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Pamheiba

today in history

He was born on December 22, 1690 in Manipur to Pitambar Charairongba and was crowned Meidingu on August 23, 1708. During the early 1700s, Hindu missionaries from Sylhet arrived in Manipur to spread Gaudiya Vaishnavism. They were led by Shantidas Goswami and his associate Guru Gopal Das who succeeded in converting the King from nominal Hinduism to Vaishnavism in 2010. Later during his reign, Pamheiba made Hinduism the official religion, and converted nearly all the Meitei people to Hinduism.

His reign lasted 39 years and during that time, the realm of Manipur extended from the Irrawady in the east to Cachar and Tripura in the west. At some points during his reign, his realm extended into the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Shortly after taking power, in memory of his father Charairongba he invaded Burma after the Burmese King insulted his sister. The Burmese King asked for the hand of another of Charairongba’s daughters. Instead of a princess, the King of Burma was met by cavalry, led by Pamheiba that massacred the Burmese army, and brought many POW to Imphal. In 1734, Pamheiba invaded Tripura and captured 1100 POWs, who were absorbed into the Meitei community.

Though, most of Manipur was at least nominally Hindu especially the Bishnupriya after the 15th century, the major religions among the Meitei people were Islam, Buddhism and tribal cults. After 1717, he outlawed the consumption of pork, poultry and beef. He also converted many tribal shrines into mandirs and fought with the tribal clergy for religious power. The day he burned a large number of tribal laws in 1729 is celebrated as “Puya Meithaba” in Manipur

Pamheiba had eight wives, and a large number of sons and daughters. His eldest son, Samjai Khurai-Lakpa, was assassinated by his younger son Chitsai, who came to power after Pamheiba’s grandson Gaurisiam

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