Keibul Lamjao National Park is different and one of its kind; it is the only floating park in the world, home to a variety of animals and birds. Situated in Bishnupur district close to the town of Thanga, the Keibul Lamjao National Park is an integral part of the Loktak Lake.
The biggest attraction of the lake is the endangered Eld’s deer or the brow-antlered Deer, locally known as sangai. It is the dancing deer which makes Bishnupur and Manipur famous. Keibul Lamjao was declared a national park in 1977 mainly to protect the sangai, whereas, earlier it was declared a sanctuary.
Keibul Lamjao National Park floats because of a unique ecosystem. Most of the vegetation in the park is in the form of the floating marshes called phumdi. Tourists can directly travel from Imphal (53 km away) to visit the park. The best time to visit it is between October and February.
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, an important tourist attraction of Bishnupur. The lake is located 48 km from Imphal and can easily be reached on hired cars and buses. A major attraction of Bishnupur, the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the world's largest floating park, is located on the southern shore of this lake.
An interesting aspect of the Loktak Lake is that it is the only floating lake in the whole world. The lake has floating islands on it called the ‘phumdis’ which are also inhabited by the fishermen of the surrounding areas. Some of the phumdis are artificially created for fish farming.
A visit to the Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district is incomplete without stepping foot on the Sendra Island. The Sendra Island on the Loktak Lake is a popular picnic spot for the locals, whereas, for the tourist spot it is an added attraction while visiting Loktak Lake.
Apart from boating, the island also offers other sporting activities. The cafeteria in the Sendra Tourist Home is one of the prime attractions on the island from where the floating marshes, the clean blue waters and dozens of boats can be clearly seen. The island also offers a bird’s eye view of most parts of the imposing lake. The lake is home to several migratory and resident birds and thus, birds can be watched from the island.
Ibudhou Thangjing temple is located in Moirang, one of the prominent cities of Bishnupur district in Manipur. The temple is dedicated to Ibudhou Thangjing, one of the most important traditional deities of the Manipuris. It is believed that Lord Thangjing protects Moirang from evil.
The Ibudhou Thangjing temple adorns itself with lights and glitters every year during the Lai Haroba festival. The Lai Haroba festival is celebrated during the month of May. It is a traditional festival paying respect to the pre-Hindu times deity Ibudhou Thangjing.
Dancing, singing and feasting mark the festivities that go on for about a month. The men and women dress in their traditional attires and proceed towards the temple praying to the Lord. The dance form called Khamba Thoibi is performed during the Lai Haroba festival. It is the best time to visit Moirang and participate in the festive spirit.
Moirang served as the headquarters of the Indian National Army led by Subhas Chandra Bose. The INA Memorial Complex stands as a witness of the historic events of the Second World War and the struggle for Independence in India.
It was here in the present-day INA Memorial Complex that for the first time the flag of the Azad Hind Fauz, the other name of INA, was hoisted on the Indian soil by Netaji. The memorial has a bronze statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose apart from several badges, letters and articles of the great Indian freedom fighter who died a mysterious death in 1945.
The Memorial Complex also houses a museum. Today much of the complex is in a dilapidated condition, and the Central government has issued huge sanctions to rebuild the INA Memorial Complex. Nevertheless, the INA Memorial Complex is a place that deserves a visit.