Imphal is the capital of Manipur, located at 24°49'N 93°57'E/ 24.82°N 93.95°E/24.82; 93.95 with an average elevation of 786 meters (2578 feet). Imphal came into limelight afterImphal City the ﬁrst Anglo-Manipuri war in the year 1891. This chequered history or the city was further inﬂuenced by the battle of Imphal during World War II, which the British won over the Japanese. The British rulers later upgraded this region into an important military base to evade invasion from the bordering countries. Imphal is today a bustling town dotted by some historical buildings and new sites.
FAMOUS TOURIST PLACES OF IMPHAL
- Samban Lei Sekpil
Recognized as the world's tallest topiary by the Guinness Book of World Records, the Samban lei Sekpil is the tallest living 44-stepped botanical work of art nurtured by Moirangthem Okendra Kumbi of Sagolband Sayang Kuraoma-Khing. It stands over 61 ft tall.
- Govindajee Temple
Shree Govindajee Temple, Imphal, is a Vaishnavite temple adjoining the palace of the former rulers of Manipur. The temple has a simple structure with a large raised congregation hall and gold domes. It was built in the early 18th century under the rule of Rajarishi Bhagyachandra. The best time to visit the temple is during Holi, also known as Doljatra or Yaosong in Manipur and on Budh Purnima every year when the Maha Raas is performed every year.
- Kangla Fort
Situated right near the bank of the Imphal River and at the heart of Imphal city is the 'Kangla', a fort surrounded by a moat. The place was under the control of Assam Riﬂes until 2003. However, now the fort is open for public viewing and is a marvelous sight to behold for the amount of archaeological, religious, and historical value.
- Rkcs Art Gallery
It is located at Keishamthong Mathak. Founded by the late artist R K Chandrajitsana Singh popularly known as RKCS, the gallery contains paintings depicting the history and culture of the state.
- The Chorus Repertory Theatre
It is on the outskirts of Imphal is worth visiting to check performances by the theatre group as well as catching artistic and social interactions. The open arena at the Theatre is now being developed for providing a creative platform and sales opportunity for local handicraft artisans.
Imphal does not have shopping malls. But the absence of shopping malls is made up by the presence of goods from Moreh, the Indo-Myanmar border town. The Moreh market located at the beginning of the Paona Bazaar is popular for cheap electronics, clothes, shoes, and woolen blankets. Near to the Moreh, shops area is the Ima Keithel or the mother's market, where one can pick up handloom and handicraft items at good bargain rates. Do not forget to pick up the colorful tribal shawls and sarees and dupattas made of ﬁne homespun from Ima Market. Most markets are open throughout the week though some shops remain close on Sundays.
There are small shops in certain localities around Imphal specializing in cane and bamboo products. If you are looking for décor made of cane and bamboo, do check Kongba area.
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