Looking for Things to Do in Imphal? Check Out These 12!

 In Imphal, Manipur, Things to do

A place which no one talks about and which can make your trip to the north-east more beautiful. We are talking about Imphal – a hidden gem in the north-east of India waiting to be explored. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes, there is no shortage of things to do in Imphal.

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast looking to trek through the majestic hills or a food lover eager to indulge in the delicious Manipuri cuisine, Imphal has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready with us for 12 fun things to do in Imphal for an unforgettable experience, so here we go!

12 Things to Do in Imphal

1. Visit Loktak Lake

Image Source - Wikipedia

Visiting Loktak Lake is one of the top things to do in Imphal. Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeastern India, and it is famous for its floating islands, called “phumdis.” These floating islands are made of a mix of vegetation, soil, and organic matter, and they move around the lake. When you visit, you can take a boat ride to see these unique islands up close and enjoy the serene beauty of the lake. 

Another exciting aspect of Loktak Lake is the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is located on one of the phumdis. It is the only floating national park in the world and is home to the endangered Sangai deer, also known as the dancing deer. Watching these graceful animals in their natural habitat is a memorable experience and one of the things to do in Imphal.

In addition to its natural beauty, Loktak Lake supports the livelihoods of many local fishermen and farmers. You can observe traditional fishing methods and even interact with the local communities to learn about their way of life. Exploring Loktak Lake and its surroundings is truly one of the most rewarding things to do in Imphal, offering a blend of nature, wildlife, and cultural experiences.

  • Location: Manipur
  • Timings: 9 am- 5 pm

2. Explore Kangla Fort


Exploring Kangla Fort is one of the fascinating things to do in Imphal. Kangla Fort, once the ancient capital of the Meitei rulers, is a significant historical and cultural site. The fort is situated on the banks of the Imphal River and features several ancient structures, temples, and sacred sites. When you visit Kangla Fort, you can wander through the ruins, admire the architectural marvels, and learn about the rich history of Manipur.

One of the highlights of Kangla Fort is the Kangla Sha, or the mythical dragons, which stand as a symbol of strength and protection. These impressive statues are a must-see for anyone interested in the cultural heritage of Manipur. Visiting this museum provides a deeper understanding of the local traditions and the significance of Kangla Fort, making it one of the educational things to do in Imphal.

In addition to its historical significance, Kangla Fort is surrounded by beautiful gardens and open spaces, making it an ideal spot for a stroll or a peaceful picnic. The serene environment and well-maintained pathways offer a pleasant experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a tranquil place to spend your day, exploring Kangla Fort is undoubtedly one of the enriching things to do in Imphal.

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3. Enjoy a polo match at Imphal Polo Ground


Enjoying a polo match at Imphal Polo Ground is one of the best things to do in Imphal. The Imphal Polo Ground is famous for being the oldest polo ground in the world, with a rich history dating back to the times of the kings of Manipur. Watching a polo match here is a unique experience because polo in Manipur is played in its traditional form, known as Sagol Kangjei. The excitement and skill displayed by the players, combined with the historical significance of the ground, make attending a polo match a memorable event.

Polo Ground events in Imphal are not only about the sport but also about celebrating the cultural heritage of the region. The atmosphere is vibrant, with locals and tourists coming together to enjoy the matches. The sight of the fast-paced game, the sound of the horses’ hooves, and the cheers from the crowd create an exhilarating experience. If you are in Imphal, attending a polo match at the Imphal Polo Ground is a must-do activity, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and sport, and is truly one of the best things to do in Imphal.

4. Visit the Manipur State Museum

Image Source - Wikipedia

Visiting the Manipur State Museum is one of the best things to do in Imphal. The museum offers a deep dive into the rich history, culture, and heritage of Manipur. Located in the heart of Imphal, the museum features a wide range of exhibits, including traditional costumes, historical artefacts, ancient manuscripts, and tribal relics.

Imphal museum visits provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the diverse traditions and lifestyles of the various communities in Manipur, making it a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers.

One of the highlights of the Manipur State Museum is its impressive collection of war memorabilia, which includes weapons, photographs, and documents from different periods, including World War II. These exhibits offer a comprehensive overview of Manipur’s ecological diversity.

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5. Shop at Ima Keithel (Mother’s Market)


Shopping at Ima Keithel (Mother’s Market) is a unique experience and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture. This market, run entirely by women, is one of the largest all-women markets in Asia. It offers a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, traditional textiles, and handcrafted items. When you’re looking for the best places for shopping in Imphal markets, Ima Keithel stands out for its vibrant atmosphere and the sheer diversity of products available.

One of the main attractions at Ima Keithel is the extensive range of handcrafted goods. Imphal handicraft shopping at this market includes beautiful handwoven shawls, intricate bamboo and cane crafts, and traditional jewellery. These items make perfect souvenirs or gifts, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Manipur. The craftsmanship of the local artisans is evident in every piece, and shopping here supports their livelihoods.

In addition to Imphal handicrafts shopping, Ima Keithel is also a great place to buy traditional Manipuri attire and accessories. The market is filled with stalls selling brightly coloured phaneks (traditional skirts), shawls, and handmade bags. Imphal handicraft shopping at Ima Keithel allows you to find unique, high-quality items that are deeply rooted in the region’s traditions.

6. Tasting the Local Cuisine


Tasting the local cuisine is a delightful part of any Imphal food tour. Manipur’s traditional food is known for its unique flavours and fresh ingredients. One of the must-try dishes is “Eromba,” a spicy mashed potato and fish dish that is often flavoured with fermented fish and local herbs. Another favourite is “Singju,” a spicy salad made with a variety of vegetables, herbs, and a tangy dressing. 

An Imphal food tour also offers the chance to sample local street food and snacks. “Chak-hao Kheer,” a sweet dish made from black rice, is a popular dessert that you shouldn’t miss. Exploring the local markets and food stalls, you can find a range of delicious treats, from “Paknam” (a kind of fish cake) to “Nga-Thongba” (a fish curry). The vibrant flavours and unique ingredients make tasting the local cuisine in Imphal a memorable experience, highlighting the rich gastronomic heritage of the region.

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7. Explore the Andro Village


Exploring the Andro Village is one of the enriching activities to do in Imphal. Located about 27 kilometres east of Imphal, Andro Village offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Manipur. Engaging with the artisans and learning about their traditional crafts are among the top activities to do in Imphal.

A highlight of visiting Andro Village is the Mutua Museum, where traditional pottery and artefacts are displayed. The museum provides insights into the craftsmanship and skills of the Manipuri artisans. Additionally, Andro is known for its traditional pottery, which has been practised for centuries. Participating in pottery workshops and experiencing the art firsthand adds a unique dimension to activities to do in Imphal.

Another fascinating aspect of Andro Village is its lush surroundings and agricultural practices. Taking a stroll through these fields offers a tranquil experience and an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Moreover, Andro Village is known for its eco-tourism initiatives, promoting sustainable practices and showcasing the importance of preserving natural resources. Exploring the village’s eco-friendly initiatives and agricultural activities contributes to meaningful activities to do in Imphal.

8. Explore the Tharon Cave


Exploring the Tharon Cave is one of the adventurous things to do in Imphal. Located near the village of Tamenglong in Manipur, Tharon Cave is known for its natural beauty and historical significance. The cave features impressive stalagmites and stalactite formations, creating a surreal atmosphere inside. 

Visiting Tharon Cave provides a glimpse into the geological history of Manipur. The cave is believed to be millions of years old and has been an important site for researchers studying cave formations and the region’s ancient ecology. It’s truly one of the adventurous things to do in Imphal that combines exploration with learning about the Earth’s natural processes.

Beyond its geological wonders, Tharon Cave also holds cultural significance for the local communities. The cave has historical connections to the indigenous tribes of Manipur, who consider it a sacred site. Engaging with local guides and learning about the cave’s folklore and traditions adds a deeper layer of understanding to the adventurous things to do in Imphal.

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9. Trekking at Cheirao Ching


Trekking to Cheirao Ching is one of the exciting outdoor adventures in Imphal, offering visitors a chance to explore the scenic hills surrounding the city. Located in the Imphal East district, Cheirao Ching is known for its lush greenery, tranquil atmosphere, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Trekking in Imphal hills like Cheirao Ching allows adventurers to experience nature up close and enjoy the refreshing air and serene environment.

The trekking trail to Cheirao Ching takes you through dense forests and verdant valleys, providing opportunities to spot local flora and fauna along the way. It’s a moderate trek suitable for beginners and enthusiasts alike, offering a rewarding journey through Manipur’s natural beauty. As you ascend, you’ll encounter small streams and waterfalls, adding to the picturesque charm of trekking in Imphal hills.

10. Visiting Keibul Lamjao National Park

Image source - Times of india

Visiting Keibul Lamjao National Park is an exciting Imphal wildlife sanctuary visit that nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss. Located in the Bishnupur district of Manipur, this national park is renowned for being the world’s only floating wildlife sanctuary. It’s home to the endangered Manipur brow-antlered deer, locally known as Sangai. 

The park is situated amidst the vast expanse of Loktak Lake, characterized by its unique floating islands called “phumdis.” These floating masses of vegetation provide a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Imphal wildlife sanctuary visit to Keibul Lamjao National Park not only offers a glimpse into Manipur’s ecological diversity but also provides an opportunity to support conservation efforts for the endangered Sangai deer and their fragile wetland habitat.

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11. Visiting BT Park, (Shaheed Minar)

Image source - Tripadvisor

Visiting BT Park, also known as Shaheed Minar, is a significant part of Imphal historical walking trails. Located in the heart of Imphal, BT Park is a memorial dedicated to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891. The park features a towering Shaheed Minar (Martyrs’ Memorial) adorned with flags and surrounded by lush green gardens, creating a serene and reflective atmosphere.

For those exploring Imphal historical walking trails, BT Park offers a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling city. Visitors can take leisurely walks around the park, admiring the memorial’s architecture and paying respects to the heroes commemorated here. The park’s peaceful ambience and well-maintained pathways make it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to unwind and reflect on the region’s past. 

12. Visiting the Imphal War Cemetery


Visiting the Imphal War Cemetery is a sombre yet important experience for anyone interested in history. The Imphal War Cemetery visit allows visitors to pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the fierce battles of World War II. Located in Imphal, this beautifully maintained cemetery is a resting place for soldiers from various countries, including India, Britain, Japan, and others involved in the conflict.

 The neatly lined rows of graves, each marked with white gravestones, create a poignant atmosphere of remembrance and respect. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made during wartime and offers a moment for reflection on the impact of global conflicts on local communities.

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Imphal offers a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors, from exploring historical sites like the Imphal War Cemetery and BT Park’s Shaheed Minar to immersing oneself in the cultural vibrancy of Ima Keithel (Mother’s Market) and enjoying outdoor adventures such as trekking in the hills or visiting Keibul Lamjao National Park. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure, Imphal has something to offer. 

What are the top cultural attractions in Imphal?

Some of the top cultural attractions in Imphal include Kangla Fort, the ancient seat of Manipuri royalty; Ima Keithel (Mother’s Market), Asia’s largest all-women market; Manipur State Museum, showcasing historical artefacts and cultural exhibits; and the annual Lai Haraoba festival, celebrating Manipuri mythology and traditions. These attractions offer insights into Manipur’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions.

Can you recommend some outdoor activities in Imphal?

Certainly! Outdoor activities in Imphal include trekking in the scenic hills surrounding the city, visiting Keibul Lamjao National Park to see the endangered Sangai deer, and exploring Loktak Lake, known for its floating islands. You can also enjoy boating and bird watching at the lake or opt for adventurous pursuits like visiting Tharon Cave or participating in eco-tourism activities in Andro Village.

What are the best places to visit for history buffs in Imphal?

History buffs in Imphal should visit Kangla Fort, the ancient capital of Manipur; Imphal War Cemetery, honouring soldiers from World War II; and Shaheed Minar at BT Park, a memorial to Manipuri heroes. The Manipur State Museum offers exhibits on the region’s history, while the INA Memorial Complex showcases artefacts from India’s struggle for independence. These sites provide rich insights into Imphal’s historical significance.

Are there any must-try local foods in Imphal?

Yes, there are several must-try local foods in Imphal. Eromba, a spicy dish made with mashed potatoes and fermented fish, Singju, a tangy vegetable salad, and Chak-hao Kheer, a dessert made from black rice, are popular choices. Nga-Thongba, a fish curry, and Kangsoi, a hearty vegetable soup, are also favourites that showcase the unique flavours of Manipuri cuisine.

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