The Palace of Kangla is an old palace at Kangla, Manipur state in India. It is situated on the western bank of the Imphal River. Only the ruins remains now. Kangla means dry land in old meiteilon or manipuri language. It was the traditional seat of the past meitei rulers of Manipur. The British referred to it as the Manipur Fort.
Historical and Archeological significance
The kingdom of Manipur developed at Kangla. Being a political and religious centre, Kangla grew into a formidable fortress city over the centuries. It is from this capital that the Ningthouja clan gradually wielded enough political and military power to become the most dominant clan in Manipur. The royal chronicle of Manipur, Cheitharol Kumbaba, contains many references to the development of Kangla by successive reigning kings in Manipur.
The royal chronicle records that King Khagemba (1597 - 1652 A.D.) - the conqueror of the Chinese, constructed a brick wall at the western gate of 'Kangla Fort' in 1632 A.D.. It appears that the art of brick making was acquired from the Chinese prisoners who were captured during the Chinese invasion of the eastern frontier of Manipur. His son King Khunjaoba (1632 - 1666 A.D.) carried out fortification and beautification work of Kangla Fort. It is believed that the king excavated a moat (Thangapat) on the western side of the Fort. The Fort was further enlarged by King Garibaniwaz and other successive kings of Manipur.
It is famous in the history of Manipur. In the evening of March 24, 1891 British Gorkha troops attacked Juvraj Tikendrajit's residence in the Palace Compound, killing many innocent civilians including women and children who were watching a Ras Lila dance. The Manipuris struck back and the British was put on the defensive. In the ensuing chaos, five British officers including Grimwood, the then Political Agent and J.W. Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, were executed by a mob. This resulted in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891. The British forces finally defeated the Manipuri forces and hoisted the Union Jack in Kangla on 27 April 1892. It was occupied by the British, declaring it as the cantonment area or the ‘British Reserve’ till they left Manipur in 1947.
It's occupation by the Assam Rifles, a Indian paramilitary force was a major source of discontent of the local people. M. M. Jacob, the then Minister of State for Home in 1992 had announced in a speech that the Assam Rifles would hand over the historic fort to the state government. This finally came true on November 20, 2004 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed over the historic Kangla Fort to Manipur state government.
- The ancient capital of Manipur (http://www.e-pao.net/epPageExtractor.asp?src=manipur.Kangla_The_ancient_Capital_of_Manipur.html)