Shirui Lily Festival: Everything You Need to Know

Shirui Lily Festival

Shirui Lily Festival is a mesmerizing celebration of nature, culture, and heritage that takes place annually in Manipur, a northeastern state of India. This festival revolves around the rare and exquisite Shirui Lily, a flower found only in the pristine hills of the Shirui village located north of Ukhrul in the Ukhrul district, Manipur.

Shirui Lily Festival is an extraordinary celebration that showcases the natural beauty, cultural richness, and warm hospitality of Manipur. By exploring the history, significance, and stunning world of the Shirui Lily, you will gain a deeper appreciation for this remarkable festival.

History and Significance

Shirui Lily Festival holds a significant place in the cultural heritage of Manipur, India. It is a celebration that pays homage to the rare and exquisite Shirui Lily (Lilium mackliniae), also known as the Siroi Lily or “Kashong Timrawon” in the local dialect. The festival not only showcases the mesmerizing beauty of this flower but also highlights the rich cultural traditions of the region.

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Image Via Instagram

According to ancient legends, the Kashong Timrawon is not just a flower but also a protective spirit that inhabits the magnificent Shirui Peak. Its enchanting beauty and rarity attract thousands of scientists and tourists from around the world who eagerly anticipate witnessing this precious flower’s bloom.

Beyond its cultural significance, the Shirui Lily Festival also emphasizes the importance of conservation and sustainable practices. Environmental agencies, researchers, and local communities collaborate to raise awareness about the delicate ecosystem that supports the Shirui Lily. Efforts are made to promote responsible tourism, protect the natural habitat, and ensure the longevity of this precious flower for generations to come.

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Every year, as the Shirui Lily blossoms atop the majestic hills, it captivates the hearts and minds of all who behold it. Its beauty, rarity, and spiritual significance continue to make the Shirui Lily Festival an extraordinary event, drawing people from far and wide to experience the enchantment of this precious flower and the cultural richness of Manipur.

Shirui Lily: A Rare and Delicate Beauty

The Shirui Lily is a floral gem that thrives in the unique environmental conditions of the Shirui Hills. It is a species of lily that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, making it truly exceptional. Its restricted distribution and specific habitat requirements contribute to its rarity, making it an object of fascination for botanists, researchers, and nature enthusiasts alike. With its enchanting trumpet-shaped blooms and a color range spanning from pristine white to soft pink and deep maroon, the Shirui Lily captivates the hearts of all who encounter it.

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The Shirui Lily’s bloom is a transient spectacle, adding to its mystique. Typically, the flowering season of the Shirui Lily occurs during the months of May and June, offering a short-lived but awe-inspiring display of natural beauty. Its ephemeral nature serves as a reminder of the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the need for conservation efforts to protect this fragile species.

Highlights and Activities of the Shirui Lily Festival

The fragrance of Manipur’s state flower fills the air, signaling the arrival of the blooming season. The Shirui Lily Festival serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness about the conservation of the endangered Shirui Lily, which holds immense significance for the region. This vibrant Shirui Lily Festival brings together people from diverse communities and tribes, offering them an opportunity to explore the picturesque Ukhrul district, home to the highest hill station in Manipur, and gain deeper insights into the culture of the Tangkhul Naga tribe residing here. Embarking on a trek up the majestic Shirui hills adds an element of adventure and presents a rare chance to witness the beauty of this elusive flower, making it an ultimate treat for nature enthusiasts.

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Image via Instagram (freehomestayforcyclist)

Spanning over four captivating days, the Shirui Lily Festival bursts with a colorful array of traditional and cultural activities. Live music concerts, folk performances, traditional dances, indigenous games, and competitions, as well as art and handicraft exhibitions, create a vibrant tapestry of cultural experiences. The festival also tantalizes taste buds with ethnic food eateries, while offering thrilling adventure activities like camping and biking for adrenaline seekers.


Among the festival’s major highlights is “Shirock,” a musical extravaganza featuring live concerts and competitions that draw a large crowd from various parts of the state, as well as neighboring states. Renowned international rock bands like Nazareth and Extreme have graced the stage of this extraordinary event, adding to its allure.

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Shirui Lily Festival takes place across multiple venues, including the enchanting Shirui Village. Here, visitors are treated to mesmerizing demonstrations of age-old traditions and the rich culture of the Ukhrul district’s inhabitants. The Shirui Lily Festival showcases live music performances, cultural shows, beauty pageants, exhibits, and thrilling indigenous games and sports competitions, such as the prestigious Shirui Lily Grand Prix. In recent years, the festival has played a pivotal role in promoting Ukhrul district as a must-visit tourist destination in Manipur, attracting visitors not only from across India but also from different corners of the globe.

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Shirui Lily Festival serves as a joyous celebration of Manipur’s cultural heritage while raising awareness about the importance of conserving the endangered Shirui Lily. With its vibrant array of traditional activities, mesmerizing performances, and adventurous opportunities, the festival has established itself as a cherished event that showcases the beauty and richness of Ukhrul district. As visitors immerse themselves in the festivities, they also contribute to the promotion of tourism in Manipur, fostering cultural exchange and appreciation for the region’s natural wonders.

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When is Shirui Lily Festival Held

Prepare for a grand celebration as Ukhrul gears up to host the highly anticipated 5th State Level Shirui Lily Festival, scheduled to take place from May 17 to May 20, 2023. The festival promises an unforgettable experience filled with vibrant cultural displays, captivating performances, and an abundance of natural beauty.

Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons | Creator: Ac apam

How to get to Ukhrul:

By Air

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.

By Train

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.

By Road

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.

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

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