Have you ever been to Imphal? For the last couple of years the capital city of Manipur has been one of the striking hotspots for the tourists to be impressed by the blue hills, lush green fields that bring no less strength and freshness to the minds of millions of people from the country and abroad. Manipur got the statehood a couple of decades ago. But the beauty of its capital city has not changed at all which boasts of both air and surface connectivity with the rest of the world. Apart from regular flights, bus and sumo services are available from all major north eastern capital cities.
The must see spots in this city of beauty and wonder include relics of an ancient palace, temples and ceremonial houses. Calm and tall pine trees add value of its natural beauty and bounty. The city is said to be one of the ancient places of interest in the entire south east Asia witnessing huge tourist footfall. The most striking spot is the ruins of the Palace of Kangla where the royals used to sit in the Kingdom of Manipur. Since 1826 when the Britishers annexed the state, Imphal silently witnessed World War II apart from the Chinese aggression. Now it is the administrative nerve centre of Manipur surrounded by Senapati district on the north, Thoubal and Imphal West on the east, Thoubal and Bishnupur Districts on the south. The capital city is guarded on the west by Senapati and Bishnupur districts.
Manipur State Museum strikes no less tourists in Imphal in season and out of season. It speaks volumes of the state’s tradition and culture—nowhere in the country. Tribal heritage and collection of portraits of the past kings and gigantic figures are kept for display in it apart from costumes, arms & ammunitions, relics and historical documents.
Another spot that draws tourists in the capital city of Manipur is Shaheed Minar. Also known as Martyrs’ Memorial, it stands stall as symbol of sacrifice of the Manipuris which was installed in the memory of the courageous Meetei lots not to speak of the tribal warriors who sacrificed their lives for the cause of their land and people in 1891.
Tourists throng the Bir Tikendrajit Park to see the memorial which also tell the world of the courage and valour of the Manipur women who gave a brave fight against the British in 1939. The best spot to gasp it is the Nupee-lal (Women's war) Memorial near the Imphal Head Post Office. It was built in the honour of the women who fought in search of justice.
Zoological Garden at Iroisenba
Manipur Zoological Garden at Iroisemba has become a hotspot for the tourists in all seasons. Locating at a distance of 6 kms on the busty Imphal-Kangchup Road with tall pine trees, it is an abode of many endangered species. The brow antlered deer (Sangai), one of the rarest & endangered species in the world give the tourists no less delight.
Visit the Khonghampat Orchidarium and feel the wonder. You need to go 10 kms away from Imphal on the National Highway No. 39. Share the joy of nature at a glimpse of the Central Orchidarium which covers 200 acres. It further is an abode of more than 110 rare varieties of orchids which bloom in March-April.
Ima Market, Khwairanband Bazar
This spot in Manipur strikes global attention. Literally “Ima” means mothers. Women in Manipur here govern the huge market of 3,000 traders with stalls. One portion of the market is reserved fruits, vegetables, fishes and groceries while handlooms and household tools are available in the remaining portion.