Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Manipur     Bishnupur    

Keibul Lamjao National Park




Bishnupur district, Manipur

Main attraction


Thamin (Sangai) the brow-antlered deer

Best season


October to April


Keibul Lamjao National Park in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur, is the only floating sanctuary of its kind in India. Covers an area of 40 km2 (15.4 sq mi), the park has a small population of Thamin (Sangai) the brow-antlered deer, one of the most endangered species of deer in the world. The deer is on the brink of extinction and is found only in this park in the entire world. The park is located at the Loktak Lake which is rich in biodiversity and the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. Declared a sanctuary in 1969, Keibul Lamjao attained national park status in 1977.


The park boast moist semi–evergreen forests, rich amalgam of aquatic, wetland and terrestrial ecosystem. It consists floating marshes. More than 230 species of macrophytes belonging to emergent, submergent, free-floating and rooted floating leaf types have been reported in the lake. Zizania latifolia( Ishing kambong), Saccharum munja (Khoimom), S. bengal ensis, Eiranthus procerus (Singnang), Dioschoria bulbifera (Phumha), Cynodon dactylon (Tinthou), Alpinia galanga (pullei). Eichornia crossipes (Kabokang). Hedychium coronarium (Loklei), Nelumbo nucifera (Thambal), Phragmites Karka (Tou) etc are mainly found in Keibul Lamjao National Park. A variety of wild rice, endemic plants and Scanty growth of some species like hunding Carex spp., yawachaning Coix lecryma-jobi and lilhar Polygonum perfoliatum are also found in this park.


Besides the Brow-antlered deer, the fauna in Keibul Lamjao National Park include some very rare animals and it boasts 425 species of animals (249 vertebrates and 176 invertebrates). 35 species were reported to be abundant in the past have declined and are now disappearing gradually.

Hog deer, Panther, Bonnet macaque, Himalayan black bear and the Malayan bear, Mongoose, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Flishing cat, Sambar, Muntjac, Musk deer, Common otter etc are found the park. Elephant, Rhesus monkey, Large Indian civet Viverra zibetha and Small Indian civet Viverricula indica, Wild boar, Gaur are some of the large mammals found in the area.

The amphibian species consist of South Indian rock lizard, , Keel back Tortoise, Viper, Krait, Cobra, Water cobra, krait (banded) Bungarus fasciatus, Asian rat snake (Beauty rat snake), python, Russels’ viper (Daboia), checkered garter snake. Python molurus an endangered species is found in the park.

The park is also a home to 106 species of birds. Of these 21 species of waterfowl are migratory birds from different parts of the northern hemisphere beyond the Himalayas. The best time to see these birds during winter season (October to March). The Black Eagle, Shaheen Falcon, Eastern Shite Stork, Brownbacked Hornbill, Rufusnecked Hornbill, the Pied Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, the Great Pied Hornbill, Bamboo Partridge and Green Peafowl etc are also found here.

There are 64 fish species found in the Loktak Lake. The lake yields about 1,500 tonnes of fish every year. It also supports a significant population of resident and migratory waterfowl.

Two of these species are restricted in their distribution to the Yunan state of China, Myanmar and Manipur only. The Loktak lake provides shelter for migratory fish like Labeo dero, L.angra, L.bata, Cirrhinus rebd and Osteobrama belangeri. These species migrate from the Chindwin-Irrwaddy river system in Burma to the upstream areas of Manipur River. But, these fishes have disappeared from the lake since the construction of Ithai Barrage ( Ithai Barrage has blocked the migratory route) .

The best way to see Keibul Lamjao is by boat. Visitors can enjoy an exciting boat ride inside the national park. For adventures take a walk through the park but the phumdi is not a firm ground. Manipur Tourism Department arranges conducted day tours to the Loktak Lake and the Keibul Lamjao Park. There is an observatory tower on Babet Ching, a smll hillock in the park. Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best time to see Sangai when it comes out to feed in herds.

To visit the park visitors are required to take pass ticket. Since Manipur is a border state, Non-Indians require Restricted Area Permits (RAPs) which can be obtained from the Foreigner's Regional Registration Office in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai or certain other state government offices. For Indians, the Inner Line Permit must be obtained.