Keibul Lamjao National ParkManipur
Scenic | Wildlife
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Keibul Lamjao National Park is situated in Bishnupur district of Manipur and spread across 40 sq kms of land. Loktak Lake is an important section of this national park. Dancing deer or sangai is one of the most endangered species of this wildlife reserve.
A jewel of North East, Manipur is a delight for any nature lover to spend some time in complete seclusion! Located in the north eastern part of India, Manipur is surrounded by Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Myanmar. Spread across 22,327 sq kms of land, Manipur is a paradise on earth! Known for its bountiful nature and striking landscapes, Manipur is a must-visit destination if one is looking for an ultimate stopover tucked away from the city crowd!
Still quite a less traveled site, Manipur is a conglomeration of the Nagas, Pangal, Meetei and Kuki people. A promising tourist hotspot of the 21st century, Manipur is a land of pristine lakes, gorgeous waterfalls, mountains and rivers. Home of the sangai, the dancing deer, Manipur is simply engrossing!
Imphal is the capital of Manipur. For over two thousand and five hundred years, this ‘jeweled land’ has been at the focal point for exchanging Asian culture, economy, people and religion. It’s an oval shaped valley with floating national park as a unique attribute of this place in whole world! Also a land of orchids, Manipur witnesses the rare growth of this plant from April till May almost on every tree around.
Meetei ethnic group comprises 53 percent of the population of Manipur. Other native tribal groups comprise 20 percent of the population. Mainly a place with mild climate, Manipur experiences approximately 933 millimeter of rainfall annually. NH 53 and 39 passes through this state. Manipur has mainly agrarian economy followed by forestry, trade and cottage industry.
Manipuri people like to take healthy and organic food with less oil yet tastes delicious! Chilli pepper is a common garam masala used in here. Rice is consumed with vegetables and fish. Ngri is a favorite fish of majority of commoners and it’s made through fermentation.
Eromba is a famous dish of Manipur. With lot of red chilies and boiled potatoes and vegetables, Erombo is prepared by the Manipuris. Later Ngri fishes are added to it. Kangshoi is yet another popular stew made of seasonal vegetables, fried fish and ginger and onions. It’s generally served with rice. Singju is another famous salad preparation made of beans, cabbages, coriander leaves, and lot of red chilies and ginger being generously added. Ok Thongba is mainly made of pork along with bamboo shoots. Tastes luscious!
Here people love to maintain their private kitchen garden. Several flavorsome and exclusive herbs and roots are grown here.
A place known for its glorious festivals and events, Manipur can entice any traveler with its unique charm and beauty! Ningol Chakouba is a well known family festival of this place observed in the months of October and November between married women and her family. Christmas is a two day celebration that starts from 24th. Lai Haraoba is observed with dance performances of men and women worshipping the traditional deity. Yaoshang is a festival that looks quite similar to Holi and takes place in February/March. Ramjan Id is a great time for Manipuri Muslims to observe this festival and goes with thirty days fast with a scrumptious meal that ends the fast.
In addition, there are other major Hindu festivals in Manipur like Dol yatra, Durga Puja and Rath Yatra celebrated with equal pomp and show! New Year is celebrated on the second week of April.
This state is a medley of different cultural patterns, customs and traditions. Economically not that sound, Manipur is world famous for its dance and other cultural facets. We all are aware of Manipuri dance, a classical art form that involves intricate dance moves and steps of Ras leela of Lord Krishna and Radha making it one of the top performing arts of this state.
When it comes to music, Manipuris love it with their heart and soul! Folk music with traditional instruments like Pena is a unique characteristic of Manipuri culture. Besides, Manipuri theatre and plays are well respected in India and abroad. Also archery is an important sport of this state and a key element of their culture. Yubi lakpi is a traditional Manipuri game where a coconut is used like a rugby ball. Polo is played among local Manipuris from British era.
In addition to all these, one needs to discover few authentic places like Chorus Repertory Theatre in the outskirts of Imphal, Manipur State Museum, Kangla Fort, Shree Govindajee Temple, Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul, Bishnupur and its array of temples, Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary in Chandel, Tuibuong Tribal Museum in Churachandpur and many others to get a true image of Manipur culture and tradition.
The state is a warehouse for stunning handicrafts and art forms. Bamboos are grown abundantly in Manipur. As a result it’s the highest producer of cane and bamboo products in India. Basketry, bags, murhas, table, furniture, ashtray etc are all work of art! Kauna craft is unique to this land as Kaunas or a special type of reed grows in wetlands. Domestic products are made of Kauna and exported outside.
Wood carving and textile weaving are also quite popular handicrafts of this state. Besides, block printing is a specialty of this place which is used in towels and other dresses. The dolls and toys made of clay, bamboo and cloth are a must buy! They are mostly available in different animal and bird shape. Also hand-embroidery table cloths, bed covers, handkerchief etc is a rapidly evolving craft of Manipur.
The market of Khwairamband in Imphal is a central point for buying different handmade items and artifacts in Manipur. More than three thousand tribal women are associated with this market in selling shawls, other fabrics, different traditional dresses, utensils and household items. There are few shops in the outskirts which are mainly into selling souvenirs, dolls, wicker products and other local items. No matter what you buy, do not forget to bargain as it’s quite common here!
Manipuri and English are the official languages of Manipur. Meitei or the Manipuri language is the common local language of Manipur besides English. There are Meitei Brahmins, Christians and Hindus in the state. Also there are different ethnic groups who generally speak in their native dialects. Also Bishnupriya Manipuri language is spoken in many sections of Manipur, Assam and Tripura.
By Road: The Park is 48 kms away from Imphal and nicely connected by road. Imphal is well connected to Silchar and Guwahati via NH 53 & 39. The park can be approached by cars and buses.
By Train: Dimapur is the closest rail head. It’s well connected to Lumding, Rangiya, Dibrugarh, Amritsar, Howrah and other places.
By Air: Imphal International Airport is the nearest airport to Keibul Lamjao National Park. It has domestic and international flights flying to and fro.GET DIRECTION
Basic accommodation minus boarding facility are available inside the park. Night stay at Imphal is recommended as the city offers many options in terms of hotels and resorts.
It’s best advised to carry light eatable and water as the park lacks adequate eateries and take away counters.
Trekking on foot is the only option to explore this park. Private and public vehicles are not allowed inside the reserve.
From October till March are the most favorable times to visit this place.
Different exotic aquatic floras, mammals like hog deer, jungle cat, musk shrew, python, Russel’s viper and other endangered species and striking avifaunas like Burmese sarus crane etc. are the main attractions of this park.
Loktak Lake – Largest freshwater lagoon in North East, Loktak is well known for its floating phumdis.