The 2014 Edition Of The Sangai Festival (II)

S. Kunjabihari Singh *

Day 10: Sangai Festival 2014 : Concluding Show at BOAT :: November 30 2014
Sangai Festival 2014 : Concluding Show at BOAT on November 30 2014 :: Pix - Khaba Yumnam

The Sangai Festival has already kick started on 21 November (2015). The face of Imphal city or shall we call it town, is already done up mechanically with new coats of paints on the road median, the side walks with lots of multi colored flags along the road from airport to the heart of the city, the peripheral roads connecting to the main centre of the extravaganza, the Hapta Kangjeibung. These artificial add-ups however elaborate, are only a thin shadow of the erstwhile beauty, the greenery, the cleanliness of Imphal, now only a faint memory exists.

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of India in his maiden visit to the state in 1953, seeing the glorious greenery all around, the rows of evergreen giant banyan trees, the koubilias with its reddish colored flowers all around, the ranges of ,forest- covered hills and mountains surrounding the valley, the salubrious temperate climate and the decent demeanor of the people, was tempted to nickname the state as the 'Switzerland of the East'.

Though Nehru could have exceeded the glamour, there was, for sure, a charm of the state both in its greenery, its mild climate and neat and cleanliness. No more this day; all remain a faint memory of the past.

Where is Switzerland vis--vis this one time Sanaleibak? Switzerland, a petite country about one and half times the size of Manipur is a land of breathtaking charm with its snow-capped mountains, plenty of magnificent water areas and vast parks. The more known city of Geneva, embedded between the Alpine peaks and hilly terrain of Jura in the bay where the Rhone river leaves Lake Geneva, is considered one of the most famous tourist destination.

Of course, the Manipur of the 1950s, half a century back, should be adequately captivating comparable at least to those of Kashmere. Unfortunately, while the hills have been deforested, Imphal city has also been reduced to one of unplanned, full of chaos and city without any greenery.

The Sangai Festival as it stands today is a exhibition of handloom and handicraft products, from all over the state and from also other states including quite a few from Bangkok. Its a festival of foodies, so-called traditional cuisines, a little bit of traditional dances of the various communities.

The diversion with the inclusion of water sports in Loktak lake, introduction of International Polo Tournament, events associated with MMTA are welcome supplements for a change from the monotonous chain of handicraft and handloom items.

The only concern is would the tourists from other states and even from foreign countries be attracted to the water sports at rustic surrounding of Takmu where one has to travel one and half hours of ride on a bumpy road where the facility for a decent and hygienic food would be scarce? The lake resort at Shendra developed under PPP model is, though a welcome relief, would be far from being adequate.

Sarcastically, spending near two hours in the trip plus around one hour or so of not very attractive water sport shows, if the tourists have to return to Imphal with another one and half hours of dizzy road journey, they could get a good sleep but won't relish the effort. Can't an addition of a night's stay at Shendra or more desirably at the Keibul Lamjao Sanctuary, the floating habitat, home of the brow antlered deer Sangai(Ruvus eldi eldi), the only specie in the world, be difficult?

A chance- encounter with the Sangai in the wee hours of the next day, even if a lone one, somewhere around in its natural habitat , as often claimed, with authority by the Forest Department ,would be a life-long experience, would remain ever in the minds of the tourist. This could be a component of a package tour where one or two more sites could be added to the itinerary, like the INA Memorial Centre, the Ibudhou Thangjing Deity Temple at Moirang.

Even a night's stay in the midst of the Loktak, now that the Shendra had been done up with lake side resorts, would sufficiently unwind the stress and strain of the dusty trip from Imphal. A lusty dinner overseeing the vast expanse of Loktak over 230 sq. km. a natural habitate of flocks of migratory winter birds from as far a distance as Siberia, under the night sky would be tempting.

Even a cup of hot coffee early as the day breaks, on the sides of the lake with the gentle waves after waves of the morning calm, as far as the eye can see, would be a life-long memory to cherish. The tourist wouldn't mind getting his pocket digged by a few extra dollars, for sure.

On the social side this festival has achieved considerable exposure to the neighboring countries. The presence of Myanmar's Chin Division CM U Hong Ngai on the day of inauguration on the 21st November with the CM of Manipur at Bhaigyachandra Open Air Theatre is itself a great step towards neighborly relations and goodwill.

The huge team of 40 delegation members is something phenomenal. Apart from several shops from Thailand, Myanmar, the visit of the 40-member Myanmar delegation led by the CM of Chin Division to the Shija Hospital to be familiar with the facilities in health care, as a part of health tourism is unique. Similarly the addition of the International Polo Tournament where a large number of foreign countries as far as South Africa, Australia etc. is something remarkable.

Even the proposed visit of the PM Narendra Modi on the closing day on November 30 as the Chief Guest is another booster to the effort of the state to popularize the festival which is on its eight edition. It would add to the glamour-coefficient of the festivities in its endeavor to showcase the 'uniqueness of the shy and gentle Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found in the country's only floating park Keibul Lamjao and to promote Manipur as a world-class tourism destination.

The sad reality is that the Sangai ( Ruvus eldi eldi Mc Clelland,1842), is too shy alluding a few attempts for a powerful zoom-photo even by the enthusiastic tourists. The sole factor is human; it's all the more nauseating that its name has been used clandestinely over the years without any sincere effort to attract tourists in the sanctuary.

Despite all these supplements, we need to do more than the eye could see. The state of Bihar till recently a poverty-ridden less developed state has come up in the realm of attracting tourist. They have of course, the Buddhist sites like Boddha Gaya, Nalanda, Vaishali known for attracting Buddhists from South East Asian countries in their thousands.

But the government has not rest satisfied with it. According to Union Tourism Ministry survey, Bihar figured at 7th position among 10 states receiving foreign tourist last year. It is reported that over 8 lakh foreign tourists visited the state.

One has to do a little bit of investment, improve tourist spots alongside ingenuity for a comprehensive marketing. The Bihar Government had the perspective to organize a road show as far as Mauritius, an international tourist hot spot, to showcase the tourist destinations of Bihar. Where does the state stand with its select prospective spots?

* S. Kunjabihari Singh,(IAS) wrote this article for
This article was originally written on 25th November, 2014
The writer can be contacted at kunjabiharis(AT)rediffmail(doT)com
This article was posted on August 16, 2016.

* 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 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.

  • 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