After a long absence, tourism is experiencing a return. The travel prospects for 2022 are looking better than ever. Although, safety and hygiene standards still need to be met due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling in 2022 is rosier.
Manipur may be the spot for you if you’re looking for an interesting location to visit on your next vacation. Manipur, located in a remote region of India and bordering Myanmar, has been dubbed a tiny piece of paradise on earth. Its abundance of natural beauty and myriad sightseeing possibilities will undoubtedly make your trip special.
The Manipur Tourism Department organises events and festivals every year in order to show off the best of the state to visitors from around the world. Shirui Lily Festival, Barak Festival, Manipur Sangai Festival, Manipur International Polo Tournament, Manipur Statehood Day Women’s Polo Tournament, Pineapple Festival, and Orange Festival are a few of its most popular annual festivals.
The top 10 tourist attractions in the state that you absolutely must visit are listed here. But let’s first explore the reasons why you need to travel to Manipur.
Why Manipur is Worth Visiting?
Manipur has the potential to rise to the top of the list of international tourist destinations for natural splendour, adventure, culture, and sports. The state has lush green valleys, hills, rocky streams, waterfalls, and caverns. The state’s rich arts, culture, history, folklore, myths, and tales all serve to enhance its natural beauty.
Intriguing cultural discoveries can be made when you visit the place, including the Manipuri dance forms with their intricate costume designs, the wonder of the Pung-Cholom (Drum Dance), the distinct tribal cultures and their vibrant tribal dances, the artistic local handloom and handicrafts, the exotic cuisines, and the calming native music.
The variety of its indigenous games reflects the state’s strong sporting heritage. Manipur has made a commendable contribution to Indian sports while the game of polo is among Manipur’s greatest offerings to the world. Any interested visitor would find the indigenous sports of Yubi Lakpi (comparable to rugby), Mukna Kangjei, Kang Sanaba, Arambai, Thang-ta (ancient martial arts of Manipur), and Mukna (wrestling) to be an exhilarating experience.
What is the best time to visit Manipur?
The best time of year to visit Manipur is from October through April. This time of year, the weather is pleasant and comfortable, making the trip pleasurable. A reasonably warm summer season lasts from April to June.
Imphal is connected to a number of major Indian cities on a daily basis, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Guwahati. Additionally, Imphal is reachable from two national highways. Although a rail connection is also being worked on, Imphal is now 215 kilometres away from the closest railway station.
Our pick of the top 10 tourist attractions you must visit in Manipur are as follows:
Ema Keithel Market
Ema Keithel, which translates to Mother’s Market, is a popular tourist destination. It is the biggest all-women’s market in the world. The Ema Keithel is still very much a part of Manipur’s history, culture, and identity. The market has been a part of Manipuri culture for a very long time; historical records date it to the 16th century.
Take a memorable dive into the interesting lives of more than 5,000 women vendors at Ema Keithel, where you can get traditional clothing, shawls from various tribes, fruits, vegetables, and a variety of other grocery products.
Do not forget to include the Tharon Cave in your schedule if you are travelling to Manipur; it will undoubtedly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The cave has important historical and archaeological value. The cave, which is 655.6 m long and includes 5 exits and 34 joints, is situated 27 km from the district administrative centre in Tamenglong district. For thousands of years, the Tharon Cave served as a shelter. Items connected to the Hoabinhian civilisation of North Vietnam can be found in the Tharon Cave excavations.
For explorers who choose to explore, a map of the entire cave is etched onto the stone at the entrance. This is to assist cave exploration aficionados in finding all of the cave’s hidden passageways and nooks and crannies. The stone at the entrance has the map painted and carved on it.
Shri Govindajee Temple
The Govindajee temple, an ancient Vaishnavite (Lord Vishnu devotees) centre next to the former Maharajas’ Royal Palace in Manipur, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The temple was initially constructed in 1846 AD while Maharaj Nara Singh reigned as the ruler of Manipur (1844-1850).
Lord Govinda and Goddess Radha idols, as well as statues of Lord Balaram, Lord Jaganath, Goddess Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra, are all kept in the Shree-Shree Govindajee Temple, which is dedicated to Govindajee or Lord Krishna.
The morning aarti ritual, when folk music is played to honour the gods, is the best time to visit the temple. The temple offers the ideal environment for meditation, and Mantop is the best place to experience solitude. Additionally, visitors can reserve prasad in advance and eat a filling vegetarian lunch on the temple grounds.
One of Manipur’s most well-known tourist destinations is Loktak Lake, which is located 53 kilometres from Imphal. It is the biggest freshwater lake in the Northeast. The local term for the floating biomass in Loktak is ‘phumdis.’
In front of the lake, a number of lovely little islands can be seen. The location of Sendra Island in the middle of the lake makes it a favourite spot for picnics, boating, and photography. Additionally, it provides nearby areas with hydel power and water for irrigation.
One is treated to a magnificent scene by the alluring sight of clear water, the maze of boat paths, the surrounding greenery, and the captivating colour of sunset.
Do visit Loktak Lake if you are interested in participating in boating, canoeing, and other water sports!
Keibul Namjao National Park
Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating national park in the world, is situated on the floating Loktak Lake in Manipur. The national park is one of the most stunning tourist destinations in the state, providing a mesmerising view of the lake.
With acres of wetland covered in thick floating vegetation known as phumdis, it is a sight to behold. It is the sole habitat of the Sangai, also known as the Brow-antlered deer or the Manipur dancing deer. Any wildlife enthusiast who visits this particular wetland ecosystem must catch a sight of the deer.
The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including sambar, wild boar, hog deer, and jungle cats, as well as numerous endangered and common bird species, including the East Himalayan pied kingfisher, spotbill duck, ruddy shell-duck, Burmese pied Myna, and Indian white-breasted waterhen; or simply let’s just say it is an ornithologist’s dream.
The Kangla fort, located in the centre of Imphal, is a resounding testament to the colourful past of Manipur. It is one of Manipur’s most significant archaeological sites. It is well-known for its stronghold as well as holy sites like ‘Nungjeng Pukhri’, a sacred pond thought to be the residence of Lord Pakhangba.
Since Kangla was once Manipur’s capital, multiple Meetei kings governed the region from the Kangla Fort until 1891. Kangla holds a particular place in the hearts and imaginations of the people of Manipur as the historical personification of Manipuri Rulers and the people of Manipur.
Another attraction is the Kangla Museum. It exhibits images of the state’s rulers, a model of the Kangla Fort, state maps, and Kangla-related archaeological discoveries. Visitors can still visit the fort from 7 am to 5 pm.
Shirui Kashung Peak
The Shirui Kashong Peak, one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Ukhrul, is located 2,835 metres above sea level. The rivers that traverse Ukhrul and the cracks of the mountain, as well as the Shirui lilies that thrive here, are the two features that make Shirui Kashong Peak famous. Shirui lily is the state flower of Manipur is the Shirui lily. Only located in the Shirui Hill Range, the pinkish-white flower is in full bloom from mid-May each year for a few months.
After a difficult climb, one is rewarded with a heavenly panorama of clouds mesmerizingly circling dappled towns and villages, lush greenery, and dense, tranquil forests.
Shirui Hills is one of the most visited destinations in Manipur and a great spot to relax in the midst of nature because of its stunning beauty, magnificent views, and rich biodiversity.
As travellers frequently face unexpected showers when ascending the mountain, it is important to remember to pack trekking shoes and a raincoat.
Andro village, which is tucked away in the Nongmaiching range’s foothills, about 26 km to the east of Imphal, is the ideal place to temporarily soothe your wanderlust. You may enjoy the ideal village vacation in Andro Village, which has rural-style homes and roads.
Andro houses the Andro Gramshang Museum which features a variety of traditional pots with names like Walom, Pudond Makhong, Yukhum, and Ngangkha. It is also well-known for its doll house which contains a variety of exquisite dolls representing 29 well-known Manipuri tribes. It is among the most distinctive museums in India. It was established in 1993 with the help of renowned anthropologist Mutua Bahadur, who served as its first curator, with the goal of sustaining and preserving traditions and practices.
The best time to visit Andro is the period immediately after the monsoons. Andro is the ideal go-to place if you ever want to reminisce about Manipur magnificent past or if you want to take a break from your regular busy schedule.
Khangkhui Cave, also known as Khangkhui Mangsor, is a remarkable natural lime-stone formation and a great example of mother nature’s inventiveness. It is situated 94 kilometres from Imphal and 16 km on the eastern side of Ukhrul.
Khangkhui Mangsor Cave is linked to numerous myths and folktales. According to local folklore, the northern hall serves as the royal bedroom while the large hall in the cave serves as the darbar hall of the devil King who lives deep inside. Not only that, but during World War II the locals used the Khangkhui cave as a shelter.
The cave is one of the oldest archaeological sites in India. Numerous significant Paleolithic artefacts have been uncovered by archaeologists. Large sedimentary limestone formations might be seen while visiting the location.
Finding a way out of the darkness is a mystifying and singular experience for people who are just entering it, which makes it the most fascinating aspect of the trip.
Sadu Chiru Falls
Discover the peace and tranquilly of the Sadu Chiru Waterfall, also known as Leimaram Waterfall, which is around 25 kilometres from Imphal. Sadu Chiru Waterfall, which is quietly tucked away among the Senapati district’s gentle, rolling hills, will enchant and seduce you with its breath-taking sight. Your inner explorer will undoubtedly come out as you travel the picturesque route to the waterfall through the hills’ lush vegetation, and the stone steps up to the falls will reawaken your inner child.
Sadu Chiru Waterfall, which cascades from a height of around 300 metres, is a captivating sight for visitors to enjoy. In addition, the mist that rises from the lake and spreads around the area evokes feelings of tranquillity.
Overall, it is a pleasure to visit this lovely tourist location in Senapati. The months of October through March are the ideal times to see Sadu Chiru waterfall.
Manipur is a fascinating place for a traveller to discover. There are numerous other well-known tourist destinations and sites to see in Manipur that will amaze you.
It is undoubtedly a paradise for those who enjoy the outdoors and the ideal destination for a tranquil getaway. Plan a vacation to Manipur and be sure to visit each of these sights for a fun-filled getaway!