Cheitharol Kumbaba

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Cheitharol Kumbaba, also spelled as Cheitharon Kumpapa, is the official royal chronicle of the kings of Manipur. It claims to trace the history of the meetei kingdom back to 33 CE, ending with the last king, Bodhchandra, in 1955.[1] It is an uninterrupted record of the Meetei Kings and of the Royal family of Manipur, regardless of the manner of accession to the throne or the accessor's origin. It is to the manipuris what the Buranji is to the Assamese, the Bakhlian to the Marathas, the Twarikhi to the Moguls and the Yazawin to the Burmese.[2] It is written in Meetei Mayek, the archaic Meetei script. The recording of the Cheitharol Kumbaba was done by the scribes of the royal palace.

Bengali versions[edit]

Cheitharol Kumbaba was transliterated to Bengali script by Pundit Thongam Madhob Singh and published by visvabharati Mandir c.1940. With Maharaja Churchand Singh's permission the chronicle was edited by L. Ibungohal Singh and Pundit N. Khelchandra Singh and published by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in 1967; this edited version is the Hindu-oriented version. The Sanamahi followers (people of Kangleipak) do not want to consider the book edited by N.Khelchandra as a final version as he added many words which are imported from Sanskrit and Hindi in his translation.[3]

English versions[edit]

In 1891 Major Maxwell, the Political Agent of Manipur, instructed the court to translate the Cheitharol Kumbaba into English. The translation was carried out by a Bengali clerk: Mamacharan. It was edited and published by L. Joychandra Singh in 1995 under the title The Lost Kingdom.[4] Another English version of the Chronicle was produced by Saroj N. Arambam Parratt under the title The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur: Cheitharon Kumpapa Vol.1 (Routledge, London and New Delhi)[5] in 2005. Parratt includes a facsimile of the original manuscript of the Cheitharol Kumbaba. The Cheitharol Kumbaba adopted three chronological systems or eras: Kalyabda, Saka era, Chandrabda or Kangleipak era. From 1666 CE onwards, days of the week are mentioned in the Cheitharol Kumbaba. In 2010 Rajkumar Somorjit Sana produced an edited English version of the Cheitharol Kumbaba with the corresponding Western dates for each Manipuri date under the title The Chronology of Meetei Monarchs (From 1666 CE to 1850 CE) (Imphal: Waikhom Ananda Meetei, 2010).[6][7]

In 2012, Mr. Nepram Bihari, a retired bureaucrat of Manipur made a definitive translation of Cheitharol Kumbaba into English. It is said that Mr. Bihari had to learn the ancient script of Meitei Mayek to make this translation, a major project that took him 17 years to finish. The Hindu mentions that, "Bihari spent Rs. 5,600 to photocopy them, consulted the notes with historians, bought many dictionaries to decipher words mentioned in the records before coming up with a voluminous book of over 500 pages divided into three parts".[8]


  1. ^ Parratt, Saroj N. Arambam (2005). The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur, the Cheitharon Kumpapa, Vol.1. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-34430-1. 
  2. ^ Singh, Manihar Ch (2003). A History of Manipuri Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akadami. p. 71. ISBN 81-260-1586-1. 
  3. ^ Kabui, Gangmunei (1991). History of Manipur, Vol.1. New Delhi: National Publishing House. p. 34. ISBN 81-214-0362-6. 
  4. ^ Singh, L. Joychandra (1995). The Lost Kingdom. Imphal. 
  5. ^ Saroj N. Arambam, Parratt. "The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur". Royal chronicle. Routledge. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Sana, Raj Kumar Somorjit. "The Chronology of Meetei Monarchs". Chronology of Kings and Rulers. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Sana, Rajkumar Somorjit (2010). The Chronology of Meetei Monarch (1666 CE to 1850 CE). Imphal: Waikhom Ananda Meetei. ISBN 978-81-8465-210-9. 
  8. ^ PISHAROTY, SANGEETA (25 February 2012). "Walk with the kings". THE HINDU (Chennai, India).