Last Updated: June 27, 2018 Abhishek Gurung
Situated at the edge of Northeast India, Manipur’s capital, Imphal is one stupendous place to visit for a vacation offering a series of heart-moving sites. Like literally, it will ‘move’ your heart seeing spellbinding tourist places like the all-women market of Ema Keithel; Khonghampat Orchidarium known for beautiful orchids; Kangla Fort showcasing the heritage of Manipur. And on the other hand, Imphal will compel you to ‘move’ your legs in order to pay visit to various attractions that have exciting things to do like exquisite Manipuri dishes and boat ride in a floating national park. Of course, in order to explore a place wholeheartedly, the trick is to interact more with the locals who know everything about unique tourist hotspots as well as lesser known yet amazing places to see. However, you also have an option to choose to read this blog of 10 things to do and places to visit in Imphal to make a comprehensible to-do list.
Let’s Explore Must Visit Tourism Places in Imphal…
…places in Imphal will keep you hooked telling you stories of the past of king and queens in the richly built forts and museums. And that the empowerment of women is just an added bonus to experience, when you visit a sole market dedicated to women.
Ema Keithel: Mother’s Market where no male sellers are allowed
The empowerment theory for women has made quite a few headlines in India in the past few years but I feel the state of Manipur had already pioneered women empowerment long ago. And you will see a glimpse of it when you visit the world’s largest market run by local women. During your holiday in Imphal, ask the locals for this market which is locally known as Khwairamband Bazar, too long to remember? try Nupi Keithel or just a bazaar run by women. Here, you can explore local handwoven items, from jewelry to modern clothing to traditional shawls and even baskets that are all made of bamboo strands.
Kangla Fort: Explore the historically rich heritage of Manipur
A historically significant palace or a fort known as Kangla is one of the best attractions you can visit while in Imphal. This archeological site though in ruins is filled with success and war stories. Plan a half day tour in Kangla Fort that comprises of pilgrimage sites, the main palace complex and the burial ground for the royal members. In fact, there are many other important places like Nungjeng Pukhri which is a sacred pond, the ruins of the Citadel, stone inscription and more. Kangla Fort is certainly a fabulous place to be in where you can explore the archaeological remains that speak of rich Manipuri past.
Manipur State Museum: See a wide collection of Manipuri culture, lifestyle and wildlife
One of the best ways to explore a destination and its culture, lifestyle, and history, is to visit the local museums as they are the sole attraction that provide all the necessary informations. In this case, visit Manipur State Museum that offer guided tours to the visitors. Displayed items here are the historical belongings that bring awareness of culture and tradition but also, this museum holds various programs of nature conservation and of biological specimen. One of the main features this museum holds is the boat called Hiyag Hiren which is 54 feet / 16 metre long. Other items Manipur State Museum houses are gold-plated human mask, ancient smoking pipes, archaeological discoveries and tribal ornaments.
Manipur Zoological Garden: Take your children for a rendezvous with wild and nature
Inside Manipur Zoological Garden, you can have a fun time during family holiday as it has a melange of things for all sorts of visitors. While here, you can see 400 beautiful animal species and some popular ones residing here are Slow Loris, Python, Himalayan Bear, Hoolock Gibbon, Leopard Cat and Flying Squirrel. You can also find Eld’s Deer, popularly known as Thamin and endangered species first found in Manipur itself. Keep your eyes open to see one of the rare bird species known as Nongin.It is an indeed an ideal place to come and make the day out of it with children by seeing unique and indigenous species of animals and birds.
Khonghampat Orchidarium: Spend a day witnessing various types of scented orchids
An exquisite place to visit for nature lovers, Khonghampat Orchidarium is a lustrous flower garden that is looked after by the state’s Forest Department. This beautiful park treasures bundles of orchids that ooze sweet fragrance making it such a romantic attraction. While here, you can witness around 120 varieties of orchids among which the most beautiful ones are Vanda, Cymbidium, Dendrobium and Cattleya. Spread 200 acres of land, this park provides a perfect breeding ground for these alluring bunch of flora, and thus, it also receives a large number of tourists every year. However, to see the flowers bloom, make sure to plan during spring season as it is an ideal time to visit.
Popular Tourism Activities & Things to Do in Imphal
…things may get overwhelming during your tour in Imphal, with so much to do, i’d suggest you visit without pre-fixing your holiday as your itinerary may get jam-packed with lots more to do…
Go for a short ride from Imphal to Moreh and shop in the International Market
Venture on a thrilling ride to the edge of Indian territory, to a place that marks the Friendship-Gate between India and Myanmar, Moreh and its International Market. A visit here may overwhelm you seeing a wide variety of products like local handwoven items such as crafts and shawls, a mishmash of organic fruits and vegetables, if you are lucky, you can even savour some delicious street food of Myanmar. The busy bee market swarms with humans from sunrise to sunset making it a lively place to spend a day.
Note: You can visit the bordering town between Moreh (India) and Tamu (Myanmar) without visa, however to further enter Myanmar, you will require visa.
Ride on a traditional boat on Loktak Lake in the floating National Park
This one of a kind lake in Manipur, Loktak is certainly a must visit, it is a popular tourist destination that has a rejuvenating ambience, a place where you can definitely find bliss. Here, the thing you can do in order to create an unforgettable memory is by taking a boat ride around the freshwater lake. It is also said that it consists of many small islands and phumdis. As the boat sails around the lake you can take plenty of pictures of the scenic mountains and varieties of freshwater fish. In addition, to get a great wildlife holiday experience, you can visit Keibul Lamjao,which is one of its kind floating national park in the world.
Distance from Imphal: 47 km
Witness the state animal of Manipur Sangai at Keibul Lamjao National Park
As you just read, Keibul Lamjao National Park that is located near the famed Loktak Lake is one of the best national parks in Manipur and you could as well visit this fabulous wildlife destination to see the state animal of Manipur, Sangai deer. Now, the Manipur Zoo also has this animal and it may be for certain to see it up close, but, it is altogether a different experience sighting wild animals out in the open. Some of the rare animals you may encounter while here are the hog deer, sambar, muntjac, brow-antlered deer, musk deer etc; big cats like tigers, panthers, leopards are also frequently sighted here.
Distance from Imphal: 47 km
Tip: For adventure seekers, stay at the tourist bungalow located at Sendra Island, one of the islands of Loktak Lake.
Watch a theatre performance at the Chorus Repertory Theatre
For a change from all the tourist places, you can visit the 200-seater Chorus Repertory Theatre ingrained by a well-known Indian playwright and a theatre director, Ratan Thiyam. This place is internationally known especially for its particular show called Chakravyuha performed in the year 1984. Today it plays various stage shows displaying the traditional and contemporary art and lifestyle of Manipur. And without a doubt, Chorus Repertory Theatre will certainly impress anyone by their remarkable performances and also for those who enjoy art and literature.
Savour the delicious Manipuri cuisine in their many restaurants
A great way to end a day in Imphal is by savouring exquisite local Manipuri cuisine but before continuing further, you must know that Manipur like any other Northeast destinations have different tribes. Thus, each having their own distinct cuisine, however, the most common food or a side dish is Ironba, which is a chutney. If you happen to visit any restaurant in Imphal, do ask for traditional Manipuri Thali that consists of ‘Tan’, which is similar to North Indian Puri or West Bengal’s Luchi, ‘Chak Angouba’ a mix veg rice dish; ‘Sana Thongba,’ a vegetable dish mixed with paneer (cottage cheese) and aloo (potato); ‘Kelli channa’ is either yellow or green peas, ‘Alu Kangmet’ is mashed potatoes mixed with onions, ‘Mario Nakuppi Pakoura’ is basically a pakora (fritter) and ‘Khamen Ashinba Athoomba’ is a fried tomatoes mixed in sugar syrup.
Manipur’s capital certainly captivates the visitors, where the human swarms like ants around its many tourist sites. So to say, Imphal is basically one of the treasured places to visit in Manipur that has a melange of adventure, exploration, wildlife, food and culture. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed if you visit Manipur and its capital Imphal. If you need help in planning a trip, you can call us at +91-9212777223 or send us an email at email@example.com. You can also opt for tour packages that could save your money but get you that dreamed comfort.
Published: 07 Feb, 2018
Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.