“WHY ONE SHOULD VISIT MANIPUR …”
“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before” -DALAI LAMA
Manipur, a destination of unspoilled nature is endowed with exotic beauty, reflected in its picturesque landscape encircled by lush green forest mountains, an oval shaped valley and varried flora and fauna. No wonder, Manipur is being described as “the Switzerland of India” by Lord Irwin or as “the Land of Jewels” by Jawaharlal Nehru. Sitting pretty between Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram, and bordering Myanmar at the eastern side with its distinctive identity and vibrant cultures, Manipur is the centre of the seven sisters and one brother of the North-East India. The undulating state of Manipur is bestowed with its pleasant sub-tropical climate through out the year. And if one is a nature lover, Manipur is the dream destination. Here are some few leading tourist destination one should not miss it on your tour to Manipur.
Imphal is the capital of Manipur. Before heading out of town into its great outdoors, one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Imphal valley. The main attractions of the Imphal city includes the Kangla Fort, the Ima Market and the Polo Ground.A visit to Kangla, the ancient palace of the royals unfolds the proud history of the erstwhile Asiatic countries dating back to 33 A.D. A few distance away from the western gate of Kangla lies the “Ima Market”, the world’s only all women market at Khwairamband Bazaar. Here one would find display of local products, exotic colourful handicrafts and handloom items. Opposite of the Khwairamband Market, is the world’s oldest Polo Ground. Believe it or not? It was the Manipuris who gave the world the modern game of Polo ( locally called Sagol Kangjei ).
The principle attraction of Manipur has got to be the Loktak Lake located at the Bishnupur district, considered to be one of the largest fresh water bodies in North East India. Also, the only floating National park of India known as “The Keibul Lamjao National Park” is located at an integral part of Loktak lake. This place is the lone habitat of the rarest brow antler deer “The Sangai”. Another place of pride is the Indian National Army (INA) Complex at Moirang. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose hoisted the National Flag at this spot for the very first time on April 14, 1944.
One of the best ways to enjoy the enchanting scenery of Manipur is to escape to the hilly region which occupies almost 90% of the state total land areas. One should not miss to visit to Shirui Kashong peak in Ukhrul district, which is the home to the most marvelled and rarerest flower “Shirui Lily”. This shade-loving lily has bluish-pink petals and blooms in the month of may-june. Its unique characteristics is that this plant can’t grow in any part of the world besides the Shirui hills
Moving towards the border between the Senapati district of the state and the Nagaland state lies the beautiful and charming Dzuko Valleys. The rare Dzuko Lily is found only in this valley. This place of scenic beauty is an ideal place for trekking and hikking.
Another destination for adventure lovers is to escape to the majestic mountains and awe-inspiring valleys of Tamenglong district. The Bunning meadows located at the western side of Tamei town commands a wonderful view of numbers of small hillocks, glittering brooks, chirping birds, colourful orchids and lilies. The sun rise in Bunning is extra ordinarily beautiful. The mysterious Tharon caves in Tharon village of Tamenglong is another stunning destination. The amazing rock structure of this cave will take your breathe away. The legendary Zeilad Lake in the middle of the dense forest at Makoi is another ideal place for adventure lovers to visit. It is also an ideal place for boating, fishing and romantic outdoor. Next, the Barak River which is the largest river of Manipur is so beautiful that who would believe that such paradise existed in the deep forest untouched by human hands. Along the river Barak there are seven waterfalls in series in close ranges. It is an ideal spot for water lovers for rafting and picnicking.
Manipur has been considered to be the “Gateway to South East Asian” countries through Moreh town under Chandel District. Moreh town, with India’s international border with Myanmar is the only feasible land route for trade between India and Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries. One can venture out for shopping at the Tamu town market and get to enjoy the Kabaw valley of Myanmar via Moreh, Manipur.
Last but not the least, it is not easy to verbulate the beauty of the land of Manipur – a land with deep rooted ancient culture, a land honoured to be explored. Once one has visited Manipur, one will agree that what began as a dream lives on as an unforgettable experience.
-Written By FLORA REMEI.