MANIPUR

Manipur, or the Land of Jewels, is a former princely state. It boasts the ecologically rich Lake Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in the North-east. The capital, Imphal, lies in the oval shaped valley intersected by Narrow River. A major attraction is the Khwairamband Bazaar (Ima or Mother's Market) comprising only women traders, possibly the largest such in the country. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains two serene and beautiful war cemeteries in Imphal. The Konghampat Orchidarium houses over 120 species of orchid, including many rare ones.


The Keiblu Lamjao National Park, occupying an area of twenty-five aquare kilometers, is a unique floating sanctuary on Lake Loktal. It supports a small populations of thamin, the endangered brow-antlered deer. The thamin feed on mats of floating humans covered with grass on the lake's surface. Moving to the hills only in the rains, Moirang, forty-five kilometre from Imphal, is an island on Lake Loktak.


Travel advisory: The states of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura do not require permits for visits, but travelers may need to register on arrival and departure. To visit Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, you'll have to obtain a Restricted Area Permit from India's Ministry of Home Affairs.


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