Battle of Imphal

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Sights

The Silchar-Bishenpur Track (Old Cachar Road) beyond Point 5846 (Laimaton Peak). The Japanese 33rd Division faced off with 32nd Brigade of the 20th Indian Division in this area. The Silchar-Bishenpur Track (Old Cachar Road) beyond Point 5846 (Laimaton Peak). The Japanese 33rd Division faced off with 32nd Brigade of the 20th Indian Division in this area. Photo by Ranjit Moirangthem

“…for a brief moment Manipur was at the centre of the global stage, the ‘Stalingrad of Asia” - Thant Myint U, Where China Meets India

Manipur today is literally littered with sites related to its Second World War experience. If one arrives in Imphal by air, the runway one lands on at Tulihal Airport was first constructed during the War. If one comes to Manipur over land from Dimapur/Kohima or from Tamu in Myanmar, the roads one travels on were first upgraded to tarmac during the War.

Around Manipur, there are several memorials, cemeteries, remains of air strips, and museums, among others, all of which are connected to the Second World War's Burma Campaign. Of course, these are just the formal reminders of the War. Remains of bunkers and trenches from the Battle of Imphal continue to be found across Manipur on a regular basis.  

Finally, there are the villages and mountain peaks and ranges around which some of the fiercest fighting of 1944 took place. These include villages such as Shangshak, Ningthoukhong and Torbung, and peaks such as Nungshigum, Scraggy and Point 5846. Fortunately in the case of Manipur, many of the natural features where clashes and battles happened remain unchanged today - making it easy to visualize the dramatic events of nearly seven decades ago during the Burma Campaign.