Places to visit in Imphal, Manipur, Tourist Places Sightseeing
Manipur described as the wealth of India lies south of Nagaland & north of Mizoram. In shares the international boundary with Myammar on the western & southern side. Legend has it that the discovery of Manipur was the result of the delight that gods took in dancing. Still practiced today, is a classical dance form marked by graceful & gestures known as Manipuri.
Manipur is a mosaic of traditions and cultural patterns, best represented by its dance forms. The Lai-Haroaba, a traditional stylised dance is a ritual dance for appeasing gods and goddesses. The Lai-Haraoba festivel is generally celebrated between April and May, after the harvest season. The Raas song and dances express the Leelas (sports) of Lord Krishna as a child with the Gopis (milkmaids) of Brindavan and depict their yearning for communion with the Lord. The tribal dances of Manipur are the expression of love, creativity and aestheticism of the tribal people of the state. Manipuris were earlier recognised as skilful warriors and still practice the arts of wrestling, sword fighting and martial arts. Sogol Sangjei (Manipuri Polo) is the principal sport of the state, for Polo is believed to have originated here. MuknaKangjei (Wrestling Hockey) is also a very popular game in Manipur. The game is part of a ceremonial function and enjoyed due patronage in the olden days. another popular game known as Yubi-Lakpi (Manipuri Rugby) is played, using a greased coconut.
Imphal,a mini-metropolis, the capital of this beautiful land of blue-green hills, cascading rapids, carpets of flowers and winding rivers beckons the tourist. It is connected by road with Guwahati (Assam) through National Highway 39 and Silchar (Assam) through National Highway No.53.Here the Govindajee Temple is a prominent Vaishnavite centre. The simple aesthetic structure has two golden domes and a large raised hall where ceremonial dances are performs on special occasions. The shrine of Vishnu is flanked by shrines of Krishna & Bal Ram on one side and Jagannath on the others. In the heart of the city are two memorials, the towering Shaheed Minar in Tikendrajit Park that commemorates the martyr who died fighting British Colonism and the War Cemetery that revives the memories of those British and Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the second world war, which came to the doorstep of Imphal. The heritage of Manipur can be viewed in the State Museum, located near the Polo ground. It is a store house of Manipur’s past. On display are works of art, archeology, natural history, textiles besides a portrait collection of former rulers of Manipur and armoury of the royal army If you feel like shopping, visit the unique Knwairamband Bazaar. All the stall holders are women-almost 3000 Imas or mothers. It is split into two section on either side of the road.
6 km away , on Imphal Kamgchup road is the Zoological garden at Iroshemba. It takes pride in sheltering one of the rarest species of the world-the brow antlered deer. also near Imphal 12 kms away is the Khonghampat Orshidarium where visitors can view over 120 species of orchids besides some of the rarest orchids besides some of the rarest orchid in the world.
Surrounded by the New Manipur University Complex and amidst pine and jack fruit trees, about 8 kms. from Imphal lies Langthabal the relics of an old historic palace, well planned temples and ceremonial houses.
Tourist places to visit in Imphal, Manipur (Places near by)
27 kms. away is Bishnupur famous for its conical roofed temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built in 1467 during the reign of King Kiyamba,it is interesting for its antiquity and Chinese style design. It is also known for its stone production.
45 km away is Moirang. The town is one of the main seats of early Manipuri folk culture with the ancient temples of the pre-Hindu deity Lord Thangjing, situated here. In the month of may men and women, dressed in colourful traditional costumes, sing and dance in honour of the Lord at the Moirang Lai Haraoba which is a ritual dance festival held every here. This town has a special historic importance, as it was here that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) hoisted its flag for the first time on Indian soil. The collection of letters, photographs, articles, records and other memorabilia are on display at the INA Museum.
LOKTAL LAKE AND SENDRA ISLAND
48 km away from Imphal is Loktal Lake and Sendra Island. This is a saucer spread of birds. Part of it forms a rare ecosystem. This huge and beautiful stretch of water is like a miniature inland sea. From the tourist Home, set atop Sendra Island ,visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the lake and the life on it: the fishermen and their families who live in huts on its shores. They cast their nets on the lake,rear fish farms in it using nets as floating walls, harvest it for the water chestnut known as heikak, and even build their homes on islands of floating weed that drift around the lake,40 kms. south of Imphal, lies the charming resort of Phubala. It joins the mainland by a low causeway. Top in the list of places to visit in Imphal, Manipur.
ISLAND OF LOKTAK
The island of Loktak are unique : they float comprising of marsh & grass and roof of solid earth. Situated on the fringes of the Loktak Lake is the Keibul Lamjao National Park. Habitat of the endangered dancing deer, the brow antlered deer of Manipur,it is the only floating National Park in the world. Top in the list of places to visit in Imphal, Manipur.
In the midst of Sirio hills and near the Khangkhui Lime Caves is Ukhrul. This district headquarters of Manipur east 83 kms. away is the highest hill station of the state. A centre of colourful warrior tribe Tangkhul Nagas, it is well developed and famous for a peculiar style of land lily, the Siroi grown on the Sirio Hills.Sirio Hills and Kangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursions. Ukhrul bears a gay and festive look during Christmas time. Top in the list of places to visit in Imphal, Manipur.
The festivities and celebration in the North-Eastern states of India are a colourful reflection of the people and their lives. Throughout the year, festivals are celebrated by different people in different ways, most of them centering around their modes of living and livelihood.
Lai Haraoba April/May
Manipur Tourism Festival November
Manipur specialised in handaloom which is a cottage industry in the state and almost every household owns a loom, with women busy in the creation of typical unique native design. Famous among them is the Moirangphee design, believed to have been introduced by Princess Thoibi of Moirang;the Phanek or snake design constituting rd and black stripes symbolic of snakes. Pick up an exotic shawl, tngkhul scarf, lashingphee blanket, cushion cover, bedspread or ready made a garment. choose a handicraft to decorate your home-Krishna Radha dolls in raslila pose, phirooks or decorative pappier mach flower vases, baskets,bamboo trays or just wear a bamboo hat.
Ideal places to buy such handicraft are paona bazaar, where fixed price shops will lessen your shopping worries, Manipur Handloom Sales Emporium, Handloom House and Tribal Emporium and Sangai Handloom, near Gandhi memorial..