Shop at Ima Bazaar, Watch Hiyang Tanaba Boat Race, Visit Andro, ancient village, Loktat Lake, Temple at Bishnupur
Manipur, the “jeweled land” lies surrounded all around by flourishing green growth in the North East India. The land boasts of splendor and beauty and is rightly called the “Jewel of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Manipur is bordered by blue hills and encases an egg-shaped shaped valley in its centre. This birth place of Polo is rich in tradition, culture and art and holds one captivated in its beauty. This is the land where the famous “Raas Leela” of Lord Krishna was created and has various places that are a must see. Let us name a few must do’s at Manipur:
1. The temple at Bishnupur:
The conical roof shrine is the abode of Lord Vishnu and was built in the year 1467. It is done up intricately with the Chinese design. The staircases and the bricks placed in the corners in layers make a parallel turn to show great finesse in the niches.
The temple body placed over the pedestal is made in two storeys. The roof is dome like made in a parabolic style with semicircular arches that holds the attention of the visitor due to its classic style. The exquisite beauty of the temple is worth seeing.
2. Loktak Lake:
Loktak Lake is also called the Floating Lake of Manipur. It is the biggest Fresh water lake found in North-Eastern India. It has got the name due to the floating diverse masses of vegetation, organic matter and soil deposited on it. These floating masses are also called phumdis.
The Lake is found in the vicinity of Moirang in Manipur and spreads over nearly 286 sq km. The Lake spreads out over three districts Thoubal, Imphal West and Bishnupur.
3. Ima Bazaar:
The Ima Bazaar that is almost 100 years old seems to take you directly into the land of the women and is held in Imphal. It is also called the Ima Keithel at the Khwairamband Bazaar. Ima in Manipuri language means mother and thus the whole market is dominated by the female sex.
The vendors are generally elderly financially independent, courageous, spirited and hard working ladies. Roughly about 3000 women put up their stalls at the market and sell just about anything from fruits to clothes, handicrafts etc. You name the article and you find it here. But mind you there is no male running a single stall!
4. Andro, The Ancient Village:
Andro is a small town lying 27 kms East of Imphal and was the abode of scheduled castes in Ancient times. The Mutua Museum displays its famous North Eastern potteries here, in its cultural complex. Another attraction here is the presence of the Doll-house where dolls belonging to the different tribal areas of the state are put up for display.
5. ‘Hiyang Tanaba’ the Boat race
A religious and social religious ceremony called Heigru Hidongba is performed annually at Sagolband in the State capital Imphal. The celebrations have the devotee offer Heigru, a fruit to the Lord. Then it is followed by the exciting Hiyang Tanaba Boat race. The Boat Race is held in the Thangapat Moat that is considered sacred for the people. The Boat race is at Sagolban as a tribute to Lord Bejoy Govinda.
These are just a few best things to do in Manipur that urge a visitor to get acquainted with this area of North East India. The beauty of narrow valleys and rugged hills is incomparable and provides the visitor an experience of a lifetime.