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How old exactly is Dimapur?

By EMN Updated: Nov 14, 2015 10:40 pm

The once little town of Dimapur which was inaugurated as the eight district of Nagaland in 1997, and was described as the ‘Brick City’ by European scholars and Ahoms, has now grown into a size-able city and continues to grow in every aspect, be it demographically, economically, geographically etc. Dimapur continues to be the gateway of Nagaland and the commercial hub of the state though the administrative nerve centre and the capital remains to be Kohima.
A milestone or a landmark is needed to mark and highlight or to keep a record of any institution, place or a society. There are many different versions about how Dimapur got its name and how the town came into being, an exact year of establishment is somewhat missing.Many writers opine that it got its name from Dimasa word while other version says it has evolved from the epic Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata. The earliest and the original inhabitants are said to be the Dimasa Kacharis who ruled during the middle ages till the 13th century. The earliest non-Naga settlers were said to be the Jains (Sethi families) who settled in Kohima during the 1880s and later came to Dimapur in 1944 after the Japanese invasion. It is said, after that came the Nepalis, Muslims, Marwaris, Bengalis, Biharis, Punjabis, Meities etc. and only after much later came the Naga tribes like the Angamis, Sumis and so on.
In some history books we come across, it is mentioned that Dimapur was just a little hillock on the way to the present Chumukedima, the then Samaguting, which was also addressed as Nichu-gate and was used as a transit point by the British soldiers for administering the Naga Hill areas and for countering the Japanese invasion. It remains incomplete for someone like me born and brought up here in this town without even knowing the exact age of the town where we live.
Now, Mokokchung is celebrating its 125 years with plenty of passion and fervor in December but most of us Dimapurians like me are in complete blank without even knowing the age of its establishment of the place where we live in. Whether Dimapur has completed a century, a bicentenary or a quasi-centenary, it will be a very laudable step if our regional historians or our pioneers who are still alive today brings out a light on this and enlighten the denizens. This indeed will be a high point for all and sundry and benefit the masses.
Though, there are some rough calculations and assumptions about the rule of the Ahom kings till the 13th century, a definite or an exact date seems to be missing. Before Dimapur became a full-fledged district, when was it made into a circle or a sub-division is also still not known by many present settlers.
The administrators would be doing Dimapur a great justice if a proper commemoration of this cosmopolitan town, which is popularly referred as a ‘Mini- India’ and a boiling cauldron of multi-ethnic and cultural diversity is observed and given a proper honor by commemorating in a befitting way in the coming years. A proper research of the doyens, pioneers and founders of this town should also be done.
Not only does Dimapur remains the commercial hub of the state but is also becoming a major health and an educational hub only next to Guwahati, Shillong and Imphal in the North- East. The real founders and initiators of Dimapur indeed deserves a glowing tribute by all the denizens and citizens alike which is now a home to teeming millions of people from every nook and corner of the nation and around the globe too. It would be worth mentioning the sayings, ‘When you eat a fruit from a tree, remember the one who sowed it or when you drink water from well remember the one who dug it.’ Therefore it will be good if the initiators and the real founders are remembered for which this little town has come till today. God bless Dimapur.

Jonah Achumi
Middle Point, Dimapur

By EMN Updated: Nov 14, 2015 10:40:47 pm