Manipur is one among the eight sister states of Incredible India and is situated in the northeast of the country. “Imphal” is the capital of Manipur. The word ‘Manipur’ in the literal sense means, the ‘Jeweled Land’. Let the haunted places in Manipur excite you and set your travel mode on. Don’t you want to visit the lofty hills that give pleasurable chills? The fresh air and the green views, the clouds touching your soul and the sweet sound of the waterfalls, everything seems so enticing.
Manipur is definitely your one-stop tourist destination. Having a vacation? Then run away from the city life and enjoy in calmness. Say no to clubs on weekends but yes to these beautiful sceneries. With the efforts of the government, Manipur tourism is flourishing at a fast rate which in turn is enabling the industry of Indian tourism.
History of Manipur: The Formation
The history of Manipur civilization dates back to the ancient 33 A.D. The region was under the rule of over hundred kings whose kingdom was called by different names. The story of the origin and the kings’ history suggest that ‘King Pakhangba’ and ‘Maharaja Bhagyachandra’ were prominent rulers of Manipur. The region was under attack of the Japanese which led to the battle of Imphal and later the region was dominated by the British until India being an independent country.
Geography of Manipur
The state of Manipur spreads across an area of 22,347 km2 and is elevated at 790 meters above the sea level. Manipur lies between the latitudes 23°83’N – 25°68’N and longitude 93°03’E –94°78’E on the map. The geography characterizes the state as the outlying area of craggy hills and the narrow green valleys.
The region is divided into 9 Tehsils which are further divided into various towns and local villages. The city population of Manipur was 28,55,794 as per the census report in 2011. The Manipur capital – Imphal is connected through roadways, railways and airways.
Biodiversity of Manipur
Manipur is blessed with a rich biodiversity. The natural vegetation of the region covers an approximate area of 14365km2, which is around 64% of the total geographical area. The vegetation is divided into four types of forests – the Dry Temperate Forest, the Tropical Semi-evergreen, the Sub-Tropical Pine and the Tropical Moist Deciduous.
Climatic Conditions of Manipur
The topography of the region influences the climate of the state. The summer weather is warm with an average maximum temperature of 32°C while winter is chilly and often accompanied by frost and snowfall as a resultant of the Western Disturbance. The average annual rainfall received by the state is 1,467.5 millimeters.
The best time to visit Manipur is from ‘October to March’ as it is a peak tourist season owing to the factor of ideal climatic conditions of the region during this period.
The culture of Manipur is a blend of the rich customs and traditions of the people. The rituals and customs of Manipur are heavily influenced by the lives and beliefs of the tribes and communities who have settled in the land. The women play a key role in the Manipuri society as they dominate the society and shoulder responsibility of their family.
A total of 29 dialects are spoken in the state of Manipur out of which ‘Manipuri’ is the state’s official language. ‘Manipuri’ is also known as ‘Meiteilon’ and it is the widely spoken regional language of the state.
Interesting Facts about Manipur
- The population density of Manipur as per 2011 was 122/km
- The Brow-antlered Deer is the state animal of Manipur.
- The Nongin is the state bird of Manipur.
- The Indian Mahogany is the state tree of Manipur.
- Lily is the state flower of Manipur.
- The Khwairamband Bazar is a local market in this state that is run by 3000 mothers.
- The Barak River is the largest river that originates in the state.
- The Loktak Lake is the largest fresh water lake in the North-East of India.
- The ghost stories surrounding the JNIMS hospital makes the region one of the scary places of the state.
Manipur Tourism: The Best Tourist Attractions
The state of Manipur is bestowed with immense scenic beauty that ranges from undulating hills to lush green flat plains, still lakes to fast flowing rivers and waterfalls. The scope of tourism in Manipur is flourishing over the years through the help of the government and the locals. The presence of an array of best tourist attractions and tourist activities affects the tourism industry in a positive way. Book hotels and resorts with the best views to enjoy your stay at Manipur to the fullest. Also entrust a reliable travel guide while dealing in tickets and reservations.
- Historical Places: The presence of natural caves and historical monuments gives the tourists a chance learn about the history and ancient values of the region. The War Cemetery, Mutua Museum in Andro Village, Manipur State Museum Thalon Cave, Khangkhui Cave, and Shaheed Minar. Kangla is among the popular Manipur tourist places.
- Temples: Vishnu Temple, Bishnupur and Shree Govindajee Temple are among the famous temples of Manipur that are also known for its beauty and unique architecture.
- Hills and Valleys: The region is on the outlying of the hills. Therefore, a number of picturesque hills can be spotted in the region overlooking the green valleys. The Kaina, Langthabal, The Dzukou Valley and Sandra Hills are the popular hills and valleys of Manipur which serves as the perfect sightseeing places in the region.
- Eco Tourism: Wildlife sanctuary and national park serve the purpose of preserving the rich biodiversity of a region. Therefore a couple of parks and protected areas are built in Manipur to preserve its flora and fauna. The Keibul Lamjao National Park and the zoological gardens are two of the examples of such protected areas.
- Adventurous Places: Besides trekking the youth and adventurous soul seek out for haunted and scary places to quench their thirst for adventure. The Thalon Caves and the JNIMS Hospital are believed be among the most adventurous places and haunted places in North East India.
- Romantic Places for Couples: Immense natural beauty and scenic tranquility makes Manipur one of ideal honeymoon destinations. The Khonghampat Orchidarium, Tourist Bunglow on Sendra Island, Sendra Park and resort, the Lokta Lake and Loukoi Pat are ideal romantic places for couples.
- Shopping Malls: Manipur is an ideal shopping hub for its tourists. The place abounds in local markets and shopping malls. The Paona Bazaar, Ningthibi Collections, Gam-bir Sing Shopping Complex, the Moreh Market, Khwairamband Bazar and Leima Plaza are among the popular shopping destinations in Manipur.
- Other Tourist Places: Agape Park, Kangchup Health Resort, a Picnic Spot, Sadu Chiru Waterfall, places make Manipur of the best vacation spots in India.
People of Manipur
The ethnicity of Manipur comprises of different tribes and communities. The characteristics of the people and their beliefs shape the Manipuri society and its culture. The major religions of the people are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sanamahism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. The Meities, the Tangkhuls, the Kukis, the Monsangs, and the Anals are the prominent tribes in Manipur.
Rice and Fish are compulsory on the food platter for most of the people in Manipur. The majority of popular Manipur recipes include fish which is prepared in a number of different ways. The list of popular dishes include Kabok, Iromba, Carrot Khabi and Channa Kanghou, Yongchaak Singju, Aloo and Mangan Kanghou, Morok Atekpa Metpa, Nganam, Paaknam, Chagem Pomba , Pakoura Thongba, Keli Chana, Nga-thongba , etc.
Major Festivals in Manipur
Festivals are a significant part of the Manipuri culture. Each festival is a symbol of the social and religious beliefs of the people. The festivals list include the Yaoshang, the Cheiraoba festival, the Gang-Ngai, the Kut festival and the Kang or ‘Rathyatra‘ as the major festivals of Manipur. Other celebrated festivals of the region are Lai-Haroba, Chumpa, Ningol Chakouba, Heikru Hitongba, Baruni, chirstmas, Durga Asthami, Ramjan ID and Kwak Jatra.
Folk dance and regional songs are an integral part of the Manipuri customs and celebrations. Thabal Chongba Dance, the Lai Haroaba Ishei, Pena Ishei, the Cymbal Dance, Ras Lila, Khamba Thoibi Dance and Pung Cholom are among the popular dance forms of Manipur. Nupa Pala or the Manipuri dance is the classical dance form of Manipur.
Popular Fairs in Manipur
How can one not love Melas? Almost, everyone. The grand celebration and mini shops selling their exclusive goodies just win our hearts. Fairs are organized to commemorate the festivals of the regions with grandeur and gusto. The popular fairs of Manipur include Ningol Chakouba, Cackouba, and Yaoshang.
Clothing Trends in Manipur
The youth and urbane population of Manipur are fashionable and up-to-date with the clothing trends of the season. The traditional dresses of Manipur for women include Innaphi, Mayek Naibi, Phanek and Kanap Phanek. Lai Phi and Chin Phi are special traditional dresses that are worn by women during specific rituals. Dhoti, Jacket and Turban are popular traditional dresses for men. Phiranji, Ningthoupee, Saijounba and Lmaphie are popular tribal costumes of Manipur.
Over the years, efforts are being made to for the overall growth and development of the agrarian and industrial sectors in the state. The youth and urbane people are embracing the changes with open hands and it is not limited to the latest fashion trends. The literacy rate of Manipur as per 2011 was 76.94% and state is featuring in the news mostly for all the right reasons.
Districts of Manipur