Manipur is blened with the majestic Loktak Lake, the strategic location of Moreh town, the uniqueness of the floating Keibul-Lamjao National Park and the Sangai Deer, the beauty of the and Dzukou Lilies, along with the naturally formed limestone caves, pristine green hills and valleys, meandering rivers, cascading rapids, exotic flora & fauna complimented by a rich arts and culture, folklore, myths and legends, indigenous games and artistic handloom and handicrafts.
These make Manipur a little paradise on earth and an enticing destination for a tourist to explore. The Asian Development Bank has identified the region as a 'Key Area' due to its 'unrealized potential as an eco-tourism product'.
With planned and professional harnessing of tourism potential, Manipur is likely to become a preferred tourist destination which in turn would help in increasing both domestic tourists arrivals as well as generating the much needed employment, socio-economic benefit, revenue and other ancillary benefits to the state. Districts-wise Places of interest are given :
The District is situated in two separate valleys of the state namely Central Valley and Jiribam Valley. The total area of District is 469.44 sq. km. approximately. The District is situated at an altitude 790 metres above the M.S. Level. The climate of the District is salubrious and Monsoon is tropical. It has no rail network and hence communication is entirely dependent on roads except Jiribam Sub-Division bordering Cachar District of Assam where there is a railhead. The District is connected with N.H. 39, N.H. 53 and N.H. 150.
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, Tangkhul etc.
It is a hillock about 921 metres above sea level and a sacred place of the Manipuri Hindus. So goes the story that one night, Shri Govindajee appeared in the dream of his devotee, Shri Jai Singh Maharaja and asked the saintly king to install in a temple, an image of Shri Govindajee. It was to be carved out of a jack fruit tree, which was then growing at Kaina. The scenery in this place is charming and the hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place a religious atmosphere. It is only 29 km (18 mi) from Imphal.
A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining the royal palace of Manipur's former Maharajas', the Govindajee temple is one of the most popular destination 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 hour prayer (Aarti) is a must for devoted followers, exuding spiritual fervour and ecstasy.
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 and well-maintained, the War Cemetery carry little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifices of those gallant soldiers.
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.
The Imphal West District falls in the Category of Manipur valley region. It is a tiny plain at the centre of Manipur surrounded by Plains of other districts. Imphal City, the State Capital is the nodal functional centre of this District. It is surrounded by Senapati District on the north, on the east by Imphal East and Thoubal districts, on the south by Thoubal and Bishnupur Districts, and on the west by Senapati and Bishnupur Districts.
The seat of Manipur's power till 1891, the historical embodiment of Manipuri Rulers and the people of Manipur, Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur. The old Govindajee temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.
The indomitable spirit of the patriotic Meitei and tribal martyrs, who sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British in1891, is commemorated by this tall Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal city.
A unique all women's market, with more than 3000''Imas" (mothers) who run the stalls. It is split into two sections on either side of a road. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold in one section and exquisite handlooms and household tools in the other.
The complex is a tribute to the courageous Manipuri women, who sacrificed their lives fighting for justice against the British on 12th December, 1939.
The 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 are the costumes, arms & ammunitions, relics and historical documents on display.
The Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroishemba is only 6 kms. on the Imphal- Kangchup Road at the foot of pine growing hillocks. Here, apart from various endangered species, tourists will have an opportunity to see the graceful brow-antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest endangered species of deer in the world, in sylvan surroundings.
Thoubal District shares her boundary with Senapati district on the north, Ukhrul and Chandel districts on the east, Churchandpur and Bishnupur districts on the south and Imphal West and Imphal East districts on the west. The district covers an area of 519 Km. Thoubal town is the district headquarters.
Khongjom War Memorial Located 36 kms. from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road has an important historical significance. It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valour against the superior might of the invading British Army in 1891. The hillock defence of the motherland, is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors. A war memorial has been constructed atop Kheba hill. Khongjom Day is observed every year on 23rd April here.
A beautiful artificial garden on the way to Moreh, it has many exotic native flowers, herbs, orchids, etc. and is a must-visit for any domestic or foreign tourist.
Senapati District lies in the northern part of Manipur, surrounded by the Ukhrul District on the east; Tamenglong District on the west; Imphal East and Imphal West Districts on the south and Nagaland on the north. It lies at an altitude ranging from 1061m to 1788m above sea level. Earlier, it was known as the Manipur North District. The major ethnic communities of the district are Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal, Zemai, Kuki, Nepali and Tangkhul.
It is a truly mesmerising green valley and easily the most picturesque place in Senapati District located bordering Nagaland. It is famous for the 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.
The old village of Yangkhullen is a unique historical sight for every traveller visiting the district of Senapati. Built on a steep hill, Makhel, the place where the common origin of the Nagas is believed to have started is also an amazing experience for every traveller visiting Manipur. Willong Khullen is situated about 37 km from NH 39 and is home to structures similar to the Stonhenges in other parts of the world. It is largely unknown to many travelers.
Covering an area of 4,750 square kilometres. Churachandpur District lies about 66 km away from Imphal, along the Tiddim Road. The administrative headquarter of the district is Churachandpur Town. It is the fifth largest district of Manipur in terms of popular. The major tribes of the place are Kuki, Chin and Mizo including Paite, Hmar, Simte, Gangte, Zou, Vaiphei, etc.
It is situated at Ngaloimul village under Tuibuong Block. Enchanting waterfalls rushing down from low lying mountains with green scenic beauty in and around the waterfalls is worth seeing and is one of the favourite tourist spots in the district.
The Churachandpur hills also have a number of mysterious caves that unveiled a lot of historical and cultural accounts of the people residing in the district. The engraving scripts, sculptures carved in the caves are worth seeing.
Situated about 27 Km away from the main Imphal town, Bishnupur district is the smallest district in the state with an area of 496 Km. Nevertheless, it is scenic town situated at the foothills that rolls down to the valley. Interestingly, the district derives its name from a Vishnu temple located at Lamangdong.
This tiny lake located near the Tiddim Road on NH-150 at Bishnupur is a treat for visitors from within and outside the state. Boating facilities and the scenic beauty of the place is mesmerising for the visitors.
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.
About 20 kms. from Imphal beside the Tiddim Road (NH-150) is a picturesque site famous for its perennial waterfall at a scenic foot hill. There are three waterfalls altogether. This is a newly opened tourist spot.
Located 48 kms. from Imphal, is the largest fresh water lake in India's North-East. From the Tourist Bungalow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird's eye view of life on the lake on small islands that are actually fioating weeds associated with which are various aspects of life of the local inhabitants. The local dwellers live in the backdrop of the shimmering blue waters of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached Cafeteria is a sought after tourist spot. Boating and other water spots are organised here at Takmu Water Sports Complex.
The only floating National Park in the world, the Keibul Lamjao National Park located 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 be seen include: Hog Deer, Otter, a host of water fowls and migratory birds, the latter usually sighted during November to March. The Forest Department of Manipur maintains watch towers and two rest houses within the park.
Located 45 kms. From Imphal, and situated near the Loktak Lake, this town is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture. An ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing, is 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", a ritual dance festival held annually. This town also has a special place in the history of India's Freedom Struggle. It was at Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first unfurled on April 14,1944. The INA Museum which has a collection of letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other war memorabilia reminds the visitors of the noble sacrifices made by the INA soldiers under the charismatic leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The Land of the Tangkhuls made as a full fledged district in 1969. It lies 84 Km to the east of Imphal. The best time to visit Ukhrul is during summer because of its cool and pleasant summer. Winters in Ukhrul can be chilly even it snowed in the mountain range of Shirui Park. Ukhrul is surrounded by Myanmar on the east, Nagalang on the north, Chandel District on the south and Senapati district on the west. Its area is 4544 square Km and its population is 1.84 lakh as per census 2011. It is the home to Shirui Lily and Sirarakhong is famous for its chilli known as Sirarakhong hathei and it is a part of the Yu river basin.
These hills are also known for a unique species of land- lily, the Shirui Lily, which grows at a height of 8,500ft. This beautiful lily which grows only in this part of the world, blooms during May-June.
This pre-historic cave is one of the major tourist attractions of Ukhrul district of Manipur. Excavations have discovered evidence of habitations of Stone-Age communities. This limestone cave presents huge tourism potential and can attract lots of students, archaeologists and researchers from both within and outside the country.
It is about 150 sq. Kms. Bounded by Sanalok (Chamu) River in the west, Myanmar in the east, Kachouphung in North and Chatric in the South about 90 Kms. East of Ukhrul. The area is mostly inaccessible with a difficult terrain and has therefore remained untouched as virgin forest and form a natural habitat for a large number of rare and indigenous flora and fauna.
It is located about 7 km South east of Khayang Fall. The Lake is situated in a hill slope or Achuwa Magi Hills surrounded by a number of Knolls.
Tamenglong Headquarter lies at a distance of 156 Km from Imphal, the capital of Manipur. Situated in the western part of Manipur and lying on the hilltop with Barak River cutting across the district, Tamenglong is a beautiful district with rare and endangered plants unexplored forests, exotic orchids and wildlife. Rongmei, Liangmei and Zemei Nagas dominate the population of Tamenglong.
This is the mystical cave and the abode of fruit bats for adventure where different types of hall like Lous hall, Dancing Hall, Meeting Hall and others are there. About 12 caves are located under neath.
This is another mystical and legendary lake of natural water where Haipou Jadonang obtained might and spiritual power to fight against the British then and this is the best spot for boating in modern days.
Barak Waterfalls is splendid for rafting and unique spot for tourist. This is the place where Asha (a Hero of Rongmei) who hammered and place of occasional visiting place.
The Chandel District (formally known as Tengnoupal District) came into existence on May 13, 1974. It is the border district of the state. Its neighbours are Myanmar (erstwhile Burma). Ukhrul district, Churachandpur district and Thoubal district. It is about 64 Km. Away from Imphal. The National Highway No. 39 several communities. It is sparsely inhabited by about 20 different tribes. They are scattered all over the district.
This is a busy commercial town on the Indo-Myanmar border, located at a distance of 110 kms. from Imphal. A shopping paradise for shoppers, sundry products ranging from electronics to daily consumable are available in plenty. Thois place holds importance for visiting tourists not only for being o border town but also for providing a unique opportunity for experiencing the different cultures, lifestyles of Myanmar through the neighbouring border town of Tamu which is only 5 kms. away across the border. There are numerous hotels providing accommodation at affordable prices for a comfortable stay at Moreh.