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Introduction

Imphal is the capital city of the Northeast Indian state of Manipur.

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Sights and Activities

Kanga Fort - the palace and fort had been used by the Meitei Kings for hundreds of years. The British conquered the fortress and destroyed big parts of it in the 1891 Anglo-Manipur War. There are some temples, parts of the palace and some colonial buildings.

  • Loktak Lake - The largest fresh water lake in North-Eastern India and has floating lake. It is also the habitat of Curvus Eldi Eldi, an endangered species found only in Manipur.
  • Matai Garden - The garden is situated at Matai, Imphal east district about 5 km towards North in NH-39.The garden is also called as Ibudhou Asheiningthou garden taking the name from Ibudhou Asheiningthou(local God of Matai). The garden is known for its myriad Duranta plant, well shaped and decorating the entire garden.
  • Manipur State Museum, Kangla Rd (near the polo grounds). 10am-4:30pm. The museum is varied. It includes portraits of Manipuri royalty, tribal costumes, polo equipment (Manipur is one of the places in the world that claims to have invented the sport) along with weapons and other tools used by the people in the past. The biggest thing they have displayed is a 78 foot long royal boat in the open air gallery.
  • Manipur Zoological Garden, Imphal-Kanchup Road, Lamphelpat, ☎ +91 70853 21247. Winter (Oct to Mar) 10am-4pm Summer (Apr to Sep) 10am-4:30pm. A smallish zoo but teeming with wildlife. Spanning 8 hectares, in total there are 55 species of animals and 420 animals overall with 14 species endangered and endemic. The rarest and most enchanting of these is the Sangai, also known as the brow-antlered deer.
  • Sambal- Lei-Sekpil garden. The garden is situated in Sagolband, Kwakeithel, Imphal, toward the Tidim road. The place is world famous for Sambal- Lei-Sekpil literally sambal means fence lei means flower and sekpil means topiary. The flower was featured in the Guinness Book of Records in 1999 (at the height of 50 ft. 35 steps). The garden is open to visitors.
  • Shree Govindajee Temple - This place was considered to be the highest place for any cultural activity during the times of the Maharajas. Located at a place near the Royal palace of past Maharajas, it has two domes and a raised congregation hall.
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery - located at Thangapat Mapal Palace Compound, Imphal East and Manipur - envisages and epitomizes the rich culture and heritage, tradition and history of the state. It was established in 1978, and the ‘Three Mothers’ signifies the biological mother, motherland & mother tongue.

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Getting There

By Plane

Kolkata and Guwahati by Air India, Air Asia, Indigo and Jet Airways.

By Train

Imphal is not currently connected to India's gigantic railway network. The closest railway station for now is Dimapur station in Nagaland. Getting to Imphal is almost a 7-hour bus ride from Dimapur station.

However, a railway station for Imphal is being built and is expected to be completed by the year 2019.

By Bus

A bus leaves from Kohima (Nagaland) only in the very early morning. If you need a permit for Manipur you can get it at the border but you have to look get it otherwise you have to get it at the police station in Imphal.

There are shared cars or shared Jeeps to the border in Moreh, leaving from Wangkhei main road about 1 kilometer southeast from the Kanga Fort. When you arrive in Moreh try to cross the border instantly, accomodation and food (usualy i prefer Indien food to Myanmar food, but not there), there was also no internet in Moreh.

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Eat

Preparations of bamboo shoots are delicacies here, along with other common dishes of North-eastern India. Try out the local variety of hot chilly (locally known as "Umorok").

There are many budget restaurants in Imphal, most of which are near the bus stop.

  • Forage, 2nd Floor, KokSamLai Tower (oppt. Thau Ground), DM College Road, Thangmeiband, Thangmeiband Hijam Leikai, Imphal West, ☎ +91 90894 12615, e-mail: forage@warakki.com. Daily 12pm-8pm. Diverse international cuisine with an exotic touch. Try their fermented iced teas and soybean smoked pork.
  • Blue Chilli, Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai, ☎ +91 98561 47207. Daily 1-8pm. Multi-Asian cafe style cuisine. Good atmosphere and food though a little pricey.
  • Luxmi Kitchen, Wahengbam Leikai, Sagolband, Wahengbam Leikai, Sagolband, ☎ +91 385 244 0885. Genuine Manipuri food. Plentiful options for both vegetarians and meat eaters. However, the dishes are full of chilli. Not recommended for people who cannot take spicy food.
  • The Nirmala Hotel has decent Indian food, also reasonable rooms. MG Avenue, Thangal Bazar.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Gaylord - ₹150 for a single room (with shared bathroom). One of the cheapest options in the central city area.
  • Hotel Yaisana - Single rooms with shared bathrooms start from ₹300.
  • Hotel Avenue
  • Hotel City Heart
  • White Palace
  • The Classic Hotel, North AOC, ☎ +91 385 2454648, +91 8131980420, e-mail: reservation@theclassichotel.in. Free breakfast and WiFi. Has two lavish restaurants.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 8:30 on Aug 15, 18 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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