Ukhrul, located in the Ukhrul district of Manipur, is a quaint town renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and captivating charm. It holds the distinction of being the highest hill station in Manipur and is known for its festive celebrations like Luira, Mangkhap, Thareo, and more. Moreover, Ukhrul is home to some fascinating wonders such as caves, waterfalls, mountains, and clear skies, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a memorable travel experience.
Home to the Tangkhul Naga tribes who are known for their art of warfare, Ukhrul is a rich cultural destination. Ukhrul Festivals are worth a watch if one happens to be there during the time. The district is all hills and mountains and the greenery is something that can be seen as far as the eyes can see.
The Tangkhuls are specifically known for their elaborate costume. The women wear the kashan while the men wear a shawl called howrah. It is quite a common sight to see the Tangkhuls dressed in their traditional attire on the streets, quite to the surprise of the tourists.
Place To Visit In And Around Ukhrul
Shirui Kashong Peak
Located in the eastern district headquarters, Shirui Kashong Peak is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ukhrul. This peak, rising to an altitude of 2,835 meters above sea level, is famous for two things. First, the rivers flowing across Ukhrul and the crevices of the peak, and second, the Shirui lilies that grow in this place.
The climb up the peak is quite challenging, but the reward is a heavenly view of clouds mesmerizingly hovering around the dappled towns and villages, lush green and dense forests. You can also catch a glimpse of rare birds nesting in the area, including Blyth’s Tragopan and Mrs. Hume’s bar-backed pheasant. The Shirui Kashong Peak is also an excellent spot for a picnic, making it a year-round destination for tourists.
Traveling to the Shirui Kashong Peak from Ukhrul town is not difficult, as it is located just 17 km away to the east of the district headquarters. Private transportation is available to reach the top.
To experience the peak’s full splendor, it is recommended to visit around mid-May to August when the Shirui lilies bloom, and the Rhododendrons fill the mountain in red and white. Don’t miss out on this picturesque location on your next trip to Ukhrul.
Khayang Peak, with an altitude of 3114 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in the Ukhrul district and a sight to behold. The view from Khayang Peak is truly magical, providing a kaleidoscopic vista of the region, including flowing hills, winding streams, undulating valleys, and picturesque hamlets. A visit to this off-beat destination requires extensive trekking for 5-6 days, but the end result is worth it.
The Khayang Waterfalls are nestled in the heart of the forests, 754 ft. high, offering a mesmerizing view that will leave you breathless. Locals and tourists alike enjoy trekking up the hill to witness the stunning surroundings and catch a glimpse of the sunrise from the peak.
For those who prefer not to trek, public transportation is available to the hilltop. Don’t miss the chance to experience the enchanting beauty of Khayang Peak and Waterfalls, making your trekking adventure in Ukhrul unforgettable.
Located on the slopes of the Achuwa Magi Hills, Kachouphung Lake, also known as Azoa Jenephiu Magi Lake, is a stunning natural lake in Ukhrul spread across 9 acres and shaped like the map of India. The lake is surrounded by numerous hillocks on all sides, and the breathtaking beauty of the place is truly awe-inspiring. The lake’s potential is vast and attracts locals and tourists from all over the world.
The lake offers live pisciculture and the chance to see colorful fish in their natural habitat. Kachou Phung Lake is a perfect location for those seeking a memorable experience amid fresh water and beautiful hillocks. To reach the lake site, visitors can take private transportation or walk from Ukhrul. Consider visiting Kachou Phung Lake between March and May when the weather conditions are favorable for exploring the area.
Khangkhui Mangsor Cave
Experience the mystical and unique beauty of Khangkhui Cave, also known as Khangkhui Mangsor, a natural limestone cave in Ukhrul Town. The cave features large sedimentary limestone formations, including limestone hanging from the ceiling and growing from the ground, offering visitors a surreal experience.
Explore the cave’s two large chambers and five tunnels, and be thrilled as you find your way out of the darkness. Khangkhui Cave served as a shelter for the locals during World War II and has also been a site of archaeological discoveries, including important artifacts from the Palaeolithic culture.
To visit the cave, take advantage of public transportation as it is located 16 km from Ukhrul Town. The best time to visit is during the winter season, between December and March when the weather is chilly and pleasant, and the water levels are at their lowest.
Nillai Tea Estate
Discover the refreshing taste of green tea at the Nillai Tea Estate, a must-visit tourist attraction in the Ukhrul district. Enjoy the natural greenery and fresh aroma surrounding the tea estate, and witness first-hand how tea is hand-plucked and sun-dried, enhancing its medicinal qualities. The locals here believe in the natural processing of tea, which makes it a hit in the market.
The tea grown here has a unique feature – its real flavour comes after the second boil. As you enter the Nillai Tea Estate, be mesmerized by the lush greenery that surrounds you, offering a treat for the eyes.
To reach the Nillai Tea Estate, avail of public transport as it is located around 20 km from Ukhrul. The tea estate is open for visitors throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the months of March, April, and May.
Ango Ching Forest
Explore the natural beauty of the lesser-known Ango Ching, a virgin forest covering approximately 150 sq.km. on the Myanmar border to the east, and the Sanalok River to the west. The route to Ango Ching is mostly inaccessible, passing through difficult terrain. As a result, the unexplored natural beauty of the place is sure to captivate the attention of tourists.
Ango Ching is a haven for flora and fauna, and visitors can witness a variety of animals, including wild bison, black bear, leopard, peacock tragopan, elephants, sambars, tigers, barking deer, deer, hook lock, leopard, hornbills, wild cats, and more.
To reach Ango Ching, take public transport or walk up to the peak, located 17 km from Ukhrul Town, for a unique experience. The best time to visit Ango Ching is during the months of March, April, and May, to explore the forest at its finest.
Lunghar Seihai Phangrei
Lunghar Sihai Phangrei popularly known only as “Phangrei”, is a sprawling hill range located in the Ukhrul district that is a favored picnic spot for both locals and tourists alike. This hill range is especially notable for its lush flora and is home to a variety of flowers and fruits, including rare orchids and delectable fruits such as grapes, passion fruit, apple, pear, plum, peaches, and more.
The Sihai Phangrei is a part of the hill range that joins the famous Shirui Peak, known for its magnificent Shirui Lilies. The Lunghar Sihai Phangrei boasts a serene and stunning waterfall that cascades down the hill range, adding to the natural beauty of the area. A visit to this hill range is a memorable experience, and the picturesque setting will stay etched in one’s mind for a long time. The term ‘Sihai’ is a general reference term used for a group of villages in Ukhrul, which includes Sihai Khullen, Sihai Khunou, and Sihai Kahaophung.
To reach Lunghar Sihai Phangrei, visitors can use public transportation or travel by car. It is recommended to visit the area during the months of March, April, and May to witness the hill range in all its natural glory.
Experience the Vibrant Festivals, Unique Handicrafts, and Natural Beauty of Ukhrul
Ukhrul is a must-visit destination for those who love to experience the rich cultural heritage of Tangkhul Nagas. Festivals like Luira and Chumpha are celebrated with great enthusiasm and showcase the unique customs of the Tangkhul community. The Raiyot war dance is a must-watch for tourists, while the Shirui Lily Festival is a celebration of Manipur’s state flower and a testament to the state’s commitment to sustainable and ethical tourism.
In addition to its vibrant festivals, Ukhrul is known for its traditional handicrafts and agro products. The handwoven Tangkhul shawl and Longpi Ham pottery are unique and popular souvenirs that are only available in Ukhrul. The town’s natural beauty is another attraction, with its lush greenery and peaceful ambiance providing a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Ukhrul is not a shopping destination, but it is a place where you can experience the beauty of nature and immerse yourself in the local culture. From colorful festivals to unique handicrafts and natural beauty, Ukhrul is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Best Time To Visit Ukhrul
Ukhrul enjoys a pleasant climate with minimum and maximum temperatures ranging from 3°C to 33°C. The average annual rainfall is 1,763.7 mm (1991). It experiences a wet summer and a cold, dry winter, with rainfall occurring from April to August. The ideal time to visit Ukhrul is from October to March.
How To Get To Ukhrul
The nearest airport is the Imphal International Airport (IMF) situated at a distance of 90 km. This airport has overall good flight connectivity with other Indian cities and is also considered to be one of the significant airports in the northeastern regions of India. You can also take connecting flights from Kolkata and Guwahati to reach here. Once you deboard at the airport, you can take a cab or some other means of local transportation available to reach your destination.
The nearest railway station is the Dimapur Railway Station situated 280 km away. The station has overall good railway connectivity with other Indian cities. Once you deboard at the station, you can easily take a cab to reach your destination.
If living in nearby regions, you can also consider traveling to Ukhrul via roads. The roads are quite accessible and well-maintained. Buses and taxis are readily available to Ukhrul from other cities located nearby. And if it suits your budget, you can also consider traveling here in your own car.
It is to be noted that an Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required for non-locals to enter and stay in the Indian state of Manipur. The permit can be obtained through the official website of the Manipur Inner Line Permit System, which is designed to regulate and monitor the entry of non-locals into the state. The permit can also be obtained from designated offices in the state, and it is usually issued for a period of 15 days, although it can be extended. The ILP is intended to protect the rights and interests of the local population and to maintain peace and security in the state.