Manipur King Palace Sylhet A Historical and Architectural Review

Manipur King Palace

Located in Sylhet’s Mirjajangal, Manipuri Rajbari ” Manipuri Kings Palace ” represents historical architecture. In addition, it is a local icon and a cultural aspect of the area. They were guarded by the king himself, Gomvir Sing. Despite the fact that it has lost some of its intensity due to lack of proper care, its beauty hasn’t yet faded away entirely. Manipur’s palace is noteworthy not just for its architecture, but also for its role in unraveling the city’s history and culture.

Manipuri King Palace Sylhet Historical Background

During the reign of Maharaj Joyoshee or Garib Nawaz (1709-1748), the first Manipuri settlement in Bangladesh was formed. Manipur’s pangal (Muslim Manipur), Ningthona and Bishnupriya communities began to settle here at the same time. In 1819, the year of our Lord. Mahabandula (the king of Burma) seized Manipur during Mubraj Marjeet’s reign, and the Manipur Kingdom of India was abandoned. Myanmar ruled Manipur from 1829 to 1826. “Cahi ta rat khun take pa” the Manipuri verse refers to a period of zero seven years.

He built his palace in the Mirjajangal section of Sylhet district, which had a 60-acre border. While Maharaja Gomvir Singh ruled Sylhet, some missionaries arrived. In Mahabharata, there was no connection between the Manipur of India and the Manipuri of Sylhet, according to the epic. War, violence, and other socio-political factors caused the Manipuri people to relocate to Bangladesh. Manipur was governed by Burmese invaders for almost seven years after the Manipuri -barma (1819-1826). (As in before-mentioned zero seven years). When King Chourajeet Sing and Gomvir Singh fled to Sylhet, they constructed the palace.

Raja Gambhir Singh (Gomvir Sing)

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Figure 3: Chinglen Nongdrenkhomba (1788–1834),
also known as Raja Gambhir Singh

He was also known as Chingien Nangdrenkhoma (Maharaja Gomvir Sing, 1788-1834). The first part of his rule lasted from April to October 1821, and the second part from 12 June to 9 January 1834. He was a descendant of chingthang khomba, a Tibetan chief. After yumjabtaba’s death in April 1821, he became the new ruler. Burma and Britain signed ‘the Treaty of Yandaboo’ on 24 February 1826, ending the AngloBurmese War. Article 2 of the treaty declares Gomvir Singh to be the autonomous ruler of Manipur, according to the document. Gomvir Singh reigned from 9 January 1834 till his death.

Maharaj Gomvir Singh also built three temples along the east-west parallel, namely Yamjau lairambi temple, Liningtho Pangkhaba temple, and Nurgshaba temple. In each temple, there is a distinct God or Goddess to worship. On May 1, 1825, Gomvir Singh and 500 men departed Sylhet to save Manipur’s independence.

Construction reasons

There are a number of reasons why the palace complex was built, including

  • Keep kingly excellence: Since Gomvir Singh was a king, it was necessary for him to keep his kingly excellence at that time. That’s why he designed and constructed this palace in a royal manner.
  • To live: It’s one of the most common motivations for constructing a building in the first place. In order to survive when the Manipuri kingdom was captured by the Burmese, the Manipuri built this palace to reside in.
  • As a pious man: To show his devotion to God, the monarch built temples near the palace.

Manipuri King Palace Sylhet Geographical Position

The village of Manipuri Rajbari is located in the Sylhet district of

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Figure 4: Manipuri King’s palace location in Google Map

MirjaJangal Sylhet’s ‘O’ point lies within 500 meters of this place, according to geographical analysis. From 24°53’40.4″ longitude to 91°51’45.9″ latitude, it can be reached.

Period of construction

The exact date of construction of the Manipuri royal palace in Sylhet is unknown. After the war with Burman in 1826, Maharaja Gomvir Singh and his family remained at Mirza Jangal Tiu in the east of Manipur state. On the basis of this information, it is reasonable to believe that this palace was constructed during the reign of Gomvir Singh According to ‘Chandrakala Sharma, the palace was built in 1826 by Raja Gomvir Singh (Ref. Interview, 2 March 2020).

Mythological and religious aspects

Fronting the palace is a blue signboard that reads, “THIS WRECKAGE MONUMENT OF KING GAMBHIR SINGHA (1819- 1826) ADO REMENTED BY VOLUNTEERS MUTUA MUSEUM IMPHAL MANIPUR, INDIA JANUARY-2012”. In spite of the fact that Maharaja Gomvir Singh’s palace was known as Rajbari at one point, the palace that witnessed his reign is on the edge of extinction.

Historic constructions include the APD Calypso religious temple, now known as the Tri-Mandir or Tin Mandir of the Hindus, which is located among the old structures. It was the three brothers of Maharaja Gomvir Singh who created the temples by carving Iputhau Pakhangba, the deity of the Manipuri Apocalypse religion, into the stone.

In Shrihetta, the villagers say that Maharaja Gomvir Singh’s palace is nearing extinction because of time, natural calamities, and lack of upkeep. There are nonetheless utensils that are used in conjunction with the food. In front of the crossroads near the palace Lama Bazar, the maharaja’s temple is still intact.

Manipur’s ancient mythology Mirzajajangal was founded by the brothers of Raja Chaurjit Singh of Manipur in the early half of the 19th century.

From there, they would take a horse-drawn carriage to the temple in Lama Bazar to worship the Manipuri Apocalypse. A time was spent by Chaurjit and Marjit Singh living in Bhanugache, Kamalganj; whereas Gomvir Singh settled down at Rajbari.

To meet Iputhau Pakhxangha at that time Shantidas, another lover of Hinduism from Srihatta, travelled to the Indian subcontinent to promote the old religion. It wasn’t long until Iputhau Pakhangba told Shantidas that it was his turn to speak. An eighty-eighth spot will be reached by the apocalyptic religion thanks to a boy born on this planet. Iputhau’s abrupt statements stunned Shantidas. But in order to fulfill his aim, he did everything he could to conquer Iputhau using the best knowledge he could muster. However, he was unable to succeed. Bhagyachandra, another Manipuri king, is waiting for you there.

From the palace of Mirzajangal at Mirzajangal, the tree brothers of Raja Gomvir Singh used to take a horse carriage to Lama Bazar, according to Sura sing (61). Using his own efforts, he built a temple there, where he worshiped Apocalypse religion’s gods and goddesses. There’s still a lot of symbolism in there. Ittefaq, 4 November 2020)

The Manipuri kings and subjects worship these six deities of the Apokop religion.

  1. Linighthou sanamahi
  2. Ima laimaren sidbi
  3. Lairu Hanjab
  4. Iputhau pakhangba
  5. Melem Ima
  6. IputhauShalaien.

Architectural Features

Buildings/Construction Materials:

There are a variety of materials used in this installation.

i. Bricks
ii. Lime suraki
iii. Stone
iv. Malash and kalgram powders

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Figure 6: Bricks and Linme Suraki on Manipuri palace wall

Bricks of various sizes were used to build the walls. There were also lime-surki, stone, and malashs (kalgram powder) used to construct the gateway. Even yet, the bricks used in the construction came in a wide


range of sizes and shapes

Ground plan


It is yet to be discovered what remains of the Manipuri palace, although the original building has long since disappeared from existence. The destruction has exposed substantial portions of the entrance, wall, and foundations.

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The Entrance


To guard the palace’s entrance, the traditional technology of a seven-tiered lime-surki wall was used. The entryway is called Sonothang in Manipuri. This entryway has a few levels. Entrance with the height of 8 meters and width of 4 meters with 2 side entrances parallel to the existing wall.

Walls


A variety of bricks were employed in the wall masonry, which was 22 meters in length. 2.5 m in height; 50 m in width.

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Arches


Round and Cinquefoil arches may be seen in this King’s Palace. These arches are decorated in a stylish way.

1.Round arch

In the west entrance of the palace, there is around the arch. It is a type of arched structure also called a semi-circular arch, which was built by the Romans and has a continuous curvature.

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Figure 8: Round arch in Manipuri palace

2.Cinquefoil arch

It is a type of multifoil arch. There is a multifoil arch at the Manipuri royal palace temple. A decorative foliation with five or more cuspidated parts is known as a cinquefoil arch. Circular windows, bosses, rosettes, and entryways all use this shape.

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Figure 9: Cinquefoil arch in the palace

Roof


The palace had three floors. The roof was a dome-shaped structure. The dome, however, does not exist at this time. Because of the quake, it was completely demolished. The vault type or dram style roof may be seen inside the roof.

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Stairs


A staircase is located on the west side of the building’s main entrance. The stairs have between 12 and 14 steps

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Figure 11: Stairs of The Manipuri Palace

Architectural methods of the palace

At the end of the sidewall, a pilaster and entrance can be found. In Japan, it is known as anta. However, there is now no anta in the area. Moreover, Polygonal semicircular semicircles are used in the dome and entranceway of the building We name it apsis or apse A set of arches and the columns that support them is called an armature. Foil is also employed at the entryway, a technique that originated in Gothic window tracing, and is used here.

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Figure 12: Use of
Voussoir System

The Gateway was similar to a voussoir. There is a corbelling method employed in the dome to support the structure. The voussoir is a circular arch’s component.

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Figure 113: Gothic window
tracery

Decoration

There are now only a few traces of this palace left. The arches in this palace are made of foil. “Kulungi” design was also employed on the palace’s walls. A-frame surrounds the main entrance. It has the appearance of a band’s logo. Seven layers of plaster were employed in the installation, according to the magic weaving crafs of Manipur in Bangladesh.

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Figure14: Kulungi Design

Three Temple

The 60-acre Mirzajangal was also home to three temples established by King Gomvir Singh and his brothers. New temples have been built in their place, despite the fact that the previous one was demolished. Three temples must be preserved, according to traditional Manipuri tradition. These are the three temples in question

  1. Lainingtha Pankhaba temple
  2. Yamuja Lairami temple
  3. Nangshaba temple.

1. Lainingthu Pankhaba Temple

The temple had a height of 37 meters and a width of 15.5 meters. There was a 90-centimeter thickness to the wall. 24 meters tall, it is the tallest building in the world. The temples can be categorized into three categories


a. Basement
b. Place of worship
c. Funnel roof.

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2. Yamuja lairami Temple

This temple length is 6(six) meters, width is about 6.4 meters and height is about 18.5 meters. Without this, it sam as Laigthu temple. However, there was no decoration on the wall.

3. Nangshaba Temple

The length and width of this temple was 6.5 X 6.5 meters. The carving of this temple is very similar to those of maharaja Gomvir Singh.

Socio Cultural Impact

Sylhet’s socio-cultural standing was heavily influenced by the Manipuri King palace. From this Manipuri people came the Manipuri dance, which is quite popular in Sylhet. There are a number of other areas in which they have a significant impact, including

Education

Manipuri speaks a separate language from the rest of the world. The Manipuri people in Sylhet, on the other hand, told me that their education is in Bengali. Due to the fact that there is no Manipuri school or education center to learn in Manipuri language. Because of this, I believe they are influenced by our language, and we are influenced by theirs. We have a clear understanding of their local systems because Bengali and Manipuri youngsters attend the same school.

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Figure 12Manipuri houses and temples

Religion

King Gombhir Singh practised apocalyptic religion. According to King Gombhir Shing’s people, Laimtho Sanamotiri is the major deity, followed by Tma Leimaren Sidbi, Lairu Hanjab, Eputhou Pankaba, Makam Ema, and

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Figure 17: Manipuri Religious Festival

Eputheu Salaelen. Erra is their most important event, and it attracts thousands of people every year. A combination of local and Manipuri culture prompted Gambhir Singh to hire in the Manipuri King’s court. Hence, the Manipuri temple and its religious events are still found there today, and locals attend and enjoy them.

Behavior

When we went to the Manipuri royal palaces for our interview, Manipuri residents welcomed every one of us with open arms and answered all of the inquiries. So, it’s a symbol of politeness and a sign of peace. According to Chandrakala local Manipuri people don’t want to accept charity or pity from anyone. They believe in the concept of raising a family through hard work and earning. The Sylheti people were influenced by their behavior, and some of it was reflected in the Sylheti culture.

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Figure 18: Manipuri people

Language

They speak a different language from the rest of the world. Though they are able to communicate in Bengali, they only do so when they need to communicate with Local people. It was written in the Manipuri language about Raja Gamvir Shing. Every time a general public wants to learn about them and their history, they must study the local language-specific book. That the local Sylheti language uses Manipuri vocabulary is proof that the local Manipuri language has an impact on local social culture.

Marriage

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Figure 19: Manipuri Wedding

Our understanding of Maitei customs and Bisnupriya customs is based on the interview. But only a Brahman family can be married to one of them. People from various walks of life participate in the wedding ceremony, putting on a variety of eye-catching performances. Additionally, it has a positive impact on the social and cultural conditions of the local culture or customs.

Manipuri King’s Palace can be discovered through fieldwork. History of their arrival in Bangladesh and how they settled down there. We can also learn about the palace’s architecture. To understand their cultural and social position, we need to learn more about them. As a result, we may adopt their architectural style or culture at some point in the future. Despite the fact that we have already adapted to some of their cultures and are friendly with them.

Manipuri Royal Palace, which was built by Raja Gomvir Sing, had a significant impact on the social, cultural, and economic landscapes. There
has been no communal rioting because we have learned how to live side by side with them in peace. It’s a great moment for us to be in a country where different ethnic groups coexist together. We can acquire new techniques and styles by exploring Manipuri castles and their culture.

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