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Things To Do In Manipur
Manipur is an evergreen tourist destination situated in the heart of northeast India. The state of splendid natural beauty that is packed with vibrant rolling landscapes, dense forests and magnificent hilltops, Manipur is every nature lover's dream come true. Travellers are attracted to not just Manipur’s spectacular beauty but also to its enticing culture that perfectly complements the region’s eccentric ambience. Manipur also has plenty to offer to its visitors in terms of scrumptious food, warm hospitality and exciting activities that is bound to keep you busy for days. Check out our recommendations on the top things to do when you visit Manipur.
Boating in Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake is situated about 50 km away from the capital city of Imphal and is one of the most popular attractions of Manipur, which has actually led to the construction of bamboo lodges in the region to bring in more tourists to the lake area. Spread over an area of almost 300 sq. km., 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 a favourite among both tourists and locals here, 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. Since there is no access to public vehicles here, visitors can reach the lake through private or shared taxis.
Bird-Watching at Tamenglong
One of the most tranquil locations in Manipur, Tamenglong is filled with unexplored forests, waterfalls and roaring rivers that will appeal tremendously to the nature-lover inside you. While its delightful meadows and beautiful landscapes are incomparable, the region is most popular among bird-watchers who visit to catch a glimpse of the exotic Hornbill bird. Also known as the ‘Land of the Hornbill’, there are several species of the bird found here, making it a mecca for bird lovers. Other places of interest here are the Zeilad Lake, Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary, the Barak waterfall and the Tharon cave.
Trekking in Ukhrul
Ukhrul is the perfect place in Manipur to enjoy a trekking excursion amidst the state’s scenic splendour and natural beauty. The picturesque destination would easily remind visitors of the English countryside, with several trekking trails that would be well-suited to people of all fitness levels. Some of the best places of interest here are the Khayang and Shirui Kashung Peak, Khangkhui Cave, Nillai tea estate, Kachou Phung lake and several other local attractions that are sure to make you want to come back for more.
Visit Thoubal – A Trekker’s Paradise
Like Ukhrul, Thoubal is another favourite among trekking enthusiasts who prefer to completely lose themselves in the lush greenery of nature. The region is covered in lakes, rivers and roads enveloped with banyan and bamboo trees. Once you hike up to the highest spots in Thoubal, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Thoubal river and the city of Imphal. Fruit-bearing plants seen in the verandahs of most locals here increases the homely ambience of the region, with the People’s Museum here offering immense insight into the region’s cultural history. Thoubal is truly a great blend of nature and culture, which makes this spot one of the most interesting locations in Manipur.
Visit the Places of Worship in Bishnupur
Bishnupur is a famous site for pilgrims in Manipur. The region is packed with numerous temples that won’t just appeal to your spiritual side but also to the architecture enthusiast in you. Much like most other places in Manipur, Bishnupur is also covered in sprawling grasslands and lush green forests. Nonetheless, the splendid beauty of the landscapes does not take away an ounce of the magnificence of its monuments and ancient structures. Irrespective of your religious inclinations, Bishnupur has some of the most impressive temples you will ever see; 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.
Visit the Keibul Lamjao National Park
The famous Keibul Lamjao National Park is located near the south-eastern part of the Loktak Lake and is best known for being home to the exotic Eld’s deer species. Also known as the brow-antlered deer, this fascinating animal has been on the endangered species list of the IUCN and was first seen in Manipur in the year 1839. A wide range of other terrestrial animals like the wild boar, hog deer, musk shrew, the Indian civet etc. can also be seen here, apart from avifaunal species like the black kite, lesser skylark, Burmese pied mynah and the East Himalayan pied kingfisher. Moreover, the Keibul Lamjao National Park is also the only ‘floating national park’ in the world; the secret behind the name is best discovered upon your visit to the park.
Shop at Ima Keithel Women's Market
Even if shopping is not your cup of tea, visiting the legendary Ima Keithel market in Imphal should definitely be on your to-do list when visiting Manipur. The market is almost a century old and is predominantly run by women, which lends it its name. Here, visitors can find a wide range of regional items available for purchase, like cheap fruits and vegetables to even local fabrics, dresses and handicrafts. About 3000 women come here every day to set up their stalls and earn an honest and hard-working day’s living. Everything available here is quintessentially Manipuri, with even the buildings showcasing Manipuri motifs. Once you’re done with the shopping, don’t forget to stop by the snack shops here for a quick bite.
Explore the Scenic Landscapes of Senapati
Senapati is a hamlet truly blessed with nature’s bounty and an intriguing hideout that will prove to be an ideal escape for anyone looking for a cultural insight into Manipur. About 80% of Senapati is covered in luxurious and dense forests, while the rest of it is inhabited by the local villagers. The beautiful landscapes have shimmering streams and rugged mountains spread out over large areas that are home to diverse flora and fauna and make Senapati seem nothing short of heaven on earth. Most visitors who come here prefer to spend their day exploring the woodlands followed by an evening of interacting with the locals. The villagers here are very welcoming and may even offer to cook you a meal. Senapati is also a great place to go hiking and exploring the different tourist spots here like Makhel Cave, Sadu Chiru waterfalls, Dzuko valley and many others.
Explore the Treasures of Imphal
The capital of Manipur, Imphal is an obvious choice on everyone’s list when travelling to this state. Located within the heart of Manipur, Imphal is packed with significant historical landmarks, glittering waterfalls and lakes, majestic hilltops and picturesque valleys. Apart from these, the city area of Imphal is constantly buzzing with energy and a lively crowd of locals, the streets cluttered with vendors selling regional specialities like ngari (fermented fish), local spices and puppets. Imphal flaunts a perfect balance of rich heritage and commercial city culture, offering visitors the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds here.
Celebrate the Local Fairs & Festivals
Manipur celebrates numerous festivals each year, all of which carry special importance to all the natives of this state. Music and traditional dances form a significant part of most of these festivals. The Manipuri New Year, known as Cheirouba, is a major annual event here. The Yaosang festival is celebrated during the month of February/March on a full moon night, which serves as a form of welcome for the spring season. The Kut festival marks the beginning of harvest season and is characterized by drinks flowing free, lavish feasts and plenty of merrymaking.