Imphal ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in Northeast India and that is not without reasons! The capital city of Manipur has numerous attractions to appeal to tourists with varying interests and inclinations. There are relics of its grandiose royal past, several temples and enticing natural splendor in and around the city. The wildlife is another attraction for a section of tourists. The lush green terrain, river valleys and diversity of vegetation can soothe anyone’s mind. The numerous sightseeing options in and near Imphal have turned into popular picnic spots over time. Both the tourists and locals head to these places for enjoying picnic often.
Below listed are some such popular picnic spots in and around Imphal:
Manipur Zoological Garden
The Manipur Zoological Garden near Imphal is located in a picturesque setting, beneath pine growing hillocks. The greenery and surrounding is soothing on eyes. This zoo, located on Imphal Kangchup Road is home to many endangered birds and animals. You can spot the famous Sangai/ Brow Antlered deer and Lissome in the zoo spread over an area of 8 hectares. The surrounding area is covered with green paddy fields. It has become a popular picnic spot over the years. The zoo remains open on all days of week barring Mondays and entry fee is nominal. The zoo can be reached easily from Imphal by using MSRTC buses plying from the city.
Related: Exploring the Pretty Imphal Zoo
The Matai Garden, also called Ibudhou Asheiningthou Garden is just 8 km from Imphal. It has a beautiful Duranta plant which has become a major tourist attraction. It is an amazing outdoor location to spend a day for anyone, away from clutter of urban life. The serenity of the place and lush greenery is quite enticing. Nature lovers get amazed at the variety of plants and shrubs here. It has become a popular picnic spot too. The garden remains closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Related: 9 Picturesque Districts Of Manipur
Beyond doubt, Singda is among the most sought after picnic spots near Imphal. It is popular with locals and tourists alike. The place located approx 16 km away from Imphal is surrounded by lush green hills and sprawling paddy fields. The major attraction of this spot is an artificial lake created by construction of Singda dam. The dam overlooks the lake and the area is also ideal for shutterbugs. Apart from the natural beauty, you are likely to be enthralled by serenity of the place. Near the Singda Dam, there is a health resort which is ideal if you want to stay a few days amidst natural bounty and calmness. Reaching Singda from Imphal is quite easy as cars and buses ply to the location and locals even use cycles.
Related: Sirohi National Park in Manipur
The major attraction for tourists and nature lovers in Manipur is the Loktak Lake and adjacent Keibul Lamjao National Park. It is the country’s largest freshwater lake and an amazing biodiversity hotspot. Located in Bishnupur district and 48 km from capital city, it can be reached by Imphal by bus and rented cars easily. The lake is a haven for watching a wide range of resident and migratory birds. On its southern shore, the largest floating park of the world-Keibul Lamjao National Park is located. It is the only natural habitat of endangered Thamin or Sangai deer. Visiting the lake is incomplete if you do not visit the Sendra Island, located on its center.
The picturesque Sendra Island has become a popular picnic spot gradually. In the island, there is a resort and cafeteria. Watching the clean blue water, birds and floating marshes from the island’s Tourist Bungalow can be a spectacular experience for anyone. Boating facilities are also available.
Sadu Chiru Waterfall
Also known as Leimaram Waterfall, this scenic waterfall has become a weekend destination for tourists exploring Imphal. The Sadu Chiru Waterfall has enthralling natural beauty. It is located approximately 25 kms from the capital city of Manipur. The cool breeze and lush greenery in the area is soothing for mind and eyes. You can find three waterfall spots and they are ideal both for photography and enjoying picnics. The area is easily reachable from Imphal through national highway 150 and the roadside beauty is enticing too. The USP of the waterfalls is that the local villagers put in incessant labor and efforts to enhance the waterfalls. There are a few makeshift shops at the area and apart from that it is absolutely serene.
Related: Three Step Sadu Chiru Waterfall
The ancient village named Andro, adjacent to Imphal is another picnic spot and weekend getaway for the tourists. It is also one of the rare areas in Manipur where drinking is permitted. The pond located in the middle of the area and backdrop of picturesque Baruni hills add to its charm. Apart from enjoying picnic and snapping images aplenty, visitors can explore the artisan’s village and the Mutua museum. The picnickers prefer the regions surrounding the dam, as it is. Another attraction at the ancient village is Chakpa Panam Ningthou Meithoupirol Shanglen, an old Hindu temple famous for its sacred fire that has been maintained since 1000 years back. Watching the pottery making craft is also something most tourists resort to. Villagers have set up the Santhei Natural Park around a water reservoir at Andro and the park has played a pivotal role in boosting influx of tourists. An orchid farm is also being set up at the area.
Related: Andro, Ancient Village in Manipur