Hemmed in by beautiful hills, Manipur is one of the seven states of Northeast India. It shares its borders with Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west and the country of Myanmar in the east. Its rich cultural heritage and abundant natural beauty make it a famous attraction of Northeast India. Art, dance, music, theater and martial arts are intricately wove into the cultural fabric of this land which can be seen in its fairs and festivals. No celebration in Manipur is complete without music or dance. Manipuri is a classical dance form of India which originated in this state and today is appreciated internationally.
Travel to Manipur and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of its majestic mountains, picturesque valleys and colorful celebrations. Imphal is the capital city of this state which was once the capital of King Pakhangba. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru affectionately dubbed Manipur as the 'Jewel of India'.
Language spoken: Manipuri
Some of the famous Attractions of Manipur are:
Shree Govindajee Temple
Located adjacent to the palaces of the erstwhile rulers of the then kingdom, it is a famous temple here. Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha, the temple is located in Imphal and was built in the 18th century. Located near the temple is the palace with historic significance. During celebration of Holi, youngsters give dance performance inside the temple complex.
Located near Imphal city, this lake is the largest freshwater lakes in East India. It is a home to a variety of flora and fauna. Considering its socio-economic importance, the lake was given the title 'the wetland of international importance' by the Ramsar Convention in the year 1990. Peppered with floating Phundies, the lake is also called the 'Floating lake'.
Keibul Lamjao National Park
Located near the Loktak lake, this Park is the place where you can see the endangered Manipur brow-antlered deer(Cervus eldi eldi) and python(Python molurus molu). A variety of other wildlife species are also found here such as hog deer, boar, wild cats, and panthers. During the winter season some migratory birds can also be witnessed in this park.
Manipur State Museum
It is a treasure trove displaying a variety of art and crafts of Manipur. It is one of the finest museums of Northeast India which was established in the year 1969. Giving an insight in to the glorious history of Manipur, the artifacts inside the museum are wonderful. There are several galleries inside the museum and each gallery is dedicated to a particular theme. Some of the artifacts displayed inside the museum are Manipuri costumes, war implements, historical documents and relics, sculptures of the local forest deities, the motif of the Phakangba(the man who could turn himself into a dragon) and portraits of the erstwhile rulers.
It is the place with the graves of the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country in the World War II. The graves have stone markers and bronze plaques with the names of the soldiers.
Located at a distance of 45 km from Imphal, Moirang is a religious center with a temple dedicated to the pre-Hindu deity Thangjing. In the month of May a grand festival is celebrated here with great enthusiasm. This place also has a museum and memorial.
Drawing many a tourist, Red Hill is a hillock of historic importance. It witnessed and braved a fierce battle which was fought between the British and the Japanese army during World War II. There is a monument on this hillock built in honor of Japanese Martyrs who were killed in the war.
Manipur Zoological Garden
Located 6 km from Imphal, this Garden is famous for being a home to Sangai, the brown-antlered deer which is a rare wildlife species.
Tourists can relish a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes in Manipur. Kabok a dish consisting of fried rice and vegetables is the specialty of this state. Other culinary delights you can try out are RathJatra dishes, Shree Govindajee dishes, Cheiraoba dishes and Chakkouba special.
Manipur is very famous for its cane and bamboo products. Colorful pots and tribal shawls are the other famous handicrafts available here.
Best time to visit
From October to February.
A variety of hotels are available in Manipur. The best hotels are located in the capital city Imphal.
How To Reach
By Air: Imphal Tulihal Airport located about 8km from the heart of Manipur is the nearest airport which directly connects to the major cities of India namely Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and major cities of North Eastern States.
By Rail: Dimapur is the nearest railway station.
By Road: Manipur is well connected with Dimapur by road which in turn connects it to other main cities.
Caper Travel India offers a wide range of North East India Tour Packages. For more details send us query.
Imphal is the capital city of Manipur state, India.
Imphal International Airport is connected to Kolkata and Guwahati by Indian (Indian Airlines), Indigo and Jet Airways services.
Imphal is not connected by the railway network. Nearest railway station is Dimapur railway station of Nagaland. It is almost 7 hours bus journey from Dimapur station.
Imphal is well connected with its neighbouring states via bus routes. There are daily bus services to Kohima and Dimapur in Nagaland and Guwahati in Assam.
As there are no cab services like Ola or Uber, auto rickshaws are one of the best options available for travelling around the city. These are slightly expensive compared to other cities in India, but this is where you need to engage your haggling skills to agree on the price before boarding the auto rickshaw. You may also hire a taxi from the various options available in the city.
Tourists can also hire two-wheelers at a newly introduced service by Tay Cabs. The service is very affordable and cost-effective.
- Kangla Fort.
- INA Memorial at Moirang
- Loktak Lake - The largest fresh water lake in North-Eastern India and the only floating lake in the World. It is also the habitat of Curvus Eldi Eldi, an endangered species found only in Manipur.
- Shree Govindajee Temple- This place was considered to be the highest place for any cultural activity during the times of the Maharajas. Located at a place near the Royal palace of past Maharajas, it has two domes and a raise congregation hall to keep the sacred deities in their place, aloof and high.
- Women's Market or Ima Keithel- Cacophony, bargain of products and a spread of a beautiful and colourful cloth is what you would most notice when you visit this market place. But, this is the charm of the place, if a person wants to know how the trade goes in Manipur, this is the first place to buy. The bazar consist of two main sections -one where the vegetables, fruits and necessary items are sold and the other where the handloom products of the state is sold. The peculiarity of the market is that around 3000 'Imas' or mothers run the stalls.
- The Brow Antlered deer, which is a rare species, can be seen in the Manipur Zoological Gardens. Located at a distance of 6 km from the capital, the zoo is very modest to the core with its surrounding, a large expanse of open grounds.
- The Manipur State Museum, which is the representation of the tangible information of history, shows a display of the tribal heritage and the collection of the artifacts of the former Ningthourels of Manipur. Costumes of the common people and warriors, arms and weapons of the varied communities and relics and historical documents can be seen here. The priceless artifacts, documents and cultural heritage of a mentioned civilization can be first accessed through a Museum.
- Matai Garden- The garden is situated at Matai,Imphal east district about 5km towards North in NH-39.The garden is also called as Ibudhou Asheiningthou garden taking the name from Ibudhou Asheiningthou(local God of Matai). The garden is known for its myriad Duranta plant, well shaped and decorating the entire garden.
- Sambal- Lei-Sekpil garden. The garden is situated in Sagolban, Kwakeithel, Imphal, toward the Tidim road. The place is world famous for Sambal- Lei-Sekpil literally sambal means fence lei means flower and sekpil means topiary. The flower got Guinness Book of Records in 26 November 1999 (at the height of 50 ft. 35 steps). The garden is open to all visitors.
S*Sikh Imphal Gurdwara- This gurdwara is known as Sri Gurdwara Sahib Imphal is situated in the capital and has a number of facilities for visitors who are welcome.
- Sri Guru Singh Gurdwara Sahid, Moreh. This gurdwara is located in centre of Moreh. edit
- Khongjom War Memorial, Khonglom. Place where last war was fought against British India, after which princely state of Manipur(kangleipak) became under the empire of British India edit
Manipur is a land of festivals and atleast one festival is celebrated every month. Taking part in one of them will be a life long experience. Ask friends or hotel staffs for these festivals and to arrange for you to join.
Boat ride at the Loktak lake and see Phumdi fishing.
If you ever visit Manipur then one thinh you should do is get your boots some dirt and your shirt some sweat. Hell yes! So what to do? Simple, ask the locals or any taxis around for MMTA(Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association). They are really helpful.people and will happily lend you a hand and first hand knowledge about where to go. If you like they will even provide you a guide for your trek.
Manipur though very small has an ever expanding Photography bussiness and ofcourse as a Passion.
So next time you go out go to this place called RKCS ART MUSEUM which is also the office of Manipur Photography Club and join the Club members on weekends Photo-Walk.[Distinguised persona: Devendra Hijam/NirjenSharma/BushoRaj/BimalThong]
People often says Size does matter,well it is not really the case here. Manipur despite being a small state has a Big Place in World War II as being the Greatest Battle(Battle Of Imphal and Kohima) fought by Britain.
Every evening this group of enthusiast gather this cafe called Wild Flavours in DIPR office(Near Kalimai Mandir). You will probably find a tall and lanky fellow and his friends having coffee. Voila! You have found the Imphal Campaign WW2 Foudation. This people are from various walks of life yet they are united here by the passion for keeping History Alive and remembering the Forgotten Souls that were lost here.[Distinguishes persona Rajeshwor Yumnam(Raj)/Angamba(Bobby)/Ashok Lairen/Joseph(Joe)]
- Paona market has a wide selection of local and imported items.
Preparations of Bamboo shoot is a delicacy here along with other common dishes of North eastern India.
There are many budget restaurants in Imphal, most of them are located near the bus stop. In the Center of the city, behind the polo ground, there are numerous restaurants/canteens serving traditional manipuri dishes. Chakluk hotel, Eigyagee Sharma hotel, People canteen etc to name a few. One should definitely try out the cheap manipuri platter (price range maximum Rs 150 per person) which consist of several dishes. The platter can either be vegeterian or a non-vegeterian (mostly fish dishes) one .
There is another restaurant called 'OK Hotel' which is located in MG Avenue, a commercial area with several banks, ATM facilities and fresh fruit vendors. Meal with rice, lentils, chicken curry/fry can be had very cheaply for less than Rs. 100. It is very popular among the locals and famous for its 'chicken roll'. Opposite to he OK hotel, there is a pose and clean but cheap restaurant called 'chamu restaurant' which is a part of Hotel Nirmala and they serve both continental, chinese and Indian dishes ( meals around rs. 300.
'Nikheel cafe' ( located in the B.O.C area) and 'A to Z restaurant' (located in the airport road) are very popular amongst the local youths for their momos (dumplings), noodles, chili chicken/pork, parantha's etc.
There are many hole in the wall food places located in every locality run by women which serves traditional manipuri snacks. It can also be found in the Ema market (women's market in the city). One should try singju (a sort of very spicy salad, but can be requested for less chili), bora, kanghou, alu-shak, pokora, paknam etc. A plate should not cost more than Rs 30.
Scattered all around the city, there are several tea hotels run by non-manipuris. One can have cheap snacks (singhara, kachori, bhujiya, puri etc) and different types of sweets. A piece should cost about rs. 5 and one can easily fill the stomach with rs.50. Hygiene and sanitary conditions in these eateries are questionable, though.
Restaurant in the Hotel Classic (B.O.C area ). Website below in the hotel sections.
The Host Restaurant (of hotel Anand Continental) in Thangal Bazar (Khoyathong road) serves both continental and Indian dishes at moderate price. It is clean and the food quality is good.
Visit local alcohol vendors- Although Manipur is a dry state ( alcohol not allowed to sale and drink), it seems that there is some relaxation to sale and drink the traditionally brewed rice based alcohols in many Kabui/tribal localities (also called as Khuns). Atingba (rice beer) is lighter in alcohol content and and Ashaba (distilled rice brandy) is stronger in alcohol content. Some popular locations are Mujikhul, Kakhulong (in Paona bazar area), Keishamthong khul, Mahabali etc. These alcohol vendors also sell different types of meat dishes, fish and snacks which are very affordable. There will be plenty of young people sitting and enjoying the drinks alongwith some snacks and they will be quite open to talk. Drinking in these places is worth an experience and these alcohol vendors are very unique to Manipur
- Sekmai. Taditional brew made from rice edit
- Mujikul. from local wine to IMFL and beer edit
- Hotel Gaylord - 150Rps for a single room (with shared bathroom). Perhaps the cheapest central option in the city center.
- Hotel Yaisana - Brand new hotel (as of March 2012). Single rooms from 300Rps (shared bathroom) update [June 2015]: still under construction, price for smelly double room with bathroom, fan, but without window haggled down to 1000Rps; quite noisy, room quality varying, so check more of them
Not far from Hotel Yaisana: Hotel Nongin, 9774269422, 0385-2440596, big double room with bathroom, fan, windows and balcony for 1000Rps [June2015]
Hotel Mayur, Old Assembly Rd: cheap budget option, really run down, shared bathroom, windows in some rooms, mosquito net; double for 460Rps [June 2015]
Also, in MG Avenue you can find Hotel Nirmala (single around rs. 600, double 1200), White Palace, Hotel City Heart and Hotel Avenue all pretty close by. Single rooms from 300-400Rps.
In the bus Stop/stand area of B.O.C area, there is Hotel Imphal, which is run by the manipur tourism department. It is cheap, well maintained and have a spacious garden.
Classic Hotel, which is located close to the bus stand in B.O.C area is the best hotel in Imphal yet. It is new, clean, well maintained and helpful staff and with a fine dining restaurant. It is close to the city center and located just opposite to the historical Kangla fort.
Hotel Excellency in the airport road, Hotel Anand Continental in the Thangal Bazar and Hotel Bheigo in Keishampat area, are other cheap to moderately price hotels in Imphal.
Imphal has been ranked 32 among 150 places which are most likely to have a terrorist attack. The rank is 1st in India with Kashmir trailing way behind somewhere around 42 in the world rank and 2nd in India, so one needs to be cautious not to get oneself into trouble.
During most of the time Imphal and its surroundings are relatively peaceful, but one needs to be extremely cautious during August 15th and January 26th of every year, for this is the time when the section of society which are against the merger of Manipur to India gets into several violent activities which includes planting IEDs and what not.
With the recent Attack on Chandel district in which 18 personnel of Dogra Regt.were killed, the situation is not so calm in the region.
If you are visiting the hill areas it is advisable to take the help of local people.
- Sirui Hills: Located in the Ukhrul district of Manipur it is world famous for its Sirui Lily. Located about 80 kms from Imphal, one can take either bus or shared taxi from the north A.O.C parking place.
- Moreh town and border crossing: it is a border town between India and Myanmar located 105 kms from Imphal. One can take bus or shared taxi to the Moreh town (4 hrs), cross the border to Myanmar and do very cheap shopping of mainly Chinese goods and electronics and some Myanmarese food items in Tamu, Myanmar.