Tourism Prospects In Tamenglong District


By D.P. Panmei

Tamenglong district.remains as the hidden treasure for the State of Manipur in respect of tourism prospects. It needs to be explored and necessary amenities provided for the visitors and tourists to come and enjoy the beautiful landscapes, environment and places like natural Zeilad lakes, Barak waterfalls, river boating portion, Tharon Cave (Kilemki), Booning (Biuning) meadow, Kachia Khouh, Khoupum Valley and Khoupum Namkao (old village). In the early days, we thought we were unfortunate to have been born in Tamenglong district but when the communication has improved a little bit, our eyes have opened to realize the beauty of the nature of the district. However, full realization could not be seen when there is no tourism facility in spite of the fact that tourism prospects are very bright in the district.

Tamenglong district was treated to be a forbidden land thinking that there were witches, wild animals and goons or head hunters roaming around to take the lives of human beings whoever visited their land. Even local citizens of Manipur tried to avoid to visit our land. Such a wrong notion was prevalent in the minds of the people. The succeeding past rulers of the land and the state, even the Britishers were in consternation with those people. They looked savageous and cruel, wearing half naked shabby dresses. The villagers used to target those white sahebs by hurling daos and spears at them. When the white people used to tame them by giving them sweets and red molasses through their children. The parents forbade them to go near the white people saying that their lives would be shortened if they ate any food item and drank together with them.

The beautiful tourist spots like 4 (four) natural Zeilad lakes are located at a distance of 1 km from and above 100ft of Barak river. These lakes are abound with fishes and tortoises. During the freedom movement for establishing a Naga Raj (Makaam Gwangdi) against the British regime, Haipou Jaduanang and Rani Gaidinliu, the Naga rebel leaders used to construct a big raft made of bamboos over the Zeilad lake and butchered mithuns over it and its blood was sprinkled over the lake offering to the god of the lakes. They demanded for a sword called Douchabang which was kept hidden inside the lake by one Asha, a clever man and Muncharung, the younger brother of Asha in the olden days. It is said that the sword was very powerful. Whenever any person took up the sword and showed its direction towards the hillock where trees were standing and uttered “Deh”, all the trees would be cut down. Anything either human beings and trees standing in front would be hewn down at the utterance of the word “Deh” Two of them thought if that sword could be acquired, they would be able to kill all the British people and could set up a free Makaam Gwangdi (Naga Kingdom) for the Naga people. Many villagers from the North, West and East used to bring mithuns for offering to the god of Zeilad lake.

Despite their continuous efforts, they failed to get the expected sword. In course of time their leader – Haipou Jaduanang was arrested by the Britishers at Lakhipur, Cachar district of Assam. Rani Gaidinliu, her lieutenant was left behind to take up the rein of leadership to carry out the struggle against the British regime for attaining freedom.

These tourist spots have very interesting historical backgrounds. Those 4 (four) natural lakes are known by different names like Zeilad, Inroujei, Guiphuapjei and Napsaemjei. These lakes do not have any link with Barak river. Whenever the Barak river is in spate and water colour is turned yellow, the colour of water of those lakes is very clean and blue. The Barak waterfalls are also located at a distance of 2 (two) km. Those lakes are worth seeing and the locations are also within a radius of 1 (one) Km.

There is a great need to have a good Rest House near those lakes and water boats to be floated over the lakes for the visitors and tourists to enjoy boating and fishing. I remember a Rest House constructed by the District Council Office, Tamenglong was inaugurated by me as a Minister sometime in February, 1997. However, it has not been maintained properly that the accommodation facility is not upto the mark. We need a black-topped road linking with these spots. Other facilities like black-topped road, Tourist Home, boats, sitting shed etc. need to be constructed by the Government for the visitors/tourists to come to these beautiful tourist spots.

Tharon cave which is also known as Kilemki (House of the bats) located at a distance of 35 km. towards the north east of Tamenglong Headquarters is also one of the important tourist spots. It is giving shelter to thousands of bats. Therefore, the cave is also known as “Kilemki” (house of the bats). Maharaj Garibniwaj, king of Manipur paid a visit to this cave and offered prayers to god.

It is said that Maharaj Garibniwaj was a man of vision, he could even predict the incoming events in the land. He was carried on a bamboo palanquin by the villagers whenever he was passing through the villages of Tamenglong District Even men can pass through the cave and come out the other side where a beautiful stream is running nearby. The spot has become a beautiful picnic spot. The picnickers cook their food and eat and enjoy off the day.

There are still many other beautiful spots in Tamenglong district. A series of write-ups will follow in the coming days for the tourism lovers and the rulers to take up necessary actions in building up our land and attract peoples from other parts of the world to visit our beautiful land – Manipur.

Author is ex-MLA/Minister


  1. And where are my manners. Thanks for the commendation Lucidity. You know the problem with governments they refuse to negotiate with terrorists, men of violence. They will enter into negotiations only with peaceful people with whom they are already in agreement (also rules out Sharmila). The problem with Peace Ashrams people only build them in switzerland and california places that are already chilled. Perhaps I overreacted earlier neuroticism is just a matter of degree. It’s not that I wouldn’t want you at the peace ashram lucidity but you seem fairly chilled it would be for people to find another way to express their anger, a non-violent way. As a feeler I think this has gone quite well. Gonna catch the night bus soon. Nice thing about Kangla they tend to let people publish their views. So getting people saying bad things about you well that’s really part of the tax we pay for free speech. I don’t feel any meat to the taunts. When I return in a couple of weeks you will all have long forgotten what you said and thought. But you have confirmed the need for a Manipuri Peace Ashram I am quite keen on trademarking bullet resistant meditation robes. If nothing else it will help the local silk weaving economy.

  2. I was born in Zanzibar as were my parents my grandparents were born in Goa which was a Portuguese Colony, I have been living in Kerala for the past year, Sharmila and I are engaged to be married. This can be confirmed by anyone who actually knows her.

    She will not accept my offer to travel the world, so instead I have offered to invest in Manipur for when she is released. It is sad the example of a mahatma has not spilled over into her supporters. She is used by others and she knows this. Some of you would prefer her dead even those supposedly on her side. For now I will take the devil as a travelling companion if you are helping her with her release.

    Then as I have promised her, I will build her a peace Ashram in the most violent part of Manipur and there we shall live, If you really need to compare me to a monkey I shall assume you are being Darwinian. I was once a Roman Catholic Friar not a very good one and no more, we were taught if we could not forgive a person’s actions to forgive their intentions. I have spoken only of love, I am aware of the violence and hatred in Manipur, and true Love tends to bring out homicidal desire. It is Sharmila’s belief that where there is no love put love and love will grow. My religion is formally Roman Catholic Zen Buddhist dual belonging. Press me and I believe in Sharmila.

    I am fully aware what living in Manipur means. I am prepared to do so. I am not your enemy but neither are we friends. I doubt you would be so aggressive towards me in a face to face exchange. Mainly because there is a madness to someone who doesn’t care how much pain you are willing to inflict doesn’t even flinch. Who doesn’t care that you may take his life. Oh and clearly I am insane. I could live like a King anywhere in South Asia but I don’t want to live like a petty King. I want something much more. You do not see Sharmila as I do else you would not think or speak this way about any man.

    I don’t know if you care about Sharmila. I do. I am coming to wed her and live with her for the rest of our lives because I love her. One thing you should know about her. Once she has made up her heart there is no power that can belay her determination. There is more to life than money. I have enough money to attract extortionists. It appears we have enough love already to attract the hatred and violence of her people. But you try extorting anything from a madman in love who is not afraid of your very small gun.

    I shall order a decent copy of Romeo and Juliet for her on my return. I am surprised I have not already sent her a copy. I shall be in Tamil Nadhu for two weeks. If you come to the Wedding and introduce yourself then I think a little embarrassment will be in order. If she is murdered in prison then you will see for yourself that there things more important than money. You have no idea what love can do in this world.

    And when this current excitement has died down I will still be campaigning for the woman I love. And if none of this makes sense to you sure come and visit us anytime in the Ashram when it is built. And if you more to say or do. You will know where to find us. Until Manipuris can learn to live in love, act justly and walk humbly with their gods, they have sent me the african monkey to show you the way.

    Et maintenant il faut que je m’en aille

    Jai Sharmila
    Jai Hanuman
    Jai Prema

    We will show you. I train in meditation to learn to discount pain and overcome the fear of death. But we are always called to account before we are ready. So for what is lacking I trust to Sharmila and to God.

    In Irish Desi means the one who stands on the Right the sanskrit refers to sons of the soil and I agree the older civilizations of this land were probably not sanskrit based if that was your point. As for insulting a poster’s grammar now that’s just hurtful.

  3. people shouldn’t be too serious of ‘desmond coutinho’. he is a funny character.
    sometimes he claims to be from kerala, sometimes a portuguese from goa, sometimes from africa…. apart from his literary skills, there’s no other stuff which is impressive though his jibe against state attrocities is commendable.

  4. why dont you stay at African jungle and dance with your folks holding wine. A drug addict like you is abundent in africa i know. Are you after the money associated with the Tagore prize. Stop there Black Man; A monkey is more epensive than you idiot; Crazy Fan of Sharmila.

  5. you are completely out of your mind; i suppose you are going for treatment for ten days. then go and treat yourself and lets see if you can think rationally; i dont think you will be able to think like a human; Its clear you are one of the security personnel involved in murdering 12 innoent civilians at malom 10 years ago . Pity for you Mayang in disguise. you murderer. dont bark here again. and get lost with your lost mind.

  6. @Desmond Coutinho

    or Desi (In India, desi means Indian or more specifically north Indian)

    I do not think people will be interested in whether you want to marry her or not. Please stop referring to her as your fiancee. Writing comments is not a way for introduction and hardly a way for intellectuals.

    Instead detach yourself from self glorification and support her in the struggle in name of humanity.

  7. Desi (it is quite Indian lol)

    A request – please stop talking about Ms Sharmila as your fiancee (male: fiance not correctly used in the above comment).

    Whether you want to marry her or not, we are not interested.

  8. I am going on a Zen retreat now tomorrow for ten days and will not be able to respond further. If you knew Sharmila you could ask her then she would tell you. She mentions me in the article published by the Independent. Many of the articles you see by her bed were sent by me.

    I am giving up everything I have and am to be with her in Manipur. I am not a do gooder or a human rights activist. I am Irom Sharmila’s fiancee. I am grateful for all the work people are doing to get her free. Beyond that may you be happy and may all sentient beings be happy and discover the causes of happiness.

    I am sorry she has not personally informed you of her private decisions. But on reflection if you are acting selflessly for the repeal of AF(SP)A I assume you do not begrudge her a private life. She told me to inform her people as she did not want to go behind their backs. I did not believe that her people would have such a proprietary view of her but apparently they do.

    We have exchanged promises to marry so we are engaged. She is my fiancee. If your government allows it she will hand me a pillow of pressed flowers that she has made for me and I will hand her a christian Thalli on a chain. Perhaps if you stop making judgements when you aren’t fully comprised of the facts.

    Oh and for when you have checked don’t be silly sadananda you keep doing the good work you have nothing to apologize to me for. I hope to see you at the wedding let me know who you are and please don’t be embarrassed. Now I must prepare to meditate. That’s the main way I help her though obviously I do other things.

  9. @Desmond

    How dare you call Sharmila your fiance!. We need an apology. This is not a joke. We are planning various rallys;meetings in support of her on completion of 10 years of fasting.

  10. I am an African. We have been corresponding for over 15 months. And pay attention lad she doesn’t have the Tagore prize. All the money has been given away. What is termed a legal trust. She doesn’t have possession or legal title not any more. I know it’s a lot of money for a Manipuri but I was proud of her for achieving continued recognition. In old French, Honi mal y soit qui pense. What I am African who speaks English French Latin Greek and Syriac. I am foreigner let’s keep it simple. She is mine and I am hers.

    She has asked me to let her people know. You seem to be suggesting that I was pursuing a mahatma for her money. I hope I have disabused you. I am pursuing her because we have loved each other through the yugas. I am sure a young Manipuri like you don’t believe in love or reincarnation. But then you asked me my intentions

    I intend to have her released and live with in her amid the violent paranoid evil that has become Manipur because I love her. I never claimed to like her people, and you Thing are an example of why. Any more questions Thing by the way please call me Desi, please save for after she is released when you can take tea with in the Peace Ashram.

    Please leave your weapons elsewhere and the taking of drugs is not helpful for either conversation or meditation despite you might have been told. Today is the feast of the slaughter of the innocents of Malom if I haven’t cleared up your concerns of my mercenary nature I hope it can wait for a face to face meeting. I’ll bring bank statements.

    She wanted me to introduce myself to her folks. Guess you have to start somewhere.

  11. @Desmond Coutinho

    Since when are you engaged to Ms Sharmila? Is it after she won the coveted Tagore Prize?

    Are you an anglo-India or Britisher or an Indian?

  12. I’ll try writing again to the Manipur Home Secretariat to gain an entry permit for Manipur. They say it takes a month at least to obtain unless you are related to a Minister. The standard tourist visa is now for a maximum of three months. My application to enter Manipur and to visit my fiancee Irom Sharmila has now been stalled for over five months. I am sure there are very lovely tourist spots in Manipur but let’s not run before we can walk. There is no joined up thinking in Indian Bureacracy. If you ended the PAP/RAP system today you would not be flooded by foreign tourists wishing to spend their money in Manipur. They will go where they deem life to be safer and more designed for tourists whether that be Assam, Sikkim, Tibet or Bhutan. As a symbol and being a former Minister perhaps that’s where you should concentrate your efforts. Though if you prefer to write fiction in retirement enjoy.

    On the mythology. Indians refer to Britishers and the British because Unitedkingdomians sounds unwieldly. But on that story of the sword in the Lake. The original Britons had a similar myth. Their High King proposed a just order where the powerful defended the weak, where the King was meant to serve. Something went wrong and he too lost the Sword of the Ancient Kings of Briton in a lake. So what you refer to as British and Britishers are really Angles and Saxons the ones who conquered the Britiishers. They say all human beings share the same dreams hope and aspirations, what Jung called the collective unconscious. There is also a belief that when enough of a species achieves a skill at the tipping point the whole species acquires it.

    King Arthur of the Britons failed to listen to his adviser Merlin that the Scabbard was more important than the Sword. When enough understand that truth, then we will never need to rediscover the sword. I shall write again to HE Sri Poonia requesting permission to enter Manipur. The purpose is to embarrass Manipur with the number of requests. I have no control over the decision of your bureacrats. So I shall press on with more requests.

    And to you Sir, wouldn’t it make more sense to remove the DO NOT ENTER sign you have place up for foreign tourists before posting the fantasia about sites we could visit. It really sounds like all you want to do is tease. Nobody likes a tease.


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