Invest in Manipur

Switzerland of the East  

 

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Saturday, 08 June, 2013

 

TOURISM

The Great Tourist Discovery:

The wondrously little Shangrila and “a jeweled land”, Manipur is a veritable paradise on earth where mother nature has been extra generous in her bounty. Untouched and undiscovered Manipur promises to be the great tourist discovery of the 21st century. With an oval shaped valley surrounded by blue green hills, rich in art and tradition it has inspired description such as the “Switzerland of the East” with its cascading rapids, tripping rivers, carpets of flowers, exotic blooms and lazy lakes. The people and the tribes of Manipur include Meiteis, Nagas and Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups and other colourful communities which have lived in complete harmony for centuries. These are the people whose folklore, myths and legends, dances, indigenous games and martial arts, exotic handlooms and handicrafts are invested with the mystique of nature and an indefatigable “joie de vivre”.

 

Culture & Traditions:

Manipur is a mosaic of traditions and cultural patterns. In the field of art and culture, the State is best represented by its classical and folk-dance forms. Raas Lila songs and dances depict the Leelas (Sports) of Lord Krishna as a child with the Gopies (Milkmaids) of Brindavan, and express their yearning for communion with the Lord. The Rasa Dance is essentially lyrical and has extremely graceful movements. A spring festival, the “Lai-Horaoba” held in April/May is symbolised by a traditional, stylised and ritualistic dance performed for peace and prosperity. The Tribal folk dances are an expression of nature, creativity and aestheticism of the tribal way of life. One can see the colourful costumes, dance and unique rituals in festival such as Lui-ngai-ni (seed sowing festival of Nagas of Manipur), KUT (the largest festival of Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities).

 

Flora & Fauna:

Blessed with an amazing varieties of flora and fauna, the hills covered by forests constituting 67% of the geographical area of Manipur, hold the tourist spell bound. Coveted the world over, some of the most beautiful and precious blooms and orchids are abound in their natural habitat spreading their beauty and colour, stunning the eye that is not used to seeing them in such profusion. The Hoolock Gibbon, Slow Loris, Clouded Leopard, Spotted Linshang, Mrs. Hume’s Barbacked Pheasant, Blyths Tragopan, Burmese Pea-Fowl, four different species of Hornbills, etc. form only a part of the rich natural heritage of Manipur. Nong-in is the State bird of Manipur. The most unique animal is Sangai – the brow antlered and dancing deer of Manipur. The floating mass of vegetation on the Loktak Lake sustains small herds of this endemic and threatened cervid in the world.

 

Major Tourist Attractions:

The major tourist attractions in the State, amongst others, are fascinating lakes, breath taking green hills and landscapes, historic monuments, unique art forms of various cultures and traditions and indigenous sports of the land. The World War II Cemetery at Imphal with little stone markers and bronze plaques; and the Loktak lake, the largest fresh water lake in the North East at Moirang, 45 km away from Imphal, with surrounding green hills and blissful landscapes leaves an everlasting impression on the visitors, Keibul Lamjao, the only floating National Park of its kind in the world as the last habitat of the marsh friendly brow antlered deer SANGAI- the dancing deer. The Indian National Army (INA) Memorial at Moirang (INA) first hoisted the tri-colour together, the INA Museum housing letters, photographs, badges of ranks, and other memorabilia, reminds visitors of the noble sacrifices made by the INA under the leadership of Netaji. There are also other significant tourist centres, namely, Shree Shree Govindajee Temple near the old Palace of the Maharaja of Manipur, the Manipur State Museum with the archives of Manipur, the Khonghampat Orchidarium with over 150 varieties of orchids, etc. to mention a few.

 

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