Sinlung /
08 March 2021

Here's why you should visit the floating islands in Manipur

By Meera Venugopal


Here's why you should visit the floating islands in Manipur

Northeastern states in India are unique for their picturesque backdrops, lush greenery, and mountainous terrains.

But little is known about the mesmerizing Loktak Lake in Manipur, which is home to unique islands called phumdis.

Phumdis are floating masses of vegetation, spanning 40 sqkm, that are of different geometrical shapes, floating around the lake surface.

Read on to know more about these interesting islands.

Ecosystem: Home to over 400 animal species, 100 bird species

Phumdis are formed naturally when the foliage floating in the water piles up together over the course of many years.

These islands are also home to over 400 species of animals, 100 species of birds, and 200 species of aquatic plants.

The floating lakes are a source of livelihood to over 100,000 people who resort to fishing and other activities on the islands.

Floating park: Comprises the world's only floating park, Keibul Lamjao National Park

One of the largest masses of phumdis comprises the world's biggest and only floating park, Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is home to endangered species like brow-antlered deer.

It is interesting to note that the soil of the park is considered neither too marshy nor too hard to walk and the area can be visited by a boat ride passing by colourful water plants.

Division: The lake is divided into northern, central, and southern regions

Loktak Lake is divided into northern, central, and southern regions. Each region is separated from the other by a large phumdi.

Between January and March, the phumdis are burned to construct fishing sites.

The central region of the lake was initially used as a water source, but locals have now converted that into artificial phumdis called athaphums for their fishing activities.

Accessibility: The floating lake is accessible by air, road, railways

Wondering how to get there?

Imphal airport, located 45km away, is the closest airport to the lake.

Rail travel can get a little hectic as the nearest station is at Dimapur, which is located 215km away from Imphal.

However, road commute is the easiest, as numerous buses from different states take you to Imphal, and from there, it's only a cab's ride away.


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