Bishnupriya Manipuri – A language originated in Manipur

Works of both Indian and European Scholars bear testimonies to the existence of Bishnupriya Manipuri in Manipur in the earliest time.

The “Khumal Purana” Of Pandit Navakhendra Singh refers to the existence of Bishnupriya Manipuri language in Manipur during the reign of Garib Nawaj. Pandit Navakhendra states – ” The main stream of Manipuri, the Aryan origin people, the khumal, Moirang, Angam and Luwang who are following the Vedic cult from the epic ages being the devotees of Lord Vishnu distinguish themselves from the Meitheis”.  The language originated and developed in Manipur and was originally confined to the surroundings of the Loktak Lake. Continue Reading

Manipuri denotes two linguistic groups: Meitei and Bishnupriya Manipuri

The Manipuris, from a linguistic point of view, are divided into two groups, namely – the Meiteis and the Bishnupriyas.

The Meiteis entered Manipur from the east; their Language is of the Tibeto-Burman group. The Bishnupriyas entered Manipur from the west; their language is of the Indo-Aryan group. “Manipuris are divided into two main tribes – the – khalachais, who call themselves Bishnupriyas, are supposed to have been the first cultural race and the Meitheis or Meetheis, who call themselves real Manipuris are supposed to have been next immigrants.”- said Shri R. M. Nath in his Book The Background of Assamese culture.  Continue Reading

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Language

Bishnupriya Manipuri Language is mainly spoken by Bishnupriya Manipuris, a Indo-Aryan group of people who lived in Manipur(A North Eastern state of India)

long before the advent of Hinduism mixing and intermingling racially and culturally with the Meiteis but were driven out due to population pressure, inter-racial conflicts and political events. Though some of the people later identified with the Meiteis, most of them didn’t submit to the Meiteis to retain a separate identity and language. A great majority of the speakers fled away from Manipur and took refuge in Assam, Tripura, Sylhet, and Cachar during eighteen and nineteenth century due to internal conflicts among the princes of Manipur and due to Burmese attack. This Language is now spoken in parts of Assam, Tripura, Manipur( Jiribam, Bishnupur, Ningthaukhong)) in India, in Bangladesh, in Burma and some other overseas countries. Continue Reading

Historical Keynotes on Bishnupriya Manipuri Language

  • There can be no reasonable doubt that a great Aryan wave of very pure blood passed through Manipur into Burma in prehistoric time. I see traces of this in the finely cut features seen now and then among the Manipuris” – Gazetteer of Manipur by Captain E. W. Dun, Page 15.
  • ” A tribe known as Mayang speaks a mongrel form of Assamese known by the same name..They are also known as ‘Bishnupuria Manipuris or Kalisa Manipuris” – Linguistic Survey of India, 1891. Compiled by Sir G. A. Greirson, Vol V, Page 419
  • They (Mayangs) amongst themselves speak their own language, which is dialect of Hindee” – An account of the Valley of Manipore by Mc. Cullock, 1849.

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Shahid Sudeshna Sinha

March 16, 1996
Saturday, 12:10:00 AM

Gunghajhari Rail Staion
Kalkalighat, Patherkandi, Karimganj
Assam. Pin-788 725.

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