Top 6 Must-See Places in Manipur
The history and culture of this capital city of Manipur Imphal are splendid. The transfer to the Hotel through the streets of Imphal was captivating. It is such a clean city, totally opposite to what we were expecting. Every two hundred yards has a bin known as a plastic bank. They put in Bags and bottles to be disposed off safely and keep the city clean and plastic-free. Here are the Top 6 Must-See Places in Manipur, Imphal.Kangla Fort & Kangla Museum
These were first on the agenda, but we went to the peaceful and calm Govindajee Temple. The sanctum sanctorum was closed as we arrived late, but the splendour and beauty of the temple were enthralling. The marble sculptors, the pillars of flags, and the two domes emanated a tranquil feeling. We just wandered around in awe and captured it all in my camera.
The INA Memorial
This memorial ignited feelings of awe. The memorabilia in the museum reminds us of India’s Freedom Struggle. Subhash Chandra Bose led the first Indian National Army. His towering statue does justice to his accomplishments.
locally known as Maibam Lokpaching. It is a small hill, and the red signifies the blood of Japanese Soldiers who fought during the Second World War. Interestingly, the India Peace Memorial here attracts Japanese tourists who consider it a pilgrimage.
The famous Ema Keithel or Mother’s Market is a must-see. It is a sprawling open market where local women sell their ware from handicrafts, spices, vegetables, and fruits to garments or knives. The only thing that put me off was the dried fish that was displayed at the entrance itself.
Visiting Loktak Lake emerged as the undisputed highlight of our entire trip. Nestled in Manipur, Northeast India, this remarkable locale is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. Its claim to fame lies in the presence of the extraordinary floating islands, locally referred to as “phumdis”. These phumdis are a fascinating amalgamation of vegetation, decomposing organic matter, and soil, gracefully floating atop the lake’s surface.
On another note let me add that the paneer and aloo pakoras at the cafe were mouthwatering.
We cautiously boarded kayaks, grappling apprehensively, wary of plunging into the water. Despite our initial trepidation, we gingerly stepped onto the phumdis, and what unfolded was an unparalleled adventure. We, a group of women well into our fifties, found ourselves transformed into exuberant children on a trampoline, dancing upon these unique natural wonders. This is an experience that has no comparison and should unquestionably be on the bucket list of every traveller to Imphal.
The lake is a natural home to the endangered Sangai deer and other wildlife. The guide there was trying to show us the elusive Sangai deer, through a telescope. He knew exactly where they would be and we were lucky to spot them. He shared that there should be more awareness about preserving the endangered lake.
We were fortunate to witness Manipuri Dances, which were specially arranged for us by 3MT Enterprise. We can trace the Manipuri dance form, back to ancient times. The first dancer did a solo performance. Her beauty and grace entranced me. We were fortunate enough to watch the Raas Leela, which is inspired by the tale of Radha Krishna. There was a group of dancers for this recital. Another dance form, Pung Cholom by two male dancers, was robust, vigorous and captivating. The final crescendo was fascinating. We all watched awestruck and at the end of the recital, clicked pictures with the charming dancers.
My travelogue would be incomplete if I did not mention the shopping spree by all of us. The art and crafts made of bamboo, wood carving, and black stone pottery are irresistible. Purses, baskets, and artefacts were too tempting to resist. The lady in the store could barely manage the teeming shoppers. She had to call for help as each one of us was asking for different items. They brought the small items that would fit in our baggage along, but there were many orders that had to be couriered.
Not to forget the buffet spreads at The Classic Grande’ Imphal. They served us idly, and they made vada sambhar, especially for us. The food was a gourmet delight with live counters. There were local dishes as well as from other states in India. The Sevaiyaan was for Eid.
We were lucky that our trip was in April, before the mayhem that took place a month later. It is heartrending to watch a throbbing, lively city turned into a bloodbath.
This wraps up my memories of the fascinating, North East tour with my friends.
When is the best time to visit?
We went in April, and it was quite hot, so the best time would be September to March.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023