The city of Imphal is the capital of the Indian state of Manipur. Originally ruled by King Khaba, the throne of Imphal was later ceded by the Pakhangba leaders. It was here that the Ningthouja dynasty originated. The Ningthouja people expanded their influence in politics and warfare. The Kangla Palace, built by King Khagemba and his son Khunjaoba, was destroyed by the British during the Anglo-Manipuri War. During the reign of Maharaja Bhagyachandra, the region experienced several Burmese invasions; however, with the help of Gambhir Singh and the Manipur army, Kangla was liberated from the Burmese forces. The following are a few of the numerous places of interest in and around Imphal:
Shree Shree Govindajee Temple
A historic Vaishnavite centre, adjoining Manipur's former Maharajas' Royal Palace, the Govindajee temple is one of the most attractive sights for the tourists. Twin domes, a paved courtyard, and a large raised congregation hall form a perfect backdrop for priests who descend the steps, to accept offerings from devotees in the courtyard. The shrines of Lord Krishna and Balaram and Jagannath flank the two sides of the presiding deity. Early hours Prayer (Aarti) is a must for devoted followers, exudingspiritual fervour and ecstasy.
Commemorating the memories of the British and Indian soldiers who died during the World War II, these War Cemeteries are managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Serene are well maintained, the War Cemetery carries little stone markers and bronze plaques recording the sacrifice of those gallant soldiers.
Manipur State Museum
This interesting Museum near the Polo Ground has a fairly good collection and display of Manipur's tribal heritage and a collection of portraits of Manipur's former rulers. Particularly interesting items are costumes, arms & ammunitions, relics and historical documents.
The centre of Manipur's power till 1891, the historical embodiment of Manipur Rulers and the people of Manipur, Kangla have a significant place in the heart and mind of the people of Manipur Govindajee temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and culture of Manipur and her civilization.
Khwairamband Bazar/ Ima Market
A unique all women's market, having 3,000 or more "Imas" or mothers who run the stalls. It is splited into two sections on either side of a road. Vegetables, fruits, fishes and household groceries are sold on one side and exquisite handlooms and household tools on the other.
How to reach
Imphal is the second largest airport in the region. Imphal is connected to KOLKATA , NEW DELHI , GUWAHATI, AIZAWL , DIMAPUR & SILCHAR by Air India , Jet Airways , Indigo & NE Shuttles.
By Rail: NH-39 links Imphal with railhead at Dimapur in Nagaland 215 km to the north. NH 53 links Imphal with railhead at Jiribam 225 Km in the south-west. Railways will reach Imphal by 2016.
By Road: Private owned and managed deluxe coaches run daily from Imphal to Guwahati and Dimapur and back