What is floating national park?


The Enchanting Dance of the Phumdis: Exploring the World’s Only Floating National Park

Imagine a national park not anchored to solid ground, but gently swaying on a vast, shimmering lake. Sounds magical, right? Well, it’s not a whimsical dream; it’s the breathtaking reality of Keibul Lamjao National Park, nestled in the heart of India’s Manipur state. This extraordinary park, nestled on Loktak Lake, is the world’s only floating national park, a unique ecosystem where land and water waltz in a captivating dance.

image credit: Google Image

But wait, what exactly makes a park “float”? Unlike the familiar, firmly rooted national parks we imagine, Keibul Lamjao isn’t a landmass jutting out of water. Instead, it’s a mosaic of floating “islands” called phumdis. These aren’t your typical islands formed by rock or sand; they’re carpets of interwoven vegetation, a natural blend of plants, roots, and soil that have drifted together to form a spongy, buoyant mat. These phumdis bob and weave on the surface of Loktak Lake, creating a breathtaking sight that seems to defy gravity.

Imagine a patchwork quilt, each patch a different shade of green, spread out on a mirror-like lake. That’s roughly what Keibul Lamjao looks like from above. But this vibrant quilt isn’t just beautiful; it’s a life-giving haven for a dazzling array of creatures. The intricate network of plant life beneath the phumdis provides a shelter and sanctuary for countless fish, insects, and amphibians.

And then there’s the star of the show, the majestic Sangai. This graceful deer, with its delicate hooves and distinctive brow antlers, is found only in Keibul Lamjao. Once on the brink of extinction, the Sangai has found refuge in this floating paradise, its graceful leaps across the phumdis earning it the nickname “dancing deer.” Watching these endangered creatures pirouette across their green haven is a sight that stays with you forever.

But Keibul Lamjao isn’t just about floating islands and dancing deer; it’s a vital part of the region’s ecosystem. The phumdis act as natural filters, cleaning the water of Loktak Lake, and the biodiversity within the park contributes to the overall health of the entire region. It’s a living tapestry woven with countless threads – plants, animals, and humans – all dependent on each other for survival.

However, this extraordinary floating jewel faces challenges. Human activities like encroaching settlements and pollution threaten the delicate balance of this ecosystem. But the local communities and conservationists are working tirelessly to protect this unique treasure. Efforts are underway to control invasive species, promote sustainable practices, and raise awareness about the importance of Keibul Lamjao.

Visiting Keibul Lamjao is an experience unlike any other. Taking a boat through the labyrinthine waterways between the phumdis, spotting Sangai deer grazing on the floating greenery, and witnessing the vibrant birdlife is truly magical. It’s a reminder of the intricate dance of life, where land and water, plants and animals, all come together to create a wonder that transcends definition.

So, the next time you envision a national park, don’t just picture towering forests or rugged mountains. Remember the story of Keibul Lamjao, the park that floats on water, a testament to the resilience of nature and the unwavering spirit of those who strive to protect it. May this “dancing” park continue to captivate us with its beauty and inspire us to safeguard the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystems, one phumdi at a time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post: