Shirui Lily Festival

The Shirui Lily Festival is annually celebrated in Manipur and features music, food, traditional games and other cultural activities. The first edition of the Shirui Lily Festival was held in 2017. It aims to increase awareness about the Shirui Lily plant and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur.

This topic is important for the prelims exam due to the increasing importance of the environment section in the IAS Exam. You can also refer to the page on List of Indian Festivals to get more information about important festivals celebrated in different parts of the country.

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Facts About Shirui Lily

  • It is a unique species of ground lily that is found only in Manipur.
  • It is a three-feet tall, bluish-pink bell-shaped lily.
  • It was discovered by the English botanist Frank Kingdon-Ward in 1946.
  • Its botanical name is Lilium Mackliniae.
  • The lily is found exclusively in the upper ranges of Shirui Hills (at an elevation of 5,568 – 8,500 ft. above sea level), located about 18 km from the district headquarters of Ukhrul, which is home to the Tangkhul Naga tribe.
  • In Tangkhul local dialect, the lily is called “Kashsong Timrawon”. Timrawon is the daughter of mythical goddess Philava who resides and protects the hills of Shirui.
  • Shirui lily was declared the state flower of Manipur in 1989.
  • The Shirui lily is considered endangered today. Tourist activities and invasion of an invasive bamboo species are the reasons responsible for endangering the plant.
  • The Manipur government had notified its proposal in 1982 to establish a 100 sq. km Shirui national park , but the proposal is still in limbo.
  • It also bagged the prestigious merit prize in the 1948 Royal Horticultural Society Flower in London.

Who organises the Shirui Lily festival?

The festival is organised by the Shirui Lily Festival Organising Committee under the Department of Tourism, Manipur. The festival is celebrated during the peak blooming season of Shirui Lily.

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