As famously once said by the first prime minister of India as the ‘Jewel City of India’, Manipur is a stunning state in the northeastern part of India where natural beauty can be seen in all its glory. The state is among the most beautiful places to visit in India, which never fails to attract tourists regardless of their age. Manipur is nestled in the slopes of the sub-Himalayan ranges and boasts of gleaming lakes, picturesque landscapes, misty hills, lush green valleys, gushing rivers, and dense forests. It is calm, serene, and simply gorgeous with the soothing atmosphere that puts Manipur among the must-visit places for nature lovers.
Among Manipur’s wild scenery, undulating hills, blue lakes, and thick woods, there are ample attractions you can explore on your Manipur trip. Among these famous sites is the floating national park in the country called the Keibul Lamjao National Park. Other than this, explore the state’s capital Imphal, which is one of the most ancient cities and is blessed with lush greenery and mesmerizing landscapes. The state is also known for its Rasleelas and Manipuri, which you must not forget to attend as it is the state’s classical dance. Therefore, whether it is an adventure, culture, natural beauty, or else, a tour to Manipur will let you experience it all.
So, if you want to know more about Manipur, the best time to visit, how to reach it, where to eat and stay, and some useful travel tips, here is our comprehensive Manipur travel guide.
Languages Spoken in Manipur
The widely spoken language in Manipur is the Manipuri language, which is also called Meitei and is a Tibeto-Burman language. The people of Manipur also speak English and other languages like Tangkhul, Kuki, Lusai, Hmar, Paite and Thadou.
Where is Manipur located?
Manipur is located in the eastern part of India. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Assam to the west, Mizoram to the southwest, and by the country of Myanmar to the south and east. And not to mention, it is largely isolated from the rest of the country.
Why should you visit Manipur?
If you want to escape your daily routine and spend some time relaxing in nature with no crowds, then Manipur is among the best places to consider. Whether you want to spend quality time with your better half or some time bonding with your family, Manipur is a great place to visit. Apart from this, the state is known for its rich culture and traditions. The scenic landscapes will definitely soothe the senses and make your mind and body calm.
Foodies can plan a trip to Manipur and savour the mouth-watering cuisine of Manipur. If you are some who seeks adrenaline, Manipur offers a list of some of the amazing activities like rafting, rock climbing, trekking, caving, paragliding, and more. If you want to explore the tribal culture, there is a lot to witness in Manipur. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating wildlife sanctuary in the world and is a major reason to plan a Manipur trip with loved ones.
This comprehensive Manipur travel guide is designed to help you plan your trip to Manipur and explore it like a local. Know things to do, places to visit, local cuisine, wildlife sanctuaries, adventure sports, hill stations, and more.
The Keibul Lamjao National Park, Yangoupokpi Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary, Zeliad Wildlife Sanctuary, Manipur Zoological Gardens
Shyam Rai Temple, Siddheshwar Temple, Radha Shyam Temple, Sridhara Temple, Pancha Ratna Temple, Shree Govindajee
Imphal War Cemetery, Maibam Lokpa Ching, INA Memorial, Tuibuong Tribal Museum, Manipur State Museum
Sadu Chiru Waterfall, Barak Waterfall, Ngaloi Waterfall, Khayang Waterfall
Rafting, rock climbing, trekking, caving, paragliding
Tharon Cave, Tonglon Cave, Makhel Cave, Khangkhui Cave, Hundung Mangva Cave
Zeilad Lake, Louis Lake, Waithou Lake, Kachou Phung Lake, Loktak Lake
Yangpu Jilong, the Daimikhong, the Koubru, the Kalanaga, Leikot, Tampaba, Koubru
Paona Bazaar, Khwairamband Bazar, Tera Bazaar, GM Hall, Ema Keithel Market
Chamthong or Kangshoi, Eromba, Morok Metpa, Singju, Paaknam, Chak Hao Kheer, Nga Atauba Thongba
How to Reach Manipur
Being a popular destination in India, Manipur can easily reach Manipur via air, rail, or road. Here are the ways to reach Manipur -
The main airport in the state is located in the capital city, Imphal. The airport is well-connected to major Indian cities including Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, and some other important cities in North East India.
There is no direct train service to Manipur. The closest railway station to Manipur is located in Dimapur, Nagaland, which is at a distance of about 200 km and is connected to well-known cities in the country. You can get off at the railway station and avail the public transport facility to reach Manipur.
The state of Manipur has a good network of roads and can be reached by the Manipur State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) services. Private buses can also be hired to reach Manipur and nearby states in North East India.
How to get around Manipur
The most convenient way of travelling within Manipur is by bus. They are available in every city and are also a cheap mode of transport. State and private, you can choose whichever you want and move across the state. Taxi services are also available in abundance and are the best way to travel at night. However, it is a bit costlier. You can use auto-rickshaws for sightseeing and cover shorter distances. Most of the excellent landscapes can be covered by trekking. It is one of the best ways to roam around in a city and explore the best locations.
Best time to visit Manipur
Manipur has breezy summers, moderate monsoon, and chilly winters, and thus can be visited throughout the year. However, the beginning of the winter season is considered the best time to visit Manipur. It is the ideal time for honeymooners and nature lovers to plan a trip to Manipur and spend quality time in pleasant weather. Here is the best time to visit Manipur -
Summer (April to June)
Summer in Manipur begins in the month of April and remains till June. During this time, the temperature fluctuates between 16°C to 35°C and is perfect to enjoy the beauty of this place. The days are sunny with clear skies and you can witness lush greenery and scintillating views of the mountains.
Monsoon (July to September)
The monsoon season in the state of Manipur received moderate rainfall with strong winds. If you seek rainy weather and cloudy skies, then plan a visit to Manipur in the monsoon. Every part of the state exhibits exuberant greenery at this time while the temperature remains around 23°C to 30°C.
Winter (October to March)
Winter is the best time to visit Manipur to enjoy the chilly yet pleasant weather. The temperature hovers between 4°C and 25°C and the days are moderately warm and the nights are quite cold. Take your better half to Manipur during this time to spend romantic time in peace.
Places to Visit in Manipur
Blessed with nature’s bounty and plenty of tourist attractions, Manipur is a prime destination to visit in North East India.
Besides the pristine lakes, lush green valleys, gushing rivers, misty hills, and dense forests, the cities in Manipur like Imphal, Thoubal, Tamenglong, Chandel, Moirang, etc. have some of the most renowned attractions. Apart from these, while exploring the state, you can explore attractions including Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park, Tharon Cave, Singda Dam, INA Memorial Complex, Shree Govindajee Temple, Manipur State Museum, Manipur Zoological Garden, and more.
Things to do in Manipur
Manipur offers ample opportunities for tourists to have a great time. People from all over the world visit Manipur and indulge in fun activities with their loved ones. Be it exploring the culture, savouring local food, interacting with the local humble people, admiring the beauty of the state, or taking a nature walk amidst a peaceful environment, you will never be out of options when it comes to things to do in Manipur. On your Manipur trip, enjoy a traditional boat ride on the largest freshwater lake in North East India, watch colourful birds at Keibul Lamjao National Park, explore the oldest culture of Maram Khullen Village, and more. There are many thrilling adventure activities in Manipur that you can indulge in like rafting, caving, rock climbing, trekking, windsurfing, and paragliding.
Where to Stay in Manipur
Hotels, camps, villas, and guesthouses are the places of accommodation you can choose from during your stay in Manipur. From mid-range to budget-friendly stays, you can find accommodation as per your needs and budget and make your stay comfortable. Many stays are set in perfect locations with nature’s backdrop. Simply enjoy your stay in Manipur with prompt services and decent amenities. Hotel Imphal by The Classic, Magen, Loktak Aquamarine Floating Homestay, Manipur House, and The Heritage are some of the accommodation options in Manipur.
What to Eat in Manipur
Manipur’s cuisine is generally represented by the traditional cuisine of an ethnic majority, Meiteis. A staple diet of a Manipuri consists of rice, fish, and large quantities of leafy vegetables, which is simple, basic yet nutritious. Non-vegetarians are going to have a blast while vegetarians might have to put in extra effort as the state largely consumes non-vegetarian dishes. If you are a pure vegetarian, consider giving specifications. Most households grow their own vegetables and raise fish in small ponds by their houses. Some of the popular foods to try in Manipur are Chamthong or Kangshoi, Eromba, Morok Metpa, Singju, Paaknam, Chak Hao Kheer, and Nga Atauba Thongba.
Festivals and Fairs in Manipur
The state of Manipur is rich in culture and heritage and celebrates various fairs and festivals with fun and fervour. Ningol Chakouba, Yaoshang, Ramjan, Kut etc. are some of the festivals celebrated in Manipur. Ningol Chakouba is a social festival of the Meities where the women are invited to a feast at their parental house. Yaoshang or Holi is another important festival of Manipur and is celebrated for five days starting from the full moon of Phalguna. Cheirouba is a New Year celebration of the Manipuri's and Kut is an important harvest festival of Manipuris.
Nightlife in Manipur
There is not much nightlife in Manipur. However, ‘Imphal Evenings’ is the way that locals and tourists can enjoy the nightlife in the state of Manipur. It is the brainchild of the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh. This initiative by the Government of Manipur has provided a recreational space to the people of the state and aims to improve healthy family life and also introduce the culture of nightlife to the locals.
Is it safe to visit Manipur?
Yes, Manipur is a completely safe destination to travel to. Just do not roam around at night alone in quiet places and you will be fine. Female solo travellers can also plan a trip to Manipur and have a great time.
How to save money on a Manipur trip?
Plan your trip to Manipur during the off-season i.e. rainy season when few people travel as compared to summer and winter.
- Book your flights in advance and take an early or a late flight.
- Use public transport like a bus as it is a cheap mode of transportation in Manipur.
- Stay at budget-friendly accommodations.
- Eat at locally owned small restaurants.
- Go on off-the-beaten-track.
- Go on a backpacking tour.
- Avoid unnecessary shopping.
- Visit places that are free of cost like temples, museums, etc.
Manipur Travel Tips
- Prepare yourself for frequent rains any time of the day during the monsoon.
- Given that Manipur is a northeastern state, check for any permits you might want to take not for Manipur but to pass through neighbouring states to get to Manipur.
- If you get stuck somewhere, ask a local for help, they are very friendly.
- Remember to book hotels and flights in advance, especially during the winter season.
- If any significant document gets stolen or lost, immediately inform local police. Your documents can be misused.
- Do not overpack if you are on a backpacking trip.
- Respect the local culture.
- English is spoken but in smaller regions, you will find people speaking the local language. So, try to learn a few local phrases for better communication.
- Go with a registered tour guide, if needed. Local tour guides can charge you extra with inauthentic information.