Cover Story/Cultural Tourism : Loktak Lake
About the Lake
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and the world’s only floating lake. This iconic lake is at a distance of 53 kms from Imphal, known for its circular floating swamps which are also called phumdis in the local language. Phumdis are a rich source of vegetation that has supported humans and animals for decades.
Covering an area of 300 square metres, the lake is a lifeline for many people. Loktak Lake is one of the premier tourist destinations in Manipur, one of India’s least visited northeastern states. But despite its status the place is not that much explored and not many tourists make it there.
What to See
In the heart of the lake is the largest phumdi, the 40 sq. kms Keibul Lamjao National Park. It is home to 233 species of aquatic plants, more than 100 species of birds, and 425 species of animals, including the Indian python and sambhar. The endangered brown-antlered deer is one of the major attractions of the park.
It is the world’s only floating national park and is home to the endangered Manipuri brow-antlered deer, Sangai. Sangai is the state animal of Manipur. Its hooves are adapted to walk on the phumdis.
How to Reach
One has to hire a boat to visit the national park. There are several vantage points from where one can get a good look at the lake and the phumdis.
To visit the floating lake and Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating national park in the world, one has to travel by road from Imphal to Moirang, a city in Bishnupur District. From Moirang, you can share taxi which will drop you near the lake. n