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MANIPUR

Nestled on a plateau far above the sea level, Manipur is the wondrously beautiful little Shangri-La. Literally meaning a jewelled land, legendary belief has it that  Manipur was discovered as a result of the delight the Gods took in dancing. Today Manipurís mythological concept of creation is revealed in her famous folk- dances.

The richness of nature has inspired descriptions such as the Switzerland of the East with its tripping rivers, carpet of flowers, exotic blooms and lazy lakes. Itís also a mosaic of traditions and distinctive cultural patterns.                                          

LIFE STYLE: colours and moods 

People: Living together since time immemorial sharing turbulent inroads of war, amalgamation, assimilation and unity and hence possessing dynamism and resiliency resulting from experience and destiny, the Manipuris are an ideal society. The Meiteis who constitute the largest population generally reside in the plains and the tribes including Naga, Kuki- Chin- Mizo groups inhabit mostly the hills. People here have a long tradition of martial arts and indigenous games. The Sagol Kangjei (or Polo) originated in Manipur. It is still a popular game. International players participate in the Polo tournaments at Imphal.

DISTRICT : IMPHAL

Shree Govindajee Temple: A historic vaishnavite centre, adjoining the Royal palace of Manipurís former maharajas. 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 Krishna, Balaram and Jagannath flank the two sides of the presiding deity.

Khwairamband Bazaar or Ima market: A unique all womenís market, run by 3000 Imas or mothers.

Shaheed Minar: this tall Minar commemorates the indomitable spirit of the martyrs of 1891 at Bir Tikendrajit Park.

War Cemeteries: Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers, who died during the Second World War, these cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The well maintained graves carry little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.

Khonghampat Orchadirium, covering 200 acres and over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include almost a dozen endemic species. Peak blooming season: April- may.

Zoological Gardens, at the foot of the pine- growing hillocks. Not to be missed is an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest species in the world, in sylvan surroundings.

Langthabal, small hills feature with relics of an old, historic palace, temples of architectural importance and ceremonial houses. Set among symmetrically planted jack fruits and pine trees Langthabal offers a view of the varsity and some picturesque vistas.

Kangchup, a Health Resort on the hills overlooking the Manipur Valley. Singda dam construction adds the importance.

State Museum, having fairly good display of tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of former rulers. Interesting are the costumes, arms, weapons, relics and historical documents.

Kaina: A sacred place of the Hindus. Charming scenery, hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place a sanity and religious atmosphere. Famous for Ras dance performances.

Sekta, the living museum, is an ideal place with a unique natural description.

Chingoi Baruni: Pilgrims take a holy dip at the Chingoi stream, which takes a northward course at the Baruni Hill.

TOURISM PLUS

Adventure Tourism: Facilities being developed at the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking association (MMTA) complex at Lamdan (Sudarshan Peak) near the Loktak Hydro- electric Power Project, the Manipur Adventure and Allied Sports Institute (MAASI) complex at Keiro and at the Tourist Home located in the Siroi Hills near Ukhrul. These associations conduct training and treks for tourists with an adventurous streak. They also offer opportunities for jungle exploration, mountaineering, rock- climbing etc. 

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