Cheitharol Kumbaba

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kingdom of Manipur
Part of History of Manipur
Kings of Manipur
Pamheiba 1720-1751
Gaurisiam 1752-1763
Chitsai 1754-1756
Ching-Thang Khomba 1769-1798
Rohinchandra 1798-1801
Maduchandra Singh 1801-1806
Chourjit Singh 1806-1812
Marjit Singh 1812-1819
Gambhir Singh 1825-1834
Raja Nara Singh 1844-1850
Debindro Singh 1850
Chandrakirti Singh 1850-1886
Raja Surchandra 1886-1890
Kulachandra Singh 1890-1891
Churachandra Singh 1891-1941
Bodhchandra Singh 1941-1949
Manipur monarchy data
Ningthouja dynasty (Royal family)
Pakhangba (Symbol of the kingdom)
Cheitharol Kumbaba (Royal chronicle)
Imphal (Capital of the kingdom)
Kangla Palace (Royal residence)

Cheitharol Kumbaba, also spelled Cheitharon Kumpapa, is the court chronicle of the kings of Manipur. It claims to trace the history of the Kingdom of Manipur from the founding of the ruling dynasty in 33 CE until the merger of the kingdom with India in 1949 and the subsequent abolition of monarchy. It ends with the last king of Manipur, Bodhchandra.[1] The Cheitharol Kumbaba is probably the oldest chronicle of the region and is written on more than 1,000 leaves of Meetei paper in Meetei Mayek, an early Meitei script.[2]

The document provides an uninterrupted record of the Meitei 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 Meiteis what the Buranji is to the Assamese and the Yazawin to the Burmese.[3]


Ancient Meitei counting methods involved sticks (chei) being placed (thapa) to represent a base number. Kum signifies a period of time and paba is a verb meaning to read or reckon. The chronicle's title therefore connotes the "placing of sticks or using a base as a means of reckoning the period of time, the years" and is indicative of the Meitei approach to counting and recording.[4]

Bengali versions[edit]

Cheitharol Kumbaba was transliterated to Bengali script by Pundit Thongam Madhob Singh and published by Vishvabharati 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 Khelchandra Singh as a final version as he added many words which are imported from Sanskrit and Hindi in his translation.[5]

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 named Mamacharan. It was edited and published by L. Joychandra Singh in 1995 under the title The Lost Kingdom.[6]

A Meitei scholar, Saroj N. Arambam Parratt, produced another English version of the Chronicle under the title The Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur: Cheitharon Kumpapa in 2005.[7] 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 Meitei date under the title The Chronology of Meetei Monarchs (From 1666 CE to 1850 CE) (Imphal: Waikhom Ananda Meetei, 2010).[8] 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..[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parratt 2005, p. 4.
  2. ^ Parratt 2005, blurb.
  3. ^ Singh, Ch Manihar (2003). A History of Manipuri Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akadami. p. 71. ISBN 9788126000869. 
  4. ^ Parratt 2005, p. 3.
  5. ^ Kabui, Gangmunei (1991). History of Manipur, Vol.1. New Delhi: National Publishing House. p. 34. ISBN 81-214-0362-6. 
  6. ^ Singh, L. Joychandra (1995). The Lost Kingdom. Imphal. 
  7. ^ Parratt 2005.
  8. ^ Sana, Raj Kumar Somorjit. The Chronology of Meetei Monarchs: From 1666 CE to 1850 CE. ISBN 978-81-8465-210-9. 
  9. ^ Pisharoty, Sangeeta (25 February 2012). "Walk with the kings". The Hindu. Chennai, India.