Places to visit in Manipur in 2021
Manipur fits the brief perfectly, as travel is a carousel of unfamiliar and exciting sights. Imphal, the capital, is a flat valley surrounded by hills that extend into Myanmar. Its major attractions include the unassuming city houses, the expansive and historic Kangla area, the Imphal War Cemetery of WWII, and the Indo-Japanese Peace Memorial at Red Hill.
As soon as you leave Imphal, the scenery changes dramatically. Every bend in the road is surrounded by breathtaking green. There are many options to choose from. You can wander in the ancient village of Andro in the gorgeous Senthi Natural Park, do boating in the unique Loktak Lake – the lake of floating islands, visit the mystical monoliths in the spectacular mountain village of Willong Khullen, visit the INA War Museum in Moirang or you can just spend the evening at the famous Rita Café in Imphal with live Manipuri music at your disposal.
Here is the list of places you should visit in Manipur:
It was the royal seat of the erstwhile capital of Manipur. The Ningthouja dynasty ruled the state from 33 A.D until 1891 when the British Empire took over. The 238-acre Kangla was only opened to the public in 2004, and it contains the ancestral abode of the ruling clan, their burial places, temples, shrines, and some megalithic structures spread across its territory. As all relics, imprints, and traces of Manipur's history originate from the Kangla region, it has a special status among Manipuri. Govindajee Temple is inside the remaining fortified wall. Its array of pillars is a hallmark of the venerable structure.
The Hijagang Temple is another important monument; the Hijagang temple built in 1846, has been renovated and is the most beautiful structure in the area. In the fort's Uttra (coronation halls of the erstwhile Kings), two large white statues of ‘Kangla Sha’ mark the original wood and brick structures that were destroyed by the Britishers following their occupation
The picturesque city of Ukhrul is a visual delight. Nature is more than just a visual delight. It elevates your spirits. Beautiful valleys, hills, waterfalls, and streams will captivate you. Ukhrul is a dream destination if you love nature. Here are some of the top destinations in Ukhrul
The Indo-Japanese Peace Memorial, Maibam
Known as the Battle of Red Hill, this small mound was the furthest point that the Japanese Army and the Azad Hind Fauj (AHF) could reach in 1944. Ironically, after the first battle of Independence (1857) where Indians fought with each other (sepoy uprising), this is the last battle before Independence where this happened.
It was also the first time an Indian force (British Indian Army) resisted a foreign invasion successfully. Heavy casualties occurred on the aggressor. Out of the estimated 500 soldiers who attacked Red Hill, only 40 survived. It is said that even many years after the war, the bones of dead soldiers could be seen during the monsoons when the soil washed away.
Through persistent efforts and with the help of the then Governor of Manipur - Mr Chintamani Panigrahi, the Japanese government managed to get a plot of 5000 square meters to commemorate the brave soldiers of either side. Three memorials were built on the site of Red Hill - a symbol of the war between Japan, India, and Britain - on the Tiddim Road near the village of Maibam.
Due to the many temples located here, Bishnupur is one of the most visited cities in Manipur for both its natural beauty and its places of worship. Temples here reflect the rich culture of the land and its architectural excellence. Given below are the leading tourist attractions in Bishnupur.
Santhei Natural Park, Andro
It is the ideal location for a day trip from Imphal, an hour away. It is famous for its handcrafted and unique style of pottery, tribal dolls, animal figurines, and wood carvings.
The Senthei Natural Park (near the village) is a popular picnic spot for locals. It is an ideal place to relax due to its lush green landscape, tidy pathways, sparkling lake, and bright flower beds. At the foothills of the Nongmaiching range in Manipur, the place offers a beautiful view of the surrounding hills.
Villagers are warm and simple. Souvenirs would not be subject to haggling with them. You can be pretty sure that they are asking for a reasonable rate.
As a district in Manipur, Churachandpur is perfectly suited. Churachandpur, like every part of Manipur, is blessed with natural beauty. The picturesque place is nestled between hills and valleys. It is also the second-largest city in the state. Despite its rich cultural diversity, the land is united. Tipaimukh offers boat riding facilities. Churachandpur has several important tourist attractions. It makes you want to go back to Manipur. For the majority of the population who are nature deprived in their homeland, Manipur is a dream destination. You will still find that Manipur has more to offer, even if you come from a land that is 'nature rich'. To make my next trip to the state more comprehensive, I would appreciate more information on the state.
Mystical Monoliths, Willong Khullen
Willong Khullen is a small village on the border between Manipur and Nagaland. Just at the entrance of this village lie rows of vertical stone slabs in various shapes and sizes surrounded by barbed wires. These structures have no history or significance of their existence.
They are revered as holy spirits by many villagers. Several old villagers believe that these were built in honor of fallen heroes in ancient times. The unusual positioning of the monoliths makes it impossible to count them. Repetition is always possible. Few unconfirmed reports estimate the number to be 135.
Loukoipat Ecological Park, Bishnupur
A hidden paradise lies between Imphal and Bishnupur. The Loukoipat Ecological Park doesn’t receive many tourists and thus is bereft of commercial influence and offers untouched natural surroundings. Walk along forest paths, boat on the calm waters of the small lake, and see the vast expanse of lotus plants that cover a third of the lake.
Manipur, the land popularly referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India’ is the right tourist destination for nature lovers. The state is rich in every sense, be it in the beauty of nature or the culture of the land, a vacation in Manipur will be a trip to remember.