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Manipur Sangai Festival is an esteemed State Level Tourism Festival celebrated in a buoyant fashion. Besides, taking a trip to this beautiful state will change your incredulity into an unforgettable experience. Although, attending the festival requires anticipation and planning to keep all troubles at bay. Therefore, let’s get you prep up!

Keep reading and know more about the Sangai Festival of Manipur. 

A Peek Into The Sangai Festival

decoration of Sangai festival
Source: Google

The state of Manipur in India celebrates the occasion of the Sangai Festival every year. The Manipur Tourism Department as organizers graciously incepted the festival in 2010 which eventually became the grandest festival since then. Henceforth, the organizers host the cultural programmes generally from 21st to 30th November annually.

The appellation as the Sangai Festival is inspired by the state animal called the Sangai Deer. It is a demure brow-antlered deer found only in the state. Also commonly known as Indian Eld’s deer, Sangai is endemic only in Manipur. It resides at the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), the world’s only floating national park. In honor of the beautiful antlered deer, the festival is born and celebrated promptly in the state.

The Sangai Festival is an extravaganza of events. It displays the culture, tradition, a fusion of classical and modern arts, sports, literature, quintessential display of food, and many other events. Additionally, the festival stages the uniqueness of the state’s myriads of culture that blends into an exceptional exposure for the world. 

Why Does Manipur Celebrate The Sangai Festival?

deer roaming in the forests
Source: Google

Sangai portrays a very unique and sensual connotation for the vibrant festival of the state. The commendation and awareness about the very endemic species in the festival itself do not hold all credit. There is more the world should know about Manipur. As far as the festival is concerned, it promotes the cultural and traditional verity of various tribes that will captivate every spectator. Moreover, it provides a stage for showcasing the entrancing Arts&Culture, handloom, handicrafts, cuisines, music, indigenous sports, and various others the world is yet to see. 

The festival significantly reflects the rich cultural heritage and various forms of arts collectively from different tribes in the state. The multiple tribes in Manipur live in diverse environments adding a reason to admire it. Additionally, the festival itself effortlessly portrays the harmonious fusion of exotic events and affairs. 

Every year, each edition of the festival becomes the best version and has even reached out to the four corners of the world. Hence, it is a way of attracting more footfalls in the only endemic region of the Sangai Deer.

Where In Manipur Do They Host The Event?

men and women doing sangai deer dance
Source: Google

Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT) and Hapta Kangjeibung in Konung Mamang are the usual main venues for the festival. Primary cultural shows and other distinctive indigenous events take place here. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the various stalls displaying the primordial crafts, arts and venturing the gastronomy of the state within the venue. 

Various other spots are set up, including Loktak Lake and KLNP, the lawful home of the endangered Sangai Deers. Events such as boat racing, cultural events, and various adventurous water sports are organized over here. Other places contribute to catering several other indigenous sports and entertainments throughout the ten days duration of the festival. 

What Happened To Sangai Festival In 2020?  

Covid-19 in Manipur could not celebrate Sangai
Source: Google

If we are on the same page, we have an aching experience in the years 2020 and 2021. The global pandemic of Covid-19 apparently halted every field of business and events, especially affecting the tourism sector. Responsible for safety like the rest of the world, the Sangai Festival was canceled in 2020. 

Will There Be Sangai Festival in 2021?

people doing their native dance of manipur
Source: Google

While the whole world is rapidly overcoming the pandemic in 2021, Manipur is hanging on a string to recover. The state severely went through the second wave of a pandemic until September and got the worst report for covid-19. Although the situation is brushing up, the government is not in a solid position to celebrate the festival this year. Moreover, the speculation of a third wave is looming large in which the authorities cannot take the risk. 

However, there is a touch of hope as the tourism department of Manipur had proposed the higher authority for hosting the festival if the situation is better. Moreover, some buoyant society encourages celebrating the festival keeping in a low profile. This way it could strengthen the tourism potential of the state at the same time promoting the very tourism festival.

Also Must Read: Hornbill Festival 2021 – The culture of Nagaland

Things to see and do During Sangai Festival 

various activities to see and do in the festival

Hopefully, by 2022, the festival will be effectively operational as everyone looks forward to godspeed healing. Even if we miss out this year, next year is outright for us to venture into the flamboyant festival. The festival will introduce features and events captivating its visitors in prompt and show. The essence of the festival is incomplete without the following mentions.

  • Ras Leela, a form of classical dance of the state, is getting sensational attention from the world. Its distinctiveness bags its popularity and is one of the sought items in the festival. Apart from it, watch the Rongmei Naga Dance, Bamboo Dance, Maibi Dance, Khamba Thoibi Dance and other prominent dances. 
  • Among most palatable cuisines in the country, Manipuri dishes are gravely the best. Get to taste the most heavenly Nga-thongba, Eromba, Singju, Bora, Brown Rice Kheer and many other indigineous preparation of food. You will not only love it but will question the recipe to cook back at home. 
  • Native sports such as Thang-Ta, a Spear and Sword skills; Sagol Kangjei, a modern polo; Mukna Kangjei, combination of hockey and wrestling; Yubi-Lakpi, a kind of rugby game; and others are major attractions. Join or watch as a bystander to have a euphoric experience.
  • Try other activities such as trekking, white water rafting, parasailing, boat racing and many other adventure sports. 
  • Manipur is one of the states providing the best handicrafts and handlooms products. Purchase a lot of it to take home as souvenirs or gift it to your loved ones. 
  • Walk and live the life of the indigeneous people of multiple tribes through the themed huts and display of their native products and creativities. Communicate and explore each tribe to have an ultimate experience of diversity. 

Other Popular Destinations To Explore!

Popular Destinations To Explore! in Manipur - Shirui Lily
Source: Google

Manipur has innumerable places to venture for first-timers or even for frequent visitors alike.  Whilst the purpose is to celebrate the festival, you can also simultaneously visit nearby remarkable places. 

  • Khoupum Valley and Dam: Explore the verdant green on the far-flung side of the state. Along the ride, enjoy the view of the impeccable landscape which will take about an hour drive from the city. While reaching the landmark, you will be astonished to look at the most picturesque Khoupum Valley and the Dam in its splendour. 
  • Shirui Hills: Shirui Hills in Ukhrul is one of the sought-after destinations. The flawless sight will captivate you wholly as you wait for yourself to speak of the beauty. It is a home to the exotic and endemic species of flora called the Shirui Lily, a peculiar lily only grown within the proximity of the hill.
  • Imphal Ima Keithel: Also the largest place in the world where only women dominate the market, Ima Keithel is fascinating. Walk through the market to find enthralling arrays of products and items that will definitely be worth your  visit.