3/1/2011 to 3/24/2011 | India , Manipur

Do it Yourself, Manipur

Ima Market, Imphal

I haven’t really put much practical information in my journal posts but since I do get a number of people asking about more practical details, I’ll start a new “Do it Yourself” segment for destinations where there isn’t a lot of info out there.  Of course much of this information may eventually go out […]

3/24/2011 | India , Manipur

Halangkar Part II: Dance of the Maidens

Halangkar, the last day of Yaoshang, Imphal

123► Halangkar concludes with a dance by the young women from the locality around the Bejoy Govinda Temple.  Dressed in hooded white dresses speckled with pink dye, hiding their faces, they traditionally perform the last dance of the festival.  After which the idols of the Bejoy Govinda and Sri Govindjee temples are returned […]

3/24/2011 | India , Manipur

Halangkar Part I: Processions and Dancing

Halangkar, the last day of Yaoshang, Imphal

1234► The festival of Yaoshang (Holi) in Imphal ends spectacularly with Halangkar.  While the opening day festivities are held at the Sri Govindjee temple, the final days events take place at an open field adjacent to the Bejoy Govinda Temple.  The idols from both the Sri Govindjee and the Bejoy Govinda Temples are […]

3/21/2011 to 3/23/2011 | India , Manipur

Yaoshang: Water Wars, Ropes, and Sports

Sack race during sports festival, Yaoshang

123► The days of Yaoshang are a festive time in Imphal.  The entire city is caught up in the celebration.   Young girls man ropes across the streets demanding a small “tax” to pass, while marauding groups of young boys and teenagers roam the streets armed with water balloons, buckets, and dye looking to […]

3/20/2011 | India , Manipur

Yaoshang: Dancing at the Sri Govindaji Temple

Devotees dancing at Sri Govindaji Temple for Yaoshang, Imphal

123► From all across the Imphal valley buses, cars, minivans, and trucks carry men and women to the Sri Govindaji Temple on the first full day of Yaoshang (Holi as celebrated by the Meiteis).  Clad in their traditional attire carrying drums and banners they dance in the hall opposite the main shrine festively […]

3/20/2009 | India , Manipur

Yaoshang: Torch Relay

Torch relay during Yaoshang, Imphal

During the fist day of  Yaoshang the streets of Imphal fill with runners (and walkers) of all ages.  Each locality of the city begins there Yaoshang sports festival with a torch lighting ceremony.  The fire is brought in a running procession through the streets from either the Kangla (the city’s Meitei historical heart) […]

3/19/2011 | India , Manipur

Yaoshang (Holi in Manipur)

Ceremony at the start of Yaoshan (Holi), Imphal

12► The Indian spring holiday of Holi is kind of a big deal in Imphal.  Unlike elsewhere in the hills of the Northeast India where the tribal communities are mostly Christian, the Meiteis of the Imphal valley are Hindu and celebrate the spring holiday of Holi, know locally as Yaoshang, with particular exuberance.  […]

3/18/2011 | India , Manipur

Moreh: A few hours in Burma

Moreh

1234► When I headed to the border town of Moreh, with Deepak, Robin, and Sarah I didn’t expect that I find myself facing down rifle brandishing member of the Burmese Junta.  But I guess that is one of the great things about travel you never know what new experiences a new day will […]

3/15/2011 to 3/17/2011 | India , Manipur

Ukhrul: Escape to the Hills

Siroi Hill, Ukhral

12► We were all excited to finally get out of Imphal into the surrounding hills.  We had chosen the destination of Ukhrul a town in the northeastern hill region of Manipur inhabited primarily by friendly Tangkhul Nagas.  Few foreigners make it to Imphal and even fewer to Ukhrul.  Three foreigners hopping off a […]

3/14/2011 | India , Manipur

TV auditions in Imphal: Mainpur’s got (some) talent

Traditional Manipur drum dance, for Indian Talent TV show audition, Imphal

12► Our friend Deepak was responsible for organizing the Manipur auditions for a talent competition reality TV show, to be aired on Indian TV.   We went along to watch as it was an opportunity to see cultural groups perform traditional Manipur dance, and martial arts.  Unfortunately interspersed among theses more traditional groups were […]

3/13/2011 | India , Manipur

The Ima Market, Imphal

Ima Market, Imphal

123► Imphal’s substantial polo ground stands near the western gate of the Kangla at the heart of central Imphal.  The ground is a testament to the games importance to a state that prides its self as the origin of modern polo.  While originating in ancient Persia, the modern game polo as disseminated by […]

3/12/2011 | India , Manipur

Loktak Lake

Loktak Lake, Manipur

123► The principle attraction of Manipur from a tourist perspective is Loktak Lake.  It is one of the most impressive geographical sights in the Northeast.  Unfortunately the security situation makes it difficult to adequately explore the vast lake.  The picturesque floating islands of reeds and grasses are also used as hideouts and training […]

3/9/2011 to 3/11/2011 | India , Manipur

Temple Meal: Eating with the Meiteis, Imphal

Temple meal at Shri Shri Narsinga Mandir, Imphal

12► Deepak took us to a meal at one of the local Temples.  Meiteis are Vishnavite Hindus, and several of the Hindu temples in Imphal put on a daily meal for there devotees in the late morning.  Deepak assured us that this particular temple, the Shri Shri Narsinga Mandir, was the best.  It […]

3/1/2011 to 3/8/2011 | India , Manipur

Back to Asia: A long way to Imphal

Ima (Mother's) Market, Imphal

123► I retraced the route along the 405 Freeway to LAX International Airport I had taken nearly 4 months prior, this time with a bit more weight (a result of home cooked food, good wine, and good beer), and a bit less hair.  After about three years of letting it grow I cut […]