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
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS