Kakching is on the southeastern corner of Manipur in Thoubal District. Manipur is the 22nd state in the easternmost part of India. The state has a population of about 2 million (20 lacs) at present. Imphal is the capital of Manipur. It has approximately two hundred and fifty thousand population. Next to Imphal, Kakching is the second biggest town in Manipur. It has nearly thirty thousand people in its Municipal area.
The area of Kakching Municipality is 1774.1 acres and that of cultivated land is about 6631.74 acres. It is an important agricultural town. The Chandel district covers the eastern and southern parts of the boundary, on the north there is the Loushi pat (lake) and Irengband village. It is 785 meters above the sea level. The longitude degree is 93.5 and the latitude 24.2. The annual rainfall is ~1000 to 1500 mm. The temperature is between 34 (high) and 1 degree (low) centigrade. Only June and July are hot months. The rest of the year is fine and comfortable.
The Sekmal river runs through this town. It is one of the most important rivers in Manipur as it runs northwards and gives water in and around Kakching town and makes the paddy fields fertile. The people of Kakching are very industrious and they produce the highest percentage of food grains of Manipur and therefore Kakching is called the granary of Manipur. But, modern irrigation project and water supply system are not introduced even to this beginning part of the 21st century. The existing system was constructed many centuries ago. Therefore the triple or double cropping is practiced in only a small area of the cultivable lands. Still the production is higher than that of any other parts of Manipur. Land distribution and management is done properly.
The future hope of the town is the surrounding fertile, wet and marshy lands of Loushipat, Kharungpat, Pumlenpat and Khoidumpat. It will be above 50,000 acres, which are not properly planned for any purpose, agriculture or fishery or tourist spot or any other kind in the present. If planned, the lands must be the most productive area or the most beautiful tourist center or the most industrially and commercially developed city in Manipur as it is the gateway to the neighboring country of Myanmar.
Kakching airfield, known as the Pallet airfield in the world war II, is of an area of about 100 acres. There is an area for expansion if it is needed because it is surrounded by paddy fields on all sides. For the Indo-Myanmar border trade, the airfield is required to develop as a commercial base.
The most specific feature of the town is that flood never affects the land and the drought and hailstorm never occur in all the year round. If we take up a project most probably at Kangoi Iranpham, it will be able to give water to many villages of the eastern Manipur and electric power in and around the state.
Kakching is a place where the youths are in good manners and take interest in their respective works. The higher number of youths take interest in and pay heed to their studies and duties in spite of the troubles, difficulties and problems coming against their will. It has two colleges – Kha Manipur College, Kakching (Government) amd Kakching Girls’ College (Private). There are Higher Secondary Schools, High Schools and several Middle and Primary Schools. Kakching is an import town for higher studies in Indian classical music under the Bhatkhande Hindusthani Sangeet Mahavidyalay, Kakching, which is the only institution in Eastern India in which Indian classical music is taught up to Nipuna classes. Culturally the town is very rich in many fields: Nat Sankritan, Meitei pung cholom, Martial Arts, Thang-Ta, Satjal, Mukna, Kangjei, etc. The municipality area has three cinema halls, which provide daily shows for entertainment to the people of Kakching and surrounding towns and villages.
The practice of Lai Haraoba of the nine deities are very much careful. Each deities has its own specific cultural programs. Ibudhou Khamlangba is the greatest deity of Kakching. The deepest spiritual meaning of life is played in the part of the festival, Ngaprum Tanba. The maibas and maibis play the roles of the supreme gods: Kuru Shidaba Apanba, Ashiba, and Nongpok Ningthou and Panthoibi. The creator is Kurushidaba; the preserver, Apanba and the destructor, Ashiba. The fourth maiba is the father of human beings and the fifth is the mother of all creatures of this universe. Thus, Ngaprum Tanba, the last part of Kakching Haraoba gives the deepest philosophy of the Meiteis. Some think the last part of Lai Haraoba is only for mikon-thagonba, the calling of the soul of the human beings but it has greater meaning in Khamlangba Haraoba.
In sports also Kakching has produced many national players. There had been many Mr. India, Mr. Jr. India position holders in Body Building and some other national gold medallists. The District Sports Association (DSA), Kakching, has been the sole guide for all sports associations and clubs. For the future planning we require to pay special attention to the maintenance and development of Panjao Pallum Kangjeibung, the DSA ground and other college and school compounds.
The people of Kakching are very hospitable. They are not home-seekers. It is generally said that there is no state where the youths of Kakching do not reach and work. In foreign countries also the youths work in many fields.
The Divine Life Society, Kakching Branch, is one of the oldest branches in India. It was established in 1954. The Viswanath Mandir at Mahadeva Ching was inauguarated in 1976 by the Holy Swami Chidananda Saraswati, President of the International Divine Life Society, Head Quarters at Rishikesh, UP, India. Many youths are made decent citizens of the nation and the world with the gospels and preachings of Sri Swami Sivajandaji Saraswati of the Society. The Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Shikhs, Jains and Sanamahis are treated alike in the philosophy of the society. It is a sacred place for all religions.
At present, the Shri Krishnachandra Mandir, the Narasingha Mandir and the Viswanath Mandir are the sacred places of the Hindus. The Khullen Khamlangba and the Wairi Khamlangba are the greatest traditional deities of the town.
In the service of the nation, the youths take interest in all fields. In the navy, in the air and in the army, the youths contribute their proper services. In the intellectual circles also, the town has produced talented youths in many streams of knowledge.
Industrially, the people are very much efficient in small scale industries. If we train the youths they will not be lagging behind any people of the world even in heavy industry etc. In the near future, the town will be a great city of intellectuals, philosophers, industrialists, artists, musicians and great leaders of the nation and the world. This is because the youths are very much spiritual and courageous. With a slight change of the social management the manpower of the youths of this town may be channelized in a fruitful way.
It is truly known that this group of people was the iron mining artisans who had borne all responsibilities of mining iron and they made different kinds of agricultural tools and implements and war-weapons of the kings from the ancient times. Thus, the five villages of Kakching: Kakching Khullen, Kakching Wairi, Kakching Khunou, Kakching Kameng and Kakching Awang are the same group of people even though this study confines only in the Municipal Town of Kakching Khullen and Wairi.
In the last point, it will be rightly said that Kakching is a town, which needs to be developed in a well planned city for the future progress of the state and the nation as it has been the most well planned village structure with geometrically drawn streets, roads, lands and by-lanes, without any blind alley, prepared by the ancient village forefathers with a far-sighted dream to be able to suit to the new civilizations which may come to any height. The most scientific planning was that the village habitats were constructed in the lower land whereas the cultivable agricultural fields were reserved on the higher plains. With all these features, in 1962, Kakching stood first in All India village competition.
Source: Dr. L. Shamungou Singh, Imphal College and Dr. A. L. Singh, Oriental College (1997). J. Geograph. Soc. Manipur. Vol. 1., No. 1, page 40.