Manipur Region, India

A breeding ground for graceful classical dance traditions, intricate art forms, sumptuous cuisine and (supposedly) the sport of polo, Manipur sits pretty amid rolling hills along India’s border with Myanmar. This ‘Jewelled Land’ is home to Thadou, Tangkhul, Paite, Kuki, Mao Naga and many other tribal peoples, but the predominant community is the Hindu Meitei tribe, who adhere to a neo-Vaishnavite order. Much of the state is carpeted with dense forests which provide cover for rare birds, drug traffickers and guerrilla armies, making it by far the Northeast’s most dangerous state.

Foreign travellers are currently restricted to Imphal and its outskirts, an area which is deemed ‘safe’. Most foreigners fly into Imphal; it is also possible to drive in from Kohima (Nagaland) or Silchar (Assam) if you have a guide. Travelling east of Kakching towards the Myanmar border is not permitted.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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