Manipur came under British rule as a princely state in 1891 and existed until 1947, when it acceded to the newly independent Union of India. During the Second World War, Manipur was the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The Japanese were beaten back before they could enter Imphal, and this proved to be one of the turning points of the war. After the War, the Manipur Constitution Act of 1947 established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature. In 1949, Maharaja Budhachandra was summoned to Shillong, capital of the then Indian province of Assam. The legislative assembly was dissolved on the controversial annexation of the state with the republic of India in October 1949. Manipur was a union territory from 1956 and later became a full-fledged state in 1972.
Manipur became a Union Territory in 1956 and later, in 1972, a full-fledged state of India with Muhammad Alimuddin becoming the first statehood Chief Minister (1972–74).
There has been a separatist movement in Manipur since 1964 with the establishment of United National Liberation Front, with several violent groups desirous of a sovereign Manipur. Special permission must also be obtained for those who wish to enter Manipur, as it is considered a "sensitive area" on account of its political troubles and geographical location.