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Manipur Tourism And Travel Guide
12° C / 53.6° F
October to March
4 to 7 Days
Imphal Tulihal Airport (8 kms)
Dimapur Railway Station (200 kms)
Manipur is one of seven states in northeast India and is bordered by Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south, Myanmar in the east and Assam in the west. For centuries, Manipur has been at the crossroads for Asian culture and economic exchange, which has helped shape the state into a currently thriving hub of tourism. Manipur is also the birthplace of the classical dance Raasleela, which holds a significant position in the country’s cultural map. Add to this the splendour of its natural beauty and one understands why Manipur is nicknamed the ‘jewel of India’. Check out our comprehensive travel guide on Manipur and plan your trip today.
How to Reach
Manipur’s only airport is located in Imphal, the capital of the state. Located about 8 km away from the city centre, the Imphal Tulihal Airport operates regular domestic flights to various cities across the country. Both public and private transportation are easily available at the airport and everywhere else in Imphal to take you to other parts of Manipur.
Since there is no direct railway connectivity to Manipur, tourists who prefer to travel via railways can do so by catching a train to either Dimapur or Guwahati. Dimapur Railway Station is situated about 200 km away from Imphal, whereas Guwahati Railway Station is about 500 km away. There are buses and taxis available from either railway station to Imphal and other regions in Manipur.
Travellers can choose to get onto a bus, hire a private taxi or even drive themselves to Imphal from neighbouring towns and cities. There are a number of economical private bus options available from the towns Dimapur, Kohima, Agartala, Aizwal, Itanagar and Shillong. Daily buses from Dimapur and Guwahati ply NH 2 and NH 27, 29 and 2 respectively to take tourists back and forth to Imphal.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Winter (October - March):
The best time to visit Manipur, winters here remain pleasantly cool during the afternoons with chilly cold weather during the nights. January is the coldest time of the year, and the temperature can even reach zero degrees during this month. The ambience of the entire region during winters is laid-back and cosy, which is why most tourists choose these months to plan their trip to Manipur and enjoy the local hotspots.
Summer (April - July):
Summers are a good time to visit Manipur, which does occasionally get moderately warm and humid but rarely ever too hot to enjoy the outdoors. The average temperature ranges between 16⁰C to 36⁰C during the afternoon, with the early morning and late evening hours being the most pleasant times of the day. City excursions and sightseeing tours can be organised easily for tourists as well, especially during the early summer months.
Monsoon (June - September):
Monsoons in Manipur are associated with moderate rainfall, which is somewhere around 1500 mm annually. Due to the unpredictability of the weather and travel connectivity issues, most tourists are advised against planning a trip during this time. The temperature hovers around a range of 23-30⁰C, with June being the rainiest month of the season. Travellers who love rain though may still be interested in visiting Manipur during these months to enjoy the vibrant green beauty of the region.
Things to Do
Boating in Loktak Lake:
Loktak Lake is often referred to as the ‘Floating Lake’ and is made up of several small islands and diverse masses of vegetation, which are locally known as phumdis. Boating on the Loktak Lake is one of the most popular activities in Manipur, which combined with lovely views of colourful fishes swimming in the lake and the backdrop of the picturesque mountains will prove to be an extremely rejuvenating experience for everyone.
Explore the Treasures of Imphal:
Located within the heart of Manipur, Imphal is packed with significant historical landmarks, glittering waterfalls and lakes, majestic hilltops and picturesque valleys. The streets of Imphal are constantly buzzing with activity and make up the true essence of Manipuri city culture. Visitors to Imphal are promised the best of both worlds in the form of rich historical heritage and local city culture that is evident in every inch of the town.
Visit the Places of Worship in Bishnupur:
Bishnupur is packed with numerous temples that won’t just appeal to your spiritual side but also to the architecture enthusiast in you. The best ones worth checking out include the Jor Bangla Temple, Dal Madol, Shyamraj Temple, Radha Shyam Temple, Pancha Ratana Temple, and the Sridhara Temple. The pilgrim hub of Manipur, Bishnupur receives large crowds of both devotees and tourists who visit to marvel at the magnificence of these monuments.
Where to Shop
The most famous marketplace in Manipur is the Ima Keithel market in Imphal, which is completely run by thousands of women and is a must-visit if you are looking for some brilliant pieces of local fabrics and handicrafts. The Moreh Tamu International Market is located at the Indo-Myanmar border and is a place where you’ll find plenty of options with local crafts, native fruits and vegetables and a unique range of snack shops. The best items worth taking back with you when shopping in Manipur have to be the phaneks (the Manipuri sarong worn by women), different types of locally made pottery and blackware, and native designs of jewellery and handicrafts.
What to Eat
Manipuris are known for most of their produce being organic, with plenty of fish and rice included in their regular consumption as well. There is nothing better than enjoying a good thali filled with all of Manipur’s regional dishes, which can be found anywhere in the state. One of the best local dishes that should be tried on your trip to Manipur is Nga Thonga – a classic fish curry; pair it up with Alu kangmet, a side dish made with potatoes and you end up with a hearty meal. Chamthong is a famous vegetable stew, also known as Kangshoi, which is the perfect alternative for vegetarians. Eromba is another favourite among locals that is made with boiled vegetables and a type of fermented fish. Singju is a type of salad enjoyed here immensely, which may sound simple but is made with a whole lot of vegetables, making it quite a complex dish. End your meal with the Chak hao kheer, which is a nice shade of purple and is made with rice and milk.