Loktak, a natural wonder of Manipur should definitely be on the bucket list of any traveler. The fresh water lake is filled with phumdis, a cluster of vegetation that are at different levels of decaying. This amazing natural vegetation runs deep underwater and only 20% of it is seen above water level. The amazing aspect of these floating islands is that when the water levels goes down they absorb the nutrients from the lake bed. The vegetation is so thick and durable that the locals have built their homes on them.
This beautiful wonder surprisingly was devoid of any tourists. Only locals tend to visit this place and it is more like a day trip. The natural beauty of this place definitely requires a stay of minimum 2-3 days for perfect relaxation. 'Sendra Park and Resort' run by the Classic group of hotels is the only stay option here. The resort offers 4 stunning cottages and a couple of deluxe rooms. Undoubtedly, the cottages offer the best of the view and the aesthetics are simply amazing. The charming rooms are very romantic and a fleet of wooden stairs led us to the best part of the cottage- the attic. It offers a beautiful sit out with unending views of the amazing Loktak lake, her vegetation and the mountains in the backdrop.
Apart from the attic, we spent hours sitting outside our cottage looking at the blue mountains, red tall grass, amazing loktak lake and lone fishermen on their tiny boats. No amount of modern engineering structures can even remotely come close to natural beauty.
The price at which the cottages are let out is unbelievably reasonable. The resort also has a view point and cafe. To be honest, the views from the cafe are even more mesmerizing than the view point. We spent hours sitting on the wodden benches sipping hot cup of chai, munching hot pakodas and soaking in breathtaking views.
The food served in the cafe is really good. Their service is also pretty commendable. If the fresh water fish in Nagaland tasted amazing the fresh water fish of Manipur showed us a glimpse of paradise. The fish served at Sendra resort was tender, juicy and melted in our mouth. Do try out the water chestnut fruit which is available in abundance right outside the resort.
While at Loktak, post sunset you might feel locals are bursting crackers but it is actually soldiers of Assam Rifles practicing in their shooting range. The shooting range is right next to the resort entrance and one can see the soldiers practicing. Clicking pics might not be the brightest of ideas.
Sendra is also a bird watchers paradise and in under two hours in the afternoon we spotted several different species of birds. Spotting a common hoopoe right outside the cottage was a beautiful moment. Growing up as a child we used to see several sparrows. Thanks to urbanization we have chased them away from our streets. Looking at the sparrows at Loktak we were reminded of our childhood. Amur falcons tend to hover around in Manipur as well and you catch a glimpse of them at close quarters.
Very close to Loktak is the mesmerizing Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating National Park in the world and is also the last natural adobe of the indigenous Sangai deer aka dancing deer.
Due to infrastructure development around Loktak lake the natural habitat around are disturbed and the vegetation is highly threatened and are decreasing at a very rapid rate. Some of the larger sections of the phumdis have broken down into several parts and have drifted away. It is such a shame that the human race is destroying natural wonders at a extremely alarming pace.
Loktak is just 45 km away from the capital of Manipur, Imphal and frequent buses ply from 'Keishampat Bridge' in Imphal to Churchandapur via Moirang. We got down at Moirang and a short ride of 4 to 5 km in a jam packed share auto took us to Sendra resort.