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Ideal duration: 1 day

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"A cultural rainbow"

Chandel Tourism

Chandel, also known as Lamka is tiny, but a scenic district in the North-Eastern state of Manipur. It is one of the main nine districts in the state and also the second least populous of all. Situated along the lines of the international border separating India and Myanmar, it has come to be known as Gateway to Myanmar. It lies about 64 kms away from Imphal, with NH-39 passing through.
It’s  famous for being home to more than 20 native tribes. Chandel is a wisp of culture and traditions, given the huge number of tribes that live here. Each tribe offers a unique identity to the area, where colours of their cultures are blown out in all directions. Travelers visiting Chandel can soak in the alluring art forms along with sprightly music and dance.

After a reorganization, Chandel now has four subdivisions; Chandel Town, Tengnoupal, Chakpikarong, and Machi.
Apart from being home to a large number of plant and animal species, Chandel is known for its numerous varieties of Orchid, several Ornamental plants, and some very useful medicinal plants.
The numerous tribes that find habitat here give the cultural definition to this town. Other than getting coloured into their hues, one can visit a few tourist spots in the area, such as the Tengnoupal, which is the highest point on the way from India to Myanmar and can offer some of the most stunning sceneries and views.

Chandel Highlights

1. Yangoupokpi - Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary

Yangoupokpi - Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary
Founded in 1989, this wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 185 sq km and is home to multiple species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians as well as fish. This sanctuary is one the nine identified (Read More)Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Manipur. The IBA is of critical importance for environmental conservationists and bird watchers as it is the only place where the endangered Green Peafowl can still be sighted.

It is also one of those rare forests where communities of people live in tandem with nature. Seven forest villages are presently housed in the sanctuary and the villagers are dependent on the natural resources of the forest for their livelihood. The sanctuary is located at the India-Myanmar border, housing a mix of riverian and terrestrial ecosystems.

2. Tengnoupal

Located 69 kms from Imphal and 20 kms from Chandel town is the hilly town of Tengnoupal. The main tourist spot here is Tengnoupal which provides a bird's eye view of the entire valley of Manipur, from (Read More) an altitude of 2,500 to 10,000 feet. It is also a popular excursion site for some tourists along with providing a serene atmosphere for others.It is the highest point from where the entire state of Manipur can be observed, including lush and deep valleys. The town is replete with scenic beauty, housing many lakes and tourists frequent it for enjoying moments of solace and silence amidst nature. Rivers Barak and Manipur flow through the town, traversing North to South.

The story of Tengnoupal is fragmented with rule and control of different clans and countries. Long ruled by the Pakhanga dynasty, starting from 33 C.E; it was occupied by the Chinese in 1631. In 1942, it was bombed during the World War II by the Japanese.

3. Moreh

At the border of India and Myanmar, this strategically located area is well known for the business units that have sprung up, making it the commercial town of Manipur. It is also known for its natural (Read More) beauty. Visited by tourists and businessmen alike, Moreh is a strategically important town, located at the Indo-Myanmar border 70 kms away from the Chandel town. It’s a sizable commercial hub in North-Eastern India, bringing in traders from all over the country for cross-border trade. Imphal also lies close by, only 110 km away and those visiting Chandel can easily plan a trip to Imphal as well. With a visa for Myanmar, visitors can go over the border to Tamu, the trade-centre of Myanmar.  Moreh is also popular for its shopping arcade at Namphanglong, which sells Chinese and Thai goods at cheap prices, earning it the name of poor man’s Bangkok national stadium shopping arcade. 

Places To Visit In Chandel

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More on Chandel


This Southeastern Manipuri border town is not even half a decade old. It came into existence in 1974. It was known as Tengnoupal at the time of its founding but was renamed to Chandel in 1983. Even though it is counted among one of the most backward districts in the country, it's not behind when it comes to serving the nation. Some war heroes martyred during the Kargil war belonged to Chandel. The name Chandel originates from the words Cham (meaning simple) and Dil (meaning men's pants) of the local Pakan language.

Art and Culture

The place is infused with the lovely vibe of tribal dance forms and a vibrant artistic culture which attracts tourists all the year round. Paite, Thadon Kuki, and the Tarao war dance are among the most commonly performed dance forms. Native tribal culture and handicraft go hand in hand. Visitors can find some beautifully crafted souvenirs here to carry home and also behold a kaleidoscope of embroidery patterns on the traditional dresses of tribal people, with each tribe having its distinctive design. Manipuri Saris, pottery items, handmade soaps, paper items, and cane products are some particularly favourite shopping items.


A large chunk of tribal population means regional festivals go on all the year round and that too, with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. If you plan to visit during on of the festivals, you can participate in various festivals which take place at different times throughout the year and get to carry home a sack full of vibrant memories.
Ikam is a celebration of the huge bounty of the harvest, celebrated mainly by the Anal tribe. Anyone who experiences good harvest offers gratitude to the goddess of paddy and shares his good fortune and wealth with others by hosting a feast so grand that it lasts from 3 to 5 days. Folk singing and tribal dances form an integral part of the festival. It’s a festival of great importance and those who host it get a special social status. Memorial stones are erected to honour the memory of those who have hosted Ikam in their lifetime.
Chavan Kumhri is also one of the major Anal festivals, celebrated post-harvest every year on 23rd October. The harvest is offered to the village elders who bless it and eat it, bestowing the entire village with wishes of health and prosperity.
Sungkhomlkhan is a festival with religious importance, celebrated by fencing the entire village. Inhla, Philthabla (a hunting and fighting festival), and Mikhem (a festival of money and food collection) are some other significant festivals celebrated by the Anal Tribe.
Lui Ngai Ni is a seed-sowing festival of the Naga tribes in Manipur. The name literally means seed sowing festival. It has been a state holiday since 1988 and it marks the beginning of the year for the Naga people. Celebrated right at the start of spring, it’s a two-day festival which takes place from 14-15th February every year. It is celebrated in and around Manipur in all areas with a Naga population. However, only four district headquarters are a hub of major festivity and Chandel town is one of them. Traditional activities like dancing, folk singing, the lighting of the fire, drum-beating, and attire shows form a significant part of festivities.
Kuki, Thadou, and Monsang are other significant festivals celebrated in Chandel.

Suggested Itinerary for Chandel

Sightseeing trips can be completed in 2 days if you want to visit the main attractions. For a leisurely time, a 3-day trip would be ideal which will allow you to spend quite some time in the neighbouring country as well.

If you arrive in Imphal and proceed to Chandel the previous day, reaching in the night, the following itinerary will help you make the most of your time in and around Chandel.

Day 1: Visit the Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary early in the morning. Soak in flora and fauna and proceed to Tengnoupal. Enjoy the bird’s eye view of Manipur. Return to your lodging place for a refreshing, good night’s sleep. Don’t miss the local cuisine over dinner while you are here.

Day 2: Visit Moreh, the commerce town and indulge in shopping. If you have a passport, visit Tamu in the neighbouring country of Myanmar.

If you extend your trip to Day 3, and there are guided tours to the towns of Kalimiview and Mandalay in Myanmar, jump at the chance as they do not take place frequently.

Best Time to Visit Chandel

Commuting within Chandel

Chandel Photos

Chandel, Manipur
Tengnoupal to Molnoi 3874
Tengnoupal to Molnoi 11.25.47 3880

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FAQs on Chandel

What is famous about Chandel?

Many orchids and ornamental species of plants found here which is unique to this place.

What is not so good about Chandel?

Slightly difficult to access as it is a remote town in Manipur. Cuisine can be a problem for some people.

Who should visit Chandel?

Chandel is a perfect place for nature lovers who wish to spend a peaceful vacation amidst lush green surroundings. The biodiversity of this places attracts thousand of tourists from all the over the world to this quaint Manipur town. It is ideal for families, couples, groups and solo travellers.

What is the best time to visit Chandel?

Winter season is the best season for a visit to Chandel. The months when Dantewada is ideal for a trip is for the months of October - February. Summers are also a good time to visit, especially regarding the budget travellers while monsoon season, with heavy rainfall and high levels of humidity, is seriously the least advisable time for a visit.

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What is the local food in Chandel?

Relish popular Manipuri dishes in Chandel like Eromba which is a preparation of vegetables and potatoes boiled with a generous dash of red chillies, and fish. Singju is a Manipuri salad, Chamthong or Kanhshoi is a stew with fish, Morok Metpa is a coarse-paste prepared with green or dry chillies are also zesty and delicious local delicacies that one must savour.
One should also try the delicious pork curries and preparations of Bamboo shoots. Sekmai is a traditional brew made from rice while Mujikul is another local drink which can be enjoyed here.
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What is the best way to reach Chandel?

The nearest railway station is Dimapur in Nagaland. Dimapur is connected to Lumding which is connected to other parts of India. The Imphal airport is the nearest and is well linked by frequent flights to Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. Chandel is well connected by road and can be accessed by buses or taxis which are easily available in Imphal.
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What are the places near Chandel?

The top places near to Chandel are Thoubal which is 23 km from Chandel, Imphal which is located 53 km from Chandel, Shillong which is located 252 km from Chandel, Kaziranga national park which is located 257 km from Chandel, Silchar which is located 131 km from Chandel

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