Nestled in a deep corner Of north-eastern India, Manipur has been thoroughly blessed by nature. The name Manipur literally translates into “A jeweled land” which is an apt description of the state. Blue lakes, verdant valleys of green, gently sloping hills and dense forests make the state a prominent attraction of nort-eastern India. Manipur shares the international border with Myanmar and is surrounded by the states of Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram. The prominent rivers flowing through the state of Manipur are Imphal, Iril, Thoubal, Irang and Barak, all of which flow from north to south. Originally a princely state, the freedom of Manipur was surrendered to the British after the Anglo-Manipuri war in 1891.
The plains of Manipur are inhabited by the Meities, who speak Manipuri whereas the hills are dominated by Kukis and Nagas who speak Tibeto-Burmese dialects. Majority of the Manipuris are Hindus.
Important festivals of Manipur are the Dol Yatra (Holi) in March, Rath Yatra (Car fesival) in June-July and Durga Puja in September-October. Like traditional Hindus, Manipuris celebrate New Year Day in the second week of April. The major profession in Manipur is agriculture.
Situated at a distance of 29 Kms from Imphal, Kaina is considered a very sacred place by Hindus. The place is surrounded by some beautiful hill shrubs and enchanting natural wonders which gives it a very saintly flavour. It can be reached by bus via Thoubal.
This is a large and important market divided into two sections by the Khwairamband Road. All the vendors here are women and tourists can find all the things they need at this market.
Manipur Zoological Garden
Located at a distance of about 6 km. from Imphal, this Zoological Garden at Iroishemba on the Imphal Kangchup Road houses “Sangai”, a brow-antlered deer in sylvan surroundings. The zoo is situated at the foothills of the pine tree hillock.
Loktak Lake and Sendra Island
The Loktak Lake can be likened to a mini inland sea. The hugeness of the lake is over imposing. Situated at a distance of 48 kms. from Imphal, the Tourist resort atop the Sendra island offers a bird’s eye view of the lake and the lives of the people who depend on it for existence. Buses an rickshaws are available to reach Sendra from the lake.
This small hillock is situated at a distance of 8 kms. from Imphal on the Indo-Burma Road. It houses an old historic palace and neatly planned temples. These structures are beautifully placed between pine and jackfruit trees.
The ancient Hindu temple at Moirang is a very sacred place for the Manipuri people. Situated at a distance of 45 kms. from Imphal, the temple is supposedly the abode of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing. All the locals dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance here to honour their deity at festivals. The flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14, 1944 at Moirang. There is an Indian National Army Museum here depicting their struggle for India’s independence. The museum is open from 8am to 6pm.
The border town of Moreh is located around 110 kms. from Imphal. This town attracts visitors from all the neighbouring places.
Just 16 Kms from Imphal, the hill resort at Singda overlooks the Manipur valley. The picturesque here is further enhanced by the presence of an artificial lake. The Singda Dam, built on this lake is now a multi-purpose project.
Khongjom holds great historic significance for the Manipuris as Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur, laid his life fighting against the British. A war memorial has been constructed atop the scenic hillock. It is situated at a distance of 36 kms. from Imphal. Khongjom day is celebrated aas a Stae Holiday every year on April the 23rd.
This monument was constucted to commemorate the spirit of the valiant Manipuris who sacrificed their lives fighting the British in the Anglo-Manipuri war of 1891.
Manipur State Museum
The Manipur State Museum is the best place to get a glimpse of the Manipur history and culture. It is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm on all days except Sundays and Holidays.
This orchidarium has around 110 different varieties of orchids, including several rare ones, and is situated around 7 Kms from Imphal on National Highway-39.
Situated at a distance of 27 kms towards eastern side of Imphal, the ancient Scheduled Caste village of Andro consists of a Cultural Complex set up by the Mutua Museum at Imphal. Dolls of the 29 recognised tribes of Manipur are on display here apart from potteries of the North-Eastern region.
The Sekta mound is an archaeologically protected site. It is located at Sekta village, about 16 Kms from Imphal. The site witnessed the practice of secondary burial and was discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India together with State Archaeology, Manipur. It has been preserved as a living museum.