Manipur- An Emerging Destination

Manipur is strategically located in the northeastern corner of Indian borders of myanmar. It is spread over an area of 22,327 sq kms, Manipur has a population of 25,70,390 (approx). the state serve as a corridor of india to the south east asian countries and offer immense possibilities for growth of tourism and regional business. Adorned with a varities of breathtaking locations, the state is indeed a paradise on earth. Least touched and Least discovered, manipur is a promising tourist destination for adventure and nature lovers alike.

The state has a rich history and its cultural past dating back to centuries. It is the birth place of Raas Lila- A renowned form of classical dance which was created by Maharaja Bhagyachandra. Manipur is also the birthplace of modern polo and the locals call this game ‘Sagol Kangjei’. It is the land of festivals and almost every month the people of manipur get together to celebrate various festivals which reflects its rich culture, traditions, and religious practices.

A diverse population that inhabits the state make it apt to be called a Mini India. The people of manipur includes Meitei, Nagas, Kuki-Chin-Mizos, Gorkhas, Muslims and other colourful communities which have lived in complete harmony for centuries. These are the people whose folklore, myths and legend, dance, indigenous games and martial arts, exotic handlooms and handicrafts are invested with the mystique of nature and an indefatigable feeling of happiness or excitement about life.

Places to visits –

1. War Cemeteries –

The war cemeteries in imphal commenorates the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II. These war cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene and well-maintained, the war cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifices of those gallant soldiers.

2. Loktak Lake & Keibul Lamjao –

For any visitor, the principle attraction of the state is the Lokyak Lake in Bishnupur District which is 48 kms from capital Imphal city. It is the largest fresh water lake in the North East India. The lake resembles a miniatures inland sea and the beautiful stretch of water is visited by migratory birds every year. a day spent at Loktak Lake is alifetime of memory. Visitors can catch a bird eye view of the lake from Sendra. Fisherman living in a floating island called Phumdis in floating huts known as Phumsangs are unique sights of this lake. A part of the lake hosts the Keibul Lamjao National Park which is home to the Brow Antlered Deer Sangai, only found in Manipur.

3. Kangla –

A visit to the Kangla at the heart of Imphal city unfolds the proud history of the erstwhile Asiatic Kingdom dating back to the 33 A.D. The British took over in 1891 and buried their influence in architecture. It is the quintessential symbol of the state’s culture and heritage. Today, Kangla is developed into a unique archeological and heritage park. The Ima Market which is counted as one of the largest women only market in Asia is at a stone’s throw distance from the Western Gate of Kangla.

4. Mapal Kangjeibung – The oldest Living Polo Ground in the World

The State of Manipur is considered as the birthplace of Modern Polo. Mapal Kangjeibung – The oldest Living Polo Ground in the World is located at the heart of the capital city of Manipur. The ground serves as a venue for international polo tournaments and attracts increasing number of participating teams across the world every year. Originally called ‘Sagol Kangjei’ in Manipuri, the game is played on the horse back to the indigenous Manipuri Pony.

5. Shree Shree Govindajee Temple –

Shree Shree Govindajee Temple is another historic centre of the Vaishnavites in Manipur. Twin domes, apaved courtyard, and a large raised congregation hall form perfect backdrop for priest who descend the steps, to accept offering from devotees in the courtyard.

Escape to the Hills of Manipur –

Head to Ukhrul district and enjoy the company of the locals- the brave and colourful Tangkhul Tribe. It is situated 83 kms away from the Imphal city and famous for its Siroi Lily- a species of lily found nowhere else in the world other than the Siroi Hills range. The Siroi Lily is also the State flower of Manipur. The Dzuko track in Senapati and the Bunning track in Tamenglong also offer a challenge to the intrpid adventurous traveller willing to explore the unexplored.

The state has a travel friendly climate that make anytime of the year favourable for visitor. The nine mountain ranges that surround the state prevent the cold winds from the north from reaching the valley and also act as a barrier to cyclonic storms from the Bay of Bengal. The state experience an amiable climate throughout the year though winters can be sometimes very cold.

Celebrate the festivals with the locals –

Manipur is a land of festivals and almost every month the people of Manipur get together to celebrate various festivals which reflects its rich culture, traditions and religious practices. Yaoshang, Gaan Ngai, Cheiraoba, Lai-Haraoba, Kang, HeikruHidongba, Kut, NingolChakkouba, MeraHouchongbaandLuiNgaini are just some of the festivals celebrated by different communities in the state. Manipur Sangai Festival celebrated every year from 21st to 30th November is a major tourist attraction to the state.

How to Reach –

Road– Imphal is connected to Guwahati, Dimapur and Kohima by the AH 1 and AH 2. NH-150 connect Imphal with Aizawl via Churachandpur. NH-37 via Jiribam connect Imphal to Silchar in Assam.

Rail– Nearest railhead is at Dimapur in Nagaland (215 km North) which connects Imphal through Kohima.

Air– Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, (earlier known as Tulihal Airport) located about 5 km from Imphal which connects through Imphal to Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Agartala, Aizwal, Guwahati, and Silchar. As many as 10 daily flights of Air India, Indigo and Air Asia operates from Imphal daily.


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