Situated in a beautiful valley, Imphal is surrounded by bluish-green hills on three sides. The Kangla Fort, at the heart of the city, was the seat of the ancient Manipuri Kingdom for an estimated 2,000 years. One of the most important historical sites in Manipur, the over 200 acre Kangla Fort Complex is today an oasis of calm in an ever busier city. Nearby is the Mapal Kangjeibung, arguably the world’s oldest polo ground where the game is still played, and a reminder that modern Polo originated in Manipur. And then there is the famous Khwairamband Keithel, or Ima Market, said to be among the largest such markets in Asia run exclusively run by women.
Imphal’s environs were also the scene of bitter fighting between British forces and the Japanese and the Indian National Army (INA) during the World War II. Indeed, the Battle of Imphal of 1944- together with the Battle of Kohima- is today recognized as Britain’s Greatest Battle and as Japan’s greatest ever defeat on land.
Throw in to the mix one of India’s least known and tastiest cuisines; festivals and traditions that are yet to suffer from over-packaging and exposure; a very comfortable climate; a people proud of their culture and history; stunning landscapes that are never more than a 15-minute drive away; the thrill of having an international border with Burma/Myanmar; and what you have is a place just waiting to be explored.