Moirang and INA Museum
Moirang is not just about Loktak lake (Visiting the World’s only Floating National Park! ),but the place itself has a lot to offer. The history of Moirang begins with his coronation in 52 BC on the prestigious Keke Kangla. It was during the period when the Hun dynasty of the ancient Chinese Golden Age between BC 208 to 08 AD ruled in China. By dint of his power and wisdom he could establish a firm footed, stable and independent Moirang kingdom around Loktak lake in ancient Manipur.
Moirang in Manipur, where INA formed the first provisional government of Independent India by defeating the British and hoisting tricolours on Independent soil – This is the story of a victory that not many cared to remember. April 14, 1944 was the day when the tricolour was unfurled for the first time on a liberated Indian soil, led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian National Army (INA) defeated the British. Shaukat Ali Malik of the INA planted the tricolour flag with a springing tiger( Tipu Sultan’s) instead of the chakra, to establish the provisional independent government in Moirang, a sleepy little town about 45 km from Imphal.
Moirang gains its historic significance into a national pilgrimage centre on account of a unique and unparallel event in the history of freedom struggle of India. Thousands of INA soldiers with total support from Japanese Government and its imperial army died in the battlefronts and become martyrs. They liberated 1,500 sq miles in Manipur valley and unfurled the Tri-colour Flag of Free India ceremoniously for the first time at Moirang Kangla on 14th April, 1944 and carried out administration of the liberated territories for three months with its Head Quarters at Moirang.
In fond memory of those sacrificed souls, the INA Martyrs’ Memorial complex proudly stands at Moirang to testify the historicity and martyrdom. Till date the people of Moirang sing in praise the bravery and heroic deeds of the Indo-Japanese forces in their offensive against the British forces.
The beautiful complex has six units – the Netaji Library, the Replica of the INA War Memorial, the Moirang Kangla, the INA Auditorium, the Life Size Bronze Statue of Netaji and the INA War Museum.
The museum immortalized Netaji our forgotten hero, with the rare photographs letters and his movement plans, that are displayed here.You can read through all his letters and view his pictures with great personalities including Hitler.The stamps, coins and other documents on display reveal the quantum of perseverance, commitment and hard work he had put in to get us freedom. My favorite from the lot was a picture of Nejati where he is laughing out loud, the most happy picture of this great leader.
What happened during the Battle of Imphal is all the more fascinating as it had Indian troops on both sides: those that made up the majority of the British Army and those in INA units alongside the Japanese. It’s a treasure hunt for one who loves visiting historical places, and its a shame that not many people know about it.
If you are planning for a trip to Manipur… the place has to be in your list!
**Check out my other blogs on Manipur –