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Manipur - A little Shangarila located in North-East India.


A little Shangarila located in North-East India. Manipur is a state with city of Imphal as its capital. The state is sometimes referred to by alternative names such as Kangleipak and Meeteileipak. It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma lies to its east. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometers (8,621 sq mi). Average Annual Rainfall 147 cm.

Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. An oval shaped valley surrounded by blue green hills, rich in art and tradition cascading rapids, tripling rivers, varieties of flowers, exotic blooms and lakes.

Manipur Entry Formalities -

International Tourists - The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, issues Restricted Area Permit for foreigners intending to visit Manipur. It can also be obtained from Indian Missions abroad, Foreign Regional Registration office (FRRO) in Mumbai, Kolkata, Immigration office in Chennai and the Home Commissioner, Government of Manipur, Imphal.

National / Domestic Tourists - Inner Line Permit, required for the Indians to visit Manipur, is issued by the Liaison officers of the Government of Nagaland at New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and the Sub-Divisional Office (Civil) Dimapur. Deputy Commissioner, Imphal.

Civilization - The people of Manipur include Meitei, Nagas, Kuki-Chin-Mizo.Hmar,Pangal, and Gorkhas groups, Islam (Pangal) & Bishnupriya Manipuri which have lived in complete harmony for centuries.

Languages - People of Manipur speak Manipuri, Hindi, English, Burmese, Tibetoi in Major. Other than that there are around 29 different dialects spoken in Manipur.

Festivals - Manipur is a land of festivals, merriment and mirth all the year round. A year in Manipur presents a cycle of festivals. Hardly a month passes without a festival or two. To the Manipuri's, festivals are the symbols of their cultural, social and religious aspirations which , besides removing the monotony of life by providing physical diversions, mental recreation and emotional outlet, it also helps them lead a better and fuller life.

The various festivals of Manipur are Lui-ngai-ni Ningol Chakouba, Yaoshang, Ramzan Id, Kut, Gan-ngai, Chumpha, Christmas, Cheiraoba, Kang and Heikru Hidongba. Most of these festivals are usually celebrated on the basis of lunar calendar. Almost every festival celebrated in other states of India is observed here and it makes Manipur a mini metropolis.

Special Interest for Travelers focuses - Blessed with an amazing variety of flora and fauna, 67% of the geographical area of Manipur is hill tract covered forests. There are 500 varieties of orchids which grow in Manipur. In addition to 'Siroi Lily' which is the only terrestrial lily grown on the hill tops of Siroi hill, Ukhrul, the Hoolock Gibbon, the Sloe Loris, the Clauded Leopard, the Spotted Linshang, Mrs. Hume's Barbacked Pheasant, Blyths Tragopan, Burmese Pea-Fowl, four different species of Hornbills etc. form only a part of the rich natural fauna of Manipur. the most unique is the Sangai the dancing deer. The floating mass of vegetation on the Loktak Lake sustains small herds of this endemic deer which unfortunately has the dubious distinction of being the most threatened Cervid (known as Phumdi) in the World. Other mentionable fauna is Salamander known as 'Lengwa' found at the foothill of Siroi in Ukhrul.

Destinations - The Capital of Manipur, Imphal is a busting minimetropolis situated at a height of 790 m. above the sea level. Best Time to Visit is October to February.

  • Shaheed Minar - The indomitable spirit of the patriotic Meitei and tribal martyrs, who sacrificed their lives while fighting the British in 1891, is commemorated by this tall Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal city.

  • Govindajee Temple - This is a Vaishnavite temple built by the former King's of Manipur. The simple but beautiful structure consists of 2 domes and a large congregation hall. The shrines of Krishna and Balaram on one side and Jagannnath flank the presiding deity.

  • War Cemetery - Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the graveyard. Little stone markers with bronze plaques on them commemorate the dead British and Indian soldiers of World War II.

  • Khonghampat Orchidarium - The sprawling land of 200 acres boasts of over 110 rare varieties of orchids including a dozen endemic species.

  • Loktak Lake - The biggest natural freshwater lake of the North Eastern region of India is the Loktak Lake that is situated at a distance of 48 kilometers from the city of Imphal. The lake is dotted with the vegetative growth of the Phoomdis that grow on the lake. The Sendra island is situated on the lake itself and has a tourist bungalow that provides a captivating view of the lake waters.

  • Zoological Gardens - It houses Sangai (the graceful brow antlered deer) at the base of pine-clad hillocks.

  • Langthabal - This is a small hill featuring relics of a historic palace and architecturally beautiful temples.

  • Bishnupur - he place has a Vishnu temple with peculiar Chinese influence. Beside that, the Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake of the northeastern India and Red hill where a fierce battle between the British and the Japanese took place during the World War II.

Traditional shopping - Shopping in Manipur is undoubtedly a very interesting and exciting experience, especially for those who have a special love for handloom articles. The state of Manipur is world famous for its handloom clothes and other traditional artifacts.

There are some particular items, without which, Manipur shopping remains incomplete. These articles are the very famous:

  • Bed covers of Moirangfee Motif

  • Silk Sarees

  • Cotton Sarees

  • Scarves

  • Blankets

  • Shawls

  • Bamboo Articles

  • Papier Mache

  • Ivory Articles

  • Dolls

  • Jewelry

Though there are innumerous things to highlight but the mentioned article is enough for any traveler to visit this little Shangarila located in North-East India.


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