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The name is derived from the Dimasa language. 'Di" means "water", "ma" means "large" and "pur" means "city".
On the other hand, part of mythology says that Dimapur is a corruption of Hidimbapur, meaning the city of Hidimbi (of Mahabharata), the rakshasi-turned-woman whose marriage to the Pandava prince Bhima led to the birth of Ghatotkacha - believed to be the progenitor of the Kacharis. Hidimbapur is conjectured to have been abbreviated to Dimbapur and subsequently to have lost a consonant to become Dimapur. There is a place in Dimapur which some calls Raj bari and few calls Rakshas bari.
Dimapur is situated on the bank of Dhansari. Dimapur had many ponds once upon a time, many have been closed now but few still exist.
The Dimasa people
In the middle ages, Dimapur was ruled by Dimasa Kachari kingdom. It was once the homeland of the Dimasa, a tribe of Bodo/Kachari family and Dimasa kings used to rule from Dimapur. The Dimasas, a tribe of the Kachari family, once ruled large swathes from present-day Dimapur to southern Assam’s Cachar district. (--KanglaOnline) Dimapur was the capital of the State. The last Raja had no children. After his death the State was taken over by the British Govt. and merged with Assam.(-- Sanjoy Dasgupta)
Dimasa Kachari peopele were very powerful once upon a time in the entire North East. When Ahom rule started in Assam the fall of Dimasa began. Dimasas had to face defeat by the Ahoms in the 1536 battle. Hence Dimasa people were scattered; a few stayed back in Dimapur.
These days Dimasa people are mostly found Dima Hasao District (also called North Kachar Hills) mostly Maibang, Jatinga etc.
The Dimasa people are Hindu but the rest of tribes of Nagaland are Christians.
The Assamese connection
That Dimapur was a part of Assam during the British Raj is a fact. Beyond that there are legends: It was leased by Assam Govt. to Nagaland for some time after the Naga state was formed. (--Sajib Das) 1986 was the end year of lease. (--Biswa Jyoti) The Assam government leased Dimapur out for 99 years when Nagaland was carved out of Assam in 1963. It was leased out for its strategic location—it is the only plains tract of hilly Nagaland and had a railway station and airport space for connectivity and economic activity in the new state. () Indpaedia was told by an Assamese scholar that a very senior British colonial administrator, a Chief Commissioner, was miffed with his poor treatment by some Assamese officials. Peeved, he made Dimapur part of the Naga Hills District.
Like other parts of the state Dimapur is not hilly, and it's quite hot in the summer. Dimapur is the only city in Nagaland which has railway station [and airport, which] makes it the commercial city of Nagaland, all the business are done by Marwadi, Jain and Bengali's whom Naga tribes refer to as ‘plain manu’ (people who live in low landa).
It has Hong Kong market which is referred to as a shopping paradise. People are fashionable there. Dimapur is the only district which has airport.
During World War II, Dimapur was the centre of action between British India and Imperial Japan.
The Jains were amongst the earliest non-Naga settlors of Nagaland.A few Jain families came to Kohima in the 1880s and settled there. They later moved to Dimapur in 1944 due to Japanese invasion during World War II.They have great influence we have SD Jain Temple, SD Jain School, SD Jain Charitable Hospital, Durga Mandir in Old Daily Market.
Most of the schools are missionary school like Holy Cross, Don Bosco, St.Mrry, St. Paul etc. But when it comes to higher education it is not much developed yet. We barely have a good college, roads are very bad. In the 2010s Dimapur got KFC and Pizza Hut. The city is yet to develop more specially in education.
Nagamese creole (a dialect that uses the Roman/ English script) is the language of spoken communication. Sub tribes of nagas speak different dialects like ao, angami, sema etc but commonly they speak Nagamese which is more or less similar to Assamese.
Rupa Das is the originator of this page.
Additional inputs from: KanglaOnline