It has been few days I was unable to post on North-East India due to hectic work schedule.But now I am again back to writing on NE.
In this post I will try to bring up the Places of Interest of another NE state called ‘Manipur‘. Manipur lies in the deep corner of the northeast part of India.This beautiful land is surrounded by Nagaland in the north,Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west,and shares a common international border with Burma in the east.In future Manipur may serve as the India’s Gateway to the South-East Asia.The proposed Trans-Asian Railway Network (TARN) if constructed,will pass through Manipur, connecting India to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Now coming back to the tourist places to see in Manipur,from serene landscapes, exotic wildlife, floating islands to the warmhearted locals this place has it all.Imphal is the largest and the capital city of Manipur and Meiteilon is the official language although english is also quite popular.
Here is the list of places to visit in Manipur:-
- Shree Shree Govindajee Temple,Imphal-This temple adjoining the palace of the former rulers of Manipur, is a historic centre for Vaisnavites. It is a simple and beautiful structure with gold domes, a paved court and a large, raised congregation hall.The presiding deity in the centre is flanked by idols of Radha Govinda, Balaram and Krishna on one side and Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on the other.
- Kaina – The scared place of Hindus-A beautiful hillock, about 921 m. above sea level, Kaina is a sacred place of Hindus. According to legend, Shri Govindajee appeared to His devotee Bheigyachandra, Maharaja of Manipur, in a dream and asked him to build a temple enshrined with His image carved out of a jack-fruit tree which was then growing at Kaina. Beautiful hill shrubs and charming natural surroundings give the place a saintly solemnity. Ceremonial dances depicting the divine dream are performed as Ras at the Mandop.At a distance of 29 Kms from Imphal, Kaina can be reached by bus via Thoubal also.
- Manipur Zoological Garden-This Zoological Garden is at Iroishemba on the Imphal Kangchup Road.Graceful brow-antlered deer,”Sangai” one of the rarest species in the world,can be seen here in sylvan surroundings. A trip to this garden,at the foot of the pine-growing hillocks in the westernmost corner of Lamphelpat is really enjoyable.It is at a distance of about 6 kms.from Imphal,towards the west.
- Loktak Lake and Sendra Island-A huge and beautiful stretch of water, this lake is like a miniature inland sea.From the Tourist Bungalow,set atop Sendra island,visitors can get a bird’s-eye view of the lake and the life on it,the fisherman and their families who live in neat huts on its shores and who make full use of their watery environment.
They cast their nets on it,rear fish farms in it using nets as floating walls,harvest it for the water chestnut known as Heikak,and even build their houses on the islands of floating weed that dart around the lake.
There are buses and cycle rickshaws to cover the last 3 km. to Sendra. The Tourist Home charges Rs. 10 per bed.It is about 48 Kms from Imphal.
- War Cemeteries-The British and the Indian Army Cemeteries commemorating those who died in the Second World War are serene well-maintained with little stone markers and bronze plaques recording their anguish and sacrifice. These graves are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.The cemetery lies 10km from the airport on the Imphal-Dimapur road (Highway 39) in the Deulahland district of the town.
- Langthabal– It is 8 km.from Imphal on the Indo-Burma Road,this small hill feature with the relics of an old historic palace, well-planned temples and ceremonial houses amidst pine and jackfruit trees planted symmetrically.Overlooking the Manipur University, Canchipur, it offers a pleasant view of the surroundings.
- Moirang-The town of Moirang is famous for the ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity,Lord Thangjing and the Epic love story of “Khamba Thoibi”.Month long festival “Lai Haraoba” (mid May to June)is originated from Moirang.It was in Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14,1944.
There is an INA Museum exhibiting letters,photographs,badges of ranks and other articles associated with this movement.There is also a bronze statue of Netaji in uniform.There are buses which operate from private bus station of Waheng Leikai junction to Moirang from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fare: Rs. 10/- .It is about 45 kms from Imphal,journey time is around 1 hr.
- Singda-At an altitude of 921 m.,16 km.from Imphal to the west is a hill resort on the hills overlooking Manipur Valley.The scenery is picturesque. It is also a mountain pass on the road to Tamenglong. There is an inspection Bungalow here.There is a nice artificial lake called Singda Dam.It is now a multipurpose project.
- Phubala-A charming resort on the western fringes of the Loktak Lake,to the south of Imphal. It is joined to the mainland by a low causeway.It is about 40 km.from Imphal.
- Moreh-This border town is located on the Indo-Burma Road.A commercial town attracting a large number of people from neighboring places.It is only 5 km.from Tamu town,its Burmese counterpart. Tamu depicts a total change in the attire and eating habits of the people and in the architecture of its buildings.It is about 110 kms away from Imphal.
- Khongjom-Situated on the Indo-Burma Road,this is a place of greatest historic importance.It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur,proved his velour against the superior force of the invading British Army in 1891.The hillock of the foot of which he laid down his life in defence of his motherland,is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors.A war memorial on the top of this scenic hill feature, adds charm to this heroic site.Khongjom day is celebrated as a State Holiday on every year on April 23.It is about 36 km. from Imphal.
- Sekta – Archaeological Living Museum-Sekta Mound locally known as the “SEKTA KEI” is a protected Archaeological Site.The site is located at Sekta village,about 16 km. from Imphal on the Imphal-Ukhrul Road.It is a site where practice of secondary burial was discovered.The site was jointly excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Archaeology,Manipur and is preserved as a Living Museum.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park-About 53 kms. from Imphal and on the fringes of Loktak Lake,this is the last natural habitat of the marsh-dwelling brow-antlered deer of Manipur called “Sangai”.
- ANDRO – the ancient village-It is an ancient Scheduled Caste village of Andro,there is one Cultural Complex established by the Mutua Museum, Imphal.It consists of potteries of the North Eastern Region of India. There is a ‘Doll-House’ where dolls of 29 recognised tribes of Manipur (both male and female) are in display.It is about 27 km towards east of Imphal.
- Khonghampat Orchidarium-The Orchid Yard of the Forest Department,on National Highway No 39,about 7 km. from Imphal is another place of interest.More than 110 varieties of Orchids,including several rare species are grown here. Best time to visit is April-May.
- Manipur State Museum-The Manipur State Museum instituted in 1969 has been the central authority in preservation and display of various cultures, nature, Art forms and history of the state of Manipur. The Museum has developed now into a full-grown versatile resource and boasts of expertise in various wings.The galleries depicting different aspects of the state through light upon almost every aspect viz. Ethnology, Natural History,Art work and Handicraft,Archaeology etc.
- Sahid Minar-It salutes the determined and indomitable spirit of the Meetie and tribal warriors who gladly sacrificed their lives and families while waging a war for survival of the identity against the British Army in 1891.This lofty Minaret at Bir Tikendtrajit Park in the center of the city reminds passers by of the sacrifices of those great men.
- Ima Marekt:-Women’s Marekt,The market stalls are all run by women, and it is reported as being the only such market in the world and it is delight to watch.
- The Dzukou Valley:-Located at the border of the Indian states of Nagaland and Manipur.This valley is well known for its natural beauty, seasonal flowers and the overall flora and fauna.It is situated at an altitude of 2438 m above sea level,behind the Japfü Peak located in Nagaland.The rare Dzükou lily is found only in this valley.
These are some of the places that is a must visit when you consider Manipur in your tourist list.
Best time to visit Manipur is October to May as at that time the weather is pleasant and sunny.
Indian Tourist visiting Manipur via Dimapur/Kohima(Nagaland) require an Inner Line Permit to pass through Nagaland.This is available from any Nagaland House, or Government of Nagaland office.While Foreign Tourist must obtained Protected Area Permit (PAP),and must travel in groups of four or more people,or a married couple. You’ll only be allowed to stay for 10 days,and visit a limited number of places namely Imphal, Loktak Lake, Moirang INA Memorial,Keibul Lamjao Deer Sanctuary,Waithou Lake, and Khongjom War Memorial.PAP can be applied Delhi Manipur Bhawan or at the Guwahati Manipur Bhawan though more time will be taken at Guwahati Manipur Bhawan.
Please visit here for more details.
With all the possible information on Manipur Tourism I conclude my Post and will provide details about Meghalaya Tourism in my next post.
P.S.:-Image Credits goes to the Google and People who uploaded them