Keibul Lamjao National Park (Floating National Park at Manipur)
The Keibul Lamjao National Park at Manipur is the World’s only Floating Park. This park is located in the district of Bishnupur and is spread over 40 sq. km.
It was set up in the year 1975 for the exclusive protection of the brow antlered deer of Manipur which was threatened to extinction. These are also known as Sangai deer, dancing deer, etc.
The Keibul Lamjao Park was declared as a National Park. After the declaration of the park as a National Park, the number of Sangai deer is steadily increasing.
Koirang is the nearest town from the park at a distance of 10 km. Dimapur is the railhead; 265 km away from the park and Julilal is the nearest airport at a distance of 45 km from the park.
The park is situated in the tropical zone. It is at the south eastern corner of Loktak Lake. Which has an area of 200 sq. km. Apart from three hills of Toya, Pabot and Chingiao the rest of the park is covered by phumdi. Phumdi is made up of dense vegetation varying in thickness from 1 to 4 ft. it floats on the water of lake.
The level of water depends on the season. During dry season some of the phumdi particularly at the edges settles on the hard ground and on the onset of monsoon it again floats on the top of the water.
The reeds and grasses grow on the phumdi which serve as food for the sangai deer. During the rainy season the animals of the park seek refuge on the three hills within the park. The agriculture and fishing activities within the area of park have been prohibited giving this rare deer a chance to survive and multiply.
Thamin or sangai deer is the most important and rare fauna of the park. Its habitat is confined to this area only. In the aerial survey of 1975 the population of the dear was only 14 which was all time low. With the declaration of the area as National Park, 20 years later their number rose to 150.
Other Animal and birds:
Other animals found in the park are leopard cat, hog deer, fishing cat and wild goat. A variety of water birds are also found here.
January to April is the best period for visiting the park. Forest dept has two rest houses for the tourists.