The highest hill station of Manipur, Ukhrul is located at a distance of about 83 kilometres east of Imphal. The town is known for its beautiful mountains that are inhabited by numerous tribes such as the Tangkhul Nagas – the oldest and the most colourful warrior tribe, the Kukis and the Angamis.
However, there’s much to see and experience in the quaint town of Ukhrul. Shirui Hills deserves special mention; they’re particularly known for a unique species of flowers called the Shirui Lily – which grow at a height of about 8,500 feet above sea level. Declared as the State Flower of Manipur in 1989, the flower today is considered an endangered species.
The Shirui Lily is a rare pinkish white flower, named after Jean Macklin, the wife of Dr. Frank Kingdon Ward who spotted the flower in the year 1946. This one foot tall flower, resembling the shape of a bell, blooms only from April to June every year. A trek up the Shirui Hills during this time promises to be the most scenic; with bright lilies covering the stretch of the mountain range.
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Other attractions in Ukhrul include the pre-historic Kangkhui Lime Caves. The excavations have shown that they were inhabited by the stone age communities. It’s a must visit for students, archaeologists and researchers who are into in-depth study of history.
Longpi Village, located north of Ukhrul town, is famous for its black pottery crafts which are used widely in many parts of Manipur. These black pots are made by mixing serpentine stone and clay; ingredients known for their medicinal values and durability. These make for great souvenirs to take back home, and the journey from the town to this village is an enthralling experience in itself. Keep the camera ready for a gorgeous view of the Shirui Hills and Phungrei from Longpi Village.