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When it comes to Manipur, there’s no better way to get acquainted with this little-known geographical and historical state than its textile and people. This five-night and six-day textile and traditional dress tour of Manipur has been curated to appeal to all lovers of textile, fashion and culture. Drive through ‘Instagramable’ scenic countryside to visit weavers of three ethnic tribes (the Zou community of the Kuki Nagas, the Langmai tribe and the Meitei community). To gather deeper insight into the lives and traditions of each community, we have arranged a tribeswoman from each ethnic group to take you around her village, organise demonstrations in the home of the artisans and show you how their specific traditional dress and jewellery is worn After all, it is the human connect behind every craft that makes it special.

Visit new projects undertaken by NGOs to retain weaving as a main source of livelihood and help the locals rebuild their lives. Handmade souvenirs and dress-up sessions make the trip all the more memorable. One of the highlights of the tour is a special session demonstrating how the distinctive bucket-shaped skirt worn by Manipuri dancers, potloi (pronounced as po-loi), is embroidered. You’ll also get a chance to shop directly from the artisans.

Take time out to visit a 500-year-old market run entirely by women and witness the Heyang Tanaba, a traditional boat race festival. Step into the pages of Manipur’s history by exploring the grounds of Kangla fort, the ancient seat of power of the Meitei kings; the RKCS art museum, a private art gallery and INA museum, the site where the tricolour was first hoisted on Indian soil. Take a boat ride on the scenic Loktak Lake, famed for its phumdis (floating islands) and sample the eclectic cuisine featuring black rice, an array of local greens and singju (a spicy, crunchy salad).

Best of all, bond with other textile lovers and get inspired to style your wardrobe differently.

Arrival flight details:  Please book tickets to arrive in Imphal by mid morning or before 2pm.

Departure flight details: Please book tickets on flights that depart post 2 pm.

Itineraries

Day 1

Date : September 8, 2019

Time : 12:53 pm

Imphal

On arrival at Imphal airport, you will be greeted by your local host and taken to the hotel where you can freshen up and meet your tour companions. Afternoon a visit to RKCS Art gallery has been organised. This is a family run venture which, through beautifully composed oil canvases painted by the late Rajkumar Chandrajitsana Singh, portrays a history of Manipur. This visit will give you an insight into their traditional customs and costumes. From there, we will drive to a village, which is about half an hour from the city centre, to visit the a weaving unit set up to provide employment to more than a hundred local women. A demonstration of their weaving techniques using back strap looms will be arranged for you. Later you can interact with the team, learn more about the project and buy their products. Dinner is arranged at a traditional restaurant that is run by a cooperative to promote local produce from the area.

Day 2

Date : September 9, 2019

Time : 8:53 am

Imphal

A 40 minute scenic drive will take us to a village to meet some weavers from the Liangmai tribe who use an adaptation of the back strap looms and strong graphic motifs. A weaving demonstration has been organised for you and you can buy the products directly from the artisans. They will show us the traditional ceremony dresses and jewellery too. A short walk around the village with our local host there will provide insight into life in a village in rural Manipur. In the afternoon, you will get to see the Heyang Tanaba (boat race) which is celebrated every year. Locals gather to cheer their home teams with great pomp and ceremony, and even the boats are decorated. The race starts around 2 pm and continues till about 5 pm. The atmosphere is quite festive and it is a great opportunity to observe the different styles of outfits and to capture some lovely photographs or to do some quick sketches. Visit a few handicraft and textile stores. Dinner has been arranged at the hotel.

Day 3

Date : September 10, 2019

Time : 8:53 am

Bishnapur - Moirang

At 9 am, we will leave for Moirang, with a stop en route to visit a weaving cluster in Bishnupur. It is known for the skillful weavers of the Meitei community. The weavers in their serene, rustic homesteads mainly work with silk, though there are cotton weavers too. One of their products is a thin, large, gauzelike stole called Rani phi. Similar to the Jamdani, this delicate fabric is woven very painstakingly and is an essential part of the Meitei women traditional attire. You can watch them work and buy directly from them. There will be a demonstration on how the traditional sarong known as phanek is worn. Lunch will be on the way to the next destination. At Moirang we will visit the INA Museum and the place where the Indian tricolour flag was hoisted for the first time on Indian soil. Then check into the hotel which overlooks the Loktak lake. This is a great spot to take in the sunset views and to catch up on sketching, photography, meditation or selfies.

Day 4

Date : September 11, 2019

Time : 8:53 am

Moirang (Loktak lake)

Early morning we recommend a walk around the property to take in different views of the lake. Explore the lake via a boat ride and then visit the home of a local fisherman and his wife. A demonstration on how the Potloi the famous Manipuri stiff traditional skirt worn during dances and ceremonies of the Meitei community is embroidered. You can try to create a sampler. They live in a fishing village by the lake and you can walk around it to take in the life there. In the afternoon, those who are interested (optional) can visit Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating park in the world and go by ferry to see the Sangai (brow-antlered deer ) which is only found here. The cost for this is not included in the general costing and you can pay the vendor directly.

Day 5

Date : September 12, 2019

Time : 8:53 am

Churachadpur - Imphal

We will check out and take a morning drive to Churachandpur to meet the Kuki tribal weavers. A demonstration and talk about the Zou community, a Kuki sub tribe and the use of colour and motifs at her weaving centre. We have arranged for a few tribes women to show us the traditional dresses worn by the women of the tribe for important ceremonies. You will get to interact with them over tea and snacks. Also arranging a demonstration of weaving done on a back strap loom. Lunch has been arranged at Nambol on our way back to Imphal. Early evening visit Ima Keithel, a 500 year old market run entirely by women. You will get to spend an hour or so wandering around the various stalls that sell baskets, textiles, fruits, flowers, vegetables and other handmade household products.

Day 6

Date : September 13, 2019

Time : 1:53 pm

Departure from Imphal airport

Before we end the trip, we will get to visit Kangla, which was once the capital & home of the kings and considered very sacred to the Manipuris. It is a large property and a guide will take us around showing the different enclosures and the museum. Enjoy a bite at the café and transfer to Imphal Airport.

Accommodation in deluxe rooms

Breakfast and 6 major meals

All transfers

One motor boat ride

All demonstrations

All sightseeing mentioned in itinerary

Guides

 

Airfare

Laundry, tips and shopping

Snacks, beverages  and certain major meals

Optional activity to visit the Keibul Lamjao National Park via country boat @ cost per boat 2500 /-
( capacity 4 per boat)

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    Group (Min-Max)
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  • Start Sunday September 8, 2019
    End Friday September 13, 2019
    1 - 8 Pax
     

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Yes. A good selection of locally sourced vegetables will be provided.

Road conditions are unpredictable in this region and could be under repair. Re-routing or itinerary changes can be made by the guide. Also, there will be short distances of dirt road between villages.

Accommodation has been planned in a comfortable 4-star hotel in Imphal. In Moirang, you will stay at a standard, comfortable resort overlooking the lake.

Access to medical facilities is available in all locations.

Weather will be pleasant but it is the tail end of the monsoon and there will be a few mild showers.

Yes. The hotel in Imphal will provide Wi-Fi access on their premises but for elsewhere please carry your Wi-Fi hotspot or dongle. Some places you may not have access to Wi-Fi.

Tips: hotel staff for a 3 night stay Rs. 200 – Rs. 250/- and driver for a week Rs. 1000 – 1500/-.
Restaurant: a meal for 4 ( Rs. 2500 to 8000/-).

The weather will be pleasant but might be a bit cold if it rains. Carry at least one warm jacket and a scarf.

There might be a few mild showers so carry a waterproof jacket and good sturdy walking shoes are a must.

Sun screen, sun glasses, insect repellent, a cap and a pair of binoculars are recommended.

A valid photo Id (Aadhar card, Voter's Id or driving license. Passport with valid visa for foreign passport holders).

Carry cell phone and camera chargers.

In Imphal, the major restaurants, hotel and shops will accept credit cards but elsewhere you will need cash for transaction.

Carry basic medicines and any medication that you might be using.

Yes. Clients must be insured to cover the costs of medical emergencies/ expenses incurred due to weather conditions, prevailing road conditions, political situations, natural calamities, change in flight schedule, mechanical malfunction, or any such unanticipated events or any acts of God.

In Imphal, the major restaurants, hotel and shops will accept credit cards but elsewhere you will need cash for transaction.

Since it is a limited number of travellers and we do have fixed costs, there is a cancellation charge.

If you cancel your booking 45 days prior to departure date, you will be charged 40% of your total booking amount.
If you cancel your booking 10 days prior to departure date, a 60% fee will be deducted from your advance payment.
Cancellation with less than 10 days from date of departure will be charged at 100% of your total booking amount.

Costs have been calculated on 6-7 adults traveling on twin sharing basis and 6-8 children. It will change depending on the number of people travelling and mode of transport if you wish to change it.

Yes, we do. The additional cost is to cover expenditure incurred for permits and entry fees that are higher for non-Indian travellers.