Imphal Sightseeing,City Tour-Ima Market & Andro Tribal Village
Imphal is capital of Manipurand is one of the most ancient cities in India. Situated 786 m above sea level, Imphal is known for its scenic landscapes and greenery. Manipur is a land of many tribes and Imphal is the cultural capital of the state.
It derives its name from ‘Yumphal’, which means ‘land of many villages’ and its landscape is a mix of hills, valleys, forests and several rivers like Iril, Sekmai, Thoubal and Khuga. The modern game of polo is derived from Manipur’s Sagol Kangjei and it is not surprising that the Imphal Polo Ground is the oldest polo ground in the world. The Martial arts of Thang-ta and Huyen lallong originated from Imphal and watching performances is fascinating.
Places to visit in & around Imphal City-
This tall Minar is erected in memory of the indomitable spirit of the patriotic Meitei and tribal martyrs who sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British in 1891. It is located at the Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal city.
A visit to the Kangla at the heart of Imphal city unfolds the proud history of the erstwhile Asiatic Kingdom dating back to 33 A.D. The British took over in 1891 and buried their influence in architecture. It is the quintessential symbol of the state’s culture and heritage. The old Govindajee temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur. Today, Kangla is developed into a unique archeological and heritage park.
The Ima Market counted as one of the largest only women market in Asia is at a stone’s throw distance from the Western Gate of Kangla. It is a unique all women’s market, with over 3000 “Imas” (mothers) running the stalls. Men are not allowed to sell goods at this market. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold in one section and exquisite handlooms and household tools in the other.
Imphal War Cemetery:
The War Cemeteries in Imphal commemorates the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II. These War Cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene and well-maintained, the War Cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifices of those gallant soldiers.
Shree Govindajee Temple:
Shree Govindajee Temple is another historic centre of the Vaishnavites in Manipur. The Govindajee temple is one of the more popular destinations for the tourists. Twin domes, a paved courtyard, and a large raised congregation hall from perfect backdrop for priests who descend the steps, to accept offerings from devotees in the courtyard. Early hour prayer (Aarti) is a must for devoted followers, exuding spiritual fervor and ecstasy. Tourists are welcomed to come and join in the daily festivities at the historic Govindajee temple and other temples in and around Imphal city.
Andro Village-Peek into Tribal Life
About 25 kms east of Imphal city, Andro Village is a nice half day sightseeing from Imphal. Andro is famous for handmade pottery. Just as we entered the village, an artisan was busy giving shape to a piggy bank.The artisans of Andro make amazing pots by hand which can easily pass off as made on the wheel to the untrained eye. Mutua Museum which has placed Andro on the travelers map. This museum in Andro was started as a private initiative of Mutua Bahadur who is a noted museum curator, author and researcher. It is an open complex with different models of houses representing the Meiteis as well as the different tribes Tangkhul, Kuki, Kabui, Kom etc.