The word Manipur literally means a ‘jeweled town‘, a name that suits the small and picturesque land. The people here are very polite and hospitable. Rich in culture, tradition, and ethnicity. Manipur is one of the 7 northeastern states of India. It is also a state well known for its natural beauty. It comprises 1820 sq.km of flat plateau of alluvial valley and 20507sq.km of hill territory and forms a part of the Himalayan mountain system which carries this cup-shaped wonderland inside its series of hill ranges. Manipur is bounded by Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south, upper Myanmar in the east and Cachar district of Assam in the west.
By virtue of its geographical situation, Manipur is a shining pearl in the Himalayan system. Manipuris call it Meithei Leipak. In the valley Kongba (Imphal), Emeril and Thobal are the big rivers which originate from the hills and flow down into the valley and forms the drain for all waters flowing into the valley carrying them off by Sangu river through the southern ranges of hills further into the Ningthee. The Bark River flows through its western borders. The natural lake Loktak is a big water reservoir of 36 meters depth. It is 8 miles long from north-west to south-east and 5 miles broad at its greatest breadth from the east to west. The dark green Eichornia (water Hyacinth) reed and other aquatic plants float on its surface abundantly. In the valley, there are numerous small lakes and swamps. Encircled by nine hill ranges, Manipur is marked out by a picturesque valley in the midst.
Getting There :
- By Air: Indian Airlines connect Imphal, the capital of Manipur, with major cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Silchar.
- By Rail: Dimapur, 215 km from Imphal, is the closest rail station.
- By Road: Manipur is well linked with the rest of the country by both national and state highways. The state transport corporation plies regularly scheduled buses from Imphal to the other cities in the region.
Fast Facts :
- Area: 22,327 Sq. Km
- Capital: Imphal
- Languages: Manipuri, Hindi, English, Burmese, and Tibeto
- Religion: Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity
- Literacy rate: 57.14%
- Best Time To Visit: October to February
Tourist Attractions :
Manipur’s capital city has blended perfectly into its beautiful natural environment. This pretty town in the heart of the official, commercial and cultural activity of Manipur.
The ancient lake that plays an important role in the economy of the Manipur State. Without the lake, the valley would be a victim of high floods during monsoon and drought during the dry season. It is a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The livelihood of the surrounding population is dependent upon the fish of the lake. In the southeastern region of this lake lies Keibul Lamjao National Park.
Shree Govindajee Temple
Imphal’s historic Vaishnavite center Shree Govindajee Temple is located close to the Royal Palace. This interesting structure with its twin domes has a paved courtyard and a great assembly hall where devotees congregate to participate in various devotional activities. On either side of the presiding deity are the shrines of Krishna and Balaram and Jagannath.T he Ras Leela dance performances held here are exceptional.
Close to Vaithou Lake, on the Indo-Burma Road, a village famous for pineapples. On the lofty heights of the hill at Kaina lies a legendary temple.
Imphal’s Khwairamband Bazar is quite an unusual market. Almost 3000 Imas (mothers), man the stalls in this unique bazaar. Stalls are lined on either side of the road. On one side the stalls hawk anything from farm produce to fresh fish and a great selection of groceries. Opposite these are a row of stalls selling beautiful handlooms and household tools.
Go to see the rare but incredibly graceful sangai brow-antlered deer at the Manipur Zoological Gardens.
Manipur has at least 500 different varieties of orchids. The Central Khonghampat Orchidarium just 7 km away from Imphal offers visitors an excellent opportunity to see at least 110 of species, which are showcased here.
Keibul Lamjao National Park
Keibul Lamjao is famous not just because of the brow-antlered deer; its other claim to fame is the fact that this is one of the very few floating protected areas in the world. This is was made into a sanctuary in 1969 and officially became a national park in 1977. It stretches over an area of 40 sq km, surrounded by marshes, hillocks and the lake itself.