The untouched beauty of north-east India is hard to miss. Manipur is one such place, which is known for its abundant natural beauty and scenic pleasures. The picturesque state has lots to offer to enthusiastic travelers from all over the world. Very aptly called “Switzerland of India” by Lord Irwin and “A Pretty Place more beautiful than many show places of the world” by St. Clair Grimwood, Manipur is a true beauty to visit for a memorable vacation in the valleys of north-east.
Manipur is derived from two words “Mani”, which means Jewel and “Pur”, which means Place. Pt Nehru thus also called this place as the “Jewel of India”. With rolling hills, dense forests, green meadows, beautiful blue lakes and streams make this place a real delicacy to visitors who love to bask in the glory of nature and its blessed beauty. The region is surrounded by nine sub Himalayan ranges, which adds to the beauty of it. Indian Holiday lets you wander though the natural beauties of Manipur and know about its traditional and cultural practices.
What to do in Manipur:
Manipur has so much to offer that you have too much to do in this tiny state with Imphal as its capital. From the natural treasures of refreshing waterfalls, green valleys and a collection of wildlife to the manmade attractions such as temples, museums and historical places, you have lots to catch up on during your Manipur visit. The state is also famous for its rich cultural presence, which has made a mark in the world. From folk Khamba Thoibi dance to the classic Manipuri Mridanga or Pung, you will surely fall in love with Manipur and its various cultural treats. Participating in the various fairs and festivals of Manipur is equally thrilling an experience for travel enthusiasts. What to do in Manipur is thus not a difficult question.
Top attractions in Manipur:
This north-eastern state has lots to offer to its travelers. The state is neighbored by Mizoram, Assam and Nagaland. Some of the must-see attractions of this state are:
War Cemetery:The memories of Second World War are still afresh with the War Cemetery preserving the graves of the heroes. The stone markers with bronze plaques have inscriptions that tell about the heroes and their chivalrous story in brief. These graves are maintained by Commonwealth War Graves and draw tourists from all over the globe.
Govindajee Temple:Govindajee Temple is one of the most famous and ancient temples in India. It was built in the 18th century. This is a Vaishnavite Temple. The structure of this temple is significant for its two golden domes. It also consists of a congregation hall and a paved court. Predominantly a Vishnu Temple, this religious set up also has idols of Lord Balaram apart from Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath.
Singda:Singda is one of the most picturesque locations to have a get-together or picnic. It is located at a height of 921 meters. The place lies at a distance of 16 kilometers from the capital city of Imphal. Visitors can take some rest at the Inspection Bunglow, which is kept for the same purpose. The place also has an artificial lake and the well constructed Singdam Dam, which adds to the beauty of the place.
Manipur Zoological Garden:Manipur Zoological Garden is another tourist attraction to be explored in the state. It lies at a distance of about 6 kilometers from Imphal. A range of wild creatures can be found at this garden, some of which are endangered too such as brow-antlered deer. The garden is located in Iroishemba.
Keibul Lamjao National Park:Wildlife enthusiasts must also visit Keibul Lamjao National Park. The place shelters different species of wild creatures. The natural greenery of the location is a great attraction to people looking for some freshness away from the city life.
Bishnupur:Bishnupur is one of the must-visit locations in Manipur. The place is known for its natural beauty and the famous temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was built in the year 1467 and is a true example of Chinese architecture with exquisite designs adorning the walls. Bishnupur is also famous for Redhill, which witnessed the war between the Japanese and the British in the Second World War. The place also has the largest fresh water lake called, Loktak Lake.
Sahid Minar:Sahid Minar in Manipur is dedicated to the martyrs of Manipur who gave their lives fighting for Indian independence. This is a major tourist attraction in the state.
Langthabalis:Langthabalis is a famous place in Manipur. The location shelters some of the ancient historical structures and relics. There are well preserved temples to visit as well. Langthabalis also has excellent picnic spots and draws tourists from far off places every year with its beauty and serenity.
Festivals in Manipur:
Manipur has a mosaic of traditional cultures, which have been carried through the ages. Being a part of the various colorful fairs and festivals, you can get a glimpse of their vibrant culture and take back cherished memories of the same. Some of such festivals are:
Yaoshang Festival:The Yaoshang Festival is observed for five days. It’s an important festival celebrated with great enthusiasm in the state. The festival takes place in the months February/ March. As per the Hindu calendar, this is also known as the Phagun month. One of the main highlights of this festival is the Thabal Chongba, which is a folk dance performed by the local people during the festival.
Gang-Ngai:This festival is celebrated by the Kabui Naga tribe. They are one of the oldest tribes of Manipur. Gang- Ngai is celebrated during the months of December/ January. It is observed over the five days.
Kut Festival:Kut Festival celebrates the good harvest in the state. The festival is mainly celebrated by the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribe of the state. This grand festival is celebrated during the month of November. The festival is marked by ceremonies, which are conducted to thank the deity for good harvest every year.
What not to do in Manipur:
To help you have a memorable journey in and around Manipur, there are a few don’ts to follow. Take a look at some of the things you must avoid doing in the state.
- One cannot get into the state without the Inner-line permit.
- Stay safe from tribal militants
- Carry important phone numbers such as police, hospital and other emergency numbers
- Imphal is safe though other areas must not be visited without prior information and green signal from the government and the tourism department of the state.
- Areas with ‘disturbed’ status must not be visited during the period.
- Do not disturb, mock or tease the local tribe.
- Do not travel without the state map, as this would help you to trace your locations and even trace back your steps incase you get lost.
- Do inform your hotel about your whereabouts and leave your contact details so that they can contact you in emergency.
- Do not carry too much of cash.
- Do not carry too much of luggage.
- Don’t trust strangers or take food or drink from them.
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