- Culture – the Manipuri dance form is world renowned for its grace, storytelling and costumes. Various tribes inhabit the state and their ceremonies are worth witnessing
- Textiles – over 2,000 handloom weavers, an incredible array of tribal textiles and designs
- Polo – undergoing a resurgence, this was the traditional home of modern-day polo
- Natural heritage – the mesmerising Loktak Lake with its floating islands
- Heitruk Hidongba – traditional boat race festival (September)
Classical Manipuri dance has put this state on the cultural map of India. A graceful and sinuous dance drama depicting Lord Krishna and Radha’s story, Manipuri female dancers are distinguished by their elaborate costumes comprising a stiff barrel-shaped skirt and a translucent veil.
A big part of Manipuri culture is the tradition of weaving. After Assam, Manipur has the highest number of handloom workers (over 2000, according to the National Handloom Census of Weavers and Allied Workers 2010). Different tribes have their own set of motifs and weaving traditions, producing a prolific amount of colourful fabrics, silks and shawls. The birthplace of modern polo, it is interesting to see the women’s polo beginning to take shape.
Plan a trip to Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Northeast, which is 48kms from Imphal. Meet the fisher folk who live on the lake’s enchanting floating islands known as ‘phumdis’. The only floating sanctuary that is home to the sangai deer is located here. Go trekking in the hills or plan a trip across to the neighbouring country of Burma.