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Happy Holidays – Manipur

Manipur is not only the gateway to the North-Eastern Region but also a fascinating destination for discerning tourists. Legends say that discovery of Manipur is the result of the delight the God took in dancing. It is this remarkable bid that gives Manipur a unique identity of her own. Blessed with a salubrious climate, famous for its distinctive cultural pattern and its evergreen scenic beauty, Manipur extends a cordial invitation to tourists.   Shree Shree Govindajee Temple is a historic centre for Vaisnavites. It is a simple and beautiful structure with gold domes, a paved court and a large, raised congregation hall. The presiding deity in the centre is flanked by idols of Radha Govinda, Balaram and Krishna on one side and Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on the other. Kaina, the sacred place of the Hindus, is a beautiful hillock, about 921 m above sea level. Beautiful hill shrubs and charming natural surroundings give the place a saintly solemnity. Ceremonial dances depicting the divine dream are performed as Ras at the Mandop. Khwairamband Bazaar is a large covered market split into two sections on both sides of the Khwairamband Road. Vegetables, fish, household utensils & implements and fruits are sold on one side and colourful handloom shawls, phaneks, khudeis, bedsheets on the other. The market is very special in the sense that all the stallholders are women. Not far from here, is a street where beautiful cane baskets and furniture are sold. Manipur Zoological Garden boasts of the graceful brow-antlered deer, “Sangai” – one of the rarest species in the world – which can be seen here in sylvan surroundings. A trip to this garden at the foot of the pine-growing hillocks in the westernmost corner of Lamphelpat is really enjoyable. Loktak Lake is a huge and beautiful stretch of water, like a miniature inland sea. From the Tourist Bungalow, set atop Sendra Island, visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the lake and the life on it, the fisherman and their families who live in neat huts on its shores and who make full use of their watery environment.

Langthabal – 8 km. from Imphal on the Indo-Burma Road lies this small hill feature with the relics of an old historic palace, well-planned temples and ceremonial houses amidst pine and jackfruit trees planted symmetrically. Overlooking the Manipur University, Canchipur, it offers a pleasant view of the surroundings.  Moirang is an ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing. Every May, men and women, in gorgeous traditional costumes, sing and dance in honour of the Lord here at the Moirang Lai Haraoba. Moreh is located on the Indo-Burma Road. It is a commercial town attracting a large number of people from neighbouring places. Singda is a hill resort on the hills overlooking Manipur Valley. The scenery is picturesque. It is also a mountain pass on the road to Tamenglong. There is an inspection Bungalow here.   Phubala is a charming resort on the western fringes of the Loktak Lake, to the south of Imphal. Khongjom is a place of greatest historic importance. It was here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur, proved his valour against the superior force of the invading British Army in 1891. The hillock at the foot of which he laid down his life in defence of his motherland, is reminiscent of the past heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors. Sahid Minar, the tall Minar of Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of the capital commemorates the indomitable spirit of Manipur martyrs who sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British in 1891. Manipur State Museum  near the Polo ground has fairly good display of Manipur’s heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur’s former rulers. Items of special interest are costumes, arms and weapons, relics and historical documents.  Khonghampat Orchidarium is another place of interest. More than 110 varieties of Orchids, including several rare species, are grown here. Andro is an ancient village 27 km towards east of Imphal; there is one Cultural Complex established by the Mutua Museum, Imphal. It consists of potteries of the North Eastern Region of India. There is a ‘Doll-House’ where dolls of 29 recognised tribes of Manipur (both male and female) are on display.  Keibul Lamjao National Park, 53 kms. from Imphal and on the fringes of Loktak Lake, is the last natural habitat of the marsh-dwelling brow-antlered deer of Manipur called “Sangai”.  Sekta Archeological Living Museum, locally known as the “Sekta Kei” is a protected archaeological site. The site is located at Sekta village, about 16 km. from Imphal on the Imphal-Ukhrul Road. It is a site where practice of secondary burial was discovered. The site was jointly excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Archaeology, Manipur and is preserved as a Living Museum.

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