Location : Northeast part of India .
Area : 29.57 sq. km.
Attractions : Khwairamband bazar, Keibul Lamjao National Park .
Altitude : 790 meters above sea level.
Temperature : max. 32°C min 0° C.
Rainfall : 1980.8 mm ( May to October).
Ideal time to visit : October to February.
Manipur, Land of Jewels
Manipur tourism offers a picturesque tourist destination, situated at the easternmost part of India, with Myanmar in the east, Cachar district of Assam, Nagaland in the north and Mizoram in the south, was described by Jawaharlal Nehru as Land of Jewels. It is famous for its Keibul Lamjao National Park which is habitat to the Brow antlered deer found nowhere else. With the fresh water lake (Loktak lake) situated in one of the districts and the lush green hills makes it an abode for tourists coming to Manipur.
Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur, organises a tour on luxurious coaches for visiting places like Govindajee Temple , Bishnupur, Phubala, Moirang, Keibul Lamjao National Park and Sendra Tourist Home.
The royal chronicle, known as Cheitharol Kumbaba, had established the existence of a former kingdom in the first century A.D., a kingdom supposed to be formed by the unification of the ten clans under the Ningthouja(royal) clan. It has also been the historical place where the Japanese armies of the Axis was defeated by the British armies of the Allies in the Second World II.
Main Attractions in Manipur
Manipur also called land of jewels is famous for its rich culture, rare wild life, flowers and sportsmanship. The unpolluted and unexploited greenery of the region is also a solace for the holiday seekers. Imphal (the capital city of Manipur ) which has markets like Paona Bazar and Khwairanbam Bazar, Keibul Lamjao (the sanctuary for the Brow Antlered Deer) and the fresh water lake, Loktak is worth visiting.
The world famous Manipur Dance enthralls its viewers throughout the show. The fine movement of the Ras Lila (Manipuri Dance), the extravagance of Thang-ta (martial arts) can make it an all-together different experience. Ras Lila is among the five most acclaimed classical dance of India . The gentle motion of the dance coupled with the elegance of the hand-embroidered dress can impress all the audience.
Fairs and Festivals
Due to the mixed race of people, all festivities are observed in Manipur. The Hindus celebrate Holi and Ningol Chakouba, the Muslims celebrate Ramjan ID and Christians observe Christmas. All these festivals makes Manipur a more vibrant and cheerful place. Nowadays many of these festivals are observed by the different communities irrespective of their own race.
Adventure in Manipur
Manipur is stocking stimulus to growth and development of adventure sports in the state. Nodal agencies have been set up to assist diverse adventure-sports and also to impart training.
Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association-facilitates trekking to Lamdan ( Sudarshan Peak ), near Loktak hydroelectric power project.
The Adventure Academy of Manipur - offers courses and assistance in whitewater rafting in the state.
Shopping in Manipur
Imported goods from the smallest of sun-flower seeds to the big home theaters are all available at the markets but the best one is situated at the India-Myanmar border by the name of Naphalong(Moreh). If people are interested in the local product then they can buy at the Paona Bazar or Khwairambam market. Shoppers can buy the exotic shawl(Hauphee), the Tangkhul scarf, the various wood craft items and the most popular Moirangphee(a thin cloth) for their own. In Imphal, buying is quite easy as the markets are placed together but people have to travel three hours for Moreh market. What makes Moreh stand out is the picturesque journey and the cheap imported goods available.
A temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu which is 27 kms away from the capital. The architecture of the temple is unique and resembles Chinese design. It was built in 1467 during the reign of King Kiyamba.
Moirang This town is 45 kms away from Imphal and this is where the birth of Manipuri folk culture was born. During the month of May, men and women dance in the honor of the Lord. Lai Harouba is celebrated every year and many people from all over the state flock and watch this spectacle.
There is the famous Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's(a national hero) statue at Moirang which commemorates the struggle of our freedom fighters. This statue is the reminder of the INA(Indian National Army) that Netaji brought along with Japanese armies to defeat the British in 1944.
Permit to Visit
Foreign tourists require Restricted Area Permit which is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, South Block, New Delhi . The Indian comission abroad also issue this permit. Imphal City, Loktak Lake, INA Memorial(Moirang), Sendra, Waithou Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park and Khongjom War Memorial are areas that can be visited.
Domestic tourist travelling by road from Dimapur to pass through Nagaland require an Inner Line Permit . This permit can be obtained from liaison officers of the Govt. of Nagaland at New Delhi/Kolkata/Guwahati/Shillong and the Sub-divisional officer (civil) at Dimapur. Permit is not required for tourist bound by flight.
Accessibilty to Manipur
Imphal airport can be reached by daily flights from New Delhi (app.3 hrs.), Kolkata (one hr.), Guwahati(app.50 minutes) and Aiwal(30 min.). There is also a direct flight from New Delhi on Sundays and Wednesdays. The airport is just 7 kms from downtown and tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws are provided for transfer to the city.
The nearest railhead to Manipur is Dimapur on the North East Frontier in Nagaland (215 kms from Imphal) and Jiribam(225 kms from Imphal).
Bus services are available from Dimapur and it takes around 9 hours to reach Manipur.
National highway no. 39 connects Imphal with Guwahati ( Assam ) and National Highway no. 53 connects Imphal with Silchar ( Assam ). The journey from Silchar (250 kms) to Imphal takes around 10 hours.
For travelling locally, un-metered taxis and auto-rickshaws are available at the bus stand of Mahatma Gandhi Road and airport. Rates are negotiable.