Want to spend some quality time with your family amidst rural background away from the city? Want to have that quiet weekend getaway with your loved ones that you have so sorely craved? In either case a trip to the town of Bishnupur in Manipur is the perfect getaway for you to take. The cultural and religious capital of Manipur, Bishnupur does not boast of being a major tourist hub.
Instead what it does do is rejuvenate the mind and soul from years of accumulated lethargy and tension and brings back happiness to one’s dreary daily life. There is a local lore which suggests this place to be the residence of Lord Vishnu himself on earth. This culturally rich town is hidden far from the prying eyes and hence has some of the best secrets hidden safely, waiting to be unearthed by the curious soul who happen to pass by.
When And How to Go
The perfect time to go to Bishnupur is the months of April and May when the local festivities are in full swing and hence make for a great spectacle for the tourists to enjoy and take part in. The cultural heritage of the place is put on full display for everybody who passes by to see.
If you wish to reach by air the nearest airport is the Imphal airport which is about 30 kms away from the district headquarters. People travelling from other parts of India may find this the best option because the airport is connected to the major airports of Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata.
The absence of broad gauge railway tracks near the region makes Dimapur located 236 kms away as the only viable rail-head. Roadways are the most viable form of transport as rail or air you would have to finally take the NH150 to reach Bishnupur. The highway connects the town with Imphal and serves as a lifeline to the otherwise remote town.
A Little About The Place
The town of Bishnupur was once the capital kingdom of Manipur long time ago. Since then the town has been an amalgamation of various tribal cultures getting coalesced under the kingdom. And one can still see the unity in diversity even to this day as Bishnupur boasts of an impressive coalition of all the major tribal cultures of erstwhile kingdom of Manipur.
The prominent ethnic group of this town are the Meiteis who are ardent followers of Hinduism and are Vaishnavites by practice. The primary vocation of the locals are agriculture along with handicrafts and handlooms. The local life of the town can be experienced from a very close proximity by tourists as the townsfolk are simple people who are very hospitable by nature.
6 Reasons Why Bishnupur Makes For an Excellent Family Holiday
- Ibudhou Thangjing Temple
- Loktak Lake
- Keibul Lamjao National Park
- INA Memorial Complex
- The local festivals
1. Ibudhou Thangjing Temple
Dedicated to the eponymous deity Lord Ibudhou Thangjing, it is believed that the Lord protects the town folk from evil and looks over them like a guardian angel. It’s the holiest of the temple is the City of Temples. The magnificent architecture and cultural wealth of the temple makes it a must visit for anybody and everybody passing through this little hamlet off the beaten tracks. Moreover the scenic view around the temple is an added bonus to the tourists as the temple is a perfect mixture of natural and man-made beauties. One can also visit the Konung Lairembi Temple and Ibudhou Pakhangba Khubam temple which are masterpieces of Manipuri cultural architecture.
2. Loktak Lake
The largest freshwater lake in the north-eastern part of India, the Loktak Lake is an amazing venue being the only lake in the entire world which has a floating island in it. The lake and its vicinity is a great spot to spread a mattress and just have a lazy afternoon with your family away from all the responsibilities and chores that plague you. The lake is also house to a diverse array of flora and fauna which makes for this lake to be a popular destination with wildlife enthusiasts. The beautiful ‘phumdis’ floating over the entirety of the water of the lake is a major attraction.
3. Keibul Lamjao National Park
This national park is situated on the floating island which is one of its kind being the only sanctuary which is situated on a lake and on a floating island. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some of the endangered animals and plants of this region. The most important animal to be preserved here is the dancing deer or Sangai. The other notable animals found in this region are the hog deer, waterfowl and otters.
4. INA Memorial Complex
The headquarters of the erstwhile Netaji Shubas Chandra Bose led Indian National Army or the Azad Hind Fauj has been converted into a museum which now holds the letters, badges and objects used by the INA as well as the museum tells the story of the fight of the soldiers as well as their tale of heroism as they planted the first Indian flag on Indian soil here in Manipur.
Want to enjoy a day in water with your family? Then Phubala is definitely the place for you. This up and coming water park is a must for water sport enthusiasts. Being recently opened the rates are fairly reasonable which make it a perfect spot for one with a budget pinch. Located about 1 kms away from Bishnupur the prospect of floating besides the ‘floating islands’ is a major factor for tourists flocking to this place. The popular destinations of Thoubal, Silchar and Chandel are easily accessible through this place.
6. The Local Festivals
One visiting in the month of April would be able to witness the festival of Cheiraoba and the Meitei New Year. The houses are well-lit with celebrations going on in full swing all around with traditional dancing and music which is a treat for the eyes. The month of May has the festival of Lai Haraoba which is dedicated to the pre-Hindu deity Lord Thangjing who is the patron deity of the town.
What to Look For at Bishnupur
Make sure to get in touch with the locals of the region and get to experience their lifestyle. The purity and simplicity will leave you awestruck. Also, you should try and enjoy the beauty of nature up close to the fullest and appreciate all the rich cultural heritage of the place.
So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to Bishnupur to experience the amazing diversity of culture first hand.