Destination Galore Imphal:The Capital of Manipur, Imphal is a busting minimetropolis situated at a height of 790 m. above the sea level.
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.
A unique all women's market, having 3,000 or more "Imas" or mothers who run the stalls. It is splited into two sections on either side of a road. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools on the other.
The centre of Manipur's power till 1891, the historical embodiment of Manipur Rulers and the people of Manipur, Kangla have a significant place in the heart and mind of the people of Manipur Govindajee temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and culture of Manipur and her civilization.
A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining Manipur's former Maharajas' Royal Palace, the Govindajee temple is one of the most attractive sights for the tourists. Twin domes, a paved courtyard, and a large raised congregation hall form a perfect backdrop for priests who descend the steps, to accept offerings from devotees in the courtyard. The shrines of Lord Krishna and Balaram and Jagannath flank the two sides of the presiding deity. Early hours Prayer (Aarti) is a must for devoted followers, exudingspiritual fervour and ecstasy.
This interesting Museum near the Polo Ground has a fairly good collection and display of Manipur's tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur's former rulers. Particularly interesting items are costumes, arms & ammunitions, relics and historical documents.
Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II, these War Cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene are well maintained, the War Cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.
Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroisemba is only 6 kms. on the Imphal-Kangchup Road at the foot of the pine growing hillocks . Here apart from various endangered species, tourists can have an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest & endangered species in the world, in sylvan surroundings.
This tiny lake located near the Tiddim Road on N.H. 150 at Bishnupur is a retreat for visitors from within and outside the state. Boating facilities and the scenic beauty of the
place is able to mesmerise the visitors.
10 kms. from Imphal on National Highway No. 39 is the Central Orchidarium which covers 200 acres and houses over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include dozens of endemic species. The peak blooming season is March-April.
27 kms. from Imphal on the Tiddim Road, is a picturesque town situated at the foot hills that rolls down to the valley. The 15th century Vishnu Temple built of peculiarly small bricks supposedly of Chinese influence during the reign of King Kiyamba is of a historical importance. Bishnupur is also famous for its chiselled stoneware.
Red Hill is a hillock about 16 kms. from Imphal on Tiddim Road (NH - 150). It is a thrilling spot where the British and the Japanese fought a fierce battle during World War II. War Veterans had constructed "India Peace Memorial" a monument in memory of Japanese soldiers who died in the battle. It is a place of pilgrimage for Japanese tourists.
About 20 Kms. from Imphal beside the Tiddim Road (NH150) is a picturesque site famous for its perennial Water Fall in a scenic foot hill. There are three waterfall spots. This is a newly open tourist spot.
16 kms. from Imphal towards west, is a health resort on the hills over-looking the Manipur valley. The scenery is picturesque and worth seeing. With the construction of Singda Dam here, the place has become one of the important picnic spots.
48 Kms. from Imphal, is the largest fresh water lake in the North East Region. From the Tourist Bunglow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird's eye view of life on the Lake small islands that are actually floating weeds on which the Lake-dwellers live in the backdrop of the shimmering blue water of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached Cafeteria is an ideal tourist spot. Boating and other water sports are organised here in Takmu Water Sports Complex.
45 kms. from Imphal, and situated near the Loktak lake, this town is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture with the ancient temple 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 year. This town also has a special place in the history of the Indian Freedom struggle. It was at Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first unfurled on April 14, 1944. The INA Museum containing letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other memorabilia reminds the visitors of the noble sacrifices made by the INA under the charismatic leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The only floating National Park in the world, on the Loktak Lake is the last natural habitat of the Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii) the dancing deer of Manipur. A glimpse of the deer in this unique wetland ecosystem is a must for any wildlife enthusiast. Other wildlife to mention a few are: Hog deer, Otter and a host of water fowls and migratory birds can also be sighted during November to March. The forest Department of Manipur maintains watch towers and two rest houses within the park.
Khongjom War Memorial, 36 kms. from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road is a major historical place. It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valor against the superior might of the invading British Army in 1891. The hillock at 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 has been constructed on the top of Kheba hill; and Khongjom day is celebrated every year on 23rd April.
This Museum, a Cultural Complex is at Andro village (about 26 kms.) from the capital. Here artifacts of the State and from all over the North East are housed, such as pottery collection,rare coins,rare manuscripts of the state, paintings, basketries, bell metals, jewelleries, wood carving etc. There are exact replicas of the houses from different tribes and groups of the state like: Poumai, Kabui, Meitei, Kuki, Tangk0hul etc.
This is a busy market town on the Indo-Myanmar border, located at a distance of 110 kms. from Imphal. A commercial town and a real shopping paradise for shoppers where sundry products ranging from electronics to daily consumables are available in plenty. This place holds importance for the visiting tourists not only for being a border town but also for providing a unique opportunity to experience the different cultures, lifestyles of Myanmar through its border town at Tamu which is only 5 kms. away from here. There are ample hotels of medium range providing comfortable stay at Moreh.
It is on the Tiddim Road, 60 kms. from Imphal and is one of the most beautiful places for sightseeing and holidaying. It is a bustling tribal town and district headquarter where products of arts and crafts of the area are available in the local market. Kuki-Chin-Mizo are the dominant tribes.
Ukhrul, the highest hill station of the state is located at a distance of 83 kms. to the east of Imphal. Ukhrul is well developed and is a centre of a colourful warrior tribe, the Tangkhul Nagas. Siroi Hills and Khangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursions. Siroi Hills: Ukhrul is also known for a peculiar type of land-lily, the Siroi Lily, grows on the Siroi hills at a height of 8,500 ft. This beautiful lily growing only in this part of world blooms during May-June. Tangkhul is one of the oldest and major tribes of Manipur.
Deep gorges, mysterious caves, splendid waterfalls and exotic orchids are what you will find in this district headquarters of Tamenglong District. The Tharon cave, Buning meadow, Zilad lakes, Barak Waterfalls are some of the places of tourist interest. Rongmei, Lengmei, Zemei Nagas are dominant tribes of Tamenglong. This beautiful place is located at a distance of 156 kms. from Imphal.
It is the district headquarters of the northern hill district Senapati on the National Highway No. 39. Some historical places which are unique in itself and worth visiting are the old village of Yangkhullen, built on a steep hill, Makhel, the place where the common origin of the Nagas is believed to have started, the unexplored Haolaipai Supao Deikulu cave in Phuba Thapham, Dzuko valley besides many others which still lay unseen and unheard to the outside world. Mao is the oldest hill station in the State located on the Manipur Nagaland border.
It is a very beautiful green valley and the mostpicturesque place in Senapati District bordering Nagaland. It is famous for its rare terrestrial lily called Dzuko Lily and the enchanting snow clad valley during January & February. The highest peak of Manipur Mount Iso is also located behind this valley.