State : Manipur, in the north east of India.
Best time to Travel : November to April.
Weather Conditions : Temperatures range from a maximum of 34.4ºC to a minimum of 1.7ºC. The annual rainfall is 1220 mm. The area is most humid in August, with daily humidity measuring as much as 81 per cent. March is the least humid at 49 per cent.
Location : Keibul Lamjao National Park is about 53 km from Imphal in Manipur.
Know the Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur
Spread in an area of 40 sq km, Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur was established in the year 1966 as a Sanctuary and in the year 1977 as a National Park. Keibul Lamjao National Park Manipur is probably the world's only 'floating sanctuary' that comprises 40 sq km of wetland overgrown with 1.5 m. deep floating vegetation (called phumdi). The park has several distinguishing features.
Besides the vegetation and terrain, an important highlight of the park is the Loktak Lake (6,475 ha), the largest freshwater lake in India; a large portion of which falls within the park.
Airport : Manipur's capital, Imphal (53 km. from the park) is connected by flight to major cities like Delhi, Guwahati (469 km), Calcutta.
Railhead : Dimapur (215 km. from Imphal) is the nearest railhead. Jiribam, a small town on Manipur's border, 225 km. from Imphal is an alternative, from where one can proceed to Keibul Lamjao by road.
Road Transport : Imphal is connected by road with Guwahati (469 km.) through National Highway No.39 and Silchar through National Highway No. 53. The park is about 53 km. from Manipur's capital, Imphal and can be approached by bus or on private vehicles.
Staying near the Keibul Lamjao National Park
Accomodation inside the park is at Phubala where there is a Forest rest house. But all the accommodation in an around the park is basic and in most places the food has to be arranged by the visitor.
Ecosystem of the Keibul Lamjao National Park
Keibul Lamjao consists of the unique 'phumdi' or floating marshes. Eighty per cent of the flora is submerged and the vegetation forms a 90-120 cm. thick cover on the water surface. About half a century ago, the predominant plants used to be tou (45 per cent), singut (25 per cent) and khoimom (15 per cent). But the composition of the vegetation has undergone rapid changes and the plant cover, at present, is estimated to comprise of equal proportions of hoop Leersia hexandra and sing kambong Zizania latifolia, a protein-rich plant, often used as food (about 24 per cent).
Some very rare animals may be seen in and around this wilderness. The star attraction, of course, is the brow-antlered deer Cervus eldi eldi, called sangai in the local Meitei dialect. This particular subspecies of the Thamin deer is also fondly called Manipur's dancing deer because of its delicate gait as it negotiates its way along the floating wetlands. Other species of deer seen here include the hog deer, sambar and muntjac. One of the most primitive primates, the slow loris occurs in scattered pockets on the hills. Assamese and stump-tailed macaques and the Hoolock gibbon are restricted mainly to the western hills. The Rhesus monkey is found ubiquitously around the park. The large Indian civet Viverra zibetha and small Indian civet Viverricula indica, common otter Lutra lutra and wild boar Sus scrofa are some of the large mammals found in the area.
Extremely rare lesser wild cats like the marbled cat and Temminck's golden cat may be sighted occasionally. The Himalayan black bear and the Malayan bear may also be seen foraging for food.
A variety of rare birds occur in Keibul Lamjao and the Loktak Lake. The avifauna consists primarily of the smaller reed-dwelling species. Waterfowl, which were unfailing winter migrants to the lake, are becoming more rare because of the lack of open water surfaces. The Hooded Crane may be seen in the Manipur valley. The Black Eagle and the Shaheen Falcon are some of the raptors seen here. The Eastern White Stork, Bamboo Partridge and Green Peafowl are also found here.
Some of the species of hornbills found here include the Brownbacked Hornbill, Rufousnecked Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, the Pied Hornbill and the Great Pied Hornbill.