I had just endured a spate of festivals and pujas, and was really raring to go on an adventure. So when a friend of mine as much as mentioned Manipur, I went ahead and bought the tickets! And cost a bomb they did, given that I was buying them at a short notice and in the peak season. But when the travel bug bites, cost really does not matter, does it. Anyway, railways would be reaching the state only by 2016, according to a government website. So we set off, a group of 5 friends, to explore the place that's fondly called the jeweled land. One of the seven sister states of North East, Manipur shares its borders with Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram on one side and Burma on the other. Nestled among the Eastern flanks of the great Himalayas, Manipur is also known as India's Switzerland, or so I am told.
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This is the largest freshwater lake in India and also one of the largest in the world. The only floating National Park, the Keibul Lam Jao National Park floats on this lake. Another important feature of this lake are the Phumdis which float on the lake in a large number. These look like islands but are not as they are thick depositions of organic waste and mud particles which have formed patches of vegetation known as phumdis. You will also see huts floating on these phumdis and sometimes blown away by the winds. The Lokatk Lake is about 50 km away from Imphal, the state capital and is an important tourist attraction.