The town of Mao is of immense significance to the state of Manipur as it serves as the gateway to the state. The town is located at a distance 45 kilometres from Senapati along the National Highway 39, which is considered to be the lifeline of Manipur. Often termed as the Mao Gate, this town opens the district of Senapati and the state to the rest of the country.
This town is one of the busiest commercial destinations in the state as most of the trade routes into Manipur lead thorough this town. The multicultural town boats of people from all across Manipur and neighbouring states of Nagaland. The town also serves as the granary to the nearby villages and towns in Manipur. Here, you will also get a chance to shop for goods from different countries of Southeast Asia, with goods from Myanmar attracting a large number of buyers.
Yangkhullen is a small village which is located 26 kilometres from the town of Senapati and offers you a glimpse into the history of this place. Here, you will get to see the primitive social and economic life of the people, which prevails even in this day and age. These traditions have been practised by the people for centuries. The tools that these people use and the way they create artefacts have been passed across generations. The whole village lives like a large family where the work is shared at a community level.
This village is located amidst the steep cliff of a beautiful landscape, which offers some breathtaking view of the valley, adding to the value quotient of your trip. The people of this village have preserved the natural beauty around the village, which makes it a pleasurable tour for anyone. You will come across many rare plant species in this village.
If you want to get a real-life glimpse of the people of Senapati you must visit the village of Maram Khullen, which is one of the biggest and the oldest human settlements around this place. This village is located around 18 kilometres from the town of Senapati and accessible through a narrow road. Anthropologists from around the state and the country come here to study the history of Manipur.
The people of this village have preserved the culture and the tradition that has been passed across to them by their ancestors. You will hear legendary stories from the past, which will be a time walk through the rich and vibrant past of the different communities who have walked this land for centuries. The village is headed by a chief who has had the honour of a king since time immemorial and governs over his subjects in the village.
Located about 37 kilometres from the town of Senapati is the village of Liyai Khullen. The literal translation of the village is people of the sea, and if the archaeological evidence is anything to go by, this village might have existed for almost 500 years making it one of the most prized tourist destinations in the Senapati district. According to the local folklore, the people of this village are descendants of people who were on a hunting trip and settled here after finding a pool of clear water surrounded by beautiful Rhododendrons.
There are many stone monoliths in this village which speak of the rich and vibrant past of the people in this village. Most of the villagers here are farmers who gave up on headhunting in the 1930s. River Barak, one of the biggest rivers of the region after the might Brahmaputra, originates from this village making an important tourist attraction.
Makhel happens to be a sacred place for many communities in Senapati. The people of this place owe their ancestry to hunters who chose this place to settle down. This place still commands great importance for the people of the region. There are many historical monuments spread across this place which is a short drive from the district headquarter of Senapati. It is one of the most visited spots in the district.
The sacred banyan trees in this place are believed to have grown from the tomb of the Naga mother, making it a place of worship. Other interesting monuments in this place include the farewell monolith, the triomonolith, which are located 3 km south of this place. The dispersal tree at Sajouba, the hailstorm stone and the lucky stone make up for a perfect trip for any tourist coming to Makhel. You will walk through the pages of Manipur’s history in this place.
Purul is located at a distance of about 50 km from the town of Senapati and serves as an important tourist attraction in the district. You will get to witness the rich and vibrant tradition of Manipur in this village. The drive to this village will take you though some of the scenic places in the entire district which you shall cherish for a lifetime.
It is the home of indigenous games toutou and wrestling. People from around the country come to this place to witness these traditional games. While toutou is played during New Year, villagers, on the eve of Paoki, the paddy transplantation festival, celebrated on the first fortnight of May, engage in wrestling. Apart from this you should also take a look at women of the village displaying traditional ways of extracting fibre for weaving clothes from plants.