If you've exhausted visiting the enchanting mountains of Himachal Pradesh and are now looking for an equally fascinating destination to obsess over, we've got the perfect suggestion for you. Manipur, a jewelled land located in the North East is a fairly less-explored region and offers scintillating sights that must be witnessed. Here are 7 reasons why the oval-shaped valley of Manipur needs to be your next vacation destination.
Explore Hiking Trails in Uhkul:
Uhkrul may be a tiny village located in north-east of Manipur's capital, Imphal, however, it features some of the most scenic trekking trails in the state. Hike towards Khayang and Shiruyi Kashung Peak, a route lined with cherry blossom trees. At the same time, visit Kachouohang Lake, Khangkhui cave and Hundung Mangva cave.
Visit the world's only floating national park near Moirang:
Situated in Bishnupur district about 50km from Imphal lies north-east's largest fresh-water lake that is much more spellbinding than it sounds. The lake features circular swamps which are called phumdis that resemble miniature islands, amidst which you can take a boat ride. At the south of the lake lies Keibul Lamjao National Park where you can observe about 500 species of aquatic plants and animals, including the Indian python!
Trek around Dzukou Valley:
Dzukou Valley is a hidden, enchanting destination that is located near at the border of Manipur and Nagaland. The base of the trek is Vishvema from where a rocky and steep ascend will lead you to a ridge from where a leisurely 3 hours' hike continues. Once at the top, enjoy the rolling hills , verdant with flowers and greenery. You can stay at numerous homestays for the night in order to immerse fully into the valley's beauty.
Dive into history at Red Hill:
Red Hill is a war memorial in south of Imphal that is commonly referred to as Point 2926. In May 1944, it was at Red Hill that the Japanese were defeated by the Baluch Regiment and were forced to retreat. The war resulted in numerous casualties on both sides, a fact that is commemorated by and Indian and Japanese memorial at the base of the hill.
Take a peep into Naga culture at Lui-Ngai-Ni festival:
Celebrated in mid-February, Lui-Ngai-Ni is a colourful festival that marks the beginning of cultivation within the region. During this time, the rich culture of Manipur is at full display and hence, makes for a very riveting experience. Watch the locals dressed in their traditional costume – Innaphi, Phanek and Sarong; witness them singing folk songs and swaying to folk dances like Manipuri and Ras Lila.
Travel to Bishnupur, Manipur's architectural city:
This is the most frequented city in Manipur as it is dotted with architectural delights. Temples like Rasmancha, Pancha Ratana, Shyamrai , Siddheshwar and Shridhar temples are visited by people from all over the state and hold significant importance among Manipuris. These temples are not just for worshippers but cab also be visited by photographers for their unique structures.
Gorge on scrumptious Manipuri cuisine:
The food of Manipur is known to be extremely healthy with a hint of extra chilli and spice. You will find numerous restaurants around the state that serve typical Manipur food; do try chamthong, a vegetable stew, eromba, a rice and fish dish, nga-thongba, a lip-smacking fish curry and singju, a salad. To satiate your cravings for sweet, try chahao kheer, a dessert especially prepared during major festivals.
So what are you waiting for? Tag someone you want to go to Manipur with and start planning your trip.