Imphal city is the capital Manipur, is a scenic valley surrounded by hills on all sides. With recent modernization, the population of the city has increased, added to by the influx of people from rural areas. Problems of unplanned housing, water shortage and traffic congestion do not take away from the picturesque location of Imphal. Well connected by air, Imphal is a riot of colours in April and May when many species of orchids bloom in abandon and is a tourist's delight!
How to Reach Imphal?
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.
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.
By Road : 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
The best time to visit Imphal is in the months between October and March when the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy sightseeing and outdoor activities. If you want to see the orchids in full bloom, visit in April or May.
This is also the time when the people of Imphal are in festive mood with numerous festivals taking place during this time.
Things to do in Imphal
Imphal the capital of Manipur is set in a vale bounded by hills. Visit the famous War Cemetery and don’t miss out the Polo Grounds. The museum here houses some interesting exhibits and is worth a visit. There is a very large tribal women market here which would make for an fascinating visit if only jut to check out the beautiful textiles and colourful shawls that the Manipuri women weave and sell. Definitely something to take home with you!
Near enough Imphal is the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is bird watchers delight when the migratory birds descend and the Khongkhampat Orchidarium is where orchids are in abundance especially in April and May.
Places Near Imphal
All getaways are close to Imphal and are accessible by bus and shared or hired 4WDs, if you want to take a little excursion out of Imphal.
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.
Khonghampat 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.
Hotels in Imphal – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Imphal ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.