Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Manipur, India
Tucked away in the northeast corner of
India, the picturesque tiny state of Manipur is situated amidst the smoky blue
hills. Appropriately described by many as ‘the jewel of India’ Manipur is known for its lush green
landscape, architecturally beautiful temples and monuments, cascading waterfalls
and meandering rivers, verdant forests and the all-pervasive serene
atmosphere. Manipur is surrounded by the states of Assam (Asom), Nagaland, and Mizoram.
The vibrant capital city - Imphal, lies in an aesthetic heart shaped valley 790 m above sea level. The lately constructed Khuman Lampak Stadium provides multifarious attractions including a cyclists’ velodrome to the main stadium. A plethora of imported goods are sold here, particularly at its Paona Bazar and Gambhir Singh Shopping Complex.
Govindajee Temple is a renowned and time-honored Vaishnavite temple built by the former rulers of Manipur during the early 18th century. The simple and yet elegant structure consists of two awe-inspiring gold domes, a paved court and a commodious congregation hall. The shrines of Krishna and Balaram on one side and Jagannnath on the other side flank the presiding deity Lord Vishnu.
Manipur State Museum
The Manipur State Museum, located near the Imphal Pologround, showcases a rich array of Manipuri costumes, war instruments, historical records, a rare collection of portraits of Manipur’s former rulers and some rare relics. Sculptures of the local forest gods and a motif of the incredible Phakangba, the man who could turn himself into a dragon are featured here. Manipur State Museum. The history of the state is well chronicled at the Manipur State Museum as well as tribal heritage.
A solemn and serene site of British and Indian Army Cemeteries commemorating those who laid down their lives in the Second World War with little stone markers and bronze plaques with some brief narrations of their heroism and sacrifice. These graves are well maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves commission and draw a host of tourists.
Thang ta - Manipuri martial art
Manipur Zoological Garden
Manipur Zoological Garden is located at Iroishemba about 6 Kms from the capital city of Imphal towards the west. The several wild species are seen here in sylvan surroundings - including the brow-antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest species in the world. No visitor to Manipur should miss a trip to this garden at the foot of pine-covered hillocks in the western-most corner of Lamphelpat.
Situated at an imposing altitude of 921 meters, Singda is a scenic picnic spot 16kms away from the capital city of Imphal. There is an Inspection Bungalow for visitors to rest and spend some quality time. The added attraction is an artificial lake with a pleasant breeze wafting across. Kangchup is a picturesque health resorts on the hills overlooking the Manipur Valley. With the construction of Singda Dam at Kangchup, the place has emerges as one of the much sought-after holiday spots in Manipur.
Manipuri Drums Pung Cholom
Bishnupur, 27 kms from Imphal City on Tiddim Road is a holy place for Hindus due to the presence of a unique conical temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu built in 1467. This religious site assumes added significance because of its antiquity and wondrous architectural design which, in a way reflects Chinese style. The place is also popular for hill-grown oranges, yongchak (tree-bean) and vegetables. The aroma of Shoibum (fermented bamboo-shoot) pervades the entire air around the town.
This apart, Bishnupur boasts of the Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake of the northeastern India and the historic Red hill where a fierce battle was waged between the British and the Japanese during the World War II.
A Bridge to Manipur
Other chief attractions of Manipur
While on a visit to Manipur, a tourist should not miss the spectacular Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is an abode of, rare and endangered species of Brow Antlered deer and a large number of rare species of mammals. The natural greenery of the entire place coupled with the prevailing moderate temperature provides tourists a pleasant experience.
Langthabalis a small less-known hillock but rich in the relics reminiscent of an old historical palace and features and architecturally beautiful temples. This is also good picnic spot where tourists can spend some quality time with their loved ones.
Sahid Minar is a stately Minar of Bir Tikendrajit Park located strategically at the heart of the city. This Minar is built in memory of the Manipur Martyrs who gave their lives fighting against British in 1891 and it draws a lot of visitors at all times of the year. The massive Khonghampat Orchidarium, spread over a physical area of 200 acres, is home to about 110 rare varieties of orchids including quite a few endemic species.
The state of Manipur, is so enchanting that Lord Irwin, the then viceroy of British India called it as the “Switzerland of India” A sojourn in Manipur for a few days provides the tourist immeasurable delight – going around the lush green landscape, undulating hills, exotic orchids, quaint valleys, gorgeous waterfalls, blue placid lakes and dense woods. The sheer natural beauty of Manipur has very few parallels and it may not be an exaggeration to call the state a little paradise on earth.