Ukhrul is a district in the north eastern state of Manipur in India. It lies about 84 kilometres (52 mi) north east of Imphal.
It was marked out first as a Sub-Division in 1919 during the British Raj. It was later upgraded to a full-fledged district, bearing the nomenclature of Manipur East District in November 1969 by the Government of India.
Linguistically, the Tangkhuls belong to a large language family called Sino-Tibetan, within that family to the sub-family Tibeto-Burman. In general this points towards an origin in the north, that is south-west China and Tibet. The earliest home of the Tangkhuls was the upper reaches of Huang heo and Yangtze Rivers which lies in the Zinjiang province of China. Like the other desert areas of the world, the people including the Tangkhuls, due to hardship of life, dispersed from this place to different directions. One group moved towards east and southeast to be become known as Chinese, another group moved southward to become the tribes of Tibeto-Burman which includes the Tangkhuls and other tribes. That was between c, 10,000 B.C. to 8000 B.C. This movement has continued into recent historic times. S.K. Chatterjee noted that from 2000 B.C. onwards, Sino-Tibetan speakers from China pushed south and west and entered India. According to W.I. Singh, in his “The History of Manipur”, the Tangkhuls settled in Samshok (Thuangdut) area in Myanmar. They belong to Yakkha tribe in China. The Tangkhuls were first noticed in Manipur by Poireiton, one of the earliest kings of a principality in Manipur valley.
Ukhrul as a town not only stands for administrative headquarters but it is also a place where all the traditional institutions of the Tangkhuls are located. The Town is home to about 75000 people from all works of life.
Sihai ¤Phangrei is another ideal spot for nature lovers.
Ukhrul District is best known for the Shirui Lily, (Lilium mackliniae Sealy), which is found in its natural habitat on the peak of Shirui Kashong, some 18 km east of the district headquarters, and khangkhui Mangsor cave which lies 16 kilometer away from the Town.
The district now has five Sub-Divisions which are co-terminous with the five Development Blocks. In addition to these administrative units the district has four Sub-Deputy Collectors Offices
The district headquarters, Ukhrul, is linked with Imphal, the state capital by national highway 150. The national highway No. 150 also links Ukhrul with Kohima via Jessami. It has the distinction of being the highest hill station of Manipur. Besides the national highway 150 there are many district road and village road amongst them, Ukhrul-Kamjong, and Ukhrul-Phungyar Road are the main metalled Road of the district. The Tampak-Ngashan (Mahadev)- Pfutsero road connects the western part of the district with the district headquarters.
In the earlier days when education was sparse and primitive, Ukhrul was a well sought after place for the different tribe of the North East. The first school was set up by the then missionary Rev. William Pettigrew in 1896. Since then, not only has the place increase in the number of schools and colleges but it has produce many scholars and professionals in various fields. Mention may be made that the first tribal from the north east to teach in the prestigious Delhi University hails from the district (Prof. Horam). Today with more than 90% literate population. Ukhrul is considered as the most educated town of the state next to the capital city Imphal. Some of the well known schools of the town are: Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Alice Christian Higher Secondary School, Little Angels School, Savio School, Blesso Montessori School, Holy Spirit School, Patkai Academy, Juniors Academy, Sentinel College, Saint John School and Pettigrew college, Kendriya Vidyalaya and jawahar Lal Novadaya Vidyalaya.