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Manipur - A Jeweled Land
A jeweled land or Manipur is also known as “A Little Paradise on Earth”. The natural settings of Manipur look even more beautiful for its green and oval shaped geographical area. Jawaharlal Nehru was incredulous seeing the scenic beauty of Manipur and named the place as “Switzerland of the East”. Manipur is bounded by many tall mountains and flowers are flourishing on the lash green gorge of Manipur. Small ponds are the lifelines of the state. Colorful birds, Burmese peacocks, leopards are the inhabitants which amble on the undulating surface of the hills. Fascinating orchards around the state have more than 500 species of orchids.
Women of the state take the responsibilities of all the activities of the state and business affairs. When the state was under the control of the British, the Indian National Army (built by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose) had fought against them and got back the control of some parts of the state. In 1972, Manipur became an Indian state. The political turmoil is definitely not helping the state to improve its tourism business. So, it is mandatory to know the latest political and social condition of Manipur before you make a plan to visit.
It has Mayanmar in the east, Mayanmar and Mizoram in the south, Nagaland in the north and Assam in the west. The state is covering an area of 22,356 square km and it has 9 districts. Even though 10% of the state is located on the plains but rests of the portions of the state are situated at an elevation of 2000 meters. Shaan communities are the natural inhabitants of the plains where as more than 29 tribal communities are the residents of the hills. All of them follow the Christian religion.
Manipur is famous for its natural milieu in the vicinity but the special forms of dances like Pung Chalam, and Mridanga are popularly known through out the world. Rash is the main festival of Manipur. Educational institutes and offices enjoy 5 days of holidays for this propitious festival of Manipur. Apart from Rash yatra, Lai-Harobo and Basanta utsav are the other well known festivals of Manipur.
People of Manipur like to play the games like Polo, Hockey, Mukna Kangjei and Rugby Euby Luckpy. Manipur organizes a sporting event during October-November.
Dexterously and gracefully woven textiles produced in every households of Manipur are worthy of mention and this has become a lucrative profession for the people of Manipur. Tables, Mats, Bags, Bed covers along with different types of stylish materials and furniture, built by bamboo are the attractive crafts of Manipur.
68% of lands are covered by the rich forests. But farming is the chief and foremost profession of the people of Manipur. Inhabitants of Manipur are creative and expert in war front.
The capital of Manipur, Imphal, is covered by different known and unknown flora. Orchids are there at both the sides of the tracts of Imphal.
Manipuri language is the mother tongue of the people of Manipur. Bengali culture and customs are reflected on their lifestyles. Coat and dhoti are the dresses of men whereas women feel comfortable in their traditional outfit called Fanek.
Imphal (Yum means home and Fhal means collection), located at an elevation of 790 meters, is nestled in the valley of Manipur. Natural indwellers of Imphal are known as Imfhaal.
The beautiful and picturesque city is surrounded by tall mountains. Imphal is spreading over an area of 17.84 square km. Imphal is the cultural and business hub of Manipur.
One of the chief attractions of Imphal is Khwairamband market or Imma market. Women are the sellers there. Woven textiles and handicrafts like bedcovers, and bags attract a number of tourists. Arguably, this is the only market in India where women are the key sellers. Language can act as a barrier though. Thangal market and Paona market are the well decorated markets of Imphal.
Langthabale, about 8 km off the city, on the Indo-Burma road, houses the wonderful and ancient palace of the king. There are few temples in the shades of the Pine trees as well. Nehru Institute is also situated there.
Sri Govindaji temple, located at a distance of 2 km from the palace, is a prime attraction. Balaram, sri Krishna, and Jagannath are the deities in the temple. Two pillars of the temple are built by gold. Dancing festivals on the premise of the temple are very common. Take a walk to the nearby temple of Mahabali Thakur to witness the mysticism of the temple. Monkeys in the adjoining areas can cause some problems for you. So, it is better to be careful.
Manipur state museum, located adjacent to the polo ground, is well known in the proximity due to its archeological pictures, collection of historical attires, and books. Mutua museum is another coveted spot which is famous for its anthology of architectural sculptures, coins and woven clothes. Sahid Minar, built in the memories of the freedom fighters, is located in central Imphal. Imphal war symmetry, located on the Imphal-Dimapur road, is the memorial of the British soldiers who have lost their lives in the war. Take a walk and visit Manipur cultural central, Nupilal memorial complex, and Gandhi memorial. Besides Imphal war symmetry there is another striking commemorative which is situated on the Imphal-Ukhrul road.
If you visit Imphal during Aril- May then don’t forget to see 120 species of orchids in Khonam Park, covering an area of 200 acres. The zoo, located at a distance of 6 km Imphal, showcases tigers, beer, lions, leopards and deer.
Heikru Hitong-ba or the boat race is also an imperative enticement of Imphal. If you are Bengali then enjoy the calm and mild atmosphere of Kali temple.
Click here for the official site of Manipur.
How to reach: You can reach Imphal by road from Silchar and Dimapur. Silchar and Dimapur railway stations are connected by railways to Kolkata. You can also reach Imphal by Indian Airlines flight from Kolkata International airport.
Where to stay: Oriental Lodge, Grand Hotel, Imphal Tourist Hotel, Hotel Excellency and Hotel Prince. Check our Hotel Booking links below: