Serene, simple and soothing, Manipur is a small North Eastern state. It is often referred as the ‘Switzerland of India’ due to its pristine beauty, distinct cultures, scrumptious cuisine and happy locals. Manipur is selfishly blessed by the Mother Nature and it proudly houses unusual landscapes, rolling hills, green valleys, azure lakes and dense forests. It is one of the 'seven sisters’ and remains a must visit for tired souls seeking mental solace.
Places to Visit
Start your holidays to Manipur by visiting Imphal, the capital of Manipur. This beautiful city offers you views of plains and hills and lets you explore a range of attractions, including Loktak Lake, Red Hill Lokpaching, Sirohi National Park, Kangla Fort, Manipur State Museum, Sekta Archaelogical Living Museum, Manipur Zoological Gardens, etc. Ukhrul is another visual delight of Manipur where you can relax amidst ample of valleys, hills, waterfalls and streams. Here Khayang Peak, Shirui Kashung Peak, Kachouphung Lake, Khangkhui Cave, Nillai Tea Estate and Ango Ching are must visit places. Bishnupur is another frequented city in Manipur known for its temples like Jorebangla Temple, Pancha Ratana Temple, Shyamrai Temple, Siddheswar Temple, Radha Shyam Temple, etc.
Breathe some fresh air in Ukhrul which looks like an English countryside. It is the best hiking destination in Manipur with peaks like Khayang Peak and Shirui Kashung Peak. The flawless beauty of Churachandpur is also worth exploring in Manipur. It has a deep historical significance and richness of nature with Ngaloi Falls, Tonglon Cave and Khuga Dam.
The locals of Manipur are devoted towards their cultures and follow their traditions by heart. All these festivities bring out their cultural richness and simplicity of their lifestyle. Cheiraoba Festival is a New Year festival of the state celebrated with great fervour with singing, dancing and sweet making. Yaoshang (Holi) brings out all the colours of Manipur when locals play with colours and organise grand feasts. Lai Haraoba is another festival which is dedicated to local deities. Men and women perform Thoibi and Khamba to please the god during the festival.
Also, witness the festivities of the Kut Festival. This autumn festival is celebrated by the tribes of Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups with lots of singing and dancing. This is a harvest festival and holds great importance among locals. For the most ravishing cultural fiesta, Manipur Sangai Festival is a great treat. The festival brings along dance, music and sports of Manipur. Some of the key performances during the festival include Kabui Naga Dance, Raas Leela, Bamboo Dance and Khamba Thoibi Dance.
Manipuri cuisine includes spicy foods with less oil. Ingredients used are organic which are found locally. The locals here love rice, fish and leafy vegetables. Chamthong or Kangshoi is a popular vegetable stew made using seasonal vegetables and served with rice or fish. Eromba is a much loved combination of rice and fish made in every household. Morok Metpa (prepared using dried green chillies) is a tasty chutney which is a hit in Manipur. Paaknam is a popular snack item made with traditional Ngari fish. Also, try Nga-Thongba, a classic fish curry. Manipur has a special way to treat your taste buds with Chahao Kheer which is purple in colour and is prepared using rice, milk and cardamom powder.
Manipur is a treasure trove of handloom clothes and handicrafts. The locals here proudly showcase their craftsmanship through their artistic handicrafts, including bamboo, papier mache, ivory, dolls and jewellery. Manipuri hand-woven textiles are world popular. Manipuri dance dolls make the best souvenirs and are sold in all local markets. ?The most popular markets of Manipur are Paona Bazaar, Khwairamband Bazaar, Nagampal Market, Tera Bazaar, etc.
By Air: Imphal Tulihal Airport in Imphal is well connected with all major cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, etc.
By Rail: Manipur does not have a railway station. The closest ones are in Guwahati, Dimapur and Silchar.
By Road: The road network is quite good in the state.