Loktak Lake, located in Manipur’s Bishnupur district, is the largest freshwater lake in North-East India and is located 48 kilometers from Imphal. Visitors to Manipur should not miss visiting the lake, which resembles a miniature inland sea. Loktak Lake is best known for its floating islands, referred to as phumdis, where local fishermen live in phumsangs (floating huts).
Photo:- Credit Flickr
Earlier this year, the Central Government pledged to protect Manipur’s unique Loktak Lake. The unique ecosystem of Loktak Lake in Manipur has been in peril for some time now, but revitalization is now underway.
During a recent meeting with Manipur’s Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai, Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav committed Rs 97 crore to the protection of the lake through various measures.
According to local legend, the lake was created when the gods sought out the valley’s people, and, for Manipuris, it represents a goddess, Loktak Lairembi. As part of the local Meitei belief system, the timeless romance of princess Thoibi and Khamba took place on the lake’s shores, with the mythical creature Poubi Lai at its heart. Thousands of fishermen depend on the lake for their livelihood, and she is their mother.
Phumdis (floating islands) are made up of soil, vegetation, and organic matter and are home to a unique ecosystem. The man-made islands float freely on the lake and change shape and size as the year progresses. In addition to using them to build houses on, anchor huge nets to catch and grow fish, and consume the edible plants, roots, and fruits that grow on them, fishermen also use them to anchor their nets.
Sendra, where a tourist home and cafeteria are attached, offers a bird’s eye view of the lake. At the Takmu Water Sports Complex, visitors can also try boating and water sports.
As well as Loktak Lake, Deepor Beel in Guwahati, and Rudrasagar Lake in Tripura are classified as wetlands of international importance in the North East under the Ramsar Convention. This provides a framework for national action and international cooperation aimed at preserving and wisely utilizing wetlands.
A detailed conservation plan will also include plans to provide sustainable livelihoods for fishermen in the periphery area, said Loktak Development Authority Chairman LS Meitei.