Though north east is picking up tourism very well in the past few years, Manipur is still not on the radar as much as Assam/Meghalaya/Arunachal Pradesh. Manipur is pristine in its own ways and offers a land border crossing experience to Myanmar.
You can start the trip from Impal, the capital city by visiting the markets and soaking in Manipur culture.
Highlights and things to do:
In and around Imphal – The capital city is bustling with people throughout the day. The markets are very lively selling different things. While you are in Imphal, visit the mother’s market, Sirohi national park, temples, forts, and gardens.
Loktal lake is only about 40-50 km from Imphal, It is the largest lake in the northeast. It’s also the only lake with a floating national park. It’s famous for what the locals call as Phumids which are the tiny circular floating islands.
It offers spectacular views of the Thoubal river start point. It also gives a panoramic view of the Imphal city. Thoubal is surrounded by tall bamboo trees. Spend time amidst nature. Enjoy boating in the Louis lake and spend quality time near the Ikop lake and buy some local souvenirs from the Thoubal bazaar
It is a peaceful and serene district in Manipur. It has some of the best hiking trails in Manipur. While you are here visit the sadu chiru waterfalls, Mao and the famous Dzuko Valley which is located near the Manipur-Nagaland border.
Lepcha villages, Dzongu, Sikkim
Legend says that the Lepcha community people are indigenous to Sikkim. They had their distinct traditions and spoke their own language. The Dzongu area in the north of Sikkim is reserved especially for the Lepcha community. The locals call it paradise amidst the Himalayas and its justified. Within the small area, there are different terrains like forests, snow valleys, waterfalls, hot springs and much more.
No description nor pictures will do justification to this place.
Highlights and things to do:
Lepcha translates to children of the snow peaks. The mighty Kanchenjunga is their mother protector. They are a peace-loving and silent community close to nature.
Any homestay in the village has got its mesmerizing views of the mighty Himalayas and the rivers that flow around them like a silver ribbon.
The crystal clear ice blue water, the fresh air, the aroma of cardamom (maincrop), the silence of the forest and the smattering light of the sun can rejuvenate you from all the monotony and chaos of city life.
Stroll in the nearby villages, the paths are very beautiful and with every few meters, the view of the mountains gives a different perspective. You have butterflies and the chirping birds to keep the company.
Hikes, trekking trails and waterfalls: There are a lot of named and unnamed trails to hike. The local guides or your hosts can guide you through the same. You can choose according to your fitness/flexibility and the time you have. The same grows with the waterfalls as well. Lingzya waterfalls are the most popular ones for good reasons.
Some tips to keep in mind:
The best time to visit is from February to May. Monsoon makes it hard to reach the village and winters can be harsh.
Dzongu is not a very popular place so shared taxi till the last mile might not be available. One can take a taxi/shared taxi until Managan. From there one should hire another taxi to the respective village or check with your host if he can help to arrange the travel.
Dzongu is a restricted area and one has to take a permit to enter. However, the process is easy. The homestay owner can help in arranging the same. You can collect the pass from Managan DC office by producing your id proofs.
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