TODAY -

Story of Kaina's Theibong : Cultural History Of Manipur

Dr. Ch. Jamini Devi *

Chief Minister, Manipur , Okram Ibobi inspected Kaina Shri Shri Govindajee Tourist Complex on June 04 2014
Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi inspected Kaina Shri Shri Govindajee Tourist Complex on June 04 2014
Pix - Arunkumar Thongam (DIPR)



The mountain range that extends to the south of the small hill called Langmaijing, which is situated about fourteen kilometers to the east of Manipur valley is known as the Kaina Hill. It was known as Lakhai Phandong Ching in the olden days. The Meitei Vaisnavs call it Bhashmukh Parbat. The idol of Shri Govinda was sculpted out of a Theibong (Jackfruit) tree that grew on this mountain range. There is a lovely story that tells of how this magnificent Theibong came to be about.

One day, a man belonging to the Pangambam clan, broke open a Theibong in order to make offerings to the deity. He found only two seeds inside. He put the two seeds in an earthen jar, keeping the deity in his heart in prayer; he placed the jar in the Phung-ga Lairu (a place near the hearth inside a traditional Meitei kitchen). After some time, one of the seeds sprouted. The man took the sprouted seed, and planted it at a location on the eastern slope of the mountain. In time, there grew a beautiful Theibong tree.

By the blessings of God, the Theibong tree had healthy limbs that spread its branches wide on all sides, which attracted attention and admiration from those who saw it. To the southern direction of where the Theibong tree grew lay the village of Lisamlok. A Tangkhul woman that lived in the village frequented the mountain slope while collecting firewood. On her trips to collect firewood, she often saw a good looking sweet young boy that seemed to have appeared from nowhere each time.

The hill woman's heart was smitten by the adorable looks of the boy. The boy approached the old lady, and played with her and sought her affection. He told her that he was hungry and thirsty, and begged to let him eat the food that the woman carried with her for her lunch.

Each time she saw him; she opened her packet of food and shared it with him. An eternal bond of affection grew between the old lady and the young boy. The mesmerizing looks and mannerisms of the young boy captured the old woman's heart completely. She packed food for him and visited the location every day. Every day, she opened her packet of food and fed him.

A man named Pangambam Oma witnessed the rendezvous between the old lady and the boy, and reported it to the king. In the meantime, Shri Govinda gave his Darshan to the king in his dreams and reminded him, "Karta, I have been waiting for you without food and drinks on the Kaina hill for so long. Now you have regained your throne. Your hard times are over. Have you forgotten our conversation?"

The dream, coupled with the news that was reported by Oma, made the king feel like a guilty person. The king summoned is ministers and officials, and discussed the matter with them. As per the decision made by those assembled, a search for the Theibong tree was made on the Kaina hill.

Upon reaching the area, they looked for the woman and asked her about the young boy. According to the woman's direction, they searched for the boy, but he was not to be found anywhere. The search party looked far and wide for the location of the Theibong tree. They followed a path on a fork and came upon a large, defied Theibong tree.

Karta Maharaj considered the Theibong tree to be Shri Govinda himself, and prayed to it. It was decided that on an auspicious day, to be calculated by Khumbong Siddhanta, the tree would be cut down. The auspicious day arrived on a Wednesday morning, on Sankranti, the 22nd day of Lamta. The sun just peeked out on the horizon. After performing the Puja accordingly, Pangambam Oma Singh struck the Theibong tree a blow with his axe. Lo and behold! An endless stream of blood trickled down from where the axe hit the trunk.

The king consulted with scholars and pundits regarding the phenomenon. According to their advice, Khumbong Siddhanta and Bhaskar Sharma uprooted the tree instead. The citizens helped carry the uprooted tree across the mountain range. The tree was then dropped into the Lisam Lok. They then discuss as to how the tree would be carried to the king's palace. The place where the people gathered to discuss the matter (Khannaba) came to be known as 'Khannarok'.

After much discussion, the tree was finally carried through Langdum Santrok to the Iril river, where it was let to float down the river. After a brief journey down the water way, just before it reached Lilong, the tree sank. The people there tried to bring it up on the surface. When divers attempted to bring it up, they were not able to move it even an inch. The attempt to raise it with the help of the elephant from the royal palace also failed.

The dispatch rides reported the matter to the king. On receiving the news, Karta Maharaj arrived at the location without any delay. Wahengbam Ojha sang the sankirtan and the Brahmans prepared offerings and Aarti. The king lay prostrate on the ground in prayer. Following that, the tree was dragged along the river and brought to the palace.

The place where the tree sank came to be known as 'Urup', and the place where Aarti was performed came to be known as Arapti. Since Shri Govinda once made his presence felt in these places, Urup and Arapti are considered today as places of pilgrimage.

The tree finally arrived at the intersection of the Iril river and Turel Achouba. Upon reaching Lilong, the tree was lifted out of the water at Leisang Hiden. When it reached Langthabal, people offered flowers and fruits in worship. At present, the place where offerings were made has been developed as a market known as 'Heijigang Keithel' and is located across from the Manipur University.

From there, the tree was carried to the top of the Langthabal hill, and left it there to dry for a year. Upon receiving the news that the Theibong was finally dry, the king summoned the master sculptor Sapam Lokhon, and commissioned him to make an icon of Shri Govinda.

(Extracted from the book Cultural History of Manipur, Sija Laioibi and Maharas by Dr. Ch. Jamini Devi)


* Dr. Ch. Jamini Devi wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on July 04, 2014.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #2: Gallery
  • Manipur Police Raising Day : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Peace: Another Shillong Accord
  • Implications of Kangchup-Tamenglong Road
  • The taste of Singju
  • Science Awareness Mela at Thoubal
  • Quiet They Went Away :: Poem
  • Final pact sans the NSCN (IM)?
  • GoI of 'backtracking' from FA
  • It will be a people's solution: NNPG
  • Nazareth @ Shirock #1 : Gallery
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #4 : Gallery
  • The GOD of religion
  • Happiness is a place
  • Letter to CM of Manipur
  • I understand :: Poem
  • Statistics: Better data, better lives
  • Human Rights for Social Development
  • Introspection to the Shirui Lily Festival
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Draft ready for final Naga accord
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #2: Gallery
  • An Appeal to NNPGs and NSCN (IM)
  • Inclusion of Manipur Nagas are irrelevant
  • Cry of a Dying River - 97 :: Poem
  • An Act of Remembrance & Political Debate
  • Corps that abuse human rights are threat
  • Oils to make winter skin glow
  • Gorkha Youth Summit
  • Ghost of 1994 continues to haunt MPSC
  • Significance of Oct 18 in Manipur history
  • Akhunba Takhellei #1 :: eRang
  • Ngamhao, Dimrei, Lansinganglu : eMing
  • A Lesson from a Long Peace Talk
  • Nobel Economics Prize 2019
  • World Blind Walk at ADBU
  • Dismay over relentless journo-murders
  • Trashing a pact with Govt
  • Of Women : today & tomorrow
  • NSCN (I-M) on choice before Nagas
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #12
  • Shirui Lily Fest - Inauguration : Gallery
  • 'Unethical act of few Orgs of a community'
  • In defence of ancestral land and freedom
  • Not just twin but triple demands of NSCN-IM
  • Govt College Teachers' Assn : GBM
  • The Killing Fields 2013-19 : News Timeline
  • 'Constitution can be pursued post solution'
  • Pressing need for sanity to prevail
  • Forgotten pledge - a reminder
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #3 : Gallery
  • May all the roads lead to Ukhrul ..
  • AMAND Cultural @Pune #2 : Gallery
  • Naga Flag & Constitution is our Identity
  • Global Handwashing Day
  • Gwangju Prize for Human Rights: Nominate
  • German program for women entrepreneurs
  • Raising the integration bogey, again
  • October 15 and the GoI
  • NTC calls for solution within scheduled time
  • Naga peace talks deadlocked
  • Pot Lannaba : Houchongba #1: Gallery
  • IM & Govt against freedom fighters
  • Wijaidin Pamai @Intl Fashion Week Goa
  • SheChef Season 2, Shirui Lily Festival 2019
  • Crazy for the hole :: Poem
  • Intl Classical Manipuri Dance Festival
  • Putting a check on single use plastic
  • Harvesting the green gold
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #1: Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba festival
  • Intl Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Understanding JAM for bright career
  • For you, I gave up everything : Poem
  • Paranoia of Beauty: A Corporate Brainwash
  • Opening NE to outside world: Challenges ..
  • Contested Identity Along Myanmar Border
  • NNPGs mandated for solution: Isak
  • Wont walk path of capitulated peace: IM
  • 3-month deadline ..unacceptable: Hoho
  • Manipur Street in Manchester & Shirui Lily
  • A glimpse of Shirui Flower : Gallery
  • World within a World
  • Face of RaDiant Group
  • For the Common People :: Poem
  • Heart Camp at Senapati District Hospital
  • NDPP is 'verba non facta' : NPF
  • Swindling of Public Money
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #3 : Gallery
  • World Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
  • Manipur lost legacy- Merger Agreement #2
  • My aquamarine :: Poem
  • Rice for beauty
  • Stand off over flag and constitution
  • Suicide - Western docs, Psychologists...
  • Naga wont accept alien doc. as constitution
  • Manipuri Calendar 2020 :: Download
  • AMAND Cultural @Pune #1 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • NE Message of Cleaninness at Delhi
  • Research Support Officer @ Amethyst
  • 8th AGM/Annual Cultural of AMAND, Pune
  • Peace & conflicts studies as a career
  • College student leaders learn leadership
  • Reaffirming stand of 2016 unity
  • Mr. Chief Minister, clean the dirt...
  • Nongdol Leima @ JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Haloi Taret: Dangerous Beauty....
  • Difficult days ahead for Muivah
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #3
  • World Mental Health Day, 2019
  • Traditional DJ
  • Cry of a Dying River - 96 :: Poem
  • ..district to State level : Shirui Lily Festival
  • Something is still not right
  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #2
  • Heritage Park @Sangai Fest #3: Gallery
  • Are we being bullied with same fake news?
  • Hard facts about the betrail
  • World Animal Day 2019
  • Academic Entrepreneurship at MU #2
  • Nagas of Nagaland : Drawing the divide
  • ... Manipur needs strategic change
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #2 : Gallery
  • ST status is to save indigenous community
  • Sangai festival and tourism multiplier
  • Governance, Gender & Environment :: Book
  • Now Your Hair :: Poem
  • Neiphiu Rio's myopic belief on ILP : NPF
  • Probe into maladministration of hospital
  • Taking high moral stand: Begone moral cop
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur lost legacy- Merger Agreement #1
  • Sikkim Dance @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • World Habitat Day: A celebration for home
  • For Your Eyes Only :: Poem
  • No School bag day in Manipur
  • Making ban on single use plastic effective
  • New CAB clause to protect NE : HM
  • NNPGs ready to conclude talks: Kitovi
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #2 : Gallery
  • Ngangom Chaoba : Natyabhusan
  • Ganja economics, Jai Bholenath !
  • Soul Sister :: Poem
  • Leap of faith on wings of Prayer
  • Counselling: Children in Conflict with Law
  • Caution for the cocksure
  • CAB Protest @Khwairamband : Gallery
  • Manipuri Women & Crime Against them
  • Toward exploring a better future for youth
  • I happily cry :: Poem
  • NE Students' Culturals at Pondicherry
  • Beauty benefits of banana
  • Heart Camp at District Hospital, Chandel
  • Contained but final word yet to be said
  • Smart idea, bumbling idealists
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #2 :: eRang
  • Facts & Opinions: Integration of Naga Area
  • Licypriya : Earth Day Network 'Rising Star'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 95 :: Poem
  • Khangminashi - V at Ibotonsana Hr Sec
  • Academic Entrepreneurship at MU #1
  • Vote BJP but protest: CAB Indecisive stand
  • Significance of Manipuri proverbs
  • Hathei Phanit (Chilli) #2: Gallery
  • Naga insurgency & peace condition #2
  • World River Day, 2019
  • Half Brother :: Poem
  • Youth Essay Contest: May 18 Memorial
  • Michelle Salam : Top Ten Cake Masters
  • Internal tussle within the Government
  • The humility of MK Gandhi & Manipur
  • Bhagyachandra Death Anniv @WB : Gallery
  • Why dont Manipur forget Merger Agreement
  • Let us celebrate Non Violence Day
  • Looking Forward to a Sexy Evening : Poem
  • Observance of Senior Citizen's Day
  • Turmeric in beauty care
  • Artists for NH7 Weekender, Meghalaya
  • Parking madness at commercial centres
  • Demise of a dream
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #1 : Gallery
  • International Day Of Older Persons, 1 Oct
  • Licypriya : India Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Irabot the poet of the working class
  • October Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Licypriya Kangujam : India Peace Prize 2019
  • ST status demand for Meiteis widening rift
  • Certificate Course on Neuropsychology
  • Lining up stand against CAB
  • Remembering Lamyanba & his politics
  • Irabot Day & the practice of volunteerism
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irawat :: Read articles
  • Around India in 60 days
  • Nungleiband Massacre: Diary of Editor
  • Judo: Rishikanta, Roshibina, Kalpana
  • Heart of an empowering woman : Poem
  • Imphal Peace Museum: Best Design Award
  • Engaging with the young minds
  • Lai Khutsangbi & female power
  • Naga liberty or forced disintegration..
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly: 18 Oct 1948
  • Monika Ingudam: Natl Youth Icon Award
  • Heart Camp at District Hospital, Ukhrul
  • Swacchata Hi Seva at Lakoipat
  • Let 'tree' that was cut, be the last
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #1 : Gallery
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #2: Gallery
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Naga insurgency & peace condition #1
  • World Heart Day 2019
  • Judo: L Sushila; M Bidyashori, T Inunganbi
  • Counselling: Children in Conflict with Law
  • Looking to increase revenue collection
  • Adapting with the changing time
  • Inamma - Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Heritage Park @Sangai Fest #2: Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 94 :: Poem
  • Reject false solutions to climate crisis
  • Career in Mass Communication
  • Ideals of Lamyanba Irawat
  • Laurels for Th Brinda, Ng Touthang
  • Performances to watch at NH7 Weekender
  • Protest in NE against CAB starting Oct 3
  • Bamboo bus shelter model developed
  • Noney to host World Tourism Day
  • Drought and the drainage issues
  • Marangwon @Kangkhui Khullen: Gallery
  • The flavor of Utsav Tarpon
  • Urgent Need to Reconsider Naga History
  • A woman :: Poem
  • Human Papilloma Virus & women's health
  • Meeting the Enemy at Nathu La
  • 'Outburst' of Thuingaleng Muivah
  • Concerns for media persons
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #5 : Gallery
  • Licypriya Climate March @Angola :Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #4: Gallery
  • Licypriya Climate March at Luanda :: Report
  • Kartal Cholom @ Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Lady E-Rickshaw driver inspires women..
  • Culture Students Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Book published on Irabot Day: Download
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #1: Gallery
  • BCIM Corridor & China New Transportation
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month
  • Cry of a Dying River - 93 :: Poem
  • Rally & Youth's Voice on Climate Change
  • Guwahati to Bangkok : Direct Flight
  • Stringent traffic rules in place
  • Time for immediate solution to climate crisis
  • Traditional Dress of Hmar : Gallery
  • Licypriya @UNESCO Forum, Angola: Gallery
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS