TODAY -

Keibul Lamjao National Park: Ecotourism, potentials and scope

Ashem Babycha *

Sangai - Brow-antlered deer in its natural habitat at Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manipure
Sangai - Brow-antlered deer in its natural habitat at Keibul Lamjao National Parkt :: Pix - Sushil Khomdram



The idea of ecotourism is tied to taking measurable steps for the protection of bio-diversity. While promoting ecotourism, there is a need to invigorate existing management system on enforcement, administration, wildlife relations with local communities and forest management.

For better perspective on eco-tourism management of the Keibul Lamjao National Park, first, one has to familiarise with the surrounding followed by the acquisition of technical competence.

Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), the only floating National Park in the world is located 10 km away from Moirang Bazar, Bishnupur District. It is home to the "vulnerable, endangered and rare species"- the dancing deer popularly known as Sangai (Cervus eldi eldi).

Loktak Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in North East India. The oval shape lake is 26 km long and 13 km wide having an average depth of 2.7 m. Presence of 14 hillocks differing in sizes and shapes, look alike as islands, in the southern part of the lake. Thanga, Sendra and Ithing are three important hillock Islands. It has been estimated that there are altogether 425 species of animals (249 vertebrates and 176 invertebrates) which have been identified in and around the lake.

Chingjao, Pabotching and Toyaching are the hillocks on the northern sides of Keibul Lamjao. These hillocks are the playing ground for the Sangai, Kharsa and other species. The total faunal diversity is likely to be higher, as many species have not been properly identified or surveyed, say observers. The lake area also includes Phumlen, Kharung and Ikop wetlands.

Sendra, a popular tourist spot is already on ecotourism map as the area is said to have adopted conservation strategies and management plan. Thanga Island also forms the main area which provides an alternative route approaching and connecting with Keibul Lamjao. It may be mentioned that Thanga area is described as the extension of the protected area.

Those living in Thanga also depend on the park areas for livelihood. Thanga has also become an important tourist centre for the state and the most promising spot as it stands now is the "Thanga Karang" or extension of Thanga, a small island habitat surrounded by fresh water lake on all sides. Villagers use locally made boats or Heenao to connect with Thanga.

Thanga Karang's natural beauty is further enhanced by the phumdis (the floating bio-mass over which settlers built houses) in the surrounding Loktak. Phumdis are a mixed variety of water weeds and other herbivore plants species to form the bed like sheet covering much of Loktak's surface. Phumdis are composed of decaying vegetation, up to 1.6 m thick and 80% submerged, and can support the weight of large mammals floating all over the Loktak Lake. The main ingredients for forming the phumdis are Phragmiteskarka (Tou), Singut (Manipuri wahei), Saccharummunja (Kohinum), Saccharumlatifolia (Ishingkabong), Alpiniaallughas (Pubi), Saccharumprocerum (Singnang).

It is said that the Sangai likes to live on phumdis. The best season to visit the park and watch the dancing deers is between October and February.

Here, it should be remembered that tourism sector is yet to reach the take-off stage in Mnipur despite the presence of immense potentials. Moreover, the National Park lacks basic facilities for the tourism sector. There is no adequate boarding and lodging facilities surrounding the area.

However, what one needs to remember is that any plans envisaged for the development of ecotourism in and around the Keibul Lamjao National Park should be in tune with the environment and the general setting of the landscape.

These include the installation of road network within the identified tourism zone, self-guided nature trails, transportation options, interpretive centres, way-side exhibits, signages/sign boards, observation towers, public conveniences, garbage disposal facility, living quarters for staff/personnel of those who are manning the sector etc.

As of now, the presence of Sangai seems to be the only comfort for establishing ecotourism here. It is necessary to utilise natural resource management as a specialised tool for the development of ecotourism.

While keeping in mind the fragile bio- diversity of the area, several plans and proper management programme can be introduced. Keibul Lamjao National Park is open for all visitors throughout the year and the shortest route is from Imphal Airport. A one hour journey from there or a two hour journey by local taxi from the main Imphal city.

Visitors can find out about accommodation from the forest rest house, Keibul Lamjao; Sendra tourist centre, Sendra and Moirang tourist centre, Moirang. The park management provides some set of rules for regulating ecotourism.

There are route guides, trekking and interpretation facilities, to inspire and to provoke people to broaden their horizons. It also supports emerging international movement aimed at promoting "green tourism". Green tourism takes ecological tourism a step further, promoting environmentally responsible tourist operations that conserve energy, recycle waste and instruct staff and tourists on proper behaviour in parks and protected areas at a nominal charge. Only light vehicle with the route guide is allowed to go within the range of the ecological park.

While promoting the park, visitors should also be aware of the surrounding like the dwindling population of Sangai species, destruction impact of forests resource collection and importance of forests and wildlife. They should also have a positive approach towards ecotourism and development and other conservation issues despite their dependence on the forests.

There is also a need to keep open relationship with international organizations and NGOs for the protection of Sangai besides maintaining good relations with academic organization, community groups and individuals for creative innovative biodiversity and sustainability strategies based on traditional as well as increasingly sophisticated information and communication media and technology. Moreover, certain measurable step like conservation education for better prospects on protection and conservation of forests is necessary.

Ecotourism provides the necessary impetus for wildlife conservation and helps in eliciting the much needed public support. It is a responsible journey which includes taking steps to conserve the environment and improve the lives of the local people, by providing financial benefits and social empowerment to the local people.

The vision for Keibul Lamjao National Park is ecological conservation and improvement in ecosystem services within the protected areas in the interest of Sangai within and outside the National park and ensuring the infrastructure for protection and management of this landscape including the ecological tourism sectors.

For maintaining proper internal system of the park, the Sangai should coexist with the biodiversity of the protected areas. People should be encouraged to follow conservation methodologies, species research, habitat protection and strong community involvement interface structure, tapping locals to help manage, mitigate and prevent conflict between humans and animals without causing any stress on the protected areas ecosystem services.

The ideology for wildlife management is the protection of natural habitat and preserving areas of biological importance for scientific, economics, aesthetics, cultural and ecological value. Ecotourism is formulated in protected areas for raising local awareness about the biological resources, focusing local participation in the benefits of biological conservation and generating revenues towards conservation of biological rich areas. The area has to be protected against adverse environmental and cultural effects that can come with building of tourist facilities and influx of population around fragile ecosystems. The local youth and children should develop skills for ethnic art/folk dance etc. for adding extra attractions to the visitors in the areas during ecological programme.

Addition of local festivities like Lai haraobas - Ningthempokpa, Phouoibi, Moirangthangjing, Yumjaoleima, Ningthoupokpa, Keithellairembi, Khumanpokpa, Ayangleima and Chingningthou Haraoba - should be able to highlight traditional value system surrounding ecological services, cultural awareness and respect for the fragile landscape. This could be one of the many ways to "Think for one billion tourists-one billion opportunities in hands............"


* Ashem Babycha wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
Ashem Babycha wrote this article as a part of the World tourism day media fellowship awarded by Manipur Tourism Forum.
This article was posted on October 1, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Importance of film preservation: Cine Dialogue
  • Decline in number of Cinema Halls
  • Moment With My Pen :: Poem
  • Michelangelo in my drawing room
  • Get vaccinated call
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year Day) :: Book
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema : Report
  • Think it differently
  • 2nd wave poses an increasing danger
  • Interesting twist to pending ADC elections
  • Yaoshang Sports @Laipubam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #2
  • Lok Adalat at various places in Manipur
  • Covid-19 Survey : for science community
  • A Slave or A Master ! :: Poem
  • Spiritual flight journey
  • Workshop on NEP at Lilong
  • Old Manipuri Movie #2 : eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Yurreipem, Zingyo, Changton: eMing
  • can the dignity of menstruation be increased
  • Incentivize vaccination for success
  • Need for Flexible Education in Manipur
  • MoU with Film Heritage Foundation
  • Unwanted deafening silence
  • Hun : Thadou biggest cultural festival
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya addressed UN Youth Forum 2021
  • Status of women in the 21st century
  • ..we will fail to achieve Health For All
  • Monolith at Manipuri cinema Golden Jubilee
  • Complaint filed to MHRC on Sanaton death
  • Indifference to the fast spread of virus
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #2
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningtham Kummei @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Career in Poultry Science
  • Form independent investigation commission
  • Need of actions to control air pollution
  • Politics surrounding call for ADC polls
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • COVID test a must for all incoming flight
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Architects @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Bridge :: Poem
  • Second wave spreading swiftly
  • Yaoshang: Cooking Competition : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • World Veterinary Day, 2021
  • What is it in the name? Famous 'Michaels'
  • The Last Night :: Poem
  • Rehabilitating drug users
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out
  • Cultural Fest of Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #3: Gallery
  • 'Manipur Model' of Homestays gets booster
  • Manipur Lokayukta: Today's Imperative
  • Second wave could delay economic recovery
  • Give teeth to war on drugs
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • The Joy of Easter Sunday
  • What's happening in Myanmar
  • Easter : A strange & unique celebration
  • For One To Faithful :: Poem
  • Executive member : Physics Academy NE
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #1
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief @ Rajaimei, Senapati : Gallery
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • ST demand may become redundant
  • Addiction to drugs & alcohol
  • NHPC visit 510 MW Teesta-V
  • Creating space for super spreader
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports Meet : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Cut Money: The Virus of Illfare in Welfare
  • Vigyan Vidushi : Physics for women students
  • Mulling over the absolute
  • Arrest of former Salai Chairman
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Champion in Natl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • Yaoshang Pichakari : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • We are all Human ! :: Poem
  • Adequate nutrition for productive society
  • ADC elections assured, but when? ATSUM
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • April Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Marathon Race- Kanglei Sports: Gallery
  • Paradise found. Paradise made.
  • AR organises anti drug awareness campaign
  • Fire @ Shirui, Ukhrul [Mar 29] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Kwakeithel: Gallery
  • Relief at Rajaimei & Tumuyon Khullen
  • Mask up to beat the second Covid wave
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Promotion of science @Senapati : Gallery
  • In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar
  • Science Awareness Programme at Senapati
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #2
  • AR interacts with ex-servicemen
  • Journalists' Sports Meet- Opening : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Film Preservation & Archiving Workshop
  • Fullmoon :: Poem
  • Appeal for assistance to Myanmar victims
  • Holi colour can cause dangerous side-effect
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • On Equality
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #2: Gallery
  • War on drugs & sports movement
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Will advances in TB outweigh Covid-19 ?
  • Expecting Rs 14567 crore from the Centre
  • Still making waves in the the year 2021
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Junior Men & Women Hockey : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Principle of Self Determination & Peace
  • A Poem's Story
  • NDPP delegation visited Assam
  • Climbing cases in the last few days
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #4
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • World Water Day Water
  • The Night :: Poem
  • Demand to book Lamhainamdi incident
  • Five Films for Freedom, LGBTIQ+ campaign
  • Touch stance with look at past 'mistakes'
  • For a little bit more
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamjing Meira Episode 1 - AMAND Ladies
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #1
  • Science Awareness Program at Wabagai
  • Towards Special Agricultural Zone in Manipur
  • Office Bearers- Manipur Soccer Futsal Assn
  • Of forest and water in the world
  • Chingu Paokhollei Leirang - Ingellei
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur: Team champion, Natl Bodybuilding
  • One Midsummer Dream :: Poem
  • Public auction theory & policy
  • BJP likely to retain Assam
  • Imagination: Not a child's play
  • Climbing cases across the country
  • TAPASYA Foundation day #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #1
  • Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation
  • Workshop on NEP 2020 at Manipur Univ
  • Cyclist Philem Rohan reached Bengaluru
  • Delhi Citizens extend solidarity with Myanmar
  • Create ADCs first ultimatum
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Measures to contain COVID-19 in Yaoshang
  • Science Education @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Consultants @ The Property Geo, Imphal
  • The Myanmar crisis & our options
  • Whither Homeland... :: Poem
  • Course in Kinanthropometry
  • Awareness of science education in SC school
  • Understanding value of 'Time' & 'Money'
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #3
  • Book- 'Critics forum Manipur' : Gallery
  • Realization in the dark :: Poem
  • 39th Orientation Program at MU
  • Gauri Healthy Heart Mission at Kakching
  • State of democracy in Thailand : Discussion
  • Disturbing reports of deaths
  • Stop sand mining from River bank
  • Sharungbam Rameshor: Yuva Puraskar
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Brewing Bio Entrepreneurships in Manipur
  • Mayasvi festival of the Tsou of Taiwan
  • Accountants at R-Square Design
  • Myanmar Memories
  • Staring at second wave of the virus
  • Inauguration and Launching Galore
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Causes & solutions of unemployment
  • Where Fate Leads :: Poem
  • 'Dry fish' from Chittagong
  • Education for CWSN
  • ST demand: Gearing up for stir
  • Gadgets matters
  • Houses @Yangkhullen, Senapati : Gallery
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #3
  • Is there a perfect referee in football ?
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The way to equal future
  • The magic of Coriander in skincare
  • From a high of 426 to zero
  • So far so good
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #20
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mushroom training @MayangImphal: Gallery
  • Periodic, free & fair elections #2
  • Hinges and his beloved :: Poem
  • Meetei tribe wont grab land of hill tribes
  • Four years in office & looking ahead
  • 4 years of citizen centric govt
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Eco-Tourism @CheiraoChing : Gallery
  • International Day of Action for Rivers
  • Save Myanmar, Save Humanism
  • 6th webinar 'Career opportunity in IT Industry'
  • Civil Services Examination 2021
  • Stand of others on ATSUM's demand?
  • Rih-Ngai Fest @Kakhulong : Gallery
  • Solution to surging congestion in Imphal
  • The paper once I valued most :: Poem
  • Jobs at Trueblue Taxi Imphal
  • Twelve profits of office
  • Kerala could repeat electoral history
  • ADC election should not be undermined
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Shivaratri - The night of blissful awareness
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki - new song release
  • Moreh : India's Gateway to ASEAN
  • Career option as makeup artist
  • Webinar on 75 Years of India's Independence
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • Need to save environment: Green Manipur
  • Banning of Thabal Chongba
  • Imphal City from Nongmai Ching #2: Gallery
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki : Singer Profile :: eRang
  • Mega Book Sales @MU : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #1: Gallery
  • Karanjid Ahongshangbam: JEE Mains Topper
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS