|• Deputy Commissioner||Shri. Abhijit Sinha|
|• Total||43 km2 (17 sq mi)|
|Elevation||195 m (640 ft)|
|• Density||2,558/km2 (6,630/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||91 - (0) 03862|
Dimapur is the largest city in Nagaland, India. In the Middle Ages, it was the capital of the Dimasa Kachari rulers. In the heart of the town there is an old relic of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom which speaks about the once prosperous era. Dimapur is the 115 th most populous city in the country. It is located at and is bounded by Kohima district on the south and east, Karbi Anglong district of Assam on the west, the Karbi Anglong and stretch of Golaghat District of Assam, in the west and the north. Dimapur, from a Kachari word 'Dimasa' after the river which flows through it, is the gateway to Nagaland and its only railhead. The city also has the only functional airport in the state.
Situated on the banks of the River satluj, (originally known as Dong-siri meaning a ravine of peaceful habitation) Dimapur, often described as the ‘Brick City’ by European scholars and also by the Ahoms, was the ancient capital of a ruling nation, the Dimasa, who were once a powerful and predominant race in the Entire North-East India region particularly the Brahmaputra Valley. There are two versions of how Dimapur got its name. Many writers are of the opinion that the name ’ Dimapur’ was derived from Dimasa Kachari words Di-meaning water, Ma-meaning big and Pur-meaning city or township in Dimasa dialogue. while other believe that Dimapur is a corruption of Hidimbapur, meaning the city of Hidimba of Mahabharata fame whose wedlock with Pandava prince Bhima gave birth to Ghotokacha, who is believed to be the progenitor of the Kacharis. Later Hidimbapur devolved to Dimbapur and then finally to Dimapur. In some Dimasa Kachari folklores Dimapur is often referred as Dimabang Halali, which implies that Dimapur was originally known by that name but was Sanskritized later by the Brahmins. In Ahom Chronicles, Dimapur has been described as ‘Che-din-chi-pen’ (town-earth-burn-make) meaning ‘brick town’ or ‘ Che-Dima’ meaning town of Dimasa.
The seat of capital of Dimapur Kingdom was originally surrounded by bricks walls of four feet wide, sixteen feet high with outer ditch running alongside the walls of sixteen feet width and twelve feet in depth except on the southern side where the River Dhansiri served as the natural ditch. On the eastern side there was a fine solid gateway with brick masonry of pointed double arcs. The gate was secured by double heavy doors hinged in pierced upright setting of solid stone blocks. At both ends of the battlement there were turrets of half quadrant shape and in between the arc-way and the turrets were niches resembling ornamental windows. On both sides above the arc there were symbolic works of sun flower. There were originally inset by bright brass coating and could be seen dazzling from the great distance. Inside the fortified city, there were seventeen artistic stone pillars. These stone monuments were decorated with carvings of foliage, flowers, familiar animals and birds but nowhere any human images of gods and goddesses were seen. These implied that the Kacharis were free of Hindu influence at that time. These monoliths are believed to be lineal monuments of the ruling kings of Dimapur. The biggest of them was seventeen feet high and twenty four feet in circumference and was said to be memorial of the greatest Dimapur ruler Makardhwaj (probably Khungkradoa Raja who was given Sanskritized name by Brahmins later) in whose time the traditional glory of the Kachari Kingdom rose to its climax and during whose time the conquests were made of Manipur and Burma by Seng yah (Veer) Dehmalu Kemprai, the greatest warlord of the Kacharis. Also during this period, heroes like Rangadao (Who was given the southern part of Dimapur, Ranga Pathar after his name), Degadao and mystic heroines like Wairingma, Waibangma flourished in war affairs and mysticism. Other V-shape stone monuments seventeen in numbers indicated seventeen royal clans of the ‘Kachari Aristocracy’ a term used by Dr. Francis Hamilton, a renowned scholar of the Kachari Royal Clan.
Shri SK. Barpujari in his book ‘ History of the Dimasa’ and some writers opined that the Kachari Kings to commemorated their Victory over other tribesman, erected moonlights of different shapes indicating the different traditions of the vanquished tribes. This tradition of carving victory memorial is in vogue hill tribes and it is possible that the Kachari Kings might have followed the tradition of these tribes hand it is possible that the Kachari Kings might have followed the tradition of this tribes for administrative interest. Dr H. Bareh in the ‘Gazetteer of India’ writes that the oblong V-Shaped stone pillars closely correspond to the similarly V-Shaped post protruding from the roof of the house of wealthy Angamis
The tallest and largest megalith, which lies isolated from others and has a unique Sultanate style, is believed to have been erected by the founder king of Dimapur, who after vanquishing the tribes all around made his triumphal tower to commemorate his victory and this became a tradition setter. In and around this old city, large number of tanks over fifty in number existed, although most of them have since either dried up or have been destroyed by reckless human encroachment without an iota of respect for the history. These tanks were believed to be either dug by the kings for providing water supply to their people or might have resulted due to brick making, as pieces of old bricks could still be found in and around these tanks and, as has been mentioned earlier, Dimapur was known for use of bricks. Most of large tanks are rectangular and have a hardwood seasoned poles planted deep at the centre of the tanks, which have lasted for hundreds of years. Others are of irregular shapes without any such wooden poles. Inference in that, the former ones might have been dug by the kings for water supply and the later were habitation as Digjo Dijua meaning cut off from main river or stream’ and this tradition is still in vogue, and this area covers Dimapur and Kachari inhabited areas of Karbi Anglong District of Assam in the Dhansiri valley. The present Dimapur is the commercial capital of Nagaland and is one of the fastest growing townships in the entire North-east region. But irony is, in the name of the modernity and development, this ancient city of Dimapur, whose historical relics finds a place in the World. Heritage is being gradually destroyed of its rich history by reckless human greed, and total destruction of its rich heritage is only a question of time.
During World War II, Dimapur was the centre of action between British India and Imperial Japan. It was the staging post for the Allied offensive. The Japanese could reach Kohima where a siege was laid. Allied reinforcement came through Dimapur by rail and road for the push against the Japanese. An airport at Dimapur was also in use for supplies to the allied forces in Burma. The battle for Kohima about 77 km from Dimapur is considered the turning point for the Japanese retreat from South East Asia.
Dimapur is hot and humid in summers and moderately cold in winters.
|Climate data for Dimapur|
|Average high °C (°F)||22.7
|Average low °C (°F)||9.8
Political status of the Dimasa Kacharis
After the Statehood was given a new interim body was set up where Dimasa Kacharis were also given a representation in the form of membership in the govt. body. Dimasas are believed to have been asked to nominate their member but there was a dearth of qualified persons among them and hence had to go to Assam in search of eligible person to be nominated and found one non-Dimasa Late Shri Deblal Mech (a Mech Kachari) reportedly from Bokaghat on Assam-Nagaland border to represent the people. Lack of farsightedness on the part of the Dimasas lead to non-representation of them by a non-Dimasa. Migration of Mech population perhaps ensued after that. These people had the chance of occupying the urban areas and got maximum benefit out of their stay in the closes proximity of the affluent business community of Dimapur. The Kacharis are in the Dimapur III constituency of the state where total voters would be around 20,000 which consist of Dimasa, Nepali and others besides Angamis, kyong (Lotha), Chakhesangs, Sumis etc. Dimasas kacharis or Kacharis honestly enrolled in the electoral roll the exact eligible voters whereas many other communities inflated their numbers very largely.
Latest estimates indicate that Dimapur has a population of 375,782. Males constitute 57% of the population and females 43%. Dimapur has an average literacy rate of 69%, much higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 76% and, female literacy is 66%. In Dimapur, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Over the years, Dimapur has expanded up to the foothills of Chumukedima. The official population figures of 2001 cover only the residents up to the Dhansiri bridge. Purana Bazaar area and beyond areas are called East Dimapur.
The entire agglomeration has an estimated population of around 350,000−400,000 and is one of the fastest growing Indian cities. Its population has more than tripled in the last two decades.
Unlike other places in the state, this city has a heterogeneous mix of people from all over India, and for which it is also known as "mini India." Besides the dominant Naga tribes who comprise about 50% of the city's population, other prominent groups include Dimasas, Bengalis, Assamese, Oriyas, Nepalese, Biharis, Marwaris, Punjabis and also Tamils and Keralites. In the last two decades Tibetan traders have also settled in the city.
Dimapur is a district of Nagaland which derives its name from the Dimasa Kachari dialect. Literally, Dimapur − dima means great river, and pur means city, altogether it means "city of great river" in Dimasa kachari dialect. it was one of the capital of Dimasa Kachari Kingdom. There are various tourist attractions in Dimapur, such as ancient villages, waterfalls, ruins of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom, and the Kali Temple.
Niuland subdivision and Chumukedima Village is an ancient village famous for its various scenic beauty and waterfalls. The town of Medziphema, Kuhuboto, surrounded by villages like Sakipheto, Alato, Aoyimkum, Darogarjan, and Nihoto are visited by many tourists. The Kachari Ruins is popular for various temples, reservoirs and tanks that belonged to the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom. Noune resort situated near Niuland is an ideal place for boating. Niathu resort is the best resort in Dimapur so far.
Apart from these, Diphupar, Nichuguard, Sukhajan, Kuki Dolong, Thilixu and Seithekima Village are visited. Chekiye and Ruzaphema is famous for various bazaars from where tourists can purchase beautiful handicrafts.
The economic and developmental activities of Nagaland are centered around Dimapur. It is an important commercial centre for the region, acting as a gateway to Nagaland and the neighbouring state of Manipur. An increase of population and the related increase in the number of cars in the city has led to traffic jams in and around the Commercial areas of the city.You can Travel in the city By Auto Rickshaws or rickshaws.
Dimapur is the only city in Nagaland that is connected by both rail and air. There are direct trains to Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Dibrugarh and Chennai from Dimapur railway station.
Dimapur Airport is .located at 3rd mile (NH 39). It is the only civil airport in the state and has flights to Kolkata and Dibrugarh There are plans for expansion of the airport to meet international norms by buying land at Aoyimti village. Maintained by the Airports Authority of India, it is an important trade and commercial centre on National Highway No. 39, and wears a rather cosmopolitan look
A number of shopping centers and markets have sprung up in Dimapur, with the New Market, Hong Kong Market, Central Plaza and Bank colony (Super market area) and Circular and NL roads serving as the main commercial areas in the city, The Complexes and shopping centres have sprung up to Nuton bosti. The places along the NH 39 is also developing into a commercial areas where there has been changes in the last few years. The city's markets are well known for imported goods from Thailand, China and Burma.
Dimapur is the only place in Nagaland that does not require the Inner Line Permit (ILP)for the non Naga, but one needs the Restricted Area Permit to go beyond the city. Formalities can be completed in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner. Dimapur remains the gateway to the states of Nagaland and Manipur. Recently,[when?] the Government of Nagaland has relaxed restriction on ownership of land in Dimapur and has permitted non-Nagas to purchase land as well.
The Government of Nagaland's Horticulture farm run by the Department of Horticulture, aptly called the Green Park, is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. Also, the Government of Nagaland hosts the bi-annual North East Agri-Expo Sale cum Exhibition at the North East Agri Expo Site at 5 Mile. The Expo is usually held in the first week of December. On the outskirts is the suburb of Chumukedima from where one can take a short trek up the hill to the Naga Tourist Village and the Patkai Triple Falls. The North East Zonal Cultural Center, the hub for all cultural activities, is a kilometre away from the Airport.
The Nagaland Industrial Growth Centre is situated at Ganeshnagar of Dhansiripar Sub-Division, where most of the Dimasa Kachari lived — an area consisting of seven Dimasa Villages (Dhansiripar, Disaguphu, Amaluma, Doyapur, Ganeshnagar, Hazadisa and Manglumukh).
There are several schools and colleges in the city of Dimapur. The syllabus for education till Class 12 is taken care of by the Nagaland Board of School Education while the Nagaland University, Lumani controls all areas of further studies. Patkai Christian College, the only autonomous college in the entire North East India is located 17 km from Central Dimapur.
- Battle of Kohima
- Battle of the Tennis Court
- Indian XXXIII Corps
- Northeast Indian Railways during World War II
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2006)|
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