Manipur, meaning 'land of jewels' is indeed precious with extreme
natural beauty and unique culture. The tiny state finds Assam in the
West, Mizoram in the South, Nagaland in the North and Myanmar in the
East as its neighbours.
The mother nature picked up the painting brush, selected the various shades of green and blue and then sat to paint the landscape of Manipur in leisure. Every corner of the state bears signature of the alluring beauty of nature, as if mother nature is still resting in the green meadows, serene valleys and deep gorges. But Manipur is not about nature only. The heritage of this tiny state dates back to the ages of Mahabharata. As legend goes, Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, once came here and married Chitrangada, the beautiful princess of Manipur. The divine story of love is still alive in the gestures and postures of the Manipuri Dance, one of the famed classical dances of India.
The state and central government has come up with a number of tour package tourism measures to improve the tourism in this virgin land of beauty.
Imphal - The Capital City
Imphal, the capital of Manipur is the centre of cultural, political and commercial activities of the state. The unique culture of the state is visible in the Khwairamband Bazaar which is run by women clad in colourful and traditional attire selling everything from garments to vegetable. Imphal also flaunts the royal heritage of the state with the old palace and Shri Govindajee Temple located in the heart of the city. The tall Shahid Minar commemorating the Manipuri martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the British in the Anglo-Manipuri war in 1891 commands your attention and tribute.
The Miniature Sea, Loktak Lake
The beautiful lake is a wonder creation of the nature, can be called a miniature inland sea and is the largest fresh water lake in Eastern India. Canoeing in the serene waters of this mammoth water body while watching the marine life and migratory birds is the favourite activity of the tourists here.
Situated at 45 km from Imphal, Moirang is a milestone in Indian independence history where Indian National Army (INA) led by Netaji Subhash Chndra Bose hoisted the first Indian flag on April 14, 1944. The Indian National Army Museum situated here depicts every pros and cons of the India's independence struggle.
Mourning War Cemeteries
The war Cemeteries managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorate the Indian and British soldiers who died during the Second World War. Well maintained with little stone markers and bronze plaques narrates you the blood-soaked history of the world.
Keibul Lamjo National Park
The only floating national park in the world is no less than a wonderland coming out the pages of fairy tales. November to March is the best time to visit the park as the ambience of the island fills with the ecstatic chirping of the migratory birds. The highly endangered brow-antlered deer is found exclusively in this part of the world only. The arrangement of boating and fishing through the lake water while mingling with the wild side of the nature is something which will steal your heart.
Colour of Dance and Festivals in Manipur
A number of festivals round the year being celebrated in Manipur bind the whole state into the colour of festivity and joy. This fragrance of happiness can be felt in the exquisite postures of hand in the classical Manipuri dance form, where the unique attire and facial expression are unparalleled in the world. While in Manipur, tourists make it a point to take part in the archery competition held everyday. But if you want to see some real control and efficiency on the sword and spear, then you need to experience the Thang Ta- the traditional martial art of Manipur.
Manipur is accessed by air through the only airport of the state situated at Imphal. Indian Airlines flights connect Imphal with Delhi via Guwahati on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. Imphal is also connected with Calcutta via Agartala and Silchar by Indian flights.
There is no rail station in Manipur. The nearest rail head is in Dimapur, 215 km from Imphal.
Good motorable roads connect Imphal with Agartala-465 km, Aizwal-374 km, Dimapur-216 km, Guwahati-579 km, Itanagar-413 km, Kaziranga-346 km, Kohima-123 km and Shillong-643 km.
The best way to travel inside the state is by unmetered taxi and private vehicles. Autorickshaw and cycle-rickshaw also available in the capital city, Imphal.