Imphal, being the most stunning and inspiring city of the multifaceted state of Manipur, attracts a huge number of tourists every year. The interesting spots that fall in the list of 'must visit' places for travellers are - the foremost Kangla fort, the war cemeteries, Shree Govindajee temple, women's market or Ima Keithel. Manipur Zoological Gardens, and Manipur State Museum are the other stopoverswhile taking a tour of Imphal. When we talk about museums, the first thing that strikes our mind is art and culture. And so, museums in Imphal, too, showcase the traditions of the land and lifestyle of the locals. They elaborate on the same so well that they are nothing less than the storehouse of information educating the audience on Imphal's cultural heritage and its contemporary existence.
To list down, a couple of museums in Imphal are:
Manipur State Museum Positioned in the heart of the city, near Polo Ground, the Manipur State Museum is definitely the most well-known museum of the state. It had the privilege to get launched by the then Prime Minister of India - Indira Gandhi on 23rd September 1969. The museum is a worldwide acclaimed attraction. It talks about ample of galleries elucidating several aspects of natural history, ethnology and archaeology, and that too moderately featuring the state's striking tradition and a collection of portraits of Manipur's former rulers.
One of the most prominent elements that this museum boasts of is 54-feet long royal boat called HiyagHiren, presented in the open gallery. From historical relics, war weapons and tribal clothing to costumes spelling out true royalty and olden polo kit, an array of artifacts displayed is extremely awe-inspiring. A few collections that are unusually impressive comprise of golden bird with canopy and gold-plated human mask with skull.
Beside these items, visitors can also witness agricultural and domestic equipment, antique smoking pipes, tribal ornaments, lighters, Manipuri textiles and Buddha remnants. Almost all the objects in display here signify rich past of the state that forms a quintessential part of the history of Manipur.
Along with being active in conservation of archaeological discoveries, this museum also conducts awareness programs, cultural appreciation courses, science fairs, mobile and thematic exhibitions. It is also earning accolades for frequent programmes and activities like- events promoting conservation of biological case studies. All these factors make the Manipur State Museum a participated place for people of all ages and a must-visit site in Imphal.
Address: Manipur State Museum, Near Polo Ground, Imphal
Timing: 10 am - 4:30 pm
Closed: On Sunday and holidays
Sekta Archaelogical living Museum Sekta Mound, commonly called as "Sekta Kei" is a safeguarded archaeological site. About 16kms from Imphal, the historical hotspot is located in Sekta village. It is a prevailing proof to the past of Imphal and being one of the most ancient places of the region, it unleashes about the tribe, who had captured this region. The land also uncovers the beliefs and set of practices and rituals followed by the tribe for life, enhancement and death. This excavated site has absorbed umpteen of archaeologists and behavioural scientists to get well versed with the practices and procedures of burial customs of the Sekta people. To mention, the traces of the practice of second burial were discovered at the same place, which have faded away slowly.
The successful excavation of the site is a combined effort of the Archaeological Survey of India and State Archaeologists. The most amazing part is - this site is preserved as a living museum.
Living Museum Sektaunfolds archaeological evidences of a civilisation once flourished in the 14th - 15th century. Olden and archetypal Meitei villages still exist in Sekta which is a perfect place with a unique natural description.
Address: Sekta, Imphal