Wednesday, April 1, 2009

MANIPUR - Jewel of India


The taste of rice, rasam and karela fry in an ordinary thatched roof restaurant in Moreh is still lingering in mind even after 24 years. Burma rice which is produced in the borders of Manipur and Burma is the best rice in the world due its organic content and variety. We crossed over a river which was flowing at 1 inch thickness with purity of a mineral water. People were celeberating some form of holi by spraying water without any colours added. We did some shopping in Burma border and returned to the Imphal next day.

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JEWEL IN THE CROWN : The enchanting environs of lush green paddy fields, with barak valley water feeding the west, Loktak lake feeding the central Manipur and 60% of the area under forest provides salubrious climate. After being enamoured J.Nehru proclaimed that Manipur is the jewel of India.
Golden Triangle : Burma, Laos and Thailand is the golden triangle for drug production. Heroin addiction is a serious problem in Manipur. Apart from smuggling of drugs from Manipur to all parts of India. Moreh which was a trading cheap Chinese goods in now peddling drugs. The drug money has forced rebellion among the tribes to dominate illegal smuggling. The war lords are having a free reign collecting extortion money for protection. Indian army has been doing a commendable job in maintaining a fragile peace.

Saheed Minar:
- The imposing Minar of Bir Tikendrajit park standing tall in the eastern tall in the eastern side of the Imphal Pologround of the state’s capital commemorates the indomitable spirit of Manipur martyrs who sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British in 1891. The eye-catching Minar also serves as an ideal background for photo shoots.
War Cemetery: - The British and the Indian Army Cemeteries commemorating those who died in the Second World War are serene and well maintained with little stone markers and bronze plaques recording brief accounts of their anguish and sacrifice. These graves are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves commossion.

Manipur Zoological Garden: - About 6 Kms. From Imphal towards the west, lies the Zoological Garden at Iroishemba, hidden half-a-mile from the Imphal-Kangchup road. Graceful brow-antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest species in the world, can be seen there in sylvan surroundings. A trip to this garden at the foot of pine-covered hillocks in the western-most corner of Lamphelpat will be an affair to remember. It will be the children’s day out
Singda: - At an altitude of 921 metres, Singda is a beautiful picnic spot 16kms away from Imphal. The scenery is inviting. There is an Inspection Bunglow to convenience visitors. Greeted by a breeze-ruffled artificial lake, every visitor is tempted to revisit with packed lunch and a bunch of bum-chums.

Kangchup is a beautiful health resorts on the hills overlooking the Manipur Valley. The site is picturesque and worth seeing. With the construction of Singda Dam at Kangchup, the place has become one of the important picnic spots. There is an inspection Bunglow here.
Langthabal: - It is 6kms from Imphal on the Indo-Myanmar road. Langthabal is a small hillock rich in the relics of an old historical place,
Bishnupur: - Bishnupur is 27 kms away from Imphal City on Tiddim Road. Here stands the conical temple of lord Vishnu built in 1467 during the region of King Kyamba. It is interesting because of its antiquity and architectural design which was influenced by Chinese style. Bishnupur I also known for its stoneware production. The bustling district headquaters is popular for hill-grown oranges, yongchak (tree-bean) and vegetables. Shoibum (fermented bamboo-shoot) scents the air around the town market.

Moreh: -
The international border town is located on the Indo-Myanmar Road 110Kms south east of Imphal. Being a commercial town, it attracts a large number of people from away from Tamu, its Myanmarese counterpart which was of late given face lift. The recent opening of the Border Trade turned Moreh into an important commercial hub in the North-East. Right on the other side of the border, at Namphalong, there’s a big Myanmarese shopping complex selling all kinds of Thailand and Chinese consumer goods. The shopping complex serves as a poor man’s alternative to Bangkok’s National Stadium Shopping Arcade. Things come much cheaper there. Conducted Tours are organized from Moreh to Myanmarese towns like Kalimiew and Mandalay. Such a tour is of the rare opportunities.

LOKTAK LAKE : 48 km. from Imphal. A huge and beautiful stretch of water, this lake is 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. They cast their nets on it, rear fish farms in it using nets as floating walls, harvest it for the water chestnut known as Heikak, and even build their houses on the islands of floating weed that dart around the lake.
Moirang: - Moirang is located 45 kms away from Imphal city on Tiddim Road. The ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity, Lord Thangjing stands there. Every May, men and women in bright traditional costumes sing and dance in honour of the lord there in an eventful festival called Moirang Lai Haraoba.
It was from the village of Moirang that the graceful, Khamba Thoibi dance originated. It was also at Moirang that flag of the Indian National Army was first hoisted on Indian soil on April 14, 1944. There is an INA Museum exhibiting letters, photographs, badges of ranks and other articles associated with INA. A bronze statue of Netaji in uniform stands proud in the lawn.


Maharaja Bhagyachandra king of Manipur from 1759–98, is a legendary figure in Manipur. The inventor of the Ras Lila dance he is also credited with spreading Vaishnavism in Manipur after his grandfather Pamheiba Rajah made Hinduism the official religion
The Ras lila, the epitome of Manipuri classical dance is inter-woven through the celestial and eternal love of Radha and Krishna as has been described in the Hindu scriptures and reveals the sublime and transcendental love of Krishna and Radha and the Gopies' devotion to the Lord. It is generally performed in an enclosure in front of the temple throughout the night and watched with a deep sense of devotion. Ras performances are seasonal and varied and performed at the temple of Shree Shree Govindajee in Imphal on the nights of Basanta Purnima, Sarada Purnima and Kartik Purnima and at local temples later. As to the composition, the performance is a combination of solo, duet and group dances. This highly stylised form of dance has sublimity, subtlety and grace. The richness of the costumes gives lustre to the beauty of the art.

Courtsey : Info on destinations Manipur Nic


Arti said...

Would love to visit and get a feel of this jewel of India someday. Very interesting post and the video is superb. Thanks!

quetzalcoatl said...

very informative post sir...
though I'm from Assam, I could never venture into other neighboring states like Manipur & Mizoram.

would have liked to see some photographs...

Sairam said...

North East is one place I want to go once and enjoy. The culture there is so different!

Great post.


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