Shree Govindajee Temple
A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining the Royal Palace of Manipur's former Maharajas, the Govindajee Temple is a simple yet beautiful structure. Twin domes, a paved courtyard and a raised large congregation hall form a perfect backdrop for priests who descend the steps, to accept offerings from devotees in the courtyard. The shrines of Krishna and Balaram and Jagannath flank the two sides of the presiding deity.
Khwairamband Bazar or IMA Market
A unique all women's market, having 3000 "Imas" or mothers who run the stalls, it is split into two sections on either side of the road. Vegetables, fruits, fish and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools, on the other.
The indomitable spirit of the Meitei and tribal martyrs who sacrificed their life while fighting the British in 1891, is commemorated by this tall Minar at Bir Tikendrajit Park in the heart of Imphal.
Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the Second World War, these cemetries are managed by the Common Wealth War Graves Commission. Serene and well maintained, the graves carry little stone markers and bronze plaques, recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.
7 kms from Imphal, on Highway No. 39 is the Central Orchidarium, which covers 200 acres and houses over 110 rare varieties of orchids, which include almost a dozen endemic species. The peak blooming season is March - April.
Manipur Zoological Gardens
6 kms to the west of Imphal, at the foot of the pine growing hillocks at Iroisemba on the Imphal-Kangchup Road are the Zoological Gardens. Not to be missed, is an opportunity to see the graceful brow antlered deer (Sangai) one of the rarest species in the world, in sylvan surroundings.
45 kms, from Imphal, the town is one of the main centres of early Meitei folk culture with the ancient temple of the pre-Hindu deity Lord Thangjing, situated here. In the month of May, men and women, dressed in colourful traditional costumes, sing and dance in honour of the Lord at the Moirang "Lai Haraoba" which is a ritual dance festival held each year. The town also has a special place in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. It was at Moirang that the flag of the Indian National Army was first unfurled on April 14, 1944.
Loktak Lake and Sendra Island
48 kms from Imphal, is the largest fresh water lake in the North East region, a veritable miniature inland sea. From the Tourist Bungalow set atop Sendra Island, visitors get a bird's eye view of life on the Lake-small islands that are actually floating weed on which live the Lake people, the shimmering blue waters of the Lake, labyrinthine boat routes and colourful water plants. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached cafeteria in the middle of the lake is an ideal tourist spot.
27 kms from Imphal on the Tiddim Road, is a picturesque town situated at the foot hill that rolls down the valley. The 15th century Bishnu Temple, built of peculiar small bricks believed to be of Chinese influence, made during the reign of King Kiyamba is of historical importance. Bishnupur is also famous for its chiselled stoneware.
It is a hillock about 921 metres above sea level and a sacred place of the Hindus. So goes the story that one night, Shri Govindajee appeared in the dream of his devotee, Shri Jai Singh Maharaja and asked the saintly king to install in a temple, an image of Shri Shri Govindajee. It was to be carved out of a jack fruit tree, which was then growing at Kaina. The scenery in this place is charming and the hill shrubs and natural surroundings give the place a religious atmosphere. It is only 29 kms from Imphal.
36 kms on the Indo-Myanmar road, a war broke out between Manipur and British India in 1891. It is here that Major General Paona Brajabashi, one of the great warriors of Manipur proved his valour against the superior force of the invading British Army in 1891. A War Memorial has been constructed on the top of the Kheba Hill.
69 kms from Imphal. The highest point on the Indo-Myanmar Road, from here, you can have a full view of the valley of Myanmar.
83 kms to the east of Imphal, this district headquarters of Manipur East is the highest hill station of the state. A centre of the colourful warrior tribe Tangkhul Nagas, it is well developed and famous for its peculiar type of land-lily, the Siroi, grown in the Siroi hills. Siroi Hills and Khangkhui Lime Caves are interesting places for excursions.
Manipur State Museum
The interesting museum near the Polo Ground has a fairly good display of Manipur's Tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur's former rulers.
Red Hill is a hillock about 16 kms from Imphal on Tiddim Road. It is a thrilling spot where a fierce battle took place between the British and the Japanese force in World War II and regarded as a holy place. There is also a monument in memory of the Japanese Martyrs who sacrificed their lives in this fierce battle.