A travel Guide to Imphal

Manipur Tourism

Manipur, one of the seven sisters in India, is blessed with beautiful waterfalls and lakes, breathtaking hilltops and valleys making it one of the most popular travel destinations across the country. The numerous tribes that inhabit this land bring along rich culture and traditions through folk songs and dance forms. Whether you’re an offbeat traveller, someone who wants to rejuvenate amidst the serene beauty and natural music of this place or you’re an adventure seeker, Manipur tourism caters to all.

Manipur India shares its border with Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Myanmar. Some of the popular Manipur tourist attractions are Dzokou Valley, Manipur State Museum, Shri Govindjee Temple, Ningombam Bazaar, Zeilad Lake and many others. If you’re planning to visit Manipur here’s a precise Manipur travel guide that can help you plan your itinerary.

Places to visit in Manipur

1. Imphal

The capital city is nestled in a valley surrounded by the scenic beauty of its mesmerising hilltops. Any trip to Manipur is incomplete without visiting Imphal. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Manipur and the entire North-east India. Imphal is blessed with glistening lakes and astounding waterfalls which makes up for a perfect travel experience for its visitors. The place also holds historical significance because of the ‘Battle of Imphal’. Some of the most popular Manipur tourist places that reside in Imphal are Manipur State Museum, Langthabal, Shri Govindjee Temple, and Palace of Kangle. While you’re in Imphal, you can even take part in several Manipur cultural festivals.

2. Chandel

Chandel or as it is popularly known as Lamka is a small and picturesque district in the state of Manipur. It is termed as the ‘Gateway to Mynamar’ because of its position along the international border that India and Myanmar share. Chandel houses more than 20 tribes who bring along their diverse culture and traditions. People visiting the place can delve deeper into their artforms and enjoy traditional folk songs and dance performances during their stay. Chandel is also rich in flora and fauna and you can witness a variety of orchids and several other plants that hold medicinal values. It is a perfect spot for nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts. You can also visit Tengnoupal which is the highest point falling on the route of India to Myanmar and offers the best views making it an important part of the Manipur travel guide.

3. Thoubal

Thoubal is known for experiencing a pleasant climate throughout the year and attracts lots of tourists from across the world. Being home to numerous temple and beautiful water bodies, it is a perfect location for a getaway to rejuvenate and wander amidst nature. Manipur tourism also offers trekking and hiking activities to the ones who want to get their adrenaline pumped. Tourists can visit the local market such as Nigombam Laxmi Bazaar and Athokpam Bazaar. While in Thoubal, one must not forget to try the Manipuri special, the traditional rice and fish. Some of the other famous landmarks of Thoubal are Waithou Lake and Khongjom War Memorial.

4. Tamenglong

Tamenglong is widely known as the ‘Land of Hornbill’ and is part of every birdwatcher’s Manipur travel guide. The waterfalls and rivers of Tamenglong are major contributors to the beauty of this town making it one of the most serene places to visit in Manipur. If you’re planning to visit, then the months between October and April caters to the best experience. The dense forests of Tamenglong inhabit several animals like leopards, tigers, hyenas, wild dogs, hog deers and many others. Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary and Tharon Cave are some of the other famous Manipur attractions in this town.

5. Bishnupur

Known for housing numerous pilgrim sites, Bishnupur is one of the must-visit Manipur tourist places. Many devotees travel to this place to seek blessings at the temples that also exhibit some of the best works of architecture such as Jor Bangla Temple and Vishnu Temple. Apart from being a pilgrimage site, Bishnupur is also blessed with verdant grasslands and dense forests which provides a calm atmosphere for the ones looking for a rejuvenating experience. One can travel to this holy site between October and March and also visit several other attractions like Susunia Pahar, Panch Ratna and Dal Madol.

Things to do in Manipur

Here’s a list of things you can indulge in during your visit to Manipur

Trekking to Dzukou Valley

One of the top Manipur attractions, the Dzukou Valley is also known as the ‘Valley of Flowers of the East’. It is situated at an altitude of 2462 m above sea level on the border of Nagaland and Manipur. A trek to this place takes you through the pristine beauty of the valley and the gardens of rare exotic Lilies. It is a major tourist attraction among adventure seekers and photographers who can capture some of their best works of nature photography at this place.

Visit Manipur District Museum

Situated in the capital city, District Museum is one of the top Manipur attractions. It was established in 1969 and inaugurated by our former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. It exhibits the culture and heritage of the tribes who are inhabiting the marvellous land of Manipal through artefacts. The museum also houses ornaments, sculptures and photographs that depict the history of this state. The main highlight is the 54-feet-long gold-plated boat called Hiyag Hiren. This Museum is managed by the Manipal tourism department and the state government.

Pay your respects at the Khongjom War Memorial

Khongjom War Memorial is located 36 km from the capital city, Imphal. It was established in memory of the people who lost their lives during the Anglo-Manipur War. Major Brajabashi is remembered for fighting with all the courage against the invasion of the Britishers during the year 1891. 23rd April is celebrated as Khongjom Day and if you’re visiting at this time, then the War Memorial is the place to be. Remember the sacrificed lives of the people who fought bravely for their native land.

Shopping in the local markets

The culturally rich state of Manipur is famous for its handicrafts and textile. You can take a stroll down the local bazaar only to be drawn by the beautiful local products like dreamcatchers, jewellery, shawls and other apparels which you can take as a souvenir for your loved ones back at home.

Try out the local delicacies of Manipur

When in Imphal, it is extremely important for you to taste authentic Manipuri cuisine. Influenced by Tibetan cuisine, the local Manipuri delicacies have beautiful flavours and enchanting aroma. Grab yourself a plate of all the famous dishes like Kanshoi, Eromba, and Paaknam.

Visit Manipur Zoological Park

Located 8 km from the city centre, Manipur zoological Park is home to several animals who are being preserved from getting endangered. You can visit the park amidst thick forests, go for a wildlife safari and click pictures of nature. This is a famous spot among birdwatchers as you can notice some rare species as well. Just a walk through the trails of this forest leaves a rejuvenating effect on the mind and soul.

Best time to visit Manipur

Travellers can take a trip to Manipur whenever they wish as it is a year-round holiday destination, however the best time to visit Manipur is between the months of October and March, the weather is pleasant making it a memorable experience for its visitors.

Manipur hosts several festivals during the winter months such as the Hornbill Festival in December, Gaag Ngai in December or January, and Sekreny in February; making winters and the onset of summers the best season to visit Manipur.

How to reach Manipur

Now when it comes to how to reach Manipur, the answer is very simple. Manipur is accessible by all means of transport i.e airways, railways, and by road. However, flights are the most convenient way to set out on your journey to Manipur.

By Air

Tourists can take direct flights to Imphal, the capital city which houses the airport. The airport operates flights to the nearby cities of the seven sisters as well as other major Indian cities like Kolkata and Delhi. If you’re a foreign tourist, all you have to do is fly to one of these cities and then go ahead on your journey to Manipur.

By Railways

Manipur doesn’t have its own railway station. The nearest railway station that will connect you to Manipur is the Dimapur Railway Station in Nagaland. Tourists can get buses or taxis at the railway station that will take them ahead to their hotels in Imphal or other cities of Manipur.

By Road

The road network to Manipur is pretty efficient. You can hop on a Manipur State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) or other private buses and enjoy the scenic beauty during the journey. Road trips are advisable only if you’re travelling from nearby cities and towns otherwise the journey can get really tiring.