Imphal is the capital of the Indian state Manipur in the extreme eastern region of India, bordering Burma. The city centre surrounds the ancient ruins of the Palace of Kangla, once the royal seat of the Kingdom of Manipur. The palace was considered the apex of cultural activity during the reign of the Maharajas and is now regarded as a centre of pilgrimage for Manupuris. Kangla Fort or Palace is one of the city’s iconic landmarks, set on the banks of the river Imphal. The fort houses a complex of temples; there are over 260 important places of religious significance, such as the Nungjeng Pond, where holy rituals are performed.
Visitors to Imphal will catch sight of the prominent Hiyangthang Lairembi Temple Complex perched on a hillock, set back from the river. The temple complex is noted for its annual Durga Puja festival, where Hindus come to celebrate the goddess Durga and other deities. Next to the palace is the elegant Shree Govindajee Temple, which has two shimmering gold plated domes, and is the largest Hindu temple in Imphal. A trip to Imphal should also include a visit to the Imphal War Cemetery which remembers British and Indian soldiers who died in World War Two in the infamous Battle of Imphal which became known as the ‘Normandy of the east.’
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