MANIPUR: There are two national parks in this small mountainous state on the Burma border. The area was a former princely state linked by treaty to India in 1825. Sixty percent of the population are members of a Tibeto-Burmese tribe, the Meitheis. Access to the area is restricted and for foreign tourists extremely difficult.
Keibul Lamjao National Park
Previously an area for waterfowl shoots, the area became a sanctuary in 1954 when a few surviving sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer were reported. Perhaps the most endangered mammal and most localized in the world. Although the park is now almost 14 sq miles (36 sq km) in area, the sangai live on only about 2.5 sq miles (6 sq km) of floating vegetation known as phuntdi . There are possibly more deer in captivity (about 50) than in the wild—the largest group at the Delhi Zoo. The deer is distinguished by its gracefully curved antlers— the brow tines sweep forward and the beams backwards in an almost continuous curve. The park is located at the southeastern end of the Logtak Lake 20 miles (32 km) south of Impala. Three hills—Pabot, Toya and Chingiao provide vantage points over the phuntdi and during the monsoon the deer move onto the higher and harder ground. Other animals seen include hog deer, fishing cat and wild boar. Best time to visit: Dec. — May Accommodation: forest resthouse at Sendra and Phubala Permission: ACF, Keibul Lamja NAP ., BP0 Kha-Thimungei, Manipur Nearest town and Air: Imphal (20 miles) Rail: Dimapur (142 miles/229 km)
Sirohi National Park
Established in 1982. Covering a small area of forest near the Burma border. Tigers are reported. Rich birdlife, including pheasants. Accommodation: none Permission: Chief Wildlife Warden, Imphal Nearest town: Ukhrul (3 miles/5 km) Rail: Dimapur Air: Imphal (31 miles/50 km)