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
  • Shivaratri Shopping List #2 : Gallery
  • Pherzawl - a dying District! ?
  • Indo-Naga & other peace talks #2
  • Spotted Deer - Living with Natural Habitat
  • Northeast Fiesta at Jalandhar : Report
  • Environmental Sciences as career option
  • Serou: A microcosm of mosaic Manipur
  • 3 North East States to get DNA Testing
  • Protest against SC verdict on adultery
  • Mirabai misses bronze by a whisker
  • Post poll scenario in Manipur
  • Tributes to PLA killed #2 : Gallery
  • Romance of insurgency in 1970s #1
  • Earth Day 2019
  • Easter is a Day of Hope for all ...
  • Hide-and-seek in the Sky :: Poem
  • St Mary's Church: The 1st Anglican Church
  • Breaking the barrier
  • A talk with Ajit Ningthouja :: eRang
  • Realisation Day; Echoes the wake up call
  • Xavier Rutsa & Limatemsu Jamir
  • Revisiting Palm Sunday: Reflections..
  • Iceland - most safest & peaceful place
  • Easy fixes for summer hair problems
  • An evening of extreme shame !
  • Revisiting reality
  • LS : Voting for Inner : Gallery
  • Ahingbi, Chareinu :: eMing
  • Thang Ta @Sangai Festival #4: Gallery
  • The current status of Naga-Kuki relation #1
  • Traditional warfare technique of NE native #1
  • Cry Of A Dying River #72 :: Poem
  • Looking forward to May 23
  • Judgment day
  • Meekap Thokpa Numit #1 : Gallery
  • CC Meet Final: NEROCA Vs SU #2: Gallery
  • Floriculture : A booming industry in Mao
  • Positivity is the soul of life
  • Basic health competency by patients
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • 7th Woodpecker International Film Festival
  • Cracking the repoll whip in Outer
  • Dirty game is a threat to Democracy
  • Ibendhou Kounu Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga & other peace talks #1
  • Civil Society Forum Manifesto for Election
  • Life and Me :: Poem
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Election jamboree & voters bonanza
  • Suspension Order for 7 MLAs : NPF
  • Chin Woman Dies after Tatmadaw Bomb
  • A reference to the party in power
  • An idea without fear
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba at Mysore #2: Gallery
  • Artillery Regiment in Battle of Imphal
  • Appraisal on LS election (Outer) #2
  • Minimum Income Guarantee is a promise
  • Northeast Fiesta 2019 at Jalandhar
  • Cyber Security - the need of the hour
  • Sunset Unplugged, Agartala: Event Report
  • Reality of casting vote in Outer PC
  • Real face of Indian election
  • Tributes to PLA killed #1 : Gallery
  • Khomlen Manglanda : Play synopsis
  • Download: Meetei Mayek Keyboard
  • Voting (PC) @ Kangpokpi #3: Gallery
  • Letter from a river most polluted
  • Truth commission in Manipur needed..
  • Vacancy at Makok Tech, Bishnupur
  • Cheirao Chingkaba #2 : Gallery
  • The sky is the SIYOM of the stars
  • An introspection of roots of AFSPA
  • A note on Cheiraoba ..
  • A well-known paradox :: Poem
  • The saga of EVMs
  • Festival of Democracy hypes
  • 14 girls sold to persons in Saudi Arabia
  • Took up boxing after watching Ali- Mary
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba at Mysore #1: Gallery
  • Mittong Khunou: The Battle Honour of INA
  • A Lifeline for the Assamese
  • Multiple posts at PiCaSoid, Imphal
  • NE Annual day of CNESPR , JMI
  • Essential summer travel tips
  • Discussion : Myanmar's Democratization
  • Violating election model code of conduct
  • Catapulting AFSPA in the limelight
  • Revisiting CAB issue
  • Voting (PC) @ Kangpokpi #2: Gallery
  • Voting (PC) @ Kangpokpi #1: Gallery
  • Bloody Phanek at Paris Film Festival
  • Homoeopathy, a revolutionary science
  • The goodness of good fate does not smile..
  • Outer Constituency has voted
  • Helpless indignation
  • CC Meet Final: NEROCA Vs SU #1: Gallery
  • Yengkhom Roma : Lifetime Award
  • Appraisal on Lok Sabha election (Outer) #1
  • Cyber Crimes - Crimes by finger tips
  • Research Support Officer @ Amethyst
  • Condemns militarization of NEHU Campus
  • Shadow of CAB on Lok Sabha elections
  • "CAB" Factor Faded
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Military Sociology: Present, Past & Future
  • Know your MP - Election 2019
  • Dirty Dancing :: Poem
  • Democracy needs time for good admin
  • Travel at U-Factor
  • Shadow of NSCN (IM) in Outer PC
  • The great escape
  • Arambai Exhibition Show : Gallery
  • View of Premier State College Senior Assn
  • Distant One :: Poem
  • The hysteria of a first time voter
  • Course in Folkloristics & Semiotics
  • NDPP is 'Entertainment Govt' : Zeliang
  • On issue of "Letters signed by Neiphiu Rio"
  • The visit of PM Modi
  • If BJP win, people of Manipur support CAB
  • Cheirao Chingkaba #1 : Gallery
  • sekeN heN :: Seireng
  • Yangnu Golmei : Sangeetbhusan 2018
  • Victimizing only the Women & Children
  • Lest The North-East Fall Asleep
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Driving a dangerous feat on Indian roads
  • Need to be democratic in a democracy
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Selfie da track :: e-pao Radio
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The legend of the Laiyyars : Election tale
  • Sports for peace & development
  • What is peace ?
  • Rongali : Celebration of Assam & NE
  • Manipuris celebrate New Year
  • Imphal security beefed for Modi's visit
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: Ritual festival of Meiteis
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Meitei New Year Day
  • Stop War with Nature :: Artwork
  • Cry of a Dying River - 71 :: Poem
  • Pulmonary Valve Balloon dilatation
  • Supping with an ally of the foe
  • Deflected focus: The dress debacle
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #2 : Gallery
  • Running for LS polls: The candidate
  • Gift :: Poem
  • Architect/Architectural Designer @R-Square
  • Little things that help to enhance beauty
  • Congress Manifesto for Repeal AFSPA
  • Social Media - a boon or a curse?
  • Anti-CAB stand: Interesting take from PRISM
  • AFSPA on Congress Manifesto
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition #1 : Gallery
  • April Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Yaoshang Sports @Keishampat #2 : Gallery
  • First Wave Feminism
  • JRF wanted at NERIST, Arunachal [Upd]
  • Cheiraoba Thabal 2019 at Bangalore
  • NPF to support Congress on issue based
  • Jyotishmita to represent Assam in Miss India
  • Paothang : Newsletter from Pune
  • Eyeing votes with promise on AFSPA
  • Together let's save the future
  • Shirarakhong Village, Ukhrul :: 360 View
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #4
  • Candidate accommodation at Aligarh
  • The globe is in your fist
  • Heartless :: Poem
  • Condemn Killing of Manjur Ahmed
  • Indifference bordering on arrogance
  • Modi's visit: Will it restored BJP image?
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • No Budget at International Mime Festival
  • In defence of the "Meira Paibis"
  • Post-Doctoral fellow @ NEIST, Jorhat
  • Attributes for vibrant career #2
  • Against Custodian Killing of Manjur Ahmed
  • Revamp Sajiwa Jail : The great JN escape
  • LS Poll : CAB factor and Manipur
  • Dont trust anyone: Pune police to NE
  • Muhammad Abdur Rahman Khutheibam
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress : Gallery
  • Urmila Chanam on menstruation myths
  • Meetei Tribe Bears More Tribal Characters
  • Dear Happiness :: Poem
  • MP election issues & non-issues
  • Augment credit flow to farm sector
  • Fresh approach of Sangma
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • TabLlE :: Seireng
  • The Naliya Queen
  • Distress Relief at various districts
  • Bedtime Blues :: Poem
  • Babies who are born deaf
  • The approaching day of redemption
  • Yaoshang Marathon Race: Gallery
  • Abok :: Artwork & an Essay
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #2: Gallery
  • Utlou incident & of Nupi Khongoinaba
  • Understanding failure & how to face it
  • Responsibilities of voters : 5 years stake
  • Nando escaped from custody is a threat..
  • A New Dawn Awaits Tusom & Somra
  • Yaoshang Cooking competition: Gallery
  • MSAC Literary Meet @Chandigarh : Gallery
  • Lamtagee Thabal @ Pune : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Keishampat #1 : Gallery
  • Abdur Rahaman : Gopal Sharma Award
  • Thokchom Sanatombi : Sangeetratna
  • AEgi puNsi :: Seireng
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS