Travelling to imphal in july 2012

#1 Apr 3rd, 2012, 20:10
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  • Jimanjulan is offline
#1
Hi guys

I am returning to India again for a nice hol. But this time i don't want to be put off going to Imphal by the tourist restrictions. I made a promise to my Gran to go to my Uncles war grave and it is really important for me to do this. I felt very bad not going to it last time in India.
I notice that the permits were lifted for 2011 but can anyone confirm if we have to have them again now? The gov website is hard to navigate to get an idea of this.
Also for those who have done this trip,,,how do I find others looking to go to Imphal? The permit is restricted to groups of 4 travellers and we are only 2. Any ideas would be great.
Also best way to get there? Happy to train from somewhere to Dimapur then go from Dimpaur however that happens.
Would this be eaiser to do from Myanmar? I know this was very restricted in 2009 when i last looked into it. Wow I just want to get to my Uncles grave as nobody has ever been there since he died and my Gran was always so sad about that. But the government make it so hard...WHY??

Thanks
Julie
#2 Apr 3rd, 2012, 20:14
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Mod Note
Julie, I have moved this query to the Manipur forum.
#3 Apr 4th, 2012, 19:32
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Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post Mod Note
Julie, I have moved this query to the Manipur forum.
Thanks for that.
#4 Apr 4th, 2012, 19:45
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You are most welcome.

I am very interested in Manipur too. As far as I am aware, you don't need any permit. I think the relaxation of RAPs for foreigners has been extended for 2012. You may like to get in touch with IndiaMikers K.S. Bluechip and Piran E, both of whom have travelled extensively in the North East.

I imagine the easiest way to reach Imphal is a flight from Kolkata. But you can also take the train part of the way. Ask IndiaMiker Steven Ber about trains! I think Dimapur is as far as you can go and then you have about eight hours by road to reach Imphal.

Funny you should mention Myanmar. With the elections at present looking optimistic, who knows what is going to happen to the border in the near future. As it stands, it is nearly impossible for non-Indians to go from India to Myanmar or vice versa by road. But I really hope that changes soon.
#5 Apr 26th, 2012, 16:14
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimanjulan View Post Hi guys

I am returning to India again for a nice hol. But this time i don't want to be put off going to Imphal by the tourist restrictions. I made a promise to my Gran to go to my Uncles war grave and it is really important for me to do this. I felt very bad not going to it last time in India.
I notice that the permits were lifted for 2011 but can anyone confirm if we have to have them again now? The gov website is hard to navigate to get an idea of this.
Also for those who have done this trip,,,how do I find others looking to go to Imphal? The permit is restricted to groups of 4 travellers and we are only 2. Any ideas would be great.
Also best way to get there? Happy to train from somewhere to Dimapur then go from Dimpaur however that happens.
Would this be eaiser to do from Myanmar? I know this was very restricted in 2009 when i last looked into it. Wow I just want to get to my Uncles grave as nobody has ever been there since he died and my Gran was always so sad about that. But the government make it so hard...WHY??

Thanks
Julie
Hi Julie you'll be happy to know that the government has recently made it much easier

The general ease of restrictions for the north east that started in Jan 2011 is thankfully still in place as of Feb 2012.
Manipur is an exception though where you need to essentially register yourself to travel anywhere in the state. This 'permit' consists of simply a stamp in your passport and was done by the police CID office in Imphal. There was no charge and nothing was written on it regarding specific locations.

They asked how long i wanted to spend and then wrote that on the stamp in my passport. I don't know what the limit is but i asked for a week and then ended up returning and so got another one the same at the highway checkpoint at Mao when i returned from Nagaland a bit later.
Being a solo traveller was not a problem and it was done very quickly without checking me out on any databases.

Apparently the same procedure is in place at checkpoints on the highways leading into the state from Mizorum, Assam and Nagaland. If you fly in you can just go to the CID office i believe. On google you can see the Police HQ building directly south of the centre. The entrance to the CID office is on the road that runs parallel to the west of the Imphal Moreh road although you can cut through from that road.

The train from Kolkata to Dimapur in Nagaland takes 28h and is a normal sleeper one. There are buses from there to Imphal that take 7h. They only run at one time of the day (i did the journey the other way and the last one leaves Imphal by 10am) but minibuses also run which cost me about 6oo. The price is high because the drivers need to pay protection money to the police and/or insurgents along the way. This happened 5 times on my journey!

It's worth asking advice when you arrive on the safety of the areas you intend to visit as this is the least stable state in India. I was shown a current military map when in the care of the 39 Assam rifles that showed 15 different insurgent groups operating in the south alone.

Having said this the remote hill areas were the most fun for me. Do get out of Imphal if you have time, it's not a fair reflection of the beauty and clean natural feel of the state.
Being a lone female traveller should be easier in the north east than in the rest of India. Christianity is the main reason i think but also the high levels of education.

Land borders between India and Myanmar seem impossible for foreigners.
I was advised that it was dangerous to visit Moreh (the main border with Myanmar). I was told the other border Behiang - Khenman is in an even worse spot. It seems they are used for trade.
I tried to cross over in Mizorum at the Zokhawthar - Rihkhawdar border as i heard Indians were allowed. The truth is that not simply Indians but only local Mizos are allowed over and then only for a day and only within a few km range. The reason is that there is a holy lake from Mizo folklore up the hill from Rihkhawdar. When i enquired i was screamed at by the Myanmar official for being a westerner.

I made friends with the inspector of police CID in Imphal so here is his number if you want to check anything:
K H Shashikumar, CID Inspector, Imphal, Manipur 9436027302

The other exception to the ease of permit restrictions is Arunachal Pradesh where you need a permit which i think you pick up in their capital Itanagar. At least trying to pick it up in the Meghalaya capital Shillong was impossible and even visiting their offices there was helpless and i got little info.
It costs $50 US. This info is from when i phoned them in Feb 2012. I didnt visit due to this charge.
My travel and food blog, including photos:
nickirvinefortescue.wordpress. com
#6 Apr 26th, 2012, 23:46
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinois View Post Hi Julie you'll be happy to know that the government has recently made it much easier

The general ease of restrictions for the north east that started in Jan 2011 is thankfully still in place as of Feb 2012.
Manipur is an exception though where you need to essentially register yourself to travel anywhere in the state. This 'permit' consists of simply a stamp in your passport and was done by the police CID office in Imphal. There was no charge and nothing was written on it regarding specific locations.

They asked how long i wanted to spend and then wrote that on the stamp in my passport. I don't know what the limit is but i asked for a week and then ended up returning and so got another one the same at the highway checkpoint at Mao when i returned from Nagaland a bit later.
Being a solo traveller was not a problem and it was done very quickly without checking me out on any databases.

Apparently the same procedure is in place at checkpoints on the highways leading into the state from Mizorum, Assam and Nagaland. If you fly in you can just go to the CID office i believe. On google you can see the Police HQ building directly south of the centre. The entrance to the CID office is on the road that runs parallel to the west of the Imphal Moreh road although you can cut through from that road.

The train from Kolkata to Dimapur in Nagaland takes 28h and is a normal sleeper one. There are buses from there to Imphal that take 7h. They only run at one time of the day (i did the journey the other way and the last one leaves Imphal by 10am) but minibuses also run which cost me about 6oo. The price is high because the drivers need to pay protection money to the police and/or insurgents along the way. This happened 5 times on my journey!

It's worth asking advice when you arrive on the safety of the areas you intend to visit as this is the least stable state in India. I was shown a current military map when in the care of the 39 Assam rifles that showed 15 different insurgent groups operating in the south alone.

Having said this the remote hill areas were the most fun for me. Do get out of Imphal if you have time, it's not a fair reflection of the beauty and clean natural feel of the state.
Being a lone female traveller should be easier in the north east than in the rest of India. Christianity is the main reason i think but also the high levels of education.

Land borders between India and Myanmar seem impossible for foreigners.
I was advised that it was dangerous to visit Moreh (the main border with Myanmar). I was told the other border Behiang - Khenman is in an even worse spot. It seems they are used for trade.
I tried to cross over in Mizorum at the Zokhawthar - Rihkhawdar border as i heard Indians were allowed. The truth is that not simply Indians but only local Mizos are allowed over and then only for a day and only within a few km range. The reason is that there is a holy lake from Mizo folklore up the hill from Rihkhawdar. When i enquired i was screamed at by the Myanmar official for being a westerner.

I made friends with the inspector of police CID in Imphal so here is his number if you want to check anything:
K H Shashikumar, CID Inspector, Imphal, Manipur 9436027302

The other exception to the ease of permit restrictions is Arunachal Pradesh where you need a permit which i think you pick up in their capital Itanagar. At least trying to pick it up in the Meghalaya capital Shillong was impossible and even visiting their offices there was helpless and i got little info.
It costs $50 US. This info is from when i phoned them in Feb 2012. I didnt visit due to this charge.
Are you ignorant enough to suggest that it is safer for a female to travel within Northeast India than other parts because of Christianity? Literacy might be a contributing factor but don't make suggestions that one religion is "better" than other.

If it wasn't for the british, the centuries old culture, traditions and 'way-of-life' of many tribal people in India might still be preserved. Converstion is the fasted way of destroying any culture and creating strife within communities.
#7 Apr 27th, 2012, 01:54
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Originally Posted by neerajss View Post Are you ignorant enough to suggest that it is safer for a female to travel within Northeast India than other parts because of Christianity? Literacy might be a contributing factor but don't make suggestions that one religion is "better" than other.

If it wasn't for the british, the centuries old culture, traditions and 'way-of-life' of many tribal people in India might still be preserved. Converstion is the fasted way of destroying any culture and creating strife within communities.
I notice you use the word ignorant. Neerajss i'm happy to have my opinions questioned but please do me the courtesy of basing your reply on what I have written.

I certainly did not say it was safer due to Christianity. Just in the preceding paragraph I mentioned that Manipur is the least stable state in India and talked about how many insurgent groups there were! The only people to threaten me with weapons in the whole of India were christian revolutionaries.

What an absolute cheek for you to say “don't make suggestions that one religion is "better" than other”!
Where have you taken this idea from? Why have you progressed into now talking about an ultimate religion? How dare you insert quotation marks into this crass phrase which makes it look like you are quoting me. You appear to be having an argument with yourself. I suggest indiamike is not an appropriate outlet for this frustration.

Your second paragraph is possibly true and I don't disagree with it. It is fascinating but moreover disturbing that the British used their own religion to brainwash these communities to gain greater control over them. I don't see how it's relevant to your outburst but it could do very nicely as it's own thread.
#8 Apr 27th, 2012, 02:32
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Originally Posted by chinois View Post I notice you use the word ignorant. Neerajss i'm happy to have my opinions questioned but please do me the courtesy of basing your reply on what I have written.

I certainly did not say it was safer due to Christianity. Just in the preceding paragraph I mentioned that Manipur is the least stable state in India and talked about how many insurgent groups there were! The only people to threaten me with weapons in the whole of India were christian revolutionaries.

What an absolute cheek for you to say “don't make suggestions that one religion is "better" than other”!
Where have you taken this idea from? Why have you progressed into now talking about an ultimate religion? How dare you insert quotation marks into this crass phrase which makes it look like you are quoting me. You appear to be having an argument with yourself. I suggest indiamike is not an appropriate outlet for this frustration.

Your second paragraph is possibly true and I don't disagree with it. It is fascinating but moreover disturbing that the British used their own religion to brainwash these communities to gain greater control over them. I don't see how it's relevant to your outburst but it could do very nicely as it's own thread.
I agree, you did not explicitly say it's safer due to Christianity, but your words most certainly implied it. See your quoted words below:

"Having said this the remote hill areas were the most fun for me. Do get out of Imphal if you have time, it's not a fair reflection of the beauty and clean natural feel of the state.
Being a lone female traveller should be easier in the north east than in the rest of India. Christianity is the main reason i think but also the high levels of education."


My intention is not to personally offend you by saying this but many people will find your words offensive.

It's unfortunate that you made such an implication because it takes away from your otherwise informative post.
#9 Apr 27th, 2012, 23:50
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Originally Posted by neerajss View Post My intention is not to personally offend you by saying this but many people will find your words offensive.

It's unfortunate that you made such an implication because it takes away from your otherwise informative post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neerajss View Post My intention is not to personally offend you by saying this but many people will find your words offensive.
People from other religious communities and from regions who are dominated by people from other religious communities may feel offended. They are invited to behave and act upon others to behave in a way, their religion tells them to behave towards women, all women, that is.

Chinois seems to be a seasoned traveller, who knows what he is talking about. Political correctness does not help the OP to get a feeling what to expect in the NE as a lone female traveller.

The point he makes, is, that she is likely to experience more respect and less groping and staring than in other parts of India, to put it straight. By that he added a valuable information to his useful post.

This does not make Christianity a better religion, of course.
#10 Apr 29th, 2012, 18:57
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Mod note: some off-topic posts have been deleted.
#11 May 12th, 2012, 21:02
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Hi everyone.
Thank you for your posts. I have gained a lot of information from them. I will be travelling with one companion, also female. Thank you Chinois for the contact details, much appreciated. I am going to fly into Kolkata and travel to Imphal from there. I haven't worked out yet whether we will fly or train/bus it. I always find when flying I miss so much of the country I am travelling in. Oh and I can assure everybody I fully appreciate having lived in an oppressed society and my home country now looking at independence, that I have full respect for the cultures and people I will meet and understand that many people will feel negative towards me because I may represent that which has caused them a lot of pain. I respect that of course.
Chinois so I can travel to Imphal and THEN obtain my permits? I don't have to obtain them before entering Manipur? This would be great as it gives me a little scope.
#12 Nov 26th, 2012, 18:27
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Hey Jimanjulan did you manage to go to Imphal? How was it? Anything you'd wanna share for future travelers? I'm going there soon(tomorrow). I will be visiting the tamenglong district and Imphal. I'm having a tough time finding a vehicle to go around but I'm sure things will sort themselves out as soon as I hit the road.
#13 Jan 21st, 2014, 18:52
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As it happened I did not get to India on that trip. However I am looking at possibly going in March and I understand the permit retriction are lifted. :-)
#14 Apr 12th, 2014, 23:17
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Successful trip to Imphal. Go if you get a chance. Quick flight from Kolkata over amazing mountainous areas. Really wish we had sent more time there. Really didn't seem like India at all tbh. It was much more like SE Asia to me.
#15 Apr 13th, 2014, 12:39
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#15
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Originally Posted by Jimanjulan View Post Successful trip to Imphal. Go if you get a chance. Quick flight from Kolkata over amazing mountainous areas. Really wish we had sent more time there. Really didn't seem like India at all tbh. It was much more like SE Asia to me.

Any chance you may like to write us a full travelogue? Any photographs?

I am glad you enjoyed your trip.

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