Manipur is a state in northeastern India, with the city of Imphal as its capital.It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi) and has a population of almost 3 million, including the Meitei, Kuki, Naga, and Pangal peoples, who speak Sino-Tibetan languages. Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. It has long connected the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, enabling migration of people, cultures and religions.
|Location:||Manipur is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east.|
|Area:||22,327 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi)|
|Altitude:||40 m at Jiribam to 2,994 m at Mt. Iso(Tempü) Peak near Mao Songsong|
|Local time:||Indian Timing|
|Religion:||Hinduism, Christianity, Meiteism and Sanamahi & Islam|
Best time to travel: The best time to visit Imphal is in the months between October and March when the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy sightseeing and outdoor activities. If you want to see the orchids in full bloom, visit in April or May.
This is also the time when the people of Imphal are in festive mood with numerous festivals taking place during this time.
People: 60% of the Manipuri population belongs to the Meitei tribe who are Vaishnavite Hindus. They believe in Lord Vishnu, the protector in the Hindu Trinity (Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwar). There are about 30 hill tribes and the two main tribal groups are the Kukis of the south and the Nagas of the north.
Food: The staple food of Manipur is rice along with fish and vegetables. The Manipuris love fish and their favourite fish is Ngri, which is prepared by fermentation. Other than this variety of fish preparations are savoured here along with potatoes that is included in almost every dish prepared in Manipur.
The people of Manipur like to maintain a kitchen garden where they grow several flavoured herbs and roots that are exclusive to this region including maroi napakpi, awa phadigom, maroi nakuppi, mayang-ton, and toning-khok. The vegetables, mushrooms and herbs grown in Manipur are rare and unique to the state.
Some of their popular dishes include, nga-thongba (fish curry), ooti (a typical Manipuri vegetarian dish), chagem pomba (made with fermented soya, mustard leaves) and Chamthong or kangshoi, which is a stew cooked with seasonal vegetables.
Arts & Crafts: Like most northeastern states, Manipur handicrafts also consists bamboo and cane crafts. The crafts of Manipur showcase the creativity of its people. Manipur produces a wide range of handicrafts and handloom items. Papier mache, decorative ivory, collectible dolls, bamboo and cane work are some of the many crafts of this state. In fact, the state is counted as one of the largest producer of bamboo crafts in India. Wood Carving, textile weaving, stone carving, block printing and hand-embroidery are other handicrafts of Manipur. Cane and Bamboo Crafts of Manipur are widespread due to the wide availability of the raw material. Moreover, the constant demand of this craft in the international market is another reason for the same. There is large number of artisans associated with creating bamboo craft. Products such as sofa sets, stools, mats, basketry, tray, chairs, tables, flower vases, ashtrays and many other decorative and utility articles are made out of this craft. Kauna Crafts is another popular Manipur crafts, which is liked and appreciated by many. Kauna is a kind of reed that mostly grows in wetlands and marshes. In Manipur, this is used for making mats, and cushions. Numerous craftsmen in Manipur are engaged in this particular craft. Kauna Crafts creates products that are used for domestic use and export market. Countries like UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, UAE and Switzerland are major markets of this Kauna craft. Latin American Countries also shows great demand for this craft. Pottery is an acclaimed craft of Manipur being produced by coiled technique. Potteries in Manipur are of different type and style portraying their socio-cultural significance. This is an old craft. The craftsmen make the pots by hands and colour them in different bright colours. Textile Weaving is an art practiced by the women in Manipur. Also known as Laichamphi, this is an important craft of the state.Wood Carving is an art in Manipur developed out of necessity. People of Manipur utilized wood to create different items of their daily need out of this craft such as wooden tray, spoon, drum and so on.Block Printing is a specific Handicraft in Manipur. This craft makes hand block printed towels, dresses used in religious ceremonies, and many other things.
Dress: The costumes of Manipur carry their own unique characteristics. Stressed on its functionality, the traditional Manipuri costumes are simple and easy to wear. A traditional Manipuri costume for women includes a shawl called Innaphi, a Phanek and a wrap around skirt called sarong. A Manipuri man wears a dhoti, a jacket and a white Pagri or turban. With the advancement of time and the spread of Christianity and western education, people in Manipur have become extremely fashion conscious. Jeans and jacket have emerged as a big hit with the Manipuri youth. However, they still love to flaunt their traditional attires and have modified the old styled clothes with modernized variations. For instance, the Innaphis worn by Manipuri women resembles the modern wrap around skirts. Innaphis are nowadays made with different materials from cotton to silk rather than the thick textured Innaphis of the yesteryears.
Different costumes are worn during the colourful Manipuri festivals. In fact there are separate costumes for separate festivals in Manipur. The Potlois and Kumins are the traditional costumes for the Rasa Leela festivals. Other traditional dresses worn during the festivals and festival related dances are the Koks, Phurits etc. Some other dress forms used by different tribes in Manipur are Lmaphie, Saijounba, Ningthoupee and Phiranji.
Sports: Manipur is home to a population playing many different sports. Outdoor sports include Mukna, Mukna Kangjei (or Khong kangjei), Sagol Kangjei (Polo), Yubi lakpi (Coconut Rugby), Oo-Laobi, Hiyang-Tannaba (Boat Rowing Race), and Arambai Hunba. The people of Imphal also plays Thang Ta & Sarit Sarak and Kang.
Sagol Kangjei (POLO): The modern game of Polo originated in Manipur. Polo is played with seven players on each side. The players are mounted on ponies which are not more than 4-5 feet height. Each player has a polo stick made of cane. The ballused is the game is made of bamboo root. The ball is hit hard by the players into the goal. Today the game is played in two different form the PANA, original Manipuri style and Polo, the International style.
Thang Ta & Sarit Sarak (Manipuri Martial Arts): Manipuri Martial Art is a very skillful and energetic art. In the olden times when every Manipuri was a warrior and were bound to serve the country at the time of war, this art was a way to sharpen their battle craft. Todat, martial arts is being performed widely by women and children as well.
Khong Kangjei (Manipuri Hockey): Khong Kangjei or the Manipuri hockey is also very popular game among the people of Manipur. Like polo, this game is also played with 7 players on each side and each player is given a bamboo stick made in the formof modern hockey stick.
Yubi Lakpi (Manipuri Style of Rugby): In Manipuri language “Yubi” means a coconut and “Lakpi” means snatching. Similar to the other games, each side has seven players. A rectangular box is made in one end of the field; one side of the box forms the central portion of the goal line. In order to make a goal, a player to approach the goal from the front with his oiled coconut and cross the goal line.
Mukna (Manipuri Wrestling): Manipuri wrestling is also another highly popular and prestigious game played among the Manipuris. The game enjoyed royal patronage in the olden times. This game is played between two male rivals by sheer physical strength and skill.
Kang: Kang is mainly played during the ‘Cheiraoba’ and the Rath Yatra festival. This games is played on mud floor and one has to hit the fixed targets with the “Kang.
Hiyang Tannaba (Boat Race): This game is normally held in the month of November at Loktak lake and Thangapat. The boats used in this game are called Hiyang Hiren. The people of Manipur believes that the boats are endowed with spiritual powers.
It is an outdoor game played mainly by females. According to mythology this game was played by the Gods. The rules of this game are much similar to Kabaddi game.
Apart from these, there are other notable indigenous games like Khutlokpi, Phibul Thomba, Chaphu Thugaibi played throughout the year.
Architecture: The most primitive and the oldest of arts in Manipur, is the engravings on rocks at Tharon, Khonpuru and Salunghat. In one engraving there is a depiction of two Kabui houses drawn on a line which carries 13 heads of buffalo, another line parallel to this shows 30 heads of buffalo, in between the two lines is the mithun figure drawn. The drawing in engravings are simple but meaningful. In another engraving a single line of 33 Anthromorphs can be seen. Each figure is shown with round head on a vertical dot which is followed by a biconcave geometric figure to form the body. In the third engraving inside an irregular circle, there are figures of a man, woman and child with an animal probably a pig. There the artist may be depicting the family unit. The animal depiction may be that the pig is an essential animal which is a part and parcel of the family unit.
Living Culture: Manipur, a beautiful northeastern state of India, boasts of a rich culture. In the company of vibrant dances and music, the Manipuris find ample of reasons in their fairs & festivals for celebration. Though the lovely people are superstitious sometimes, their belief in religion and customs is certainly creditable. The people of Manipur are very creative and their artistic abilities are best seen in their handloom & handicrafts.
GETTING TO MANIPUR
Imphal has its own Airport named as Imphal Airport. It has regular flights to Aizawl , Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Silchar. The second nearest International Airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 490 Kms from Imphal. Scheduled flights are available from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal, Agartala, Pune and Kolhapur. Nearest Airport : Imphal Airport, Imphal
The nearest Railway Station is Dimapur Railway Station which is connected to the major cities of Nagaland. It is linked with the cities like Mariani, Guwahati, Kolkata and Kamakhya through Jan Shatabdi Express, Jttn Intercity and Ghy Intercity.
The First bus from Guwahati (Assam) to Imphal (Manipur) is Non A/C Seater (2+2) by Network Travels departing at 14:30. Trip duration for Guwahati to Imphal is between 15h-0m to 20h-30m depending on the bus type and operator.
DISTANCE CHART WITH TRAVEL TIME
|Distance From City||Distance To City||Distance (km)|
|Bongbal Khulen||Buri Bazar||33.72|
|Distance From City||Distance To City||Distance (km)|
Currently, tourists visiting Manipur are not required to obtain any permit.
All tourists from outside India intending to visit the State can visit Manipur freely now as the entire area of the State of Manipur has been excluded from the Protected Area Regime,subject to the following conditions :-
- Citizens of Afghanistan,China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before visiting the State.
- Citizens of Myanmar visiting the State of Manipur beyond 16 kms.From the Indo Myanmar border would continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before visiting the State.
- All foreigners visiting Manipur will register themselves with the Superintendent of Police (CID/SB),Manipur,whose office is located in Imphal near the Manipur Secretariat,and who has been designated as Foreigners Registraton Officer (FRO) of the State within 24 hours of their arrival.Check points are established at entry points,i.e.at Imphal Airport,Mao and Jiribam.
- Foreign Missionaries visiting the State may be given”Missionary Visa” as per the provisions of Chapter 7 of the Visa Manual.
Domestic Indian tourists visiting Manipur via Dimapur/Kohima require a Manipur Inner Line Permit to pass through Nagaland, valid for 10 days. These are issue by the Liaision Officers of the Government of Nagaland at New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and the Sub- divisional officer (Civil), Dimapur and the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal can also issue permits to tourist travelling by road from Imphal to Kohima and Dimapur in Nagaland.
FESTIVALS OF MANIPUR
Manipur is a land of festivals, merriment and mirth all the year round. A year in Manipur presents a cycle of festivals. Hardly a month passes without a festival or two. To the Manipuri’s, festivals are the symbols of their cultural, social and religious aspirations which , besides removing the monotony of life by providing physical diversions, mental recreation and emotional outlet, it also helps them lead a better and fuller life.
1.Yaoshang (Holi)- Festival Of Manipur Hindus: Celebrated for five days commencing from the full moon day of Phalguna (February/March), Yaoshang is the premier festival of Manipur. The Thabal Chongba – a kind of Manipuri folk dance, where boys and girls hold hands together and sings and dance in a circle, is particularly associated with this festival. Yaoshang to Manipur is what Durga Puja is to Bengal, Diwali in north India and Bihu to Assam.
2.Kut-Festival Of Kuki-Chin-Mizo: It is an autumn festival of the different tribes of Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of Manipur. The festival has been variously described at different places amongst different tribes as Chavang Kut or Khodou etc. It is a happy occasion for the villagers whose food stock is bountiful after a year of hard labour. It is observed on the 1st November every year.
3.Gang-Ngai-Festival Of Kabui Nagas: Celebrated for five days in the month of December/January, Gang-Ngai is an important festival of the Kabui Nagas. The festival opens with the omen taking ceremony on the first day and the rest of the days are associated with common feast, dances of old men women and of boys and girls, presentation of farewell gifts etc.
4.Cheiraoba- The Manipur New Year: During the festival special festive dishes are prepared which are first offered to various deities. Celebrated during the month of April, a part of the ritual entails villagers climbing the nearest hill tops in belief that it will enable them to rise to greater heights in their worldly life.
5.Kang – The Rath Yatra Of Manipur: One of the greatest festivals of the Hindus of Manipur, this festival is celebrated for ten days in the month of July. Lord Jagannath leaves his temple in a car known as ‘Kang’ in Manipur pulled by devotees who vie with one another for this honour.
- Ningol Chakkouba Festival:On the second day of October to November of every year the festival is celebrated in Manipur. Also known as Ningol -Chakkouba (grand feast arranged for sisters), this festival celebrates the great festivity of the sisters of each and every family of Manipur.
- Heikru Hidongba:Heigru Hidongba or the boat race festival is observed by the Meities society on the eleventh day of fortnight of Langbal month (September) of Meitei calendar. It is a very important joyous festival and has been observed at the Thangapat (moat) of Shri Bijoy Govindajee, Sagolband, Imphal. This festival had been observed since 984 and 1074 A.D. This festival marks the racing of two boats with pomp and spirit.
- Laiharaoba Festival:Another important festival of Manipur is Lai-Haraoba and is celebrated in the month of May. This festival is celebrated after the Cheiraoba festival which falls in April. The Lai-Haraoba festival is observed to honor Umang Lai, deity of the sylvan locale of the state.
|1||New Years Day||01/01/2016||Friday|
|6||Yaosang (Doljatra)||23/03/2016 & 24/03/2016||Wednesday & Thursday|
|8||Sajibu Nongmapanba (Cheiraoba)||08/04/2016||Friday|
|11||Kang (Rathajatra)/ Idul-Fitar*||06/07/2016||Wednesday|
|15||Jananeta Irawat Birthday||30/09/2016||Friday|
|16||Ningol Chakkouba / Kut||01/11/2016||Tuesday|
SIGHTSEEING PLACES IN MANIPUR
Manipur, the land popularly referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India’ is the right tourist destination for nature lovers. Located in North East India amidst breathtaking blue hills, Manipur is amazingly soul-captivating. The name in itself means ‘A jewelled land’.
Imphal, the capital of Manipur, is a scenic city. It is located at the center of the beautiful Manipur valley and is surrounded by plains and hills. Dense forests and sprawling grasslands make the place a heaven on earth. It reflects the rich tradition of the state. Here are the leading tourist destinations in Imphal.
- Loktak Lake
- Red Hill Lokpaching
- Kangla Fort
- Sirohi National Park
- Manipur State Museum Sekta Archaelogical Living Museum
- Manipur Zoological Gardens
- Keibul Lam Jao National Park
- Jama Masjid
- Shree Govindajee Temple
- Khonghampat Orchidarium
- Matai Garden
Ukhrul, a picturesque city is a visual delight. The beauty of nature offers more than just visual delight. It elevates your spirit to a higher plane. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful valleys, hills, waterfalls and streams. In short, Ukhrul is a dream destination if you are a nature lover. Given below are some top destinations in Ukhrul
- Khayang Peak
- Shirui Kashung Peak
- Kachouphung Lake
- Khangkhui Cave
- Shirui Kashung
- Hundung Mangva Cave
- Nillai Tea Estate
- Ango Ching
Considered a holy land thanks to the many temples located here, Bishnupur, is one of the most frequented cities in Manipur for both its natural beauty and places of worship. The ancient temples here reflect the rich culture of the land and its architectural excellence. Given below are the leading tourist attractions in Bishnupur.
- Jorebangla Temple
- Pancha Ratana Temple
- Dal Madol
- Susunia Pahar
- Shyamrai Temple
- Siddheswar Temple
- Radha Shyam Temple
- Sridhara Temple
Thoubal is yet another picturesque destination in Manipur. Situated amidst hills, the place is perfect for trekking and hiking. Lush greenery, beautiful rivers and lakes make the place a perfect destination for outdoor activities. The local people here enhance the greenery here by planting banyan trees along roadsides and fruit bearing trees in the grounds of their homes. Here are some top destinations in Thoubal
- Thoubal River
- Imphal River
- Ikop Lake
- Waithou Lake
- People’s Museum
- Lousi Lake
- Thoubal Bazar
- Khongjom War Memorial
Chandel is the gateway to Myanmar. The geographical significance, however, does not end there. The land is rich in flora and fauna being home to a wide range of species. Rare species of animals and plants are found here that attract tourists in great numbers. Here are some of the tourist destinations in Chandel.
- Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary
Senapati is one of the places in Manipur that preserves its natural beauty with some of its parts still unexplored. It seems the land is specially favored by nature. Hills, streams, gorges and rivers, you just name it, the land has it. With 80% of the land covered by dense forests, you can naturally expect it to possess a wide range of plants and animals. Given below are some top destinations in Senapati.
- Dzuko Valley
- Maram Khullen
- Makhel Cave
- Sadu Chiru Waterfalls
Very much like Chandel, Tamenglong, popularly referred to as the ‘Land of Hornbill’ is rich in flora and fauna. Unexplored forests, rare species of plants, animals and birds, the land is sure to captivate your soul. With lakes, rivers and waterfalls, Tamenglong makes a perfect dream spot. Here are the leading destinations you should not miss on your tour to Tamenglong.
- Zeilad Lake
- Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Barak Waterfalls
- Kisha Khou
- Tharon Cave
- Buning Meadow
Churachandpur fits the bill perfectly as a district in Manipur. Like every part of Manipur, Churachandpur abounds in natural beauty. Located amidst hillocks and valleys, the place is a scenic delight. It is also the second largest town in the state. The land boasts of unity in rich cultural diversity. Boat riding facilities are available at Tipaimukh. Here are the important tourist spots in Churachandpur.
- Ngaloi Falls
- Tuibuong Tribal Museum
- Tonglon Cave
- Khuga Dam
The indomitable spirit of the patriotic Meitei and tribal martyrs, who sacrificed their lives while fighting the British in 1891, is commemorated by this tall Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal city.
Khwairamband Bazar/ Ima Market
A unique all women’s market, having 3,000 or more “Imas” or mothers who run the stalls. It is splited into two sections on either side of a road. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools on the other.
The centre of Manipur’s power till 1891, the historical embodiment of Manipur Rulers and the people of Manipur, Kangla have a significant place in the heart and mind of the people of Manipur Govindajee temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and culture of Manipur and her civilization.
Shree Shree Govindajee Temple
A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining Manipur’s former Maharajas’ Royal Palace, the Govindajee temple is one of the most attractive sights for the tourists. Twin domes, a paved courtyard, and a large raised congregation hall form a perfect backdrop for priests who descend the steps, to accept offerings from devotees in the courtyard. The shrines of Lord Krishna and Balaram and Jagannath flank the two sides of the presiding deity. Early hours Prayer (Aarti) is a must for devoted followers, exudingspiritual fervour and ecstasy.
Manipur State Museum
This interesting Museum near the Polo Ground has a fairly good collection and display of Manipur’s tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur’s former rulers. Particularly interesting items are costumes, arms & ammunitions, relics and historical documents.
Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II, these War Cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene are well maintained, the War Cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.
Manipur Zoological Garden
Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroisemba is only 6 kms. on the Imphal-Kangchup Road at the foot of the pine growing hillocks . Here apart from various endangered species, tourists can have an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest & endangered species in the world, in sylvan surroundings.
This tiny lake located near the Tiddim Road on N.H. 150 at Bishnupur is a retreat for visitors from within and outside the state. Boating facilities and the scenic beauty of the place is able to mesmerise the visitors.
10 kms. from Imphal on National Highway No. 39 is the Central Orchidarium which covers 200 acres and houses over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include dozens of endemic species. The peak blooming season is March-April.
27 kms. from Imphal on the Tiddim Road, is a picturesque town situated at the foot hills that rolls down to the valley. The 15th century Vishnu Temple built of peculiarly small bricks supposedly of Chinese influence during the reign of King Kiyamba is of a historical importance. Bishnupur is also famous for its chiselled stoneware.
Red Hill (Lokpaching)
Red Hill is a hillock about 16 kms. from Imphal on Tiddim Road (NH – 150). It is a thrilling spot where the British and the Japanese fought a fierce battle during World War II. War Veterans had constructed “India Peace Memorial” a monument in memory of Japanese soldiers who died in the battle. It is a place of pilgrimage for Japanese tourists.
Sadu Chiru Waterfall
About 20 Kms. from Imphal beside the Tiddim Road (NH150) is a picturesque site famous for its perennial Water Fall in a scenic foot hill. There are three waterfall spots. This is a newly open tourist spot.
16 kms. from Imphal towards west, is a health resort on the hills over-looking the Manipur valley. The scenery is picturesque and worth seeing. With the construction of Singda Dam here, the place has become one of the important picnic spots.
48 Kms. from Imphal, is the largest fresh water lake in the North East Region. From the Tourist Bunglow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird’s eye view of life on the Lake small islands that are actually floating weeds on which the Lake-dwellers live in the backdrop of the shimmering blue water of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached Cafeteria is an ideal tourist spot. Boating and other water sports are organised here in Takmu Water Sports Complex.
45 kms. from Imphal, and situated near the Loktak lake, this town is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture with the ancient temple of the pre-hindu deity, Lord Thangjing, situated here. In the month of May, men and women, dressed in colourful traditional costumes sing and dance in honour of the Lord at the Moirang “Lai Haraoba” which is a ritual dance festival held every year. This town also has a special place in the history of the Indian Freedom struggle. It was at Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first unfurled on April 14, 1944. The INA Museum containing letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other memorabilia reminds the visitors of the noble sacrifices made by the INA under the charismatic leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Keibul Lamjao National Park
The only floating National Park in the world, on the Loktak Lake is the last natural habitat of the Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii) the dancing deer of Manipur. A glimpse of the deer in this unique wetland ecosystem is a must for any wildlife enthusiast. Other wildlife to mention a few are: Hog deer, Otter and a host of water fowls and migratory birds can also be sighted during November to March. The forest Department of Manipur maintains watch towers and two rest houses within the park.
Khongjom War Memorial
Khongjom War Memorial, 36 kms. from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road is a major historical place. It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valor against the superior might of the invading British Army in 1891. The hillock at the foot of which he laid down his life in defence of his motherland, is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors. A war memorial has been constructed on the top of Kheba hill; and Khongjom day is celebrated every year on 23rd April.
This Museum, a Cultural Complex is at Andro village (about 26 kms.) from the capital. Here artifacts of the State and from all over the North East are housed, such as pottery collection,rare coins,rare manuscripts of the state, paintings, basketries, bell metals, jewelleries, wood carving etc. There are exact replicas of the houses from different tribes and groups of the state like: Poumai, Kabui, Meitei, Kuki, Tangk0hul etc.
This is a busy market town on the Indo-Myanmar border, located at a distance of 110 kms. from Imphal. A commercial town and a real shopping paradise for shoppers where sundry products ranging from electronics to daily consumables are available in plenty. This place holds importance for the visiting tourists not only for being a border town but also for providing a unique opportunity to experience the different cultures, lifestyles of Myanmar through its border town at Tamu which is only 5 kms. away from here. There are ample hotels of medium range providing comfortable stay at Moreh.
It is on the Tiddim Road, 60 kms. from Imphal and is one of the most beautiful places for sightseeing and holidaying. It is a bustling tribal town and district headquarter where products of arts and crafts of the area are available in the local market. Kuki-Chin-Mizo are the dominant tribes.
Ukhrul, the highest hill station of the state is located at a distance of 83 kms. to the east of Imphal. Ukhrul is well developed and is a centre of a colourful warrior tribe, the Tangkhul Nagas. Siroi Hills and Khangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursions. Siroi Hills: Ukhrul is also known for a peculiar type of land-lily, the Siroi Lily, grows on the Siroi hills at a height of 8,500 ft. This beautiful lily growing only in this part of world blooms during May-June. Tangkhul is one of the oldest and major tribes of Manipur.
Deep gorges, mysterious caves, splendid waterfalls and exotic orchids are what you will find in this district headquarters of Tamenglong District. The Tharon cave, Buning meadow, Zilad lakes, Barak Waterfalls are some of the places of tourist interest. Rongmei, Lengmei, Zemei Nagas are dominant tribes of Tamenglong. This beautiful place is located at a distance of 156 kms. from Imphal.
It is the district headquarters of the northern hill district Senapati on the National Highway No. 39. Some historical places which are unique in itself and worth visiting are the old village of Yangkhullen, built on a steep hill, Makhel, the place where the common origin of the Nagas is believed to have started, the unexplored Haolaipai Supao Deikulu cave in Phuba Thapham, Dzuko valley besides many others which still lay unseen and unheard to the outside world. Mao is the oldest hill station in the State located on the Manipur Nagaland border.
It is a very beautiful green valley and the mostpicturesque place in Senapati District bordering Nagaland. It is famous for its rare terrestrial lily called Dzuko Lily and the enchanting snow clad valley during January & February. The highest peak of Manipur Mount Iso is also located behind this valley.
THINGS TO REMEMBER – DO’S & DON’T’S
- Keep in mind that every North eastern state is different from the other. First and foremost, some of the States require a permit just to visit, depending on who you are. Since you didn’t specify your background, I’m just giving you three categories of visitors -a) In case you are a foreigner, you no longer need to get an RAP (Restricted Area Permit) or PAP (Protected Area Permit) to visit Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. You just have to register yourself at the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the particular State within 24 hours of arrival. Don’t forget to take your passport, visa and other documents as well (my brother-in-law is English, so we usually go directly to the FRO straight from the airport whenever they visit). However, to visit Arunachal Pradesh, you still require a PAP.
b) But if you are a foreigner from Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Afghanistan, then you need a clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs to visit the four Northeastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.
c) If you are an Indian citizen, then you need an ILP (Inner Line Permit) to visit the three Northeastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. You don’t require any permit to visit the other five Northeastern States (Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Sikkim). Even people from other Northeastern States have to apply for an ILP to visit these three mentioned States.
- If you can afford it, I would advise you to carry at least two mobile phones (or a dual sim phone) with differentservice providers and roaming activated on both, because due to the mountainous region, sometimes a particular network is available at a particular location only and vice-versa, and unlike other telecom circles, it is very difficult to use the network of different service providers on roaming over there. I recommend Vodafone / Airtel / Idea.If you are travelling towards any of the capitals or main cities, make sure you take time to enjoy the journey to your destination. Enjoy the view, stop frequently, take photos of the hills, waterfalls and mist covered mountains, or the hilariously cute BRO road signs you’ll find in abundance. Trust me, the cities aren’t that great compared to the tranquil serenity in the outskirts, especially if you yourself are from an urban area.
- As others have already mentioned, try to avoid the entire region during the monsoon! You’ll face floods in the plains and landslides in the hills. Yes one of the most beautiful moments in the hilly sections of the North East is that moment right after a rain, but you also run the risk of being delayed/stuck due to landslides.Be nice to the locals 🙂 Smile, be polite, and don’t be loud! North-easterners are usually very quiet, shy and soft-spoken. Most people are extremely helpful in assisting tourists when approached politely.
6. I’m sure this must be obvious, but I think it needs to be mentioned. Be aware of the vast racial and cultural differences of the NE people from that of the rest of India. Don’t express shock or surprise when you see them or even try to imitate their language mockingly, we’ll find that gravely insulting. At the same time if you take a genuine attempt to speak in the local language (maybe through a translation app on your smartphone) they’ll quickly bond with you. Also, do not be surprised if you see many indigenous people who aren’t of the mongoloid race. Not everybody from the NE has mongoloid features, so don’t ever ask them questions such as, “How come you don’t look like a North-easterner?” That is as offensive as asking the ones with Mongoloid features, “How come you look like a Chinese?” No matter how we look, all of us are extremely proud and protective of our respective heritages.
7. Again, regarding the language, do take an attempt to read up a bit about the particular Northeastern State you’re planning to visit. Most of the States are inhabited by a group of different tribes or communities with completely different language or dialect, so sometimes the person may find it insulting if you ask him how come he doesn’t speak x language just because another person from the same State does. Overall, at most places, you can manage with English or Hindi.
8. Keep in mind that there is Total/Partial Prohibition in the three States of Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland (though Mizoram has amended this law recently, it will be enforced only when the next assembly session starts). This means you won’t find alcohol (that easily) at these places, and you are not allowed to carry booze with you while entering these three States. I mean, you can of course, but if you get caught, it’s not going to be a very pleasant experience for you. And yes, the security at some of the check-gates are extremely vigilant due to the insurgency issue in some regions.
- Depending on what time of the year you’re planning to visit and which State you’re planning to visit, plan your clothing carefully. Some places are extremely cold in winter while others are horribly hot and humid in summer.Also read up on the seasonal festivals of the different States, those are the best times for tourists to visit. Some of the popular ones are the Hornbill festival of Nagaland, Bihu festival of Assam, Autumn festival of Meghalaya, Athurium festival and Chapchar kut festival of Mizoram, the occasional rock concert and music festivals in vibrant Shillong and so on. And in the case of Mizoram, I personally know a few tourists who unfortunately visited Aizawl during Christmas season 🙂 Bad timing indeed, because everything shuts down during this period for 2-3 weeks. Traffic is closed throughout the city during the day (no vehicles allowed on the roads) as the entire city comes out to do their Christmas/New Year shopping or celebrate Christmas with carols and parades. Visit Mizoram during this period onlyif you want to experience this unique feature.
- Although I don’t need to tell you about the different food cuisine you’ll find in the North East because that is an obvious situation at any new place, I just want to mention about the timing/frequency that most people are usually not aware of. In many Northeastern places like Mizoram, we do not have a concept of “lunch”. We eat just two main meals a day – breakfast and dinner, which are both extremely heavy. “Lunch” consists of just a simple tea break and maybe light snacks. So brace yourself not just for a cuisine change but a timing change as well.Moreover, brace yourself for a contrast time difference. Keep in mind that the Northeast lies on the eastern side of Bangladesh which itself is 30 minutes ahead of India. It’s fair enough to say that the Northeast is at least 1 hour ahead of IST, but since we follow IST, sun rises and sets very early. A large majority of the population would be well asleep by 7-8 PM and the streets dead quiet, even in the center of the city. Get ready for that.
- It is better to book your hotels or accommodations in advance. Also, I’d like to warn you that the quality of hotels aren’t as great as in the Indian metros. And I feel the service industry kinda lacks behind in the North East. So don’t be surprised if waiters or bellboys don’t exactly do their jobs up to your expectations.Always try to get a local guide wherever you go.
15. Don’t rely much on credit cards. In fact you can leave them at home if you want. Take plenty of cash with you, along with your debit cards that you can use to withdraw from the ATMs.
16. And as is a golden rule in any place you’re visiting for the first time, always ask your host or the hotel attendant about the cost of taxi fare from x to y location you want to visit.
17. Never hesitate to take a fresh morning walk from your place of accommodation. Observe the early morning life around you or the idyllic sunrise amidst the sprawling hills. Let the chirpings of morning swallows or crickets transport you to a heavenly abode of new delight.
18. Another important point to remember – The North East is known for its rich cultural and traditional attire, with beautiful woven cloths, shawls, dresses and headgears. However, don’t be surprised if you don’t see people wearing such traditional clothes when you reach there! We usually wear them only on important functions and occasions 🙂
- Last but not the least, try to keep in touch with the local news. Most people think the North East is one entity, but actually, we too have a lot of our own internal issues and inter-ethnic clashes now and then between different tribes and communities. Though such disturbances don’t escalate, it can lead to some unrests and usually 2-3 days bandh, hence preventing you from moving around. While this occurs rarely, it does happen now and then, so I’m just giving you a heads-up on this. Keep a track of the local news as you move around. Small disturbances like that shouldn’t hamper your visit, especially if you are not worried about the fact that most of these North-eastern States you’re planning to visit are under the draconian AFSPA law :)Bonus pointer – If you know the right people at the right places, it may be possible for you to slip into Myanmar. That’s right, I’m talking about crossing the International border here. But of course this may not be legal and I am in no way encouraging anyone to break the law, but I’m just saying sometimes one can visit Myanmar due to the porous border with some of the North-eastern States bordering Myanmar, where one can walk into foreign territory, drink Burmese brewed beer, swim at the pristine Rih Dil lake, and pay for your food using Burmese Kyat and then come back to the Indian side at the end of the day, giving you that cheap satisfaction of having “travelled abroad” .
The mysterious and unexplored North eastern region of India comprises of seven states commonly known as the “Seven Sisters”. Those states are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. This economically and strategically important region of India shares its border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh and is connected to the mainland India by a narrow 20 km wide corridor of land near North Bengal commonly known as Chicken’s neck.
Renowned for its exquisite beauty and bio- diversity, North East India is the melting point of different cultures and traditions. It is the home of more than 160 different ethnic tribes, each speaking different dialects or languages. The different tribes celebrate their unique and colourful festivals which reflect their modes of living and livelihood. Together with picturesque landscape and rich flora and fauna it makes the North East India a unique tourist destination.
Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for the foreign nationals:Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for staying in Arunachal Pradesh can be obtain at a cost of USD 50 per persons, which will be valid for 30 days . We can obtain it on your behalf at a prior notice. In order to get RAP, we need the scanned or photocopy of the Passport and the valid India visa along with a passport sized photograph of each visitor, to be sent to us at least one week prior to the departure.
Protected Area Permit (PAP) for the foreign nationals: Protected Area Permit (PAP) is no more required for staying in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Inner Line Permit (ILP) for the Indian nationals: Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required for visiting the North East Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. In order to get ILP, we need the scanned or photocopy of Photo ID with address (Voter ID / Passport / Aadhar / Bank Passbook of Nationalised Bank etc) along with a passport sized photograph of each visitor, to be sent to us at least one week prior to the departure.
Dos & donot
Followings are some points to be taken care of while travelling to North-Eastern region of India.
- A proper VISA to enter and stay in India is a must.
- Before entering into some North Eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh,
Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, travellers need to have Restricted Area
Permission or Protected Area Persmission.
- Get medical check-up before travelling to North-east India. Always keep a
personal first aid box with sufficient mosquito repellent to prevent the mosquito
- Don’t ever enter a temple, tomb, dargah or Gurudwara with shoes on and/or
- Do not encourage beggars
- Always drink safe mineral water and take well-cooked food.
- Don’t photograph women without permission. Avoid taking photographs of
places (i.e military base, religious place, etc.) where filming is restricted.
- Avoid public drunkenness and drugs.
- Be security conscious. Do not forget to keep the contact numbers of the local
representatives and the police stations
- Keep yourself up to date with climate, political situation & economy of the
- Do not carry any kind of firearms, ammunition or toxic material as it is strictly
Suggested Itineary For You
Day 1: KOLKATA – IMPHAL
On arrival check in at Hotel.Visit to Shree Shree Govindajee Temple, Kangla fort and Ima Market -the famed all women market in the heart of the city. After Lunch explore the Imphal Musuem/War Cemetery and RKCS art Gallery in Imphal. Overnight at Imphal.
Day 2: IMPHAL – ANDRO
After breakfast visit to heritage village andro back to hotel, Overnight at Imphal
Day 3: IMPHAL-LOKTAK
Transfer to Loktak lake(largest fresh water lake in north east) on the way visit to Japanese War Memorial. Overnight at Loktak
Day 4: LOKTAK – IMPHAL
Visit to,Keibul Lamzo National Park INA Memorial(Indian tri color was first hoisted here by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army), Sdu chiru Water fall. Overnight at Imphal
Day 5 : IMPHAL – KOLKATA
Transfer to Imphal Airport to catch the flight for your onward journey.