The least visited and least touristy sister state of the 7 sister states of North East India. Manipur shares a long border with Myanmar and is often referred as the Gateway to the East. If all goes well then the road way from India to Thailand via Myanmar will be operational in a year. This is one state where women are treated as equals and I felt absolutely at home and safe during my solo travel. I am summarizing my visit to this beautiful state in 10 travel photos from the capital city of Imphal and surroundings.
- Home to the Iron Woman – Irom Sharmila Chanu who is on a fast unto death to repeal the AFSPA from the state and several female sports stars of India including Mary Kom, Bombayla Devi, Kunjarani Devi
- The familiar smile of the Ima in Mothers Market- Ima Keithel; Imphal which is the second largest all women market in the world.
- Polo was first played in Manipur and the British learnt it from here and took it to the world
- Home to Kangla Fort which is testimony to history over the centuries
- Where the devout Manipuri bows to Pakhanba (Sanamahism) and Govindajee (Vaishnavism) through prayers and kirtan. Sanamahism appears to be a vedic religion rooted in worship of nature where as the Vaishnav wave reached Manipur only in the 18th century when the King decided to convert and goaded his subjects to follow
- The Blue Loktak lake which has floating islands called Phumdis including one floating national park – Keibul Lamjao which is home to Sangai Deer
- The land where the toughest battles were fought that changed the course of World War II and Indian Independence. The cemetries bear testimony to the named and unnamed heroes of Imphal War (part of WWII) and the INA museum has the complete pictographic details of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army.
- Where Red Hot Chillies !! U Morok are used to add that zing to dried, fried and fermented fish and the flames are pacified with sweet Black Kheer
- Melting Pot of Cultures including several tribes residing in hills and Meiteis. Unlike other states in India, women wear their traditional outfit of Phaneks (Sarong) and Innaphi(Shawl)
- Hand Made Pottery; Shawls and Baskets and of course the gentle classical dance form that impressed Tagore to the extent that all his dance dramas were visualized in Manipuri Dance Form.
For Travel Tips and more about the sights refer
- 8 Reasons to Explore Manipur
- Ima Keithel- Mothers Market in Imphal
- Loktak Lake and INA Museum
- Manipur on my Plate
- Andro Tribal Village
- Visit to Myanmar across Manipur Border