Shirui Lily festival, one of the biggest festivals in Manipur to promote tourism, is all set to kick off today in Ukhrul district in Manipur.
The festival is being organized under the aegis of the Government of Manipur’s Tourism Department to spread awareness about conservation of the endangered Shirui Lily (Lilium Mackliniae), the state flower of Manipur, and promote the district of Ukhrul as a tourist destination in Manipur from April 24 to April 28.
During the five-day festival, many events in different parts of Ukhrul would be held. ShiRock band competition 2018 would be the biggest event of the festival, in which, rock bands selected from across the country will compete for a prize money of Rs 10 lakhs. Renowned international bands — Steel Heart and Queensryche —will also be performing live on April 24 and April 28 respectively at Bakshi Ground, Ukhrul Headquarters.
Moreover, rock competitions, cycle rally, wooden cart grand prix, fashion show, handloom & handicraft exhibition, beauty pageant, Shirui Peak trekking, et al. would be entertaining the huge visitors who have come from all of Manipur and other parts of the country. Therefore, it is evident that the festival would be a full package of music, sports, cultural events and many more.
HOW TO REACH UKHRUL?
Government is plying buses to and from Imphal (ISBT) and Ukhrul town at 7 AM, 7.30 AM; 8 AM, 8:30 AM, 9 AM, 9:30 AM daily during the festival. Visitors can also use their private vehicles to reach the main festival venue, Bakshi ground. The distance between Imphal to Ukhrul is around 82 km so it would take around 2 and a half hour to reach there. Buses will return to Imphal on the same day between 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
WHERE TO STAY?
LamKoi, a private travel agency, is providing tented accommodation at a reasonable price of only Rs 500 per person. The campsite is nestled in the picturesque foothills of Shirui Peak. Evening bonfire and DJ organised by the travel agency will also keep you warm and entertained. Moreover, the team is also arranging a trip to Phangrei and Nungpi village to have visitors witness local lifestyle. LamKoi can be contacted at 9774270499 or 7838418527.
As per the information available at shirock.com, accommodation would be provided to tourists on first come first serve basis and visitors have to be pre-registered at website shirock.com to avail the facility. However, the site says “Online-Registration doesn’t Entitle you Confirm Homestay.” So, not a good choice.
And in the government website, shiruifestival.gov.in, only 11 hotels are shown and five of the 11 hotels are shown with no contact information to book for accommodation.
FOOD AND EATERIES
You will find many restaurants and hotels that would provide you different kinds of foods ranging from vegetables to “extraordinary” non-vegetables items. Prepare to try foods that you haven’t tried in your life.
PLACES TO VISIT IN UKHRUL
Khangkhui is a Tangkhul Naga village situated about 16 kilometers from Ukhrul District headquarters. It is well known for its ancient limestone cave locally called Khangkhui Mangsor. This pre-historic cave is one of the tourist attractions of Ukhrul district.
Khayang peak is known as the highest peak of the Ukhrul district. The peak gives a beautiful view of the entire region. One can see the fellow hills, the beautifully raging streams and the low lying valleys from up there.
Kachouphung lake: The unique and interesting feature of Kachouphung lake is that it resembles the shape of the map of India. This striking lake is located on the slope of the hill and a number of fishes are found in this lake.
(Photo source: shiruifestival.gov.in; facebook/lamkoimanipur)