Sangai Festival, An effort to save the Sangai Deer

Sangai Festival Awaits You In Manipur

Sangai festival is a yearly festival organised by the Government of Manipur dedicated to the blow antlered deer (Sangai) which is available only in Manipur. It is generally held on the month of Nov every year. The festival generally consists traditional stalls, songs, dance competition and many other events in several places. To get the best out of it, you must visit the only floating National Park in the world: The Keibul Lamjao National Park in the Loktak lake which is also the largest fresh water lake in the North East India.

Why Sangai Festival?

Sangai is an endangered deer which is available only on the Keibul Lamjao National Park. In the 1950s it was widely presumed that the Sangai deer is extinct. Fortunately, with intense government policies and help from the people, the number of Sangai is increasing and latest number is around 260 as of 2016. As a part of this continuous effort to spread about Sangai and save it from extinction, the government of Manipur started the Sangai festival. This will also help to boost the tourism in the conflict ridden state of Manipur.

However, little is being done to co-relate the festival to the actual Sangai deer other than the name and some events. You as a tourist can do your little part to save the endangered Sangai deer just by visiting the park and paying the entry fee in which some part of it will be used (I believe so) to save the Sangai.

Nykaa Beauty [CPS] IN

Having said that the local population has the vast majority of support to save the Sangai. Without their support, it is quite evident that it is impossible to save the deer. After all, it’s their lively hood that are being disturbed. By visiting the only Floating National Park and buying a cup of tea or even staying in the inns in the little floating islands will help the economy of the local population. This, in turn, will help the reduce the affects on the ecosystem.

10 Reasons to attend the Sangai Festival

Did I say 10 reasons? Well, there are more than 10 reasons, in fact there are tons of reasons to attend the Sangai Festival and enjoy the festival. Let’s dive into the land of Sangai and the reasons you should attend it. Are you ready?

Visit the beautiful state of Manipur in the North East:

First and foremost, you will get to experience the nice and warm weather of Manipur in the midst of it’s beautiful mountain ranges. It’s full of green hill ranges. Anywhere you watch in all direction, you will find hill ranges. The fresh morning breeze, the unique people and culture and many more. I won’t say everything here because you have to go there and experience it yourself.

Enjoy the scenic beauty of the largest freshwater lake in NE India:

As mentioned above, Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the NE India. You will experience the small floating islands which the locals call it as “Phumdi“. This phumdi are the are the basis of the only floating national park in the world and is the only and natural habitat of the Sangai deer. Watch the video below where a tourist is enjoying the floating islands. It’s pristine water will refresh your mind from this complex world.

The only floating National Park in the World:

The Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world which is also the only habitat for the Sangai deer. If you are going for Sangai Festival then, you must visit the Loktak Lake and Keibul Lamjao National Park. You will see the Sangai dancing around the vast jungles of the Park. Having said that there is no guarantee that you will get to see the Sangai deer. It purely depends on your luck as the deer roams freely in the vast phumdi.

You can check out the webstory on Keibul Lamjao National Park below:

Witness the place where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose sat his feet for the first time in India during WWII

Did you know that during WWII, Subhas Chandra Bose with the help from Japanese waged war against the British India. This led to one of the bloodiest war during the second world war. During this war, Moirang is the first place in India where the tricolour flag of India was hoisted in a liberated India. The INA Museum is in the Moirang town which is located just side of the Loktak Lake.

Enjoy the traditional handcrafted products

The Manipuri society as a whole has a long history of women’s handicraft products ranging from traditional clothes to rare crafts. Check out some of them below.

Enjoy varieties of local cuisines

If you are a food lover, then every day, you must go and enjoy the food stall in the main venue. Manipur is full of it’s unique food items like Singju, Bora, Eronba, etc. There are many other items available. During the whole Sangai Festival, you will get to test the taste in the various food stalls. Check out some of them below.

For a foodie, the above photos should make it a watery mouth. It’s a universal truth that if you are going somewhere as a tourist, you must try the local cuisine. Food, tradition, culture are all connected to the specific place and you must enjoy them.

Explore the stunning traditional dances from the various communities

Did you know that Manipur has more than 30+ communities living together? It consists of Kabui, Tangkhul, Meitei, Kuki, Maring, Anal, etc. to name a few. Each of them has a unique style and culture and their own unique dances. During the Sangai festival, such dances are shown to the world. This will be once in a lifetime opportunity for you to immerse in this traditional world. Now, check out some of the photos.

Check out the various events scheduled every day

The Sangai Festival is packed with dozens of interesting events all day long everyday. The events also include various events from South East Asia nations like Myanmar, Thailand, etc. Check out a glimpse of the events from the official website of Sangai Festival here.

Visit Myanmar without a passport (Indian Only! Sorry Foreigners)

YES! You read it right! It is not only during Sangai Festival but all year round offer. Manipur and Burma (Myanmar) has a long history inlcuding bad turmoils and good times and has maintain the relationship till now. Until Independence there was no need to take official documents to visit to and fro from the two states. In the good spirit of the two nations, you can visit Burma without any passport but you will need to take some official permissions if you are visiting for few days. However, if you are visiting for a longer period, then, you must show your passport.

Loose some calories with an amazing trekking expedition to the amazing hill ranges

Have you ever dreamed of going on a trekking experience but couldn’t siphon out your precious time? Well you already have managed to find some time to attend the Manipur Sangai Festival and Sangai Festival has special events for trekking. All you need to do is enroll in the service. You can find the details on the main venue.

Excellent chance to showcase your products if you are an entrepreneur

Are you an entrepreneur? Or someone with products and ideas to show to the people around the world? The Manipur Sangai Festival is an excellent chance for you to find amazing audience for your work. Every year, various stalls from all over the country have provided the masalas of this event. The Manipur Sangai Festival 2019 also have the same opportunity. For Manipur Sangai Festival stall registration 2019 you can simply go this official website and register yourself. The process is fully online. It is a lucky draw system. Unfortunately, the draw is already over for this year Sangai Festival 2019.

How to reach to Manipur, Imphal?

There are two main ways you can reach Imphal – by air and by road. There is no railway connection to Imphal. However, you can catch a bus or a flight after you reach the Guwahati city by train. The Bir Tikendrajit International Airport is the official name of Imphal airport is well connected to various major cities of India. The major cities include Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Agartala, Aizawl, Dimapur, Mangalore. Air KBZ plans to offer flights from Mandalay, Myanmar from 23 Nov, 2019. You can book Imphal – Mandalay flight from the official website here. For some odd reasons, the flight details will show only after you choose the return date.

You can book your domestic flights from all major online booking sites here. The bus and mini bus, tata sumo services are available from Silchar, Dimapur, Guwahati, Aizawl, Moreh, etc. The road conditions are fairly good. However, portions of the road may be very bad due to old bridges, occasional landslides, etc. The best option is to travel via flight.

Where to stay in Imphal?

There are many good hotels in Imphal. If you are a true explorer then you can leave from the airport and find a hotel on your own. Or you can easily book via online services like makemytrip or, etc. The online prices ranges from 1.5K to 6K.

Top 10 homework you must do before coming for Sangai Festival

Well before going to any place, you must have some prior knowledge of the place you are visiting. So, I am suggesting top 10 things you need to know before heading for the Manipur Sangai Festival.

  1. Learn some basics of local language: Manipur speaks Manipuri which is totally different from Hindi or English, not even remotely related. Most of the Manipuri people will uderstand English but they will hardly understand Hindi. You can approach any young people and ask for help. However, knowing a little of local language will help you a lot and people there will think you are genuinely interested in Manipur which may trigger them to help you more. Let me throw some common Manipuri phrases or sentences below.
    How much? – Kayano or Kaya pige?
    Where is X hotel? – Hotel X se kaidano?
    Excuse me! May I ask you something? – Hi! Keinomta Hangjageba.
    Thank You! – Thagatchari!
    You look beautiful. – Fajeiko or Yam fajei.
  2. Prepare for a real winter weather: It’s cold in Manipur during winter, I mean really cold. But don’t expect the icy, snow weather but just above it. The water is really chilly and everyday morning will be covered in fogs up until 10 or 11 am. So, be prepared for that in terms of cloths and body lotions.
  3. Listen to local newspapers: Manipur is very beautiful place and you are completely safe to visit there. Nevertheless, she is still a volatile place. Something may come up suddenly. So, read some local news like the Pokanafam, the Sangai express newspaper to know what’s happening up to date. You can also follow some Manipur social media pages to keep yourself updated. But, don’t fall every-time what you see on social media.
  4. Don’t forget to ask for VEG only if you are pure vegetarian. Manipur is mostly non-veg society so it will be hard to find a pure veg restaurant there. Don’t forget to ask the waiter to prepare a veg only meal for you.
  5. Get ready for some extreme adventures. By extreme adventures, I mean the roads in the hills, little safety measures like road safety, water safety, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask for safety measures if you are not comfortable and they will provide it. They generally skip those if you don’t ask for it.
  6. Try to complete your culinary items before nightfall (before 7pm). Imphal is not a a night life city. So, if you are accustomed to night life, you better take care your daily needs before getting late.
  7. Ask a local about auto and bus fares and routes before jumping on one. If you are planning to use public transport, then you have to know where you are going and which side of the road you have wait. If you rake reserve, then the price is very high not because you are an outsider but for all. In the front of every auto or tata magic, the place is written where it is going. So, you have to check them out and hop into one of them.
  8. If you are on a religious place, make sure you are not breaking any rules. Manipur has many historical and religious places. When you are visiting any such places like the Kangla fort, make sure you are not breaking any rules. Doing any stupid stunt act will make the locals not so happy.
  9. If you are a couple, make sure you are booking a couple friendly hotel. There may be sudden police raids in some hotels and you may fall into it even though you are officially a couple. So, make sure you are booking a couple friendly hotel and carry your marriage certificate while booking a hotel during the Manipur Sangai Festival or during any other time.
  10. Don’t go into deep hills without a local or before informing others. Even though Manipur is completely safe as tourists, insurgent problems are still there and deep inside the mountains you will meet both nature and those insurgents. So, make sure the place you are visiting is completely safe. You can make sure by asking the locals or police there.

What is your plan if you are going there?

After reading this, what are your plans when visiting the Manipur Sangai Festival 2019? Comment down below, share your stories with us. Don’t forget to ask for any problems or clarifications.

Check out the Loktak Lake webstory below:


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