Owing to the proximity to the border, the architecture and design of the buildings have a striking similarity to Nagaland. Mithun horns are a signature of Naga architecture and can be seen in the design of the community center.There is no ‘sightseeing’ in Willong Khullen. I invariably walked and absorbed the place’s sights and sounds. Content in the lap of nature and devoid of commercial intrusion, wee places like these are the ones where you can opt to do nothing, just being.Getting There: The best way to explore Willong Khullen is to do a day trip from Imphal. Around 120 kms from the state capital, the last stretch of 35 kms is through rough winding roads increasing the journey time to a total of 4-5 hrs one way. Cabs will typically charge Rs 4500 for a round trip.Air India and Indigo have daily flights from Kolkata to Imphal.Where to StayThe Classic Hotel: One of the first star hotels to open in the state, it is the perfect choice for a short stay in the city. Conveniently located, the service levels are decent, rooms are clean and the food is good. Rooms start at Rs 2000 onwards.The Classic Grande: Another property of the Classic group, it is a recently opened hotel and is the most luxurious stay option available in Manipur. Rooms start from Rs 3600 onwards.Where to EatLuxmi Kitchen: Serves authentic Manipuri platter. Quick service and value for money, it is located near the Mother’s market.
The ChurchThe most striking feature of this obscure village is the beautiful church at the end of the cliff. Seemingly balanced tantalizingly close to the deep ravine, it is the largest structure of the village. A small statue of Lord Jesus looks over the village with spread arms and is perched near the top of the church.
While I was loitering insouciantly amidst the narrow village lanes, I got many questions from the folks inquiring about my background, origin and purpose of visit. My camera fascinated them the most. Few even invited me for a cup of tea which I politely declined. Giggling children ran helter skelter when I tried to take a few shots. People here, though with feeble means of livelihood seem very content and happy.
The VillagePerched literally on the edge of a cliff, it is a small beautiful village with neatly stacked tin roofed houses along the solitary road which culminates at the Church. At more than 2000 meters above the sea level, it is surrounded by mountains and deep gorges.
While lounging in our caves during the night, our guide told us about Willong, India's very own Stonehenge. And so the next day we set off in search of this quaint little village situated on the Maram-Peren road, some 40kms from NH39. There were about a hundred stones standing in erect position, some as high as 7 mts tall. These structures are believed to have been erected by the forefathers of the land and supposedly have some close connection with mythology, but the locals were not able to give anymore details. The structures seem to be taking the brunt of the climate however, for many were in various states of wear and tear.