Manipur literally meaning "A jeweled land" nestle deep within a lush green corner of North East India. It seems much like an exquisite work of art executed by superb hands of Nature and is indeed a state of exquisite natural beauty and splendors, the beauty of which once inspired Mrs. St. Clair Grimwood described it as " A Pretty Place more beautiful than many show places of the world" Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru paid a fitting tribute by describing it as "Jewel of India".
Surrounded by blue hills with an oval shaped valley at the centre, rich in art and tradition and surcharged with nature's pristine glory. Manipur lies on a melting pot of culture. It is birth place of Polo. This is the place where Rajashree Bhagyachandra created the famous Ras Lila, the classical dance of Manipur, out of his enchanting dream by the grace of Lord Krishna.Her folk dances reveal the mythological concept of creation of Manipur.
Having a varied and proud history from the earliest times, Manipur came under the British Rule as a Princely State after the defeat in the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. After independence of India in 1947, the Princely State of Manipur was merged in the Indian Union on October 15,1949 and became a full-fledged State of India on the 21th January, 1972 with a Legislative Assembly of 60 seats of which 20 are reserved for Scheduled Tribe and 1 reserved for Scheduled Caste. The State is represented in the Lok Sabha by two members and by one member in the Rajya Sabha.
Imphal: The bustling capital city of the state lies in a heart shaped valley 790 m above sea level. This is a melting pot of various tribes that constitute the populace of Manipur. Tourist attractions in Manipur are mostly located in around the city.
Govindajee Temple: This is a Vaishnavite temple built by the former King's of Manipur. The simple but beautiful structure consists of 2 domes and a large congregation hall. The shrines of Krishna and Balaram on one side and Jagannnath flank the presiding deity.
War Cemetery: Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the graveyard. Little stone markers with bronze plaques on them commemorate the dead British and Indian soldiers of World War II.
Khonghampat Orchidarium: The sprawling land of 200 acres boasts of over 110 rare varieties of orchids including a dozen endemic species.
Zoological Gardens: It houses Sangai (the graceful brow antlered deer) at the base of pine-clad hillocks.
Langthabal: This is a small hill featuring relics of a historic palace and architecturally beautiful temples.
Bishnupur: The place has a Vishnu temple with peculiar Chinese influence. Beside that, the Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake of the northeastern India and Red hill where a fierce battle between the British and the Japanese took place during the World War II.
But the exotic lifestyle of the colorful tribes is no less attractive. Their fairs and festivals, songs and dances also form the tourist attractions in Manipur.
Manipuri Dance: This divine dance form of Manipur has spread its fame far and wide. It is also a very important one among Indian classical dance forms depicting the sublime love between lord Krishna and his consorts Radha and the Gopi's (milkmaids).
Some important fairs and festivals are: The Raas Leela, Gang-Ngai (5days in December/January), Lui-Ngai-Ni (15th of February), Yaoshang (5days in February/March), Rath Jatra (10days in June/July) to list up only a few.
How to reach Manipur by Air: The state has an airport in its capital Imphal, which is well connected with Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata and
has regular operation to this city and other important cities in northeast India. These cities are at approachable distance from Manipur.
How to Reach Manipur by Road: the road network is quite efficient in Manipur. National Highway 39 connects Manipur with major cities like
, Dimapur, Kohima, Schilchar in the northeastern part on India.
How to Reach Manipur by Rail: Manipur does not have any train service. But there are other northeastern cities like
, Dimapur, Silchar which have Railway Stations and are serviced by important trains to and from the rest of the country. From these cities one can reach Manipur by road.