The city of Imphal is the capital of the Indian state of Manipur. The ruins of the Palace of Kangla, the royal seat of the erstwhile Kingdom of Manipur, are in the city centre, surrounded by a moat.
Imphal is one of the few places in India where nothing seems to have changed. Imphal in Manipur is a tiny valley tucked away in the northeastern state of Manipur. Relics of an old, historical palace, well-planned temples and ceremonial houses in all their splendour amidst the tall pine and jackfruit trees, speak of Imphal’s ancient past. Lying at the center of Manipur valley, Imphal is one of the most ancient towns in the Indian subcontinent and has much to provide to a discerning tourist.
Imphal Airport, lies 8 km from Imphal city toward south. Imphal connects the place with Guwahati, Delhi, and Calcutta. Indian Airlines connects Imphal with Delhi via Guwahati on a daily basis.
215 km from Imphal, is the nearest railhead for Manipur.
Imphal is connected by road with Dimapur by National Highway 39 and Silchar by National Highway 53.
Excellent accommodation facilities are available in and around Imphal for the tourists coming from all over the world.
Eight kilometers from Imphal, at the foot of the pine-covered hillocks, you will find a wealth of rare birds, animals and reptiles at the Manipur Zoological Gardens. In the zoo’s sylvan surroundings, you will even get a glimpse of one of the rarest species of deer in the world, the graceful brow-antlered thamin deer.
One of the main features of Imphal is the Khwairamband Bazaar. What makes this market different is that it is run by women. Split into two sections on either side of the road, it has tribal women clad in colorful, traditional attire, selling everything from hand-woven shawls, skirts, vessels, mugs and mats to fish, lotus, oranges and orange-flavored honey. And if you wander in the quaint by lanes around the market, you will get a glimpse of Manipur’s customs and traditions.
The core of Imphal’s traditions, however, lies in its various temples. The most important of these is the Shri Govindajee Temple, a historic center for Vaishnavites. A simple, twin-domed structure, it adjoins the magnificent palace of the former rulers of Manipur. Constructed in the early 18th century under the Rajarishi Bhagyachandra regime, the temple comes alive during festivals when thousands of people come to offer prayers.
The Manipur State Museum is another place that is worth a visit. The museum has a rich collection of Manipuri costumes, war implements, historical documents and relics, and gives you a sample of the state’s complex history.