It is irrefutable to say India is full of diversity, and it is the pride and strength of the nation. Among the 29 states of Incredible India, Manipur, one of the significant northeast states of India, also known as the jeweled land, is taking a lead in terms of contribution in the field of games & sports, arts & cultures, traditions, handloom, handicrafts and many more to the nation. The beautiful state has its unique and awe-inspiring facts. The vibrant cultural heritage, powerhouse of natural resources, full of diversity, picturesque landscapes, multi-colored festivals are the mirrors of Manipur. The state has always been a part of promotion for its endemic and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer popularly known as Sangai, which is the state animal of Manipur. One indubitable fact is the beautiful deer is found nowhere except in the beautiful land, Manipur. In order to promote the unparalleled animal as well as to promote Manipur a world class tourism destination, the state celebrates a Manipur Tourism Festival called “SANGAI FESTIVAL” which is derived from the name of this brow-antlered deer.
A brief overview about Manipur Sangai Festival
The Sangai Festival that was once celebrated as the “State Tourism Festival” is the grandest extravaganza event that kicks off from 21st to 30th November every year in the state of Manipur. Although the previous editions of the Festival have been celebrated as the Tourism Festival, since the 2010 edition, the festival has been renamed as the Sangai Festival with the idea to highlight the uniqueness and peculiarity of the gentle and shy brow-antlered deer commonly known by the local name ‘Sangai’ which also happens to be the State animal of Manipur. For the uninitiated- The Keibul Lamjao National Park is the one and only natural habitat of Sangai.
It’s worth mentioning that this Festival also carries a strong and an opportune universal message for global warming and climate change which are responsible for the threats to the survival and reproduction of the endangered deer species.
The festival is being projected as the Mega Government-sponsored event to promote Manipur as a world class tourist destination including medical tourism; it showcases the best of what the Northeast state ‘Kagleipak” has to offer to the world in terms of its rich diverse art, culture, hand-looms, handicrafts, fine arts, indigenous sports, cuisines, music, Eco and adventure sports as well as the scenic natural beauty of the land.
Everything you need to know about Manipur Sangai Festival, 2018 Edition
Major Highlights of the series of Event :-
# In this 2018 edition, the Princess of Thailand will be joining to grace the auspicious festival. For the first time in the history of Manipur, the U.S. Ambassador to India would also be present during the Festival to witness the breathtaking sites of the state.
# The festival will reflect the State’s diverse and proud cultural heritage and the passion for art which is inherent among various tribes inhabiting throughout the state. Not to mention, the Manipur’s classical dance form, ‘Ras Leela’ is incredibly famous all over the world for its distinctive and unique gestures from any other dance forms anywhere. The Ras Leela will be everyone’s favorite part of the dance performances at the Festival. Nonetheless, the various other folk dance performances like the Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance, Kabui Naga dance etc. which will be showcased at the festival.
# The festival does intend to bring to light a range of Manipur’s best indigenous handlooms and handicrafts products. The little and lovely themed huts of the variety of tribes at the heritage park will represent the living-style of these unique tribes and exhibit their indigenous products. The artistry and creativity of the tribes of Manipur will be seen in their handloom and handicrafts products which are otherwise not easily available in the market.
# Indigenous sports will take the centre stage of the festival this year. Manipur’s famous martial arts- Sagol Kangjei- Modern Polo (origin in Manipur), Thang Ta (a combination of Spear & Sword skills), Yubi-Lakpi (a game played with greased coconut like in Rugby), Mukna Kangjei (a game that combines hockey and wrestling) etc. will all form parts of the festival. Besides, there are a handful of adventure tourism activities that one can indulge in while visiting the State. Adventure sports activities like trekking, white water rafting and parasailing etc. will also form an exciting adrenaline-filled portion of the festival.
Programs and Venues of Manipur Sangai Festival 2018
# The Festival will start from 21 to 30 November at three venues viz. Imphal (Lamboikhongnangkhong and Hapta Kangjeibung), Keibul Lamjao and Mao.
# The main venue for the festival will be at the Hapta Kangjeibung (Palace Compound) and Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT). These venues will host a number of cultural programme as well as showcase the rich culture and tradition of Manipur.
# The venue at Hapta Kangjeibung will feature the indigenous huts of the varied tribes that inhabit Manipur.
# The venue for indigenous sports and water sports activities will be at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex at Imphal and Takmu Water Sports Complex at Loktak, Moirang respectively.
# In addition to these venues, the Trade & Permanent Exhibition Centre at Lamboi Khongnangkhong will also serve as a venue for various stalls and also host other cultural programmes and sporting activities.
With increasing participation from neighboring and other countries, this year the Manipur Sangai Festival expects to witness participation from several countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe etc.
A look back of the past edition through the eyes of the pictures:-
What are the spots you can visit in Manipur?
The jeweled land holds pride in having the one and only floating park across the globe, The Keibul Lamjao National Park. On the top, only Fresh Water Lake under the sun, Loktak Lake is also in Manipur, which invites thousands of tourists to the state every year. The iconic Lake is situated in Bishnupur district, around 53km from Imphal. The freshwater lake is well known because of its round-shaped floating swamps, called Phumdis in the local language. Besides the spellbinding sites, the unique and famous flower called ‘Shirui or Siroi Lily’ found in Shirui Kashung in Ukhrul district is also an irrefutable pride of the state. The remarkable fact is the flower is found nowhere except in the upper reaches of the Shirui hill ranges. The Shirui hill is at a distance of 97 km from Imphal and about 18 km from Ukhrul.
There are also a couple of dozen tourist sites which can’t take your eyes off. During this mind-blowing festival, you can also visit the following prime tourist destinations: Andro, Kaina, Khonghampat, Khongjom, Khwairamband Bazaar, Langthabal, Sendra Island, Manipur State Museum, Manipur Zoological Garden, Moirang, Phubala, Sahid Minar, Sekta, Singda, War Cemetries, Kakching Garden, Langol Tower and many more.
How can I reach Manipur?
For heading to this jaw-dropping destinations, you can find both direct and connecting flight options from Delhi/Bangalore/Kolkata/Guwahati to Imphal. Finding flights for Imphal is just a cakewalk, so there’ll be no worries at all. You can also reach the state by train/bus/cruiser. For accommodation, the state offers a wide range of accommodation options including mid-range, budget and decent hotels. Booking link option is also listed for your convenience.
Link 1. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TICKET & HOTEL
Link 2. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TICKET & HOTEL
Link 3. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TICKET & HOTEL
A homestay concept is also available for the esteemed visitors if you wish to visit Sirui or Shiroi Lily at Ukhrul. They can get to stay with a local family and experience the day to day activities of the family. Homestays are very popular among budget tourists and travelers who want to experience the culture of the local community. It provides a rich cultural and lifestyle experience to the tourists. Coming to the tourist guide, take it easy; relax. The cheerful local people will definitely welcome you with their open arms to guide you whatever the problem you have.
For Ukhrul homestay, you can click the below link for booking:
We hope the beautiful sites of the state will give you a rewarding and memorable experience in its unique way.
After the Sangai Festival is over, you can also visit “HORNBILL FESTIVAL” of NAGALAND which is held every year from 1 to 10 December. There’s no doubt to say India is full of colorful festivals and mysterious facts. You can also explore the entire North Eastern part of India which is full of jaw-dropping sites.
Have a pleasant trip and do share your fantastic experience with us.