With Manipur being known as “Little Paradise on earth”, making it the scene for a festival should leave one less thing to worry about, as the scenery is taken from Mother Nature, in all its glory.
The 2013 Sangai Festival was celebrated in a grand way! The Sangai Festival, previously known as the Tourism festival, was renamed in 2010, after the state animal of Manipur: the Sangai Deer. The deer name “Sangai” was inspired by the peculiar posture and behavior of the deer while running. This deer, which is rare and only found in Manipur, bears some resemblance to deers found in Thailand, Myanmar and China, all of them belonging to the same family.
The Manipur Sangai Festival is held annually from 21 – 30 November and is the largest tourism festival organized by the Tourism Department of Manipur. The festival is held at Kangjeibung, the Polo ground in the region. The Bheigyachandra Open Air Theater at the Palace Compound hosted the cultural aspect of the festival and featured cultural presentations from various institutions from different Manipur districts like Senapati, Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Chandel and Ukhrul were represented. Performance from all over were seen: from neighboring states Sikkim and Assam and also groups from Thailand and Myanmar performed.
Some indigenous sports of Manipur like Sagol Kangjei or local polo and Pana Kangje, which is the local hockey, were also seen. The 7th Manipur Polo International, 2013 was the main highlight of the Festival, where teams from India, Germany, Thailand and the US participated.
With Manipur putting itself on the map with this festival, its easy to find an excuse to make the trip to this beautiful part of north east India.