roads, though not extensive, are the primary mode of travel. Ropeways have also been provided at many points.

The kingdom of Sikkim was established in 1642, and the Dalai Lama recognized Phuntsog Namgyal, as the first chogyal (temporal and spiritual king). The Namgyal dynasty was to rule Sikkim till 1975.
Beginning in the mid-18th century, Sikkim fought a series of territorial wars with Bhutan, as its king opposed the accession of a minor king in Sikkim. Nepal too, came to occupy parts of western Sikkim and part of the Terai region. This period also saw the largest migration of Nepalese to Sikkim.
The British interest in Sikkim manifested itself in the early 19th century as they wished to gain an access to Tibet. In return for its support to the British in the Anglo-Nepalese war of 1814-16, Sikkim regained the Nepalese-occupied territories. By 1817, Sikkim had become a de facto protectorate of Britain, though there was resentment by the Sikkimese to British interference in their affairs and to the construction of highways through their territory.
The British East India Company obtained Darjeeling from Sikkim in 1835. Incidents between the British and Sikkimese led to the final annexation in 1849 of the Terai region. The subsequent military defeat of Sikkim, ended in the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861, which established Sikkim as a princely state under British paramountcy. The British were given rights of free trade and to build roads through Sikkim to Tibet.
In 1950, after India's independence, a treaty was signed between Sikkim and India making Sikkim an Indian protectorate, with the centre assuming responsibility for Sikkim's external relations, defence, and strategic communications.
After 1947 Sikkim's political parties raised demands for the establishment of a democratically elected government, and accession of Sikkim to India which was resisted by the chogyal and his supporters. In 1974, the newly-elected Sikkim Congress launched a campaign to obtain greater political liberties and rights. The chogyal attempted to suppress the campaign. When violence escalated, the chogyal asked the Indian government to intervene. In a special referendum in 1975, more than 97 % of the electorate voted for the merger of Sikkim with India and Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union on May 15, 1975.

Sikkim, on its western boundary, is dominated by Kanchenjunga (8,598 m), the third highest mountain in the world. The awesome peak overlooks a land dotted by monasteries and which is famous for its orchids and vast forests of rhododendrons.
Though monasteries like the Rumtek, (the centre of the Kagyu-pa sect), the Pemayangstse Monastery and the centuries-old Tashiding Ningma Monastery are major tourist
attractions, some tourists are drawn by adventure sports like river rafting and kayaking on the Tista. The Tista and the Rangit are the major rivers of Sikkim. While the Tista runs down fairly straight from the Himalayas and then across beautiful valleys and deep forests to the plains of West Bengal, the Rangit twists and turns. However they run parallel for some distance and finally meet and flow into the plains together. The confluence of the two rivers is a holy place for Lepchas. The Lepchas were the first settlers of Sikkim. They were followed by the Bhutias and others in the 14th century. The Nepalese came last but today they form the majority community.
Most of the people of this second-smallest state of India (Goa being the smallest) are farmers.
The capital and chief city is Gangtok which means "hill top", an appropriate name for a town perched at a height of 1,520 metres.

 Tripura

Tripura, in northeastern India is the third smallest state, after Sikkim and Goa.
Tripura was ruled by kings of the Manikya dynasty until 1949 when it became part of the Indian Union

Area : 10,491.69 sq.km.
Population: 31,91,168
Capital : Agartala
Main Languages: Bengali and Kokborak

Location :
It is surrounded by Bangladesh on all sides except for a narrow strip in the northeast where it shares boundaries with Assam and Mizoram.

Physiography :
Tripura is hilly with several deep river valleys. The hills are covered with thick forests and extensive bamboo groves. The south is more open and most of the people live there. The capital, Agartala, is also in the south.

People :
The people, the majority of whom are tribals, live in houses built on a raised platform, 3 to 4 metres above the ground, and reached by a ladder. Immigrants from West Bengal and Bangladesh have settled in the state and reduced the tribals to a minority in some areas.
Two militant groups, the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the All Tripura Tiger Force both want the non-tribals who have settled in Tripura after 1949 to leave.

Economy :
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, with shifting cultivation gradually being replaced by modern farming methods. While rice is the main food crop, wheat, potatoes and sugarcane are also grown. Tea is the main cash crop. Industry is generally small in scale and includes saw mill, manufacture of aluminium utensils and handloom weaving.

The state has abundant reserves of natural gas and gas-based industries are coming up.

Not much is known about Tripura's early history. It first finds mention in the Ashokan pillars of the 3rd century BC. In the 1300s, Tripura came under the control of the Manikya dynasty, a family of Indo-Mongolian origin.

In the early 17th century, Tripura came under the domination of the Mughals. But the local rulers, the Manikyas still retained some of their power. After the British set up their colonies in Calcutta, they conquered parts of modern Tripura but exerted no administrative control for more than a century. To the British, Tripura was known as Hill Tippera. Even when a representative was appointed in 1871, the Manikya maharajas had adequate independence, though they were required to seek British recognition on the accession of a new ruler.

One of the greatest of the Manikya rulers was Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur of the 19th century. He was an accomplished poet and musician and made an effort at modernization by reorganizing Tripura's administration and abolishing the practice of slavery and sati. The last ruling maharaja of Tripura, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, ascended the throne in 1923 and, before his death in 1947, settled that Tripura should accede to the newly independent country of India. Tripura officially became part of India on Oct. 15, 1949, and was made a union territory on Sept. 1, 1956. It became a constituent state of the Indian Union on Jan. 21, 1972.

Agartala, the capital of Tripura has numerous palaces and temples. Ujjayanta, the former residence of the royal family was built in 1901; Neermahal built in the midst of a lake was used as a summer palace. It is the only lake palace in eastern India.

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore stayed at Kunjaban palace, constructed in 1917. Part of it is now open to the public.

Tripura is divided into three districts: North Tripura, West Tripura and South Tripura. The headquarters of South Tripura is Udaipur.

The Mata Tripureshwari temple in Udaipur is dedicated to the goddess Kali. A large fair is held here every year during Diwali.

Among the more intriguing sights of Tripura are its rock-cut carvings. Huge carvings on near-vertical walls of rock can be seen in Unnakoti, which was built in hilly inaccessible terrain in South Tripura to avoid destruction by invaders. Unnakoti is an important place of pilgrimage in the state. Rock carvings can also be seen at Debtamura, on the banks of the Gomti. The rocks on the banks of the river are carved with images of Shiva, Vishnu, Kartik, Durga and other deities. The carvings date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Music and dance are an integral part of Tripura’s tribal communities. The Raengs dance the Hozagiri dance with a lighted lamp on their heads. The Bizu dance of the Chakmas, the Hai Hak dance of the Halams, the Wangala dance of the Garos, the Cherow dance of the Darlong tribe and the traditional lamp dances of the Mog community reflect the cultural diversity of the state.

 

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