The diversity of cultures, tribes, traditions, and festivals are the real beauty of Manipur and the epitome of the same is the Gang Nagai Festival which is one such cultural festival of the state that brings all the tribal communities together and offers a chance to the locals to have fun.
There are almost 29 different tribes residing within the land and all of them have different festivals and different ways of celebrating the same. It is this diversity that brings the opportunity for people to come together and interact with one another.
Gang Nagai festival in Manipur is celebrated by the Kabui Nagas, a tribal group of the state that waits for a long time to celebrate this festival that goes on for five days with a lot of food, dance, and music.
It is a mix of ancient rituals and is sheer fun. While the first day is spent performing rituals, the following 4 days are spent enjoying with friends and family.
History of Gang Ngai Festival in Manipur
Also known as Chakan Gang Ngai, the festival is celebrated in the month of December and January every year. Locals claim that this festival is termed as a significant tourist or winter festival of the state as well.
The celebration of the festival is aimed at preserving the culture and traditions of the tribe and to introduce them to the upcoming generations.
Major Attractions of Gang Ngai Festival 2023
1. Rituals. The festival is further marked by the omen ceremony wherein people come out on the streets dressed in ethnic wear, dancing on traditional music, and living to the fullest which ends by honoring their ancestors. People spend the first day in performing rituals that are aimed at seeking the blessing of ancestors.
2. Fun. Gifts are also exchanged during this happy-go-lucky fiesta. People wish each other good health and a great year ahead on this festival besides exchanging gifts. A community feast is also organized wherein people eat together and interact with one another.
3. Food. If you get the opportunity to witness the festival then you must use the opportunity to taste the local delicacies as well. Some of the must-try dishes are Chamthong (vegetable stew), Eromba (boiled vegetables and fish), Morok Metpa (chutney), Singju (salad) and Chak Hao Kheer (dessert).
How to Reach Imphal for Gang Ngai Festival 2023
Imphal is a beautiful city located in the North-Eastern region of the country. It is home to many tourist attractions, and some of the most popular ones among them are Loktak Lake, Kangla Fort, Singda Dam, along with many ancient temples, museums and art galleries. Every year the city receives a huge tourist footfall that arrives here to witness the unique tribal culture and natural beauty of the city.
Owing to a good transportation network of airways, roadways, and railways, you can reach here conveniently from any part of the country. Mentioned below are some of the best and economical travel options that you can consider if planning a visit to Imphal.
By Road. Tourists arriving from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru are required to cover approximately 2,300 km via NH 27, 3,200 km via NH 27, 1,400 km via NH 27 and 3,300 km via NH 44 in that order to reach Imphal. Put forth is the estimated distance and best route to consider if arriving from nearby prominent cities.
Aizwal - 400 km via NH 37
Guwahati - 490 km via NH 27 and NH 2
Shillong - 550 km via AH 1/AH 2
Dimapur - 200 km via NH 29 and NH 2
Jorhat - 330 km via NH 2
Silchar - 250 km via NH 37
You may also get on a govt. run or private inter-state tourist bus to Imphal from Guwahati. The bus fare for one-way travel starts from Rs. 900 per passenger.
By Rail. Guwahati and Dimapur are the two nearest railway stations to reach Imphal which nearly 480 and 200 km away from the city respectively. Trains from all the cities of India arrive here, hence, one may consider traveling by train. From the station, one can hire a taxi or get on a tourist bus to reach the desired location in Imphal.
Below mentioned is the tally of direct trains from all the metro cities and prominent cities to Guwahati and Dimapur.
Delhi to Guwahati - North East Express, Brahmaputra Mail, Avadh Assam Express
By Air. Imphal does have its own airport known as Imphal Airport or Bir Tikendrajit International Airport which is nearly 8 km away from the city center. There are many connecting and direct flights from here to some major cities in India. From the airport, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the desired destination in the city.
You can consider traveling by IndiGo Airlines if arriving from Delhi; Air India or IndiGo airlines from Kolkata; and AirAsia, Air India, or IndiGo from Guwahati, if looking for direct flights to Imphal.
List of flights from different Indian cities to Imphal