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Manipur's capital city, Imphal, has harmonised itself seamlessly into its beautiful natural environment. The pretty township is the very heart of the official, commercial and cultural activities of the state. Visitors can enjoy some of its special attractions before moving out of town into its great outdoors to savour Manipuri culture in all its richness and variety.
Imphal's historic Vaishnavite centre, Shri Govindaji Temple is located close to the Royal Palace. This interesting structure with its twin domes has a paved courtyard and a great assembly hall where devotees congregate to participate in various devotional activities. On either side of the presiding deity are the shrines of Krishna, Balaram and Jagannath. The Ras Leela dance performances held here are exceptional.
 
Imphal's Khwairamband Bazar or IMA Market is quite an unusual market - almost 3000 Imas or mothers, man the'stalls in this unique bazar. Stalls are lined on either side of the road. On one side, the stalls hawk anything from farm produce to fresh fish, and a dazzling selection of groceries. Opposite these, are a row of stalls selling exquisite handlooms and household tools. In a street not so far away you can pick up some of the most exquisite wicker works and traditional basketry.
In the heart of Imphal, at the Bir Tikendrajit Park lies a monument known as the Shaheed Minar. This memorial pillar was raised to pay homage to the indomitable spirit of the Meitei and tribal martyrs who sacrificed their lives while fighting the British in 1891.
anaged by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, are the beautifully kept War Cemeteries which commemorate the British and Indian soldiers who died during the Second World War. Each grave carries a little stone marker and bronze plaque recording the sacrifice of these martyrs.


Ukhrul
Manipur's popular and highest hill station is Ukhrul, 83 km away. It is famous for those lovely Siroi lilies, which grow here in abundance. The nearby lime caves of Kangkhui are worth visiting. It is also the Headquarters of the Tangkhul Nagas.
 
Manipur has at least 500 different varieties of orchids. The Central Khonghampat Orchidarium, just 7 km away from Imphal, offers visitors an excellent opportunity to see at least 110 species which are showcased here. The Orchidarium is doing exceptional work on propagating some of the rare species. Its 200 acres are host to many rare varieties of orchids, which include almost a dozen endemic species. The finest time to see these blooms is in March-April when they look their very best.
Go to see the rare but incredibly graceful Sangai (brow antlered deer) at the Manipur Zoological Gardens. The zoo (6 km) lies on the verdant base of the pine growing hillocks at Iroisemba on the Imphal-Kangchup road.

Langthabal
Set amidst stands of jackfruit and pine, Langthabal (8 km down the Indo-Myanmar road) is dotted with relics of an old, historic palace, temples of architectural importance and ceremonial houses.

It is ideally located for those delightful views and a glimpse of Manipur University.


Kangchup
The health resort of Kangchup, 16 km from Imphal, offers lovely views of the Manipur valley from its lofty perch at a height of 921m.


Waithou
Close to the Waithou Lake, on the Indo-Burma road, is a village famous for pineapples.


Kaina
On the lofty heights of the Kaina Hills (29 km) lies a legendary temple where the famous Ras Leela dance is performed on particular days.


Khongjom
Khongjom, 36 km on the Indo-Burma road, is known for the martyrdom of Manipur's Major General Paona Brajabashi in 1891. Khongjom Day is celebrated on April 23 every year.


Tengnoupal
You can also enjoy grandstand views of the Manipur valley from Tengnoupal (69 km), the highest point on the Imphal-Burma road.

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The erstwhile princely state of Manipur is a jewel of a land with its bounteous vistas of untrammeled beauty and ancient traditions. Set in an oval valley amongst smoky blue hills, it is the home of the Meitei who dominate the populace, which is an admixture of Naga and Kuki-Chin Mizo groups amongst other colourful communities. The serenity of these pristine and isolated environs has permeated the lifestyle of these people with a lavish hand, allowing them to live for centuries in harmony.
Manipur is reputed for its tradition of the arts. Weaving (done by the women) is a time-honoured occupation, fine-tuned to an art form with its intricate designs in the dazzling range of sarees, sarongs, shawls and bedspreads. Each home has a loom. Even the state's martial arts are recognised for their almost poetic traditions. The economic and fluid movements of the spear dance (Ta Kbousarol) and sword fight (Thang Yannaba) have a sinuous beauty. This playful, sports loving community is reputed for its indigenous version of Sagol Kangjei or Polo (it was the first place in India to have evolved this sport of kings), the Mukna Kangjei - (wrestling-hockey) and Yubi-Lakpi, a form of rugby played with a greased coconut.

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