Ima Keithel - Manipur’s amazing Mothers’ Market
Wrapped in scarf-like innaphis and sarong-like phaneks, their foreheads marked with elegant streaks of sandal paste and their teeth stained from chewing kwa (betel), Imphal’s mothers get ready for another day of business. Their laughter rings out over the hubbub of haggling and footfalls, even above the sounds of vehicles gnashing in the street. Ima Keithel or the Mother’s Market has long been a part of Manipuri tradition, by some accounts dating back to the 16th century. Today, located in four concrete structures in Imphal’s Khwairamband Bazaar, it is one of the city’s unique travel experiences.
Travel editor BIJOY VENUGOPAL explores Ima Keithel and returns basking in the warmth of maternal love.
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