MANIPUR : The Great Wall of Eastern India where mother nature is dancing whole the year
This jewel land of India is listed as one of the most beautiful places of the world where Mother Nature has been extra generous in her bounty
, also known as “a little paradise on the earth” being a state of India, located in the north-eastern part of the country is bordered by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Assam to the west, and Mizoram to the south-west and by Myanmar (Burma) to the south and east. Manipur is wedged among hills on all sides. This jewel land of India is listed as one of the most beautiful places of the world where Mother Nature has been extra generous in her bounty. Like other northeastern states, it is largely isolated from the rest of India by its topographical uniqueness. The hills comprise 90% of the land of Manipur. The hill ranges, connected by spurs and ridges include the Naga Hills to the north, the East Manipur Hills along the eastern Myanmar border, the Mizo and Chin hills to the south, and the West Manipur Hills to the west. Average elevations vary between 5,000 and 6,000 feet (1,500 and 1,800 metres), although the hills in the north rise above 9,500 feet (2,900 metres). The name Manipur means “land of Jewels.” Its economy centres on agriculture and forestry, trades, cottage industries and other small manufacturing and service industries also are important. The state capital is Imphal, located in the centre of the state. The state spreads across an area of 22,327 kms.
Kangla Fort Imphal
Moreh, importantly a border town located on the Indo-Myanmar border of india in the Tengnoupal district of Manipur is famous for its rich culture and breathtaking beautiful landscape. The town is mainly inhabited by Kuki, with Meitei/Meetei, Tamil Nepali, Pujabi, Bihari, Marwari and Meitei Pangals. Manipur stands as India’s only gateway to other south-east Asian countries connecting Myanmar through surface transport systems letting people drive freely into Myanmar and then towards Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore etc. through Moreh town.
The state has two major distinct physiographic regions: the inner narrow valley and a large surrounding tract of rugged mountainous country. The valley, encompassing some 700 square miles (1,787 square km approx.), runs north-south and lies at an elevation of 2,600 feet (790 metres). Loktak Lake also called the floating lake, the largest freshwater lake in the northeast India, which covers about 287 square kilometers is famous for its scenic beauty and is located in Moirang in Bishnupur district.
Major rivers in Manipur are Barak, Imphal, Iril, Khuga, Manipur, Nambul, Tiau, Tuitha and Tuivai rivers etc. Most of the rivers flow southward through the valley.
A winter morning in Imphal
The climate is moderate in the valley and cold in the hills. The western part of the state is having tropical climate when the rest part of it experiences sub-tropical climate with distinct summer, winter and rainy seasons. In summer the average highest recorded temperature was 35.6°C (96.1°F), whereas the lowest temperature in the winter temperatures could drop into -2.7°C (27.1°F). The average annual temperature of Manipur is 26.9°C. Rainfall in the region is abundant, and it ranges from 1250mm to 2700mm. It remains dry during the month of November, December, January and February. January is the coldest and May, June and July are the hottest months. Anyone can experience the most enjoyable climate in the state during the month of October, November, December, January, February and March.
Flora and fauna
World Famous Dzukou Lily
Manipur being nature’s one of the most precious gift to mankind, is blessed with an amazing variety of flora and fauna. The hills in Manipur are densely covered with mixed forests containing stands of bamboo, pine, phoebe hainesiana and teak. Other trees include oak, magnolia, and chinquapin. The Luzon pine grows in the Naga Hills. Among the state’s notable plants are rhododendrons, primroses, and poppies. Besides many plants which are of high medicinal value such as blumea balsamifera (langthrei), calotropis gigantean (angkot), cassia tora (thaonam), dioscoria bulbifera (ha), alpinia galangal (kanghoo) etc. are also found in the state abundantly. Manipur is the home of the Asiatic elephants, slow loris, golden cat, Hoolock Gibbon, tigers, clouded leopards, spotted linshang, Burmese peafowl, deer and wild buffalos. The world famous brow-antlered deer, sangai, which is also the state animal, a rare species found only in Manipur is in danger of extinction and the Keibu l Lamjao National Park located at an integral part of the Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district is the government’s initiative to preserve the species.
About 53% of the people are the Meitei (Meetei), who predominantly settle in the central plain region of Manipur and are largely Sanamahism. The Meitei people are industrious, cheerful, and welcoming in nature and love festivities. Meitei women conduct most of the small trades in the valley and enjoy high social status. Indigenous hill tribes, such as the Nagas at 24% in the north and the Kukis at 16% in the south, make up the rest of the population. Divided into numerous clans and sections, the people of these tribes speak languages of the Tibeto-Burman family. More than three-fifths of the people speak Meiteilon, which, along with English, is the official language of the state. The people of Manipur are also known to the world for their bravery and sportiveness and also take the pride of rich cultural heritage.
Agriculture, forest products, mining, cottage industry and tourism sectors are the main sources of income. Rice is the major crop, and the rich soil also supports corn (maize), sugarcane, mustard, tobacco, orchard fruits, and pulses (legumes). Terraced cultivation is common in the hills, where the farmers plough the ground with hand hoes. Among some of the hill tribes, domestic animals are kept only for meat and are not milked or used for hauling. Teak, pinewood, sal, cane and bamboo are major forestry products.
Manufacturing is limited to several well-established cottage industries. The designed cloth produced on hand looms is in high demand throughout India and outside the country. Other industries include sericulture (silk production), iron and steel, plastic industry, packaged drinking water, food and beverages, spices, soapmaking, carpentry, tanning, and the manufacture of bamboo and cane products.
1 Inter-state and Inter-district transport :
Bir Tikendrajit International Airport
Manipur is well connected to other parts of the country by airways and roadways. The Bir Tikendrajit International Airport is the only airport in the state. Airport is located at a distance of about 8km from the heart of the city and is well connected directly from the major cities of India namely New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bangaluru etc, and all the major cities of the North Eastern States on daily basis with domestic air services like Air India, Indigo Airlines, Air Asia etc. and other remaining airports are again connected via Kolkata and Guwahati. The government of India already announced that Routine International Flight Services will be commencing soon. There is no railway station in the state though the railway project is underway. A railway line between Jiribam to Imphal in Manipur, which connects Imphal with broad gauge network in the country, is expected to be completed by 2021. Currenltly, rigorous work is underway to link Imphal with Jiribam via Tupul. Manipur is very well connected by surface transport system via national highways to the rest of the country. There are three national highways namely NH 37 (Old NH 53), NH 2 (Old NH 39), and NH 102 passing through the state and local transport system connects all the districts. Helicopter service is also available for a few destinations like Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Jiribam and Moreh Town on daily basis.
The nearest railway station from Imphal, Manipur is Dimapur in Nagaland, which is located at a distance of 201 km. From Dimapur regular buses ply via National Highway 2 i.e. NH 2 which take tourists to Imphal. Hassle free Cab Service is also available for the same journey.
2 Local transport :
Cab Services in Imphal
Local transportation is easily available to reach every part of Imphal. There is regular government and private bus services plying within the state. One can travel easily by bus or passenger vans from one place to another within the state. Regular cab services are also available in. Major cab service providers are Lamjingba Cab Service, Manipur Cab, ROM Cab, Imphal Cabs, Virgo and True Blue etc. One can hire a taxi to travel to their specific destination. Apart from these cycle rickshaws, electric rickshaws and auto rickshaws are also available in each and every town of Manipur. The auto rickshaws in Manipur are also not metered, but the rates are cheap and can be negotiated beforehand.