Manipur is often bypassed when travelling between Meghalaya and Nepal, but its charms are manifold. Beyond the tidy towns - Imphal boasts potted plants by the roadside, while Kohima's central square is vibrant with flower sellers - lie gorgeous waterfalls.
These include Loktak, which offers boat rides past fishermen, images of gods carved into rocks and mangoes falling from trees; Jiri, where rows of silver-white rapids tumble down a massif clad in bamboo forests; Kynrem, whose dark pools are filled with local women washing clothes on stepping stones skirted by yellow flowers; Sangai, better known as the floating palace because king Bodhchandra went to live among the animals after his wife died here; and the controversial Loktak floating park on the lake next to it.
The history of Manipur may be broadly divided into four parts starting from the ancient principality, followed by feudal rule under Burmese occupation and domination, the interregnum of kingship between the early 18th century to late 19th century when the territory was merged in the British Empire. Finally, this kingdom became part of India post-Independence in 1947. The ancient history can be traced back to 5-6 AD when it is said that Prince Suklenmung's army landed on the banks of River Iril with his queen Hemo Ningbonnu who later became Queen of Manipur. The prince after defeating local rulers established the Meitei dynasty in the 13th Century A.D. It remained as a sovereign state until Anglo-Manipur War arose in 1891 AD.
The State of Manipur lies in the northeast corner of India with Myanmar on its eastern side and Assam towards the west. The state is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. It has an area of 22,347 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi). In 2001, Manipur had a population of 2,833,918 which was reduced from 3,434,000 in 1991. This ranks it among one of the most sparsely populated states in India. Manipur is located between 93° 50' E and 94° 49' E longitude and 24° 42' N and 27° 7' N latitude. Two major rivers flow through the state namely, Barak and Thoubal.
Climate & Weather
The climate of Manipur is a subtropical one. The average temperature ranges from 9 to 32 degrees Celsius, with January being the coldest and May being the hottest month. The summer months are from March to May and the winters go on till November. During this period, frost occurs due to low night temperatures and the minimum temperature goes down to 4 to 5 degrees Celsius. Manipur is blessed with abundant rainfall and during monsoons, heavy rains lash several parts of the state bringing life to a halt.
In the summer season, it's hot and humid with heavy rainfall in monsoons, while moderate winter months.
Manipur is famous for its traditional Manipuri dance which depicts stories and legends through the movement of feet in tune with the music. The most popular of all the dances is the 'Raas Leela' depicting Lord Krishna's life, full of romance. Large numbers of people attend the annual festival held in autumn when this dance takes place on several stages along with a fireworks display. This folk theatre form is also used to enact many ancient myths and stories related to Buddhism, often with actors carrying demon masks who act as bad characters in-between plays. Folk songs evoke images of Bravehearts fighting wars against evil forces while love ballads tell tales about unrequited lovers or to describe natural beauty in words that are simple yet poignant. Every year in March, Manipur celebrates an annual festival called 'Sangai Festival' or 'Leirung Phanba' which is held along the bank of Loktak Lake. Tourists are allowed to enjoy boat rides in small boats on the lake if they pay a fee to watch traditional dances being performed simultaneously by troupes that have come from all over Manipur. Raas Lelaa dance evokes dramatized versions of Krishna's life during the days of Mahabharata and Badaga Hundi depicts huge drums made out of buffalo skin with distorted faces painted on them.
Manipur football team has been one of the most consistent teams in the country. The state managed to end up in 3rd position in 2018
Manipur is the only state in India with a traditional game called Sagol Kangjei, which literally means 'Hoop and Sticks'. It has been played since time immemorial. According to tradition, every year on 15 January, men from each locality meet at designated places for playing Sagol Kangjei. The venue of local tournaments is decorated with greenery and traditional designs. A long bamboo pole having a hoop at one end, through which both the ends of the stick pass, is used in Sagol Kangjei. There are some rules regarding the height of the hoop as well as the length of the sticks. The winner is the one who can knock down opponents' pieces. There are different names given to the Sagol Kangjei sticks, depending on their thickness or length. In Imphal, this game is played in a place known as "Mao Sanei Lan" where all the top players from all towns and states meet for a competition.
The best time to visit Manipur
The best time to visit Manipur is during the winters when tourists can enjoy pleasant weather while enjoying different kinds of activities. Summers in this state are extremely hot and it's really difficult to endure such climate conditions.