People visiting the hilly and pretty north eastern state Manipur have plenty of sightseeing and attractions to explore. From the magnificent Lohtak Lake to the majestic Kangla Fort, there is no shortage of such options for tourists. However, you need not necessarily head to the sprawling Keibul Lamjao National Park to experience the amazing wildlife of the state. You can get a glimpse of that close to the capital city Imphal. The Imphal Zoo is an ideal destination for wildlife and nature lovers who want to explore the wildlife without venturing into wilderness! It is also a popular destination for picnic loving tourists.
Nuances of Imphal Zoo
Imphal Zoo or Manipur Zoological Garden is just 7 km away from Imphal, located on the Imphal-Kangchup Road. The zoo is situated in a serene natural setting with vast paddy field around. A Hillock replete with pine trees add to the beauty. It was set up in 1976. While the zoo is not very large, it is famous for showcasing wildlife that is indigenous and rare in nature. This is why it has been named ‘Jewel Box’ of Manipur.
Wildlife to explore
As per the Government of Manipur website, the Imphal zoo is home to 55 animal species and 14 of them are endangered. A majority of visitors come here to see the famous Brow Antlered Deer or Sangai. This is also the state animal of Manipur. The endangered deer is found only in the floating Keibul Lamjao National Park. Efforts are on to spearhead captive breeding of the rare deer species.
You will also see the state bird Nongin in this zoo. Also known as Blood pheasant, the bird was thought to be extinct. Other notable animals seen here are Hoolock Gibbon, Flying Squirrel and Leopard Cat.
When and how to visit
The ideal time to visit the zoo is during the winter and spring months. From Imphal, reaching the zoo is easy by road and accommodation options around the place are also aplenty. The zoo remains open on all days except Monday. Entry fee is nominal but you have to pay for still photography and videography separately in the zoo.
Related: Picnic Spots in and Around Imphal