Loktak Lake: Home To The World’s Only Floating National Park

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Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons | Creator: Sharada Prasad CS

Loktak Lake, known in Meitei as Loktak Pat, is the largest freshwater lake in South Asia. It is a pulsating lake that changes in size from 250 sq km to 500 sq km during the rainy season and has an average area of 287 sq km. The lake is situated in Moirang, Manipur, India and its name Loktak comes from the Meitei language, where “Lok” means “stream” and “tak” means “the end.”

Loktak Lake, known for its unspoiled beauty, is a popular tourist destination in Manipur. Visitors flock to the lake to see its distinctive floating circular swamps, referred to as phumdis in the local language. The phumdis, which resemble islands made of soil, organic matter, and vegetation, add to the lake’s enchanting beauty, making it a must-see destination.

Exploring Loktak Lake is best done by taking a boat ride in a long fishing boat in the early morning. Visitors can also visit the nearby fishermen’s islands and try their hand at fishing. To witness a breathtaking sunset, one can hike to a hill overlooking the lake and marvel as the sun sets, casting a brilliant display of red and gold hues across the sky.

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Interesting places to see in and around Loktak Lake

Keibul Lamjao National Park
Loktak Lake is home to the world’s only floating national park, Keibul Lamjao National Park, which serves as the last sanctuary for the endangered brow-antlered deer or sangai, the state animal of Manipur.

Loktak

The lake also supports an abundance of biodiversity, including over 230 species of aquatic plants, 100 types of birds, and 400 species of fauna such as barking deer, sambar, and Indian python. For bird enthusiasts, Loktak is a haven, providing a chance to observe species like the black kite, East Himalayan pied kingfisher, northern hill myna, lesser eastern jungle crow, Burmese pied myna, and lesser skylark.+

Maibam Lokpa Ching
Maibam Lokpa Ching, also known as Red Hills, is a historical site of World War II located in Nambol, Bishnupur district in Manipur, India. The site encompasses a small hillock, where a battle took place between British and Japanese forces during WWII. In the foothills lies a cemetery, which holds the graves of Japanese soldiers who died in the war. A war museum has also been established, exhibiting a collection of unique war items and relics, including weapons used by the soldiers during the war. Each year, visitors from Japan and Britain come to pay their respects to their ancestors who lost their lives on this battlefield.

INA Memorial Moirang Manipur e1675315584470
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons | Creator: PP Yoonus

INA Memorial at Moirang
Moirang often called the “Cradle of Manipuri culture”, a town located in the Bishnupur District, holds a significant place in India’s freedom movement history. On April 14, 1944, the flag of the Indian National Army was first raised in Moirang, symbolizing a pivotal moment in the struggle for independence. The INA Museum, with its collection of letters, photographs, rank badges, and other war artifacts, serves as a tribute to the bravery of the INA soldiers who fought under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The museum serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by these soldiers in the pursuit of a free India.

Sendra
Sendra is a hill near Moirang, known for its stunning views. It is the highest of several islands located along the Loktak Lake shoreline and is easily accessible from Moirang village via road causeways. Visitors can take in the panoramic views, enjoy delicious food and coffee at the Sangai Café, or stay overnight at the comfortable six-room Sendra Park Hotel. Tourist resorts can be found on the hilltop, while boatyards are located in the foothills.

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Courtesy: Flickr | Creator: @ch_15march

Thanga
Thanga is an island located in the Loktak Lake in Manipur, India. It is the largest of the islands in Loktak Lake, among the archipelago of islands in the lake. It is famous for its scenic beauty, with rolling hills and the serene surroundings of the lake. Visitors can enjoy boating and fishing in the lake and also explore the nearby villages to experience the traditional lifestyle of the local people. The island is accessible by boat from Moirang and is a popular tourist destination in Manipur.

How to get to Loktak Lake?

By Train: The closest railway station is located in Jiribam, which has train connections to Silchar and Guwahati. Another option is the Dimapur railway station.

By Road: To reach Loktak Lake by bus, travel to one of the cities or towns along the shoreline, with Moirang often being the preferred option due to its comprehensive coverage of the lake’s surrounding areas.

By Air: Tulihal International Airport in Imphal is the nearest airport, 27 km from the district headquarters of Bishnupur which is 14 km from Moirang.

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.

(To know more about Manipur State Tourism check the link here.)

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