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Keibul Lamjao National Park (Meitei: Keibul Lamjao Leipaakki Lampaak) is the world's only floating national park. It is floating on the Loktak lake in the central bowl-like plain of Manipur in India. It is famous for being the home of the world's only dancing deer species, Brow antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi) (Meitei: Sangai) and has been on the tentative list for world heritage since 2016. As the place is a major tourist attraction, the national park draws over thousands of visitors every month.


Sangai deer (Cervus eldi eldi) illustrated in a stamp of India

Keibul Lamjao is one of the oldest national parks in India. It is the last and the only natural habitat for the world's only dancing deer species, Brow antlered deer (Cervus eldi edli) (Manipuri: Sangai).

Many local villagers have been dispossessed of homes and land to allow park expansion. Some are for the reason of area encroachment.



Keibul Lamjao was first recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1966. The place was recognised as a national park in 1977.



The greatest landmark in the park is the collection of floating islands formed by the vegetative masses (Manipuri: Phumdi).

Flora and fauna

A brow antlered deer inside the National Park

Keibul Lamjao hosts a rich and diversified population of floras and faunas in both aquatic as well as terrestrial habitats.

Aquatic flora species include Zizania latifolia (wild rice, Manipuri: Ishing kambong), Tripidium bengalense, Eiranthus procerus (Manipuri: Singnang), Dioscorea bulbifera (Manipuri: Phumha), Cynodon dactylon (Manipuri: Tingthou), Alpinia galanga (Manipuri: Pullei), Eichhornia crassipes (Manipuri: Kabokang), Hedychium coronarium (Manipuri: Loklei), Nelumbo nucifera (Manipuri: Thambal) and Phragmites karka (Manipuri: Tou). In a 1960 study, the floating phumdi vegetation is composed of 45% Phragmites karka, 25% Erianthus ravennae (elephant grass), 15% Saccharum munja, 5% S. latifolium, 5% Alpinia allughas and 2% Saccharum procerum and 3% other species, including Zizania latifolia; Zizania latifolia is the plant much relished by the brow antlered deer (Manipuri: Sangai).

Visitors can see the dancing deer (Manipuri: Sangai), frequently during early morning or during midday or late afternoon as the deer usually graze on the floating phumdis during these times. The Sangai deer is the main protagonist of the national park. Keibul Lamjao also has the populations of the hog deer (C. porcinus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) (Manipuri: Lam-ok), large Indian civet (Viverra civetta), common otter (Lutra lutra), fox (Manipuri: Lamhui), jungle cat (Felis chaus)(Manipuri: Lam Houdong), Asian golden cat, bay bamboo rat (Manipuri: Uchi), musk shrew, common shrew, flying fox and sambar (Cervus unicolor)(Manipuri: Sajal).

The park is also the paradise for many amphibians and reptiles like the keel back tortoise (Manipuri: Thenggu), viper, krait, cobra (Manipuri: Kharou), water cobra (Manipuri: Ishing Kharou), banded krait, Asian rat snake (beauty rat snake), python molurus (Manipuri: Lairen), Russell's viper (Daboia), checkered garter snake and common lizard (Viviparous lizard).

Under the water, there live several fishes including Channa striata, Channa punctatus, common carp, Wallago attu (Manipuri: Shareng) and pool barb.

Ornithologists and bird photographers may find Keibul Lamjao a suitable place for their works since the park houses many birds including both permanent settlers as well as temporary migratory birds. Some prominent birds are the East Himalayan pied kingfisher, black kite, lesser sky-lark, northern hill myna, Indian pied myna, North Indian black drongos, lesser eastern jungle crow, yellow headed wagtail, spotbill duck, blue-winged teal, ruddy shell duck, threatened hooded crane, Burmese sarus sarus crane, Indian white-breasted waterhen and crimson-breasted pied woodpecker.

A regular annual visitor to the park is the group of Siberian cranes especially during winter season. They stay here until summer arrives.



The climate is temperate. It varies from very hot and humid in the summer (April to June) to cold nights and warm days in the winter (from November to January). There are varying degrees of temperatures, starting from a maximum of 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) in summer to a minimum of 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) in winter. Humidity (Moisture in the air) was as high as 81% in August and as low as 49% in March.

Get in


By bus - Moirang - 10 km (6.2 mi) , Imphal - 53 km (32.9 mi), Guwahati - 522 km (324.4 mi).

By air - Nearest airport is in Imphal city. Imphal is connected to Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Agartala and Aizawl by regular flights.

By rail - The nearest railway station is Jiribam. Jiribam is connected by trains from Guwahati and Silchar. Another railway station is at Dimapur. Dimapur is only 215 km (133.6 mi) away from Imphal.

By motorcycle - Another way to reach Keibul Lamjao from Imphal and Moirang is by riding a motorcycle either in solo or in a group. Such tours are operated by various adventure tourism firms in Manipur.

Both motor boat as well as oaring boat riding facilities are available. Passing through colourful water plants would be a good way to see the park. An adventurous trip would be to take a walk through the park. Though the phumdis (floating mini islands) don't have firm grounds, one can walk on it slowly. Always remember that when one is on a phumdi, s/he will never get drowned. The phumdis are in some sense, live savers for people about to get drowned.

Fees and permits

An entrance gate of the Keibul Lamjao NP

₹30 entry fee for Indians and South Asian citizens. ₹200 for other foreigners.

The costs vary depending on the type of your hotel.

There are extra fees for carrying camera (still or video) inside the park. The fees are different for Indians and foreign tourists. The charges are also different for amateurs and professionals depending on the level of equipments you bring in.

Get around

An image of the Keibul Lamjao NP, shot from the watching point.

There are many ways of getting around inside the Keibul Lamjao National Park. One is through a hired or private taxi. Motor boat riding, oaring boat riding, kayaking, hiking, camping, etc. can be done.


Sangai, the dancing deer inside the Keibul Lamjao

Gazing the wildlife either from on top of a watchtower or from the Loktak lake (riding on one of the multiple boats available) may make the visit more exciting. Most of the animals are not habituated with human presence. So, please don't make too much noise if you want to see the animals coming out from the bushes or behind the tall grasses. Carrying a good pair of binoculars will be helpful for watching the wildlife.


  • Stay at one of the hotels.
  • Have a boating (either motor or oaring) ride or just do kayaking by yourself inside the park for up-close encounters with the famous Sangai, the dancing deer, dancing on the floating Phumdis.
  • Take a taxi tour of the park to see other wildlife such as hoolock gibbon, hog deer (C. porcinus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), large Indian civet (Viverra civetta), common otter (Lutra lutra), fox, jungle cat (Felis chaus), Asian golden cat, bay bamboo rat, musk shrew, common shrew, flying fox and sambar (Cervus unicolor).



Different handloom and handicraft products as well as varieties of eatables are sold near the entrance gate of the Keibul Lamjao NP. Inside the park, there are not many shops. So, please buy your essentials before entering the park from the nearby shops.



There are some canteens in and around the area. Hotels have their own facilities for food. Generally, the food is a little expensive. Here, one can dine in the local cuisine.

A collection of Meitei dish (Manipuri dish)
  • Meitei Chakluk (literally, a plate of food) - It is a complete collection of rice, fish meat, soups, salads, etc. in one plate. However, in some hotels, separate bowls of different dishes may also be added to the main dish.
A singju with lotus stem slices as its main ingredient
  • Singju – This salad is a mixture of various ingredients, where chili is a must. It has multiple flavours. It is usually very spicy.



There is no liquor shop inside the park. But one can get chilled bottles.







Camping is permitted inside the park area, though there're some restricted areas also.



Stay safe


During the COVID pandemic, please obey all the guidelines for safety, including wearing a mask, keeping social distancing and others.

Go next

  • Sirohi National Park - This is the world's only natural habitat for Shirui Lily (Lilium macklineae) which can't be grown elsewhere in Earth despite innumerable experiments of numerous scientists. This national park is also in Manipur.
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