Imphal, the capital of the Northeast Indian state of Manipur, is located in the valley with Imphal River meandering through the city. The city of Imphal has the ruins of Kangla fort the seat of erstwhile kingdom. The Initial rulers of Ningthouja tribe King Khagemba and his son Khunjaoba built the Kangla Palace which was later destroyed by the British during the Anglo-Manipur War. Imphal remained peaceful until 1891 when the British arrived to intervene in internal differences between the royal family, which resulted in the 1891 Anglo-Manipur War. During the Second World War the Battle of Imphal took place between March and July 1944, the Japanese invaded Imphal to capture British Colonies. However, they were defeated and had to retreat. This attack made the British realize the militarily strategic position of Imphal.
Today Imphal has emerged as an important tourist destination in the northeast of India and also an entry point for Manipur. Imphal has a very pleasant climate throughout the year with average high temperatures of about 29 °C in summers while the average low temperature of winters is about 4 °C. The highest recorded temperature was 35.6 °C while the lowest temperature recorded was 2.7 °C.
6 Places of Interest in Imphal
1) Kangla Palace
Kangla Palace or Kangla Fort is located on the banks of the Imphal River. This was the royal palace with a religious significance with number of temples in the fort itself. The fort is surrounded by a moat on three sides with Imphal River on fourth side.
2) Bihu Loukon Fort
Another interesting prehistoric star-shaped fort called Bihu Loukon, at present only the ramparts remain which is built out of mud. These 150 feet long triangular arms are approximately about 15 feet thick and about 5 feet in height. It is situated in Maklang, Imphal West District.
3) Women's Market (Ima Keithel)
Ima Keithel is the commercial centre of Imphal city, The market was established in 16th century and today hosts around 5000 to 6000 stalls which are all run and managed by women. This is reportedly the only market in the world that is run by only women.
4) Red Hill
Located 17 km south of Imphal City on Tiddim Road is the India Peace Memorial (Red hill), which was the scene of action during the Second World War between the allied forces and Japanese forces fighting alongside the Indian National Army. Japanese war veterans have constructed a monument at the foot of this hill to commemorate the battle.
5) Imphal War Cemetery
Imphal War Cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth war graves and has 1600 British and Allied soldiers graves who fought and died in 1944 during World War II.
6) Shree Govindajee Temple
Shree Govindajee Temple is the largest Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna or Govinda. The temple complex is located next to the palace compound of the former rulers of Manipur Kingdom. The temple has two gold plated domes, a paved court, and a large, raised mandapa or congregation hall.