Manipur Sangai Festival: call of the murky mountains and shy deer

The festival showcases the rich culture and tradition of Manipur


November 6, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

Manipur has been reclusive in the tourism sphere for a long time.

Manipur has been reclusive in the tourism sphere for a long time

With its spell-bounding sights, mighty mountains and lively culture, Manipur holds unbound potential for tourism. With an aim to promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination, the state organises the ten day Sangai Festival every year that celebrates the culture and tradition of Manipur.

Manipur Tourism showcased their distinct cultural heritage at the curtain-raiser of upcoming Manipur Sangai Festival at Select City Walk Mall, New Delhi on November 5. Eminent Manipuri personalities from the cultural and the sports domains were there to grace the ceremony and give away the message of hospitality to potential visitors.  The ‘who’s who’ attendees of the festival included Padma Bhushan recipient boxer and Rajya Sabha MP, Mary Kom; former boxing world champion and Arjuna awardee, Sarita Laishram along with former Indian football captain, P. Kenedy Singh.


The Sangai deer is Manipur’s official animal

To promote Manipur as an alluring destination to tourists, director of Manipur Tourism W Iboha Singh said, “Guests don’t have to worry about any inefficiency regarding our infrastructure. We are improving our communications like never before. We have been promoting home-stays widely. Home-stays provide a very intimate and personal exposure to a culture. Manipur has been reclusive in the tourism sphere for a long time. Most of the archetypes that prevail in the popular mind about Manipur were applicable twenty-thirty years ago. We as a community have great respect for women. Solo female travellers can explore our state undauntedly. We have great scope for adventure tourism as well. Our hiking trails offer a spectacular and breath taking experience for those who are looking for an escapade.”

Connecting through culture

A state of warriors, Manipur is home to 33 tribes. The enormous ethnic diversity is a vibrant reflection of Manipur’s rich history and stunning culture. The Sangai Festival organised by Outbound Marketing India served as a window to that picturesque world tucked away behind the mystified forest and snow-capped mountain. Young and passionate artists from Manipur showcased their dexterity in their chosen fields. Tiluck Keisam, a nine year old prodigy from Manipur swirled around the plastic cones on his skating shoes enticing the audience. Martial artists from Manipur performed their indigenous combat style, Thang-Ta. Pung Cholom, a dance form that requires vigorous drum beating and jumping presented the unique cultural heritage of Manipur.

Manipur’s Sangai Festival is named after state’s unique, shy and gentle brow-antlered Sangai deer that is found only in the floating Keibul lamjao National Park, at Loktak Lake. The festival will be inaugurated at Imphal, the capital city of Manipur on November 21, 2018. Two other districts of Bishnupur and Senapati will host the festival and arrange a number of activities like half-marathons, water-sports and trekking to engage the tourists.

Manipur Tourism organises the Manipur Sangai Festival every year to connect with the art and culture aficionados from other regions of India. During Sangai Festival, Manipur receives the highest number of domestic visitors. The state has seen steady growth of foreign tourist inflow. In 2017, the tourist inflow was three thousand, whereas the tourist inflow in 2017-18 was more than 100,000. Besides tourism, art and culture, handloom, handicrafts, indigenous sports, cuisine, music were also the focal selling point of this festival.

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