India is a land of cultural and climatic diversities. We can experience a wide variety of nature’s marvels here, right from the snow-clad mountains to warm sea-shores. The places here are famous for their unique identity. Though the North-East of India seems to be a little forgotten, yet Manipur has always been a great attraction for tourists owing to its natural and cultural beauty. Manipur is a tiny state surrounded by mountains. Imphal, the capital city resides in its heart, amidst to mountains. Political and geological happenings keep this city under tension and military mens with their weapons are observed everywhere. Yet the tourist points draw visitors from all over the globe. Nearly 45 km from Imphal, in Moirang there is a huge sweet-water lake loktak, famous for its floating islands. These islands relocate owing to the water currents. Imphal is the land where great freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the Indian tricolor flag for the first time! So this city is a historical milestone in the history of Indian Freedom Fight and the Second World War. A museum depicting pictures of Netaji and his Indian National Army movements and world’s oldest Polo ground is in Imphal too.
In the heart of city, lies Ima Bazaar. Ima, in local language, means a lady or mother. The reason it’s called by this name is, this bazaar is ran by women only. All the shops are owned and ran by women. Being far east, the day in Imphal begins early and ends early too. So the daily huzzle-buzzle begins early in the day. The saleswomen bring their goods to the market and open the shops early in the day. The sight of this market is beautiful. These ladies sell their goods and products in tin sheds, sipping the cups of tea, owing to cold weather. Tiny snack-centers are built on stone elevations. These provide home-made food and delicacies for the customers. This market is always flocked by travelers and customers.
The Ima Bazaar offers a wide variety of things, right from clothing, bags, garlands and decorations, local vegetables to fish. We can buy the leafy and other vegetables which are never seen anywhere else. Also the stores of spices are famous. The bazaar is huge and has almost 3000 shops. This bazaar goes back in time to the barter system of trading. Time has changed its systems and trades, but women run the bazaar since it was established. The shops here are preferably given to the war-widows and poorer women. But looking at the variety and temptations here, one thing is for sure, you cannot leave the bazaar empty handed!