Imphal – one of the most ancient towns in the Indian subcontinent

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Imphal - Quick Facts

Area: 1228 sq. km.
Population: 264986
Altitude: 790 mtrs. above
Rainfall: 1467.5mm (Avg.)
Best time to visit: October to February
Clothing: Summer- Light Woolens, Winter- Heavy Woolens
State Language: Manipuri
Festivals: Yaosang (March / April). Ratha Yatra (June / July). Christmas (December)

Imphal The capital of Manipur is a bustling mini-metropolis situated at the height of 790 m above sea level. It is surrounded by Nongmaijing hills in the East and the Langol in the North. Imphal has an area of 1228 sq. km. It is the nerve centre of all cultural, commercial and administrative activities of the State. Imphal is connected by a network of roads with all important cities and town in the North eastern region.

The city is mainly inhabited by the Vaishnavites and it is just 7 kms from the airport of Manipur (Tulihal airport). The district is divided into East and West and the recently constructed stadium (Khuman Lampak Stadium) is also one of the attractions comprising of every thing, from a cyclists velodrome to the main stadium. Most of the imported goods are sold here at its Paona Bazar and Gambhir Singh Shopping Complex.

Imphal is one of the few places in India where nothing seems to have changed. Imphal in Manipur is a tiny valley tucked away in the northeastern state of Manipur. Relics of an old, historical palace, well-planned temples and ceremonial houses in all their splendour amidst the tall pine and jackfruit trees, speak of Imphal's ancient past. Lying at the center of Manipur valley, Imphal is one of the most ancient towns in the Indian subcontinent and has much to provide to a discerning tourist.

By Air
Imphal Airport lies 8 km from Imphal city toward south. Imphal connects the place with Guwahati, Delhi, and Calcutta. Indian Airlines connects Imphal with Delhi via Guwahati on a daily basis.

By Rail
Dimapur, 215 km from Imphal, is the nearest railhead for Manipur.

By Road
Imphal is connected by road with Dimapur by National Highway 39 and Silchar by National Highway 53. Motorable roads connect Imphal with Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Guwahati, Itanagar, Kaziranga, Kohima, Shillong. Nagaland and Manipur State Transport also runs semi-luxury bus daily from Dimapur to Imphal (9 hrs).

Shri Shri Govindajee Temple
This temple adjacent to the palace of the former rulers of Manipur is a sacred center for Vaishnavites. It is a simple and beautiful structure with twin gold domes, a paved courtyard and a large congregation hall. The presiding deity, Radha Govind is flanked by idols of Balarama and Krishna on one and Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on the other.

Saheed Minar
The imposing Minar of Bir Tikendrajit Park standing tall in the eastern tall in the eastern side of the Imphal Pologround of the state’s capital commemorates the indomitable spirit of Manipur martyrs who sacrificed their lives while fighting against the Britist in 1891. The eye-catching Minar also serves as an ideal background for photo shoots.

War Cemetery
The British and the Indian Army Cemeteries commemorating those who died in the Second World War are serene and well maintained with little stone markers and bronze plaques recording brief accounts of their anguish and sacrifice. These graves are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves commossion.

Manipur Zoological Garden
About 6 Kms. From Imphal towards the west, lies the Zoological Garden at Iroishemba, hidden half-a-mile from the Imphal-Kangchup road. Graceful brow-antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest species in the world, can be seen there in sylvan surroundings. A trip to this garden at the foot of pine-covered hillocks in the western-most corner of Lamphelpat will be an affair to remember. It will be the children’s day out.

At an altitude of 921 metres, Singda is a beautiful picnic spot 16kms away from Imphal. The scenery is inviting. There is an Inspection Bunglow to convenience visitors. Greeted by a breeze-ruffled artificial lake, every visitor is tempted to revisit with packed lunch and a bunch of bum-chums. Kangchup is a beautiful health resorts on the hills overlooking the Manipur Valley. The site is picturesque and worth seeing. With the construction of Singda Dam at Kangchup, the place has become one of the important picnic spots. There is an inspection Bunglow here.

It is 6kms from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road. Langthabal is a small hillock rich in the relics of an old historical place, well-planned tempted to revisit with packed lunch and a bunch of bum-chums.

Red Hill (Maibam Lokpa Ching)
It is a hillock about 17 Kms. South of Imphal City on Tiddim Road. The place was an action-packed location where a fierce battle took place between the Allied Forces and the Japanese Forces in World War II. Japanese war veterans constructed a monument at the foot of this hill and it was significantly named” India Peace Memorial”.

Bishnupur is 27 kms away from Imphal City on Tiddim Road. Here stands the conical temple of lord Vishnu built in 1467 during the region of King Kyamba. It is interesting because of its antiquity and architectural design which was influenced by Chinese style. Bishnupur I also known for its stoneware production. The bustling district headquaters is popular for hill-grown oranges, yongchak (tree-bean) and vegetables. Shoibum (fermented bamboo-shoot) scents the air around the town market.

It is a hot-favourite tourist spot in Bishnupur district lying just in the outskirts of the district headquarters. A small but aesthetically satiating lake surrounded on all sides by green foliage-rich hillocks, is the main attraction of the spot. Boating facility is also provided to the tourists. A cool greenery-hedged IB built on an elevated site overlooking the lake waits to host visitors on the look-out for a night’s stay.

A Charming resort on the western fringes of the Loktak Lake is situated 40kms south of Imphal. It is joined to the mainland by a low causeway. From there, life in and around the gigantic expanse of the loktak lake can be viewed vividly.

Moirang is located 45 kms away from Imphal city on Tiddim Road. The ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing stands there. Every May, men and women in bleft traditional costumes sing and dance in honour of the lord there in an eventful festival called Moirang Lai Haraoba.
It was from the village of Moirang that the graceful, Khamba Thoibi dance originated. It was also at Moirang that flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14, 1944. There is an INA Museum exhibiting letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other articles associated with INA. A bronze statue of Netaji in uniform stands proud in the lawn.

Loktak Lake
Loktak Lake is like a miniature sea. It is the largest fresh water lake in the North-East. Sendra is a hillock of an island of Loktak lake, 48Kms away from Imphal City on Tidim road. From the Tourist bunglow, set atop Sendra Island, visitors can get a bird’s eye-view of the unique Loktak Lake and the floating mass called "Phumdis".

Keibul Lamjao National Park
The Park is located in the south western part of the Loktak Lake. This is the last natural habitat of the marsh-friendly brow-antlered deer (Sangai) of Manipur. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating park in the world. Shooting for game is prohibited there.

It is a beautiful hillock about 29kms from Imphal on Imphal-Yairipok Road. Kaina is a sacred place of the Hindus. According to legend, one night, Shri Govindajee appeared to his devotee Bhagyachandra, Maharaja of Manipur, in a dream and asked him to build a temple enshrined with his image carved out of a Jackfruit tree which was then growing at Kaina. Hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place saintly solemnity Ceremonial dances depicting the divine dreams are performed as Rasa Lila at the Mandop.

It is situated on the Indo-Myanmar Road, 36Kms away from Imphal. It is a place of utmost historical importance. Khonjom was the venue where Major General Paona Brajabashi and other brave Manipuri warriors proved their worth in warfare against the mighty force of the invading British Army in 1891. Khongjom is regarded in awe as a symbol of patriotism and valour. A war memorial laid on the top of this venerable hill adds the historical ambience of the heroic site. Khongjom Day is observed as a State Function every year on April 23.

Andro lies 27Kms east of the state capital Imphal. The small town is an ancient Scheduled Caste village of the state. A cultural Complex was established there by the Mutua Museum, Imphal. It exhibited potteries of the North-eastern region of India. There also is a Doll-house wherein dolls of recognized Tribes of the State are displayed.

It is the second biggest town of the state spreading out on both sides of the Tiddim Road, 60Kms away from Imphal. It exhibited potteries of the North-Eastern region of India. There also is a Doll-House wherein dolls of recognized Tribes of the State are displayed.

69 Kms away from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar highway, one comes across the highest point in altitude on the way to Moreh, the border town with Myanmar. Over there, one is at advantage point to have a full view of the valley portion of the state. To stay at or pass through the elevated peak of a village, you need warm clothing in any part of the year. You’ll feel as if you are put inside a fridge. As in Ooty, summer is gone from Tengnoupal.

The international border town is located on the Indo-Myanmar Road 110Kms south east of Imphal. Being a commercial town, it attracts a large number of people from away from Tamu, its Myanmarese counterpart which was of late given face lift. The recent opening of the Border Trade turned Moreh into an important commercial hub in the North-East. Right on the other side of the border, at Namphalong, there’s a big Myanmarese shopping complex selling all kinds of Thailand and Chinese consumer goods. The shopping complex serves as a poor man’s alternative to Bangkok’s National Stadium Shopping Arcade. Things come much cheaper there. Conducted Tours are organized from Moreh to Myanmarese towns like Kalimiew and Mandalay. Such a tour is of the rare opportunities.

The district headquaters of Ukhrul district is situated 83 Kms away from Imphal in the east. Undoubtedly, one of the highest hill stations of the state, Ukhrul is famous for a peculiar type of terrestrial Lily, the Siroy Lily (Lilium macklinae sealy) which is grown on the Siroy Hill. Khangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursion. Ukhrul wears gay and festive appearance during Christmas. Known for the natural hospitality of its people, I is the place where pioneer missionary, William Pettigrew was first offered a foothold.

It’s the district headquaters of Tamenglong district situated 156 Kms from Imphal. The region is known for its deep gorges, mysterious caves, refreshing waterfalls, exotic orchids and oranges. The Tharon Caves, Booming Meadow, Zeilad Lake and Barak waterfalls are interesting tourist spots in Tamenglong district. There’s nothing to beat the Tamenglong brand of oranges and cane-mats.

Mao is one of the oldest hill stations Manipur bordering Nagaland located midway between Dimapur and Imphal on the National Highway 39 at an altitude of 5762.02 feet above sea-level. The Mao IB, built by the Royal Military engineers in 1897 is more than hundred years old. The cultural mosaic of Manipur is not complete without the colorful Mao-Naga dance. Other places worth visiting is Makhel, the historical place of Naga dispersal and the legendary places worth visiting is Makhel, the historical place of Naga dispersal and the legendary place of common origin of the Meiteis and the Nagas, which has the oldest pear tree memorial of the dispersal. Dzuko Valley with its pristine beauty blooms with a rare lily between May and July known as Dzuko Lily.

Koubru Leikha
Koubru is one of the pious mountains of Manipur and is located on NH-39. A three hundred years old temple of Lord Koubru Mahadeva is situated in the foot hills of "Awang asuppa yoimyai khunda Ahanba Mountain". The devotees offer rituals in the name of Koubra Baba or the Lord Shiva. In the month of Savan & Mahashiv Ratri, around twenty five thousands devotees used to come in ceremonial attires from different places to offer rituals and chant Mantras in praise of Lord Shiva. The temple is situated besides a beautiful mountain river which attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists. The temple has been maintained for the last 10 years by the Manipur Seva Kanwariya Samittee.

This capital city of Manipur is bestowed with great shopping facilities, which makes Imphal shopping a beautiful experience even for the tourists visiting the city from far and wide. Shopping in Imphal mainly includes buying local handicraft goods. Shopping at Imphal is best for clothes and accessories, which include jewelry and shoes primarily.

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