Tourist Places in ImphalImphal is the capital of the state of Manipur. It is a famous tourist hub with historic places and tourist destinations. The historical places, architectural forts and the green valleys and hills surrounding the town present a beautiful sight for the tourists.
Imphal has a number of historical significant places of tourism importance. These places and the natural beauty attract tourists from far and near to Imphal. Some of the tourist places are:
War Cemeteries:The cemeteries are located around 10 kms from the airport in the Imphal-Dimapur road. These are the cemeteries which are erected in memory of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the Second World War. These cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War graves Commission. The graves in the cemeteries have stone markers and bronze plaques. The cemetery currently holds 1600 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. The cemetery is an important tourist attraction which tells us the story of the horrific World War that claimed the lives of several soldiers.
Manipur Zoological Garden
The Manipur Zoological Garden is located around 6 kms to the west of Imphal city at the foothills of the pine hillocks in Iroisemba on the Imphal-Kanchup road. One can see the brow antlered deer Sangai, one of the rarest animal species in the world. The zoological garden was established on 2nd October 1976. It is bordered by Manipur Agriculture University on its southern side and Langol road on the western side.
The Manipur Zoological Garden covers an area of 8 hectares with an additional 2.13 hectares at Langol Reserve forest maintained for captive breeding of the Sangai. There are a number of rare animals and birds found here. About a total of 55 species of animals and birds with 14 endangered species mostly endemic to this region are found here. The Manipur Zoological Garden is described as ‘Jewel Box’ of Manipur. The park is easily accessible by road from Imphal.
Women’s market or Ima Keithel is the only market in the world where all the stalls are run by women. There are around 3000 women who run their business in the market. In Manipuri language, Ima means ‘mother’ and Keithel means ‘market’. The market is more than 100 years old and is split into two sections on either side of a road. There are vegetables, fruits, fish, grocery, meat, handicrafts and handloom as well sold in this market.
The market consists of two main sections: One section where the vegetables, fruits and necessary items are sold and the other section where the handloom products of the state are sold. Women from far and remote areas of Manipur come to sell their products in the market. These women without depending on their husbands, fathers or brothers have carved out a niche for themselves as independent and earn their livelihood.
Kaina is a small hillock. It lies on the Imphal-Yariripok road. Kaina is situated 29 km from Imphal. It is 921 metres above the sea level. Kaina is a sacred place of the Manipuri Hindus.
The history of Kaina goes back to the ancient times. It is said that one night Sree Govindjee appeared in the dream of his devotee, a Maharaja. In the dream he asked the maharaja to install an image of Sree Govindjee in a temple. Jackfruit tree was to be used for the construction. A temple was built later. Henceforth, the place became sacred to the Hindus.
Kaina is a place of pristine scenic beauty. The hill shrubs and the natural vegetation of the place are its primary attraction. Kaina is visited by several Manipuri Hindus who are attracted by the religious significance of the place and also its splendid landscape.
This palace is dedicated to Kangabam Chitananda Singh who was popularly known as Thangal General in Manipur history. Thengal General was a prominent figure in the court of Maharaj Kulachandra and was hanged to death by the British for raising arms up against the crown as a follow up action after Manipuris defeat in the historic Anglo-Manipur war of 1891. It was believed to have been built in 1879 AD. The structure is located on the north eastern corner of the complex housing the Directorate of Art and Culture at Palace compound, Imphal.
Sekta Kei Mound:
This site is located in the village Sekta around 18 kms on the north eastern side of Imphal. It is located on the banks of the Iril River at a distance of 4 kms north of Lamlai on the Imphal-Ukhrul road. There are six burial grounds in the village Sekta. However, only a burial mound was located, excavated and protected by the State Archaeology. The excavation at the Sekta burial mound revealed important information related to the burial customs of the Sekta people and their socio-economic life. This has helped a lot of archaeologists and historians to know about the history of life of the people of Manipur. This site is protected as a living museum and also reveals facts about the tribe which inhabited this place. The process of secondary burial was discovered here.