Ditch the popular spots in Manipur and visit Dailong village not just for its enchanting beauty and rich biodiversity but also because it’s home to the rare Indian wild oranges. This endangered fruit can only be found in one other place - Nokrek Biosphere Reserve in Meghalaya.
Dailong is known for its tea, wild pitai and yongchak but the most famous are the citrus indica or the Indian wild oranges. Generations are involved in cultivation of the fruit that now is in serious danger of extinction due to deforestation. Villagers have been engaging in conservation practices and have created protected forests/groves to host such rare plant species.
Local NGOs Rainforest Club Tamenglong and Dailong Ecology & Environment Preservation Society are doing all they can to spread the word among locals and neighbouring villages so that these wild oranges (apparently one of the best in the world!) get the attention they deserve. Tamenglong also holds an annual orange festival where farmers sell their produce to boost their income and the district’s economy.
Besides the oranges, Dailong is a paradise for trekkers and hikers as there are several trails to be explored. Stop by Dailong Raengaan – the green fortress known to be a resting place for travellers. Climb the steps to an open place that will eventually lead you to a series of resting spots. Perch yourself on one of the huge stone slaps and dream away! Also check out the huge rock formation with a giant footprint on it in the middle of the forest. It’s been there since forever but nobody knows the legend behind it!
A Biodiversity Heritage Site in India, Dailong is just an hour away from Tamenglong. Locals will help you arrange a private vehicle but we suggest you trek down to the village and lose yourself amidst nature. Walk through the woods, feel the cool breeze against your face, trek to the hills or walk down the river barefoot. There’s lots to explore!