Bir Tirkendrajit Park
Bir Tirkendrajit Park of Imphal is a very popular tourist attraction. It celebrates the brave past of the state which is embedded in the annals of history and the events that left an indelible mark in the psyche of the people of Manipur. As the name suggests the Park is after the name of Tikendrajit Singh (December 29, 1856 – August 13, 1891) also known as Bir Tikendrajit (Tikendrajit the Brave) and Koireng who was a prince of the independent Kingdom of Manipur. He was the commander of the Manipuri Army and famous for having engineered a palace revolution that led to the events known as the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891 or the 'Manipur Expedition'.
On March 31, 1891 the British Government sent a military force against Manipur formed by three army columns from Kohima (under the command of Major General H. Collet), Silchar (under the command of Colonel R.H.F. Rennick) and Tamu (under the command of Brigadier General T. Graham) were sent to Manipur. Tikendrajit led the Manipuri army in this war. The British army finally took possession of the Kangla Palace on April 27, 1891. Major Maxwell took over as the chief political agent. Later, Manipur became a princely state and Churachand Singh, a minor was placed on the throne of Manipur. Tikendrajit and other leaders of Manipur subsequently went underground.
A special court was formed under Lt. Col. John Mitchell for the trial that commenced on May 11, 1891. Tikendrajit was arrested in the evening of May 23. Post an order on August 13, 1891 Tikendrajit along with an aide was publicly hanged at 5 pm of the same day at Kangjei-bung (Polo Ground) in Imphal. The ground where he was hanged was turned into a Park after independence and the day celebrated as Patriot’s Day every year since in remembrance of his courage and patriotism.
The Park has an 11 meter tall Shaheed Minar located at the center. Every year on August 13 at 5 pm, the government of Manipur organizes ritual ceremonies and prayers to pay their tribute to the martyrs. People visit the Park not only as a place of recreation but also to courteously recall the heroes who laid their lives during Manipur’s War of Independence.
Tikendrajit Singh was called the ‘Lion of Manipur’ as he fearlessly fought the British. He was born as the fourth son to Maharaja Chandrakriti Singh and Chongtham Chanu Kouseswari Devi on December 29, 1856. Koireng, as he was popularly known as, loved freedom since his childhood. After the Maharaja's death on May 20, 1886, the eldest son of the royal family Surchandra Singh ascended the throne of Manipur. The princes were appointed as heir-apparent, army general and police chief. Tikendrajit later on became ‘Senapati’, the general of Manipur Army.
By Air: The Imphal Tulihal International Airport has flight services to all major destinations of the country.
By Train: The closest junction to Imphal is the Dimapur railway station which is located at a distance of 215 kilometers from Manipur
By Road: Guwahati to Imphal; (490.9 km) via NH 36 & NH39. Imphal to Khwairamband Bazaar; (1.5 km) via NH150 & NH39.