The Switzerland of India “Manipur” – A Complete Guide
Rightly called the ‘Switzerland of India’, Manipur has always been on my checklist as it is a perfect place for a North Eastern escapade. After several months of planning, I finally went to visit this serene location and to my surprise, I was stunned by the beauty of the grassy meadows, uneven streams and enchanting hills this place has to offer. Manipur as a paradisiacal land is bestowed with a variety of nature’s wonders that enchanted me throughout the trip. This offbeat location, away from the mechanical city vibe relieved my senses and gave me the best experience of a lifetime.
You can easily book budget-friendly hotels online for a peaceful stay during getaways. I booked a convenient Manipur hotel in advance to travel without any hassle and covered the following destinations on reach.
Breathtaking view of Singda Dam
Located near the Imphal International Airport, Singda Dam has an unbeatable aura that will rejuvenate you after a tiring day. I had visited the place in January but you can come here any time of the year. This place is open for its visitors all year long. Boasting captivating hills and paddy fields, Singda Dam is considered to be the highest dam in the world and it truly justifies the tag. The view of the dam from the sea at a height of 920m was a sight to behold!
Panoramic view of the Loktak Lake
Now comes my favourite destination – Loktak Lake. Trust me, if you miss out on this place, then your Manipur venture will be incomplete. Playing an integral part in the Manipur tourism guide, this lake is situated at a distance of 53 km from Imphal. Over 50 years, this lake has provided a beautiful backdrop for picnics, photography and boating. But what enthralled me the most was its circular floating swamps. Yes, you heard me right! This lake, supplying hydel power and water for irrigation, has soil, mass vegetation and organic matter floating over it. This is essentially the reason why this place witnesses a crowd every month.
The entrance of the Kangla Fort
I decided to include this place in my itinerary for several reasons. Being a history enthusiast myself, I was intrigued by the description, I read on the Internet and immediately added it to my must-visit list. Kangla Fort lies close to the Imphal River and served as a prestigious seat for Manipuri rulers till 1891. The fort speaks about the history of the city through its halls located nearby the fort. Also, you will get to know a lot about the culture of Manipur from its temples located nearby. If you are a photographer, then you can definitely try this place for some exotic shots.
Manipur Zoological Garden
Close-up view of Nongin bird
An amazing spot for animal lovers! Away from the hills and lakes, this zoological garden in Manipur boasts over 400 unique animals and bird species. When I visited the garden, I was spellbound by the amazing sight of flying squirrels, Himalayan bears, Leopard cat and Python. Besides, there were other species too that delighted me. A very rare species of bird, Nongin, also caught my attention. But spending me-time under the melodious atmosphere of the garden was the best thing I got to experience.
The entry point of the Tharon Cave
If you love adventure, especially caving, then Tharon Cave should be your lookout. The caving experience here was more satisfying than I expected. The map for the cave exploration was engraved on the stone and me and my fellow travellers followed the map to explore the alleyways within the caves. This cave, situated in Tamenglong, has a huge historical significance as many artefacts associated with North Vietnam’s Hoabinhian culture can be found on the interiors. I clicked several snaps of the artefacts that hooked my interest as I explored the cave.
Shree Govindaji Temple
Worshippers praying at Shree Govindaji Temple
My next destination was Shree Govindaji Temple or Manipur’s most famous temple. Boasting Nagara-style interiors, Shree Govindaji Temple is situated within a chamber and houses the main idol at the central point and other idols of Balarama, Krishna, Jagannatha and Radha on the different sides of the temple. With its impeccable beauty, I was charmed by how well the temple was constructed with absolute finesse. If I visit Manipur someday again, this temple will definitely witness my presence.
The complete view of Rasmancha building
An offbeat location in Manipur, Rasmancha was my final destination according to the itinerary. The trip here was worth all the travel I made. This place has a unique aura and you will be welcomed by a tranquil atmosphere here. Regarded as the oldest pyramidical building, Rasmancha will fascinate you with its stage dance performances. After a busy day, I visited here during the night and watched the entire stage dance that the place offered. The dance show simply won my heart. Additionally, the architectural marvel of the galleries, the tunnel and the secret room also made me speechless with its beauty. Rasmancha is located in the Bishnupur district of Manipur.
Therefore, if you are bored of known places, explore these destinations in Manipur to enjoy the raw beauty of nature and soak in the essence of this jewel-like land.