A Getaway to Ukhrul in Manipur, Northeast

Ukhrul Manipur - Mountainecho
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Ukhrul District in Manipur – the land of Shirui Lily is one the most beautiful yet unexplored hill stations in India. For the nature seekers, Ukhrul is a paradise with lush green forests and beautiful flowers, orchids, and wilderness everywhere.

Located about 80 Kms from Imphal, it takes about 3 Hours by road. The ride snakes through the mountains cutting sharp turns and curves, and feeling dizzy is normal. The beautiful landscape makes is an absolute visual delight and on a bright sunny day, this is the land where you can witness the sun romancing the mountains.


So, on a bright sunny morning, we decided to travel to Ukhrul from Kangpokpi, another 50 kms away from Imphal.

Our ride?

A 125 cc Suzuki Access scooter expected to carry safely two drunken individuals weighing over 100 kilos.
Not to forget the elevation from Imphal (about 780 m) to Ukhrul – about 3,114 m (10,217 ft). We expected that the machine will scoot us through the climb.

But, you will agree that the Devil takes over the mind just before epic moments of our lives are created. In our case, the Devil had planned that we travel through Sekmai town – the holy land of alcohol.

A little local tip: Sekmai Yu (Yu, meaning alcohol in general and Sekmai, the name of the place where it is produced) is a strong alcohol prepared by fermenting rice and passing different stages of distillation. Among the variety of the brews, the Machin is superior both in terms of quality and potency and is used in rituals and local traditions and is claimed to have medicinal properties.

For an epicurean soul, Sekmai is a paradise offering you the choicest varieties of food, snacks, and varieties of local rice brews.
But, Ukhrul in those days was a ‘Drier region’ within a Dry State.

How? Let me explain

Manipur, if you don’t already know is a dry state, meaning sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the state. But, by and large, people consume locally brewed alcohol, among which the rice varieties are the most potent and popular.
As the Devil would have loved it, we decided to pack some for the road and for our stay in Ukhrul.

Drinking the local Yu in a makeshift leaf-holder is a lifetime experience. I have tried recreating the experience many times, but nothing takes away the Ukhrul trip.


Ukhrul is a cozy picturesque town and a photographers delights (don’t go by my pictures). Chilly and drizzly all-year round, mother nature has bestowed Ukhrul with some of the most beautiful valleys, waterfalls, and streams that captivates every nature lovers’s soul.

There are vague memories of how we reached Ukhrul that night. Our 4-hours ride took about 12 hours and as reported in the local newspapers, a couple of drunkards stalled traffic in the highway for over 2 hours with some nuisance.

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