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Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma lies to its east. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometres and has a population of almost 3 million, including the Meitei, who are the majority group in the state, Loi, Yaithibi, Kuki, and Naga peoples, who speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages. Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. It has long connected the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, China, Siberia, Micronesia and Polynesia, enabling migration of people, cultures, and religions. During the Raj, the Kingdom of Manipur was one of the princely states. Between 1917 and 1939, the people of Manipur pressed for their rights against British rule. By the late 1930s, the princely state of Manipur negotiated with the British administration its preference to be part of India, rather than Burma. These negotiations were cut short with the outbreak of World War II. On 11 August 1947, Maharaja Budhachandra signed the Instrument of Accession, joining India