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Happy Holidays – Imphal

Imphal, the tiny capital city of the North Eastern State of Manipur, is an ideal location off the beaten track. Imphal in Manipur with the landscape of green-blue hills, lush fields and low clouds is like an exquisite painting. Lying at the centre of Manipur valley, Imphal is one of the most ancient towns in the Indian sub-continent and has much to provide to a discerning tourist. The various attractions in Imphal are: Shaheed Minar, the indomitable spirit of the patriotic Meitei and tribal martyrs, who sacrificed their lives while fighting the British in 1891, is commemorated by this tall Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal city. Khwairamband Bazar/ Ima Market a unique all women’s market, has 3,000 or more “Imas” or mothers who run the stalls. It is split into two sections on either side of a road. A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining Manipur’s former Maharajas’ Royal Palace, the Govindajee temple is one of the most attractive sights for the tourists. Manipur State Museum, near the Polo Ground, has a fairly good collection and display of Manipur’s tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur’s former rulers. Particularly, interesting items are costumes, arms and ammunitions, relics and historical documents. War Cemetery, commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II, and managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene is well maintained, the War Cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers. Manipur Zoological Garden is situated on the Imphal-Kangchup Road at the foot of the pine growing hillocks . Here apart from various endangered species, tourists can have an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest and endangered species in the world, in sylvan surroundings. Loukoi Pat is a tiny lake located near the Tiddim Road on N.H. 150 at Bishnupur and is a retreat for visitors from within and outside the state. Boating facilities and the scenic beauty of the place is able to mesmerise the visitors. Khonghampat Orchidarium is the Central Orchidarium which covers 200 acres and houses over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include dozens of endemic species. Bishnupur is a picturesque town situated at the foot hills that roll down to the valley. Bishnupur is also famous for its chiselled stoneware. Red Hill (Lokpaching) is a thrilling spot where the British and the Japanese fought a fierce battle during World War II. Sadu Chiru Waterfall is a picturesque site famous for its perennial Water Fall in a scenic foot hill. There are three waterfall spots. Kangchup is a health resort on the hills over-looking the Manipur valley. The scenery is picturesque and worth seeing. With the construction of Singda Dam here, the place has become one of the important picnic spots. Loktak Lake is the largest fresh water lake’s in the North East Region. From the Tourist Bunglow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird’s eye view of life on the Lake’s small islands that are actually floating weeds on which the Lake-dwellers live in the backdrop of the shimmering blue water of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. Moirang is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture with the ancient temple of the pre-hindu deity, Lord Thangjing, situated here. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the last natural habitat of the Sangai, the dancing deer of Manipur. A glimpse of the deer in this unique wetland ecosystem is a must for any wildlife enthusiast. Khongjom War Memorial, on the Indo-Myanmar road, is a major historical place. The hillock at the foot of which they laid down their lives in defence of their motherland, is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors. Mutua Museum houses pottery collection, rare coins, rare manuscripts of the state, paintings, basketries, bell metals, jewelleries, wood carving, etc. There are exact replicas of the houses from different tribes and groups of the state like: Poumai, Kabui, Meitei, Kuki, Tangkhul etc. With its unique tradition, variety of culture and beautiful surroundings, there is much to say about Imphal.

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