Manipur’s capital Imphal is a bustling mini-metropolis that has harmonised itself seamlessly into a beautiful natural environment. The pretty township located at a height of 790m is the very heart of the official, commercial and cultural activities of the state.
Visitors can enjoy some of its special attractions before moving out of town into the great outdoors to savour Manipuri culture in all its richness and variety.
1. Shree Govindajee Temple
– Imphal’s historic Vaishnavite centre, Shree Shree Govindajee temple is located close to the Kangla Royal Palace, home to Manipur’s royals since the reign of King Pakhamba (33 AD). This interesting structure with twin domes has a paved courtyard and a great assembly hall where devotees congregate to participate in various devotional activities.
– Kangla Palace reflects the centre of Manipur’s power base till 1891. The historic palace is a reminder of its rulers and the importance they signified for the people of Manipur.
3. Khwairamband Bazaar or Ima Market
– Imphal’s Khwairamband bazaar or Ima market is quite an unusual market with almost 3000 imas or mothers running various stalls in this unique bazaar. Now developed with modern amenities, but preserving the sanctuaries old tradition, this market is a must-visit for any tourist.
4. State museum
– Located near the Polo ground, the state museum has on display a fine collection of articles related to Manipur’s tribal culture along with portraits of its former rulers. The cache of arms and ammunition, relics, costumes and historical documents here is of particular interest.
5. War cemetery
– Managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, beautifully kept are two war cemeteries which commemorate the British and Indian soldiers who died during the Second World War. Each little stone marker and bronze plaque records the sacrifice of these martyrs.
6. Khonghampat Orchidarium
– Just 10kms from Imphal, this place offers visitors an excellent opportunity to see many species of orchids in its natural habitat. The best time to see these blooms is March – April when they are at their very best.
7. Zoological gardens
– Go to see the rare but incredibly graceful Sangai (Brown Antlered Deer) at the zoological gardens. The zoo is 6 kms of the area and lies on the verdant base of the pine growing hillocks at Iroishemba on the Imphal – Kangchup Road. Entry fee is Rs. 10.
8. Singda tourist home
– A beautiful picnic spot with basic amenities, 16km from Imphal, this place offers a lovely view of the Manipur Valley from its lofty perch at a height of 921m. Singda dam attracts large numbers of tourists.
9. Sadu Chiru Waterfall
– A popular picnic destination Sadu Chiru waterfall is the site of a torrential waterfall. It is located in the Koubru Range, 22kms from Imphal. Basic amenities are available for tourists.
– Around 36kms from Imphal, is the famed site known for the martyrdom of Manipur’s Major General Paona Brajabashi in 1891. Khongjom day is celebrated on 23rd April every year. Modern amenities for tourists have been introduced at Khongjom recently.
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