Ukhrul District
Phangrei Hill, popular tourist spot
Phangrei Hill, popular tourist spot
Ukhrul district
Location in Manipur
Coordinates: 25°18′N 94°27′E / 25.300°N 94.450°E / 25.300; 94.450Coordinates: 25°18′N 94°27′E / 25.300°N 94.450°E / 25.300; 94.450
Country India
State Manipur
 • Total2,206 km2 (852 sq mi)
 • Rank2
3,114 m (10,217 ft)
 • Total138,382
 • Rank7
 • Density63/km2 (160/sq mi)
 • OfficialMeitei (officially called Manipuri)[a][2]
 • RegionalTangkhul
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationMN
Literacy81.35 %

Ukhrul District (Meitei pronunciation:/ˈuːkˌɹəl or ˈuːkˌɹʊl/[b][2]) is an administrative district of the state of Manipur in India with its headquarters at Ukhrul, that is Hunphun.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The district occupies the north-eastern corner of the state and it extends between latitudes of 24° 29′ and 25° 42′ N and longitudes 94° 30′ and 94° 45′ E approximately (including Kamjong district). It shares an international boundary with Myanmar (Burma) on its eastern side and is bounded by Nagaland state in the north, Senapati district and Kangpokpi district in the west and Kamjong district in the south. It has the distinction of being the highest hill station of Manipur. The terrain of the district is hilly with a varying heights of 913 m to 3114 m (MSL). Ukhrul, the district HQ., at an altitude of 2020 m (MSL) is linked with Imphal, the state capital by NH 202 which is about 84 kilometres apart. The district covers an area of 4,544 square kilometres (1,754 sq mi) including Kamjong district making it the second largest district of the state after Churachandpur district and has a population of almost 1,83,998 according to Census of India 2011 comprising about 6.44 per cent of the total state population. The Tangkhul Naga tribe constitute the major bulk of the population with other communities such as Thadou, Nepalese and other non-tribals constituting a small percentage of the district population. Administratively, the district which comprises around 200 villages was divided into five sub-divisions, where their boundaries were coterminous with that of the Tribal Development Blocks. There was no statutory town in the district except one census town which was formed in 2011 Census. Recently, Kamjong district[11][12][13][14] was carved out from Ukhrul District as a separate district. Ukhrul District has three assembly constituencies before the bifurcation of the district which are Phungyar Assembly Constituency (43-ST), Ukhrul Assembly Constituency (44-ST) and Chingai Assembly Constituency. The district is best introduced by its rare Shirui Lily, (Lilium mackliniae).[citation needed] Also, the district has provided two of Manipur's chief ministers and the only from amongst the hill districts of Manipur, Yangmaso Shaiza the first tribal chief minister of Manipur and Rishang Keishing who is also the first MP from Outer Manipur (Lok Sabha constituency). William Pettigrew (missionary), an educationist and a Scottish-British Christian Missionary pioneered the western system of education and introduced the Christianity faith among the Tangkhal Naga tribe. Phungyo Baptist Church, Tangrei, Ukhrul, the oldest and the first Christian church of Manipur which still stands today is a testament to his passion for missionary work.[10]


Ukhrul District occupying the northeastern corner of the state lies between latitudes of 24° 29′ and 25° 42′ N and longitudes 94° 30′ and 94° 45′ E approximately (including Kamjong district). Nagaland bounds the district on the north, Kamjong District on the south, Myanmar (Burma) on the east and Senapati and Kangpokpi Districts on the west. The north-south extension is longer than the east-west. The total area of the district is 4,544 square kilometres (1,754 sq mi) including Kamjong District. It has the distinction of being the highest hill station of Manipur. The terrain of the district is hilly with varying heights of 913 m to 3114 m (MSL). The highest peak is the Khayang Peak, at 3114 m (MSL), though the more popularly known peak is the Shirui Kashong Peak, at 2,835 m (MSL). Most of the major rivers originate from the crevices and slopes of this Shirui Peak. The terrain of the district is rippled with small ranges and striped by few rivers.

The northern hilly region occupies the northern portion of the district and lies between the Akhong Lok or Laini Lok river and Chammu river. A big range stretches from north to south starting from near Jessami to Shirui Kashong as high as 2,568 metres above the MSL. The eastern hilly region occupies the eastern part of the district that lies east of the Chammu and Maklangkhong rivers. The Gamgimol or Nehdoh Lhang range forms an International boundary with Myanmar. The southern hilly region is situated at the southwestern corner of the district, which divides the Maklangkhong and Taret rivers. The district is drained by the two river systems, the Chindwin River system in the north and the Manipur river system in the south-west.[3]

Flora and fauna

The district is home to hundreds of varieties of trees and flowering plants, orchids, epiphytic ferns, varied species of plants and shrubs. Some of the best known species of plants and trees includes Alder (Alnus nepalensis), Prunus cerasoides, Acacia auriculiformis, Parkia javanica, Paraserianthes falcataria, Michelia, Gmelina arborea, Pinus kesiya, Robinia pseudoacacia, besides various Iris (plant) species, wild roses, red and white rhododendrons etc. The district being covered with a wide dense of forest is a habitat of wild animals such as Elephant, Leopard, Tiger, Bear, Bison, Gaur, Crested porcupine, Pangolin, Jungle cat, Wild boar, Deer, Monkey etc. The state flower of Manipur, Shirui Lily, also called Shirui Lily or Lilium Macklinae is a rare pinkish white flower found only in the Shirui Hill Range in the Ukhrul District of Manipur. It is named after Jean Macklin, the wife of Dr. Frank Kingdon-Ward who spotted the flower in 1946 while collecting botanical specimens. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), London, United Kingdom, one of the world's leading horticultural organizations honoured the Shirui Lily with its prestigious merit award at its Flower Show in London in 1948. The local name of the flower is KASHONGWON. According to legend, the Kashongwon is also the protective spirit which resides on the Shirui Peak. HORAMWON is also another flower which is snow-white. It takes its name HORAMWON (snow-white) from the snow that falls on Shongrei Peak where the flower blooms. Other names of flowers worth mentioning are Chamtheiwon, Nulsiwon, Shiriwon, Sikreiwon, Shilungwon, Kokruiwon (Rhododendron arboreum), Khayawon, and Muivawon (Ref: A Tourist guide to Shirui Lily). The evergreen forest presents the district with a sylvan landscape. Some commonly found trees are Pine, Albizia, Castanopsis, Mesua, Mangifera indica, Phoebe hainesiana, Albizia lebbeck, Teak, Oak etc. The forests are also interspersed with multi-bamboos especially in the southern portions.[3]

Though the State Flower, Shirui Lily have attracted many tourists and botanists from around the world, it now faces a crisis of possible extinction in the near future and has been categorized as an Endangered species due to climate change, deforestation, wildfire, poor conservation approaches, intrusion of other plants and bushes, over exploitation etc. Scientists and experts have advocated for the Shirui Lily to be left as it is in nature, and assured us that nature is capable of healing it without human interruptions caused by a forest fire and unguided tourists. They have also suggested number of steps and measures that can be taken up by the centre and state government and participation of various research institutions to raise awareness of protection of Shirui Lily and implementation of conservative initiatives.[15]


The climate of Ukhrul district is sub-tropical monsoon type. The climate of the district is of temperate nature with a minimum and maximum degrees of 3 °C to 33 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1,763.7 mm (1991). As the district headquarter lies on the top of the high hills, it is very cold throughout the year. It is always covered by the clouds. Regarding weather of the District Headquarter, the sudden changes of the position of clouds are openly seen within a few moments but in other places outside the District Headquarter, it is hot in summer and very cold in winter. However, the district as a whole have a moderate temperature.

The hill ranges that lies in the District Headquarter and Ukhrul Central sub-division got very cold climate during the winter while other parts of the vast hilly areas of the district has moderate climate throughout the year. The coldest months of the district are December and January. During this period, the temperature at the Ukhrul District Headquarter use to come down to as low as 3 °C and even 0 °C.

Administrative divisions

The present district was made a full fledged district as Manipur East District in 1969. The village, Ukhrul, became its headquarters comprising Ukhrul North, Ukhrul Central, Phungyar Phaisat, Kamjong Chassad, Ukhrul South as sub-divisions. Under Manipur Gazette Notification No.174 dated August 5, 1983, the name of the district came to be known as Ukhrul District after the name of the District Headquarters as in the case of other districts.[16] Recently, Kamjong District has been carved out as a separate district from Ukhrul District with Kamjong, Phungyar, Kasom khullen and Sahamphung as Sub-divisions and Blocks. Presently, Ukhrul District has four Sub-divisions, Ukhrul, Jessami, Chingai and Lungchong Maiphei. The Sub-Divisional boundary is coterminous with that of Rural Development Block and each Sub-Divisional Officer acts as Block Development Officer in his respective jurisdiction. The District administration is headed by a Deputy commissioner or District magistrate who is assisted by an Additional Deputy Commissioner and Sub-Divisional Officers respectively in-charge of each Sub-divisions. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) or District magistrate (DM) is the head of the revenue administration. The DC is required to be an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who is in charge of governmental assets in the district of jurisdiction. The DC is responsible for collecting revenue within the district, as it pertains to various governmental enactments such as Stamp and Registration Act, Land Reforms Act, Irrigation Act, Excise Act and Public Health Act. When executing duties with regard to revenue collection, the DC can exercise quasi-judicial functions.

The District Police is headed by a Superintendent of Police assisted by his Deputy Superintendent of Police (SDPO), and there are 9 (nine) Police Stations in the district. The Judicial/Judiciary administration is looked after by a Chief Judicial Magistrate.

SDPO Jurisdiction
SDPO, Ukhrul Ukhrul, Litan, Somdal, Shangshak
SDPO, Jessami Jessami, Chingjaroi, Kharasom, soraphung,
SDPO, Chingai Chingai

Ukhrul District has three assembly constituencies before the bifurcation of the district into Ukhrul and Kamjong Districts. The constituencies are:

  1. Phungyar Assembly Constituency (43-ST).
  2. Ukhrul Assembly Constituency (44-ST).
  3. Chingai Assembly Constituency (45-ST).

The Ukhrul District Autonomous Council (UADC) was instituted in the year 1971 under the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971.[17] Elections of twenty four (24) Members are held every 5 years. Two Members are nominated by the Government of Manipur. The Chief Executive Officer is the Administrative Head of the District Council. Under the Council there are 1318 staff including teachers and 158 schools ranging from Primary Schools to Upper Primary Schools.[citation needed]


The district headquarters, Ukhrul, is linked with Imphal, the state capital, by national highway 150. This highway also links Ukhrul with Kohima via Jessami. It has the distinction of being the highest hill station of Manipur. There are also many district roads and village roads. Ukhrul–Kamjong, and Ukhrul–Phungyar Road are the main metalled roads of the district. The Tampak-Ngashan (Mahadev)–Pfütsero road connects the western part of the district with the district headquarters.


Religions in Ukhrul district (2011)[18]
Religion Percent
Other or not stated

According to the 2011 census Ukhrul district has a population of 183,998,[19] roughly equal to the nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.[20] This gives it a ranking of 593rd in India (out of a total of 640).[19] The district has a population density of 40 inhabitants per square kilometre (100/sq mi).[19] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 30.07%.[19] Ukhrul has a sex ratio of 948 females for every 1000 males,[19] and a literacy rate of 81.87%. After birfucation, the district had a population of 138,382. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 0.16% and 93.62% of the population respectively.[19]


Languages in Ukhrul district (2011)

  Tangkhul (88.63%)
  Thadou (2.22%)
  Kuki (1.69%)
  Nepali (1.59%)
  Kheza (1.41%)
  Hindi (1.08%)
  Others (3.38%)

At the time of the 2011 census, 88.83% of the population spoke Tangkhul, 2.22% Thadou, 1.69% Kuki, 1.59% Nepali, 1.41% Khezha and 1.08% Hindi as their first language.[21]

The Tangkhul form the majority ethnic group in this district, around 87%. According to oral tribal legend whenever a robust, strong, fair child is born in a Meitei family the elders of the family praise god for sending a Tangkhul in the family. This legend is strongly supported by the cultural relation of the Meitei and the Tangkhul.

The district is the home town to two Manipur chief ministers, Yangmaso Shaiza and Rishang Keishing. It is also the home town of the first Indian ambassador from the north-east region, Bob Khathing. The district has also produced the first vice Chancellor from the North-East, Prof. Darlando Khathing, presently the VC of Central University of Jharkhand. The district has also produced the first IAS and IFS officers of the state – Christianson Chibber and PrimRose R Sharma. Besides Ameising Luikham, who is an IAS officer from the hill district of the state, Dr. Pam Shaiza, the first female tribal doctor, and Siraphui Marinao, the first tribal engineer of the state, also hail from Ukhrul.

Ukhrul district is the home of the Tangkhuls. They are a highly cultured people. The name Tangkhul was given to them by their neighbours, the Meiteis. The northern Tangkhuls were also called the Luhupas.


Places of interest

Besides the Shirui lily, the district is known for many natural wonders like the Khangkhui Mangsor, Mova (cave) which is one of the oldest archeological cave of India. Ukhrul town, the headquarters of the district, has also many scenic places like the Duncan park, the Japanese pond, and Elshadai park. At the southern part of the town, about 22 km lies the majestic Phangrei (bone of contention between two villages) which is an ideal picnic spot. The district is also home to many waterfalls, including Khayang waterfall, which is about 20 km from Ukhrul. There is also another picnic spot for youngsters called KNC river (Khangkhui, Nungshong Choithar). In the past this spot was called Saibai Kong; the title was given by Choithar Headman during kingship period.

Ukhrul is also a tourist hotspot of Manipur state. It is known for its hospitality and festivals. Almost every month festivals are celebrated by different villages and towns. The chief festivals of the Tangkhuls are Luira (seed sowing festival), Mangkhap (resting feast), Thisham (feast for the departed), and Thareo (harvest festival). Longpi village is known for its authentic Tangkhul cuisine during the Luira festival. While Ringui village is known for its celebration of Luira festival, during the festival the village comes alive with the traditional dances (bridal dance, parade of the virgin dance, festive dance and war dance) and songs. A war dance is performed during this festival. Ringui village is also known for production of films, music and plays of the Tangkhuls.


In earlier days when education was sparse, Ukhrul was a well sought after place for the different tribes of the north east. The first school was set up by the then missionary Rev. William Pettigrew in 1896. Since then, not only has the place increased in the number of schools and colleges but it has produced many scholars and professionals in various fields. The first tribal person from the north east to teach in the prestigious Delhi University hails from the district (Prof. Horam). Today, with more than 90% literate population, Ukhrul is considered as the most educated town of the state next to the capital city Imphal. Some of the well known schools of the town are Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Alice Christian Higher Secondary School, Ktl Excel Higher Secondary School, Little Angels School, Savio School, Blesso Montessori School, Holy Spirit School, Patkai Academy, Juniors Academy, Sentinel College, Saint John School and Pettigrew College, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Jawahar Novadaya Vidyalaya .

Though the Tangkhuls are a highly educated community, hardly have they abandoned the traditional way of life. The highest cultural and judicial institution of the Tangkhuls is the Tangkhul Naga Long, which was established in 1929 under the name all Tangkhul students conference. Realising the need of an organization that covers the whole community the organisation was changed to the Tangkhul Long in 1936. To this day all the disputes within the community is settled through the court of the Long.

See also


  1. ^ Meitei language (officially known as Manipuri language) is the official language of Manipur. Other regional languages of different places in Manipur may either be predominantly spoken or not in their respective places but "Meitei" is always officially used.
  2. ^ Meitei language (officially known as Manipuri language) is the official language of Manipur. Other regional languages of different places in Manipur may either be predominantly spoken or not in their respective places but "Meitei" is always officially used.


  1. ^ "Ukhrul District".
  2. ^ a b "Report of the Commissioner for linguistic minorities: 47th report (July 2008 to June 2010)" (PDF). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. p. 78. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "District Census Handbook-Ukhrul" (PDF). p. 19.
  4. ^ Ruivah, Khashim (1993). Social Changes Among the Nagas (Tangkhul). India: Cosmo Publications. p. 173.
  5. ^ Shimray, R.R (1985). Origin and Culture of Nagas. India: Pamleiphi Shimray. p. 103.
  6. ^ Dena, Lal (2010). In Search of Identity. India: Akansha Publishing House. p. 45. ISBN 9788183701341.
  7. ^ Horam, Mashangthei (1975). Naga Polity. India: B.R. Publishing Corporation. p. 64. ISBN 9780883866993.
  8. ^ Horam, M. (31 December 1900). "'Naga Polity' (with special reference to AO, angami and tangkhul tribes)". University.
  9. ^ Leklai, Huileng (2012). "Historical geography of ukhrul and adjoining areas". INFLIBNET.
  10. ^ a b "Oldest And The First Established Church Of Manipur, Phungyo Baptist Church, Ukhrul » Ukhrul Times". Ukhrul Times. October 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  11. ^ Manogya Loiwal (19 December 2016). "7 new districts formed in Manipur amid opposition by Nagas". India Today. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Manipur Creates 7 New Districts". Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  13. ^ Laithangbam, Iboyaima (31 December 2016). "New districts to stay, says Manipur CM". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Creation of new districts could be game-changer in Manipur polls". Hindustan Times. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Implications of climate change to Shirui Lily and response of Churches Part 1 by Somi Kasomwoshi".
  16. ^[bare URL PDF]
  17. ^[bare URL PDF]
  18. ^ "Population by religious community - Manipur". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011.
  19. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  20. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. São Tomé and Príncipe 179,506 July 2011 est.
  21. ^ "Census of India Website : Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India".