Manipur is one of those states of India that represent peace with diversity. It celebrates several festivals of different tribes including a harvest festival, their local new year and many more. But, out of all the festivals, one of the most interesting and integral ones of the region is the Chumpha Festival which is celebrated by the Tangkhul Naga tribe.
Although the festival's dates for 2023 are not out yet, last year, it was held in December. These days are celebrated with full excitement while showing and expressing humble gratitude towards God for fulfilment and happiness.
Even though the Chumpha Festival is celebrated with much gusto in the entire state, the fever of the festival can be witnessed the best in Imphal, the capital of Manipur.
The Festival is celebrated towards the end of December. During the festival, people meet and greet friends and family, spreading happiness while giving gifts to near and dear ones.
Women have a significant role to play in the festival. At the end of the festival, they organize a huge procession along with traditional dance and music. In the procession, men and women wear traditional attire of Tangkhul Naga Tribe and mark it as a wrap of the festival.
History of Tangkhul Nagas
The Tangkhul Naga tribe mostly resides in the Ukhrul District of Manipur. Despite modern influence, most of the people of the tribe still speak in Tangkhul dialects and you would be surprised to know that there are over a hundred types of Tangkhul dialects.
The tribe used to live on hills and migrated towards Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from Myanmar. They migrated with other tribes like Chakhesangs, Angamis, Zeliangrongs, Poumais, Marams, and Maos.
Major Attractions of Chumpha Festival 2023
1. Social Gathering. Chumpha festival Manipur is one of the most significant festivals that denotes a strong relationship among family members. The first day is spent with love and affection while meeting friends and loved ones.
2. Dance and Music. Wearing traditional dresses like Kashans for women and Machung for men with headgears, the people of the tribe perform their traditional Tangkhul Dance.
3. Delicious food of the Tangkhul Tribe. The food of this tribe is internationally popular, hence, during the festival, they prepare different traditional food items such as Ngari, rice, pork, and fermented vegetables.
4. Procession. On the last day of the festival, they carry out a humongous procession near the Urkhul District, after which, the festival concludes.
How to Reach Chumpha Festival Manipur
In order to witness this beautiful harvest festival, you will need to visit Manipur. And, if you found Chumpha Festival to be too intriguing then here's how you can reach the North-Eastern state to witness this festival.
By Air. The nearest airport for you would be the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport which is just 88 kilometers away from the Ukhrul District of Manipur. It will take you nearly 2 hours to reach the district.
The airport in question is one of the two busiest airports in northeast India. It is well-linked with the major cities of India and overseas as well. Renowned airlines such as Air India, IndiGo, AirAsia, Alliance Air, etc. provide their services here, including regular flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.
By Road. Roadways of Urkhul is well-linked to neighbouring regions of it. The nearest bus stand there is the Imphal Interstate Bus Terminal which is well-connected to the popular cities of India. If you are planning a road trip, then it certainly is going to be a memorable one courtesy the picturesque locations you will see on your way and the smooth roads that will help you reach Ukhrul in less time than what your map's ETA suggests.
By Rail. Dimapur Railway Station is the nearest railway station which is at a distance of approximately 314 kilometres from the town. It is one of the major railheads connecting the states of Nagaland and Manipur. It is also well-connected to other parts of India via regular train services such as:
Dbrt Rajadhani and Ndls Dbrg Rjdhn from Delhi
New Tinsukia Exp from Bengaluru
Kamrup Exp, KOAA DBRG Exp, and New Tinsukia Exp from Kolkata
If you are travelling from Mumbai, then you must know that there are no direct trains between Mumbai and Dimapur. Hence, it is recommended that you opt for airways but if you have ample time then the train would be perfect for you.