How To Get From Imphal To Loktak Lake In Manipur
How to get from Imphal to Loktak Lake in Manipur, India? Woefully under-researched guidebooks told us to take an expensive taxi. Luckily, they were totally wrong. It’s actually quite easy and cheap—here’s how to get from Imphal to Loktak Lake.
Loktak Lake is one of the premier tourist destinations in Manipur, one of India’s least visited northeastern states.
Until recently, it was one of the few places foreign tourists could easily visit in Manipur. But despite its status, not many tourists make it there. This is a shame, as the lake is gorgeous, and the people are friendly.
Loktak Lake is the perfect place to relax for a couple of days and enjoy life on the water. Unfortunately, there’s little information on how to get there and where to stay… but this is about to change. Read on for a quick guide on how to get from Imphal to Loktak Lake in Manipur, India.
From Imphal to Moirang
From Imphal, your first destination is Moirang. Moirang is a nondescript town on the border of the lake, and serves as a drop off point for visitors. There’s not much to see in Moirang itself.
Shared taxis ply the roughly 30 kilometers between Imphal and Moirang, and take about an hour. They leave when full from the Jiribam – Imphal road, close to the intersection near the Ima Keithel Women’s Market. The taxis will have “Moirang” written on their windshields, but if you can’t find them, just ask one of the many minibuses along the road. They’ll show you the way. The shared taxi from Imphal to Moirang costs 50 Rs per person.
From Moirang to Thanga
From Moirang, you’ll have to take another shared taxi to Thanga. Thanga is the name of several clusters of villages that make up a peninsula on Loktak Lake.
To get to the taxi stand, walk straight from where you’re dropped off, past the market, and then turn right. Cross a small bridge, and there will be several colorful shared taxis on a road to the left. These leave to Thanga. If you’re not sure, just ask anyone for Thanga, and they’ll point you in the right direction. The taxi ride costs 10 Rs per person, and takes about 15 minutes. Make sure to ask the driver for Maipakchao Homestay (see below).
Need more inspiration? Check out our article on why you need to visit Northeast India!
Where to stay in Imphal and Loktak Lake
Imphal has several mid-range hotels, but lacks budget options. Luckily for you, there’s an excellent homestay: Aheibam Homestay. It’s about seven kilometers outside of the city center, but shared taxis go past every five minutes or so. Sanji, the manager, is a gracious and friendly host, and his mother whips up delicious Manipuri dishes.
Give Sanji a call before you come (+918731871324), and he’ll pick you up if you have time. Otherwise, a private rickshaw from the bus stand costs 200 Rs, and a shared taxi costs 10 Rs per person (although getting your bags on one will be problematic). The price for the homestay depends on the season, but we paid 1,000 Rs, which included two meals per day. The guest room is very comfortable, and has TV, AC, and wi-fi.
Thanga offers two options: Sendra Cottages and Maipakchao Homestay. Sendra Cottages is part of the luxurious Classic Hotel chain, and Maipakchao Homestay is run by the affable Mr. Maipakchao.
Needless to say, we recommend Maipakchao Homestay. To get there, tell the shared taxi driver you’re going to Maipakchao, and he’ll drop you off at the right turn. There will be a sign pointing to the homestay down the hill.
The homestay offers all the amenities you want—it even had toilet paper, if you’re into that—and Mr. Maipakchao is president of the local ecotourism development board, so he’s full of local knowledge and can help organize tours. You can call him at +9198563 56993. The cost is 1,000 Rs per person per night, including three meals and plenty of tea and fruit.
Things to do at Loktak Lake
The lake and the surrounding areas are perfect for exploring by foot, on a bike, or by boat. There’s also plenty of shared taxis puttering around on all the roads. Some ways to pass the time include:
- Visit the small island of Karang. A local “passenger” boat is 10 Rs per person, and there are several vantage points from where you can get a good look at the lake and the phumdis (small floating islands of vegetation and organic matter).
- Rent a boat and go for a swim, or just enjoy a boat ride. The water temperature is pretty perfect thanks to the shallow lake depth, and a boat ride is the perfect way to appreciate how big the lake actually is.
- Visit Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating national park in the world. To get there, head back to Moirang and ask for Keibul Lamjao. You’ll be pointed in the right direction for a shared taxi, which will drop you off near the entrance to the park. Entry is 200 Rs for foreigners (30 Rs for locals), with a 250 Rs camera charge (50 Rs for locals). The gatekeeper was lax, though, so if you put your camera in a bag you can probably avoid the camera fee. Ask Mr. Maipakchao for more information.
So there you have it, a quick guide on how to get from Imphal to Loktak Lake, and where to stay at Loktak Lake. Let us know in the comments if anything changes.
Want to know more? Check out our photo essay on Loktak Lake!
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