India is a home to many natural wonders. The ‘Floating National Park in Manipur’ is a great example of ‘Incredible India’, a term used to describe India’s international tourism campaign. Near a town called Moirang, and around 53 km from Imphal, ‘Loktak Lake’ is located . Loktak is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, and is famous for the ‘phumdis’ (floating swamps) floating over it.
Phumdis is a word in local language for heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and other organic matter at various stages of decomposition. Basically, it is a piece of land that floats on water, or simply, a floating island. There are many such Phumdis in the lake, the largest covering an area of around 40 sq.km. Loktak is an ancient lake, which is home to about one lakh people, along with 425 species of animals, more than 100 species of birds, and 233 species of aquatic plants.
What makes the Loktak Lake even more special is the Keibul Lamjao National Park located at the south western part of the lake. It is home to the endangered Manipuri brow-antlered deer, Sangai, which is also the State Animal of Manipur. Keibul Lamjao is the only floating national park in the world, but it is now endangered with threats like pollution, decline in diversity of avifauna, and thinning of phumdis.
It is believed tourism can bring about a change, and help support the people and Loktak Lake. But tourism in this region is still in its infancy due to volatile condition created by violent clashes between Indian Army and several rebel groups. Thus, this area is not entirely developed for mass tourism, although it is one of those places in Manipur where foreigners are allowed to visit.