Places to visit in Imphal
Well connected by air, Imphal is a riot of colours in April and May when many species of orchids bloom in abandon.
On the western shore of Loktak Lake is the small town of Moirang with a historical past. It was here that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the legendary Indian freedom fighter hoisted the first flag of independent India in 1943. Bose fought alongside the Japanese Army to oust the British from India.
How to get there by Air
The airport is 6 kms away from Imphal, the capital of Manipur. Please check the latest schedules because some flights operate on certain days of the week only. Tourist buses, taxis and local buses will take you to Imphal city from the airport.
How to get there by Rail
There are no railway lines in Manipur. The nearest railhead is Dimapur (Nagaland), 215 km from Imphal. Buses, taxis and rented cars (with chauffeurs) then bring you to Imphal. It would take you about 9 hours by bus from Dimapur to Imphal.
How to get there by Bus
You can drive into Imphal from the neighbouring states of Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. The ideal car to hire is a 4WD that comes with a chauffeur and it is advisable to have spare tyres because breakdown facilities on the roads are negligible.
Best time to Visit
Imphal is best visited in the months between October and March. If you want to see the orchids in full bloom, visit in April or May.
Hotels in imphal
Imphal has several mid range and budget hotels. They are fairly comfortable and have restaurants attached. Many hotels have mushroomed in Thangal Bazar. Manipur Government runs a hotel in the AOC area.
All getaways are close to Imphal and are accessible by bus and shared or hired 4WDs. Langthabal, 8 km from Imphal is a small hill town replete with relics from the past, well planned temples and ceremonial hoses amidst pine and jackfruit trees planted symmetrically. Andro
is an ancient village where scheduled castes live, 27 km east of Imphal. It has a Cultural Complex displaying the pottery of northeast India. There is also a ”Doll-House” where dolls of 29 recognised tribes of Manipur are on display. Keibul Lamjao National Park, 53km from Imphal, on the fringes of Loktak Lake, is the last natural habitat of the marsh-dwelling brow-antlered deer called “Sangai”. A large number of migratory birds, like waterfowl, are also attracted to this Park Loktak Lake is 48km south of Imphal and is fed by many rivers and dotted with many islands. It is home to an unusual community of fishermen who live on large rafts made of reeds. A large part of this lake is taken up by the Keibul Lamjao National Park. If you want to view the Lake from a vantage point, try the Sendra Island. Khongkhampat Orchidarium lies 12 kms north of Imphal on National Highway 39 and is swamped with hundreds of varieties of orchids that bloom in April and May. Khongjom is a 36 km drive away from Imphal and it situated on the Indo Burma Road. It is historically important because one of its generals, Paona Brajabashi, fought against the British and refused to suttender. A war memorial on the top of this scenic hill adds charm to the heroic reminders of this site. Khongjom day is celebrated as a State Holiday on every year on April 23. The Manipur Zoological Garden is a sylvan picnic spot at the foot of pine-growing hillocks 6km west of Imphal, on the Imphal Kangchup Road. You will also spot the rare “sangai” deer here.
Imphal is listed under the restricted and protected areas in India. Special permits have to be obtained to visit Imphal. Individual tourists are not permitted in these areas and foreign tourists are permitted to these areas only in groups of four or more and for a maximum duration of 10 days.