They call it the jewel of India. Manipur welcomes you with blue scenic mountains which look like a painting that would sell for millions. The outskirts are only half the fun though, because what lies within, reveals the real beauty of the rather underestimated tourist destination in the northeast.
Manipur observes chilly weather conditions during winter which lasts from November to February. But the maximum temperature during summer season seldom settles in and around the mid-30s. Monsoon is even more pleasant with multiple showers and occasional heavy downpours bringing out the beauty of the place.
The streets in Manipur’s capital city Imphal are enough to keep you busy. Wide roads suddenly converge to become narrow lanes. Houses stand lined-up in most parts of the city while at places columns of fields decorate the cityscape. A visit to Imphal is more than enough if you wish to understand Manipur and its people. You can either walk through the city or rent a bicycle and be on your way.
The nine-day Sangai Festival is a cultural extravaganza which takes place from November 21 to 30. It is organized by the Manipur Tourism Department and showcases handicrafts, handloom, art, cuisine, music, and even adventure sports of the state. In 2014, India's current Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the festival and spoke to the public at the closing ceremony.
There’s a lot to see in Manipur which will interest the generic tourist. There’s the famous Govindajee Temple which was built in the year 1842 but fell to a major earthquake some 22 years later. Then there are the twin statues of the mythical half-lion half-dragon creature called Kangla Shas. Also, a meal at the Luxmi Kitchen is a must for everyone visiting the place. The numerous floating islands of vegetation and marketplaces come as an added attraction. Then there’s the Kangla Fort, the Shaheed Minar, state museum, the World War 2 cemetery, and the ISKCON temple on airport road.
They say if you’ve been somewhere, you haven’t really been there until and unless you’ve tasted the local cuisine. Out of all the places that you can visit in India, Manipur is a winner when it comes to variety and uniqueness. The ubiquity of flavors, aroma, herbs, and surprises is easy to grasp. You have the traditional Meitei thali which incorporates nearly all the herbs and ingredients the people of Manipur use.
Also, there’s the simply delicious eromba which is a preparation of steamy vegetables mixed with Naga king chilies. When it comes to fish, there’s a lot of variety here. You have the fermented fish; the boiled fish with potatoes; fish steak; smoked mola carplet; and the classic fried fish.
In every way, Manipur comes across as an extremely pleasant destination. Northeast India is known for several such tourist spots and the seven sisters offer a unique experience in every way. Manipur’s scenic locations, cuisine, people, and culture all combine to give back a truly refreshing experience for every travel freak.
(Featured Image Credit: tripadvisor.com)
(Main Image Credit: zipmytravel.com)