Shirui Hill

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 Location  Ecosystem Type    Conservation Type    Area(hectare)  Legal status 
 Ukhrul, Manipur  Other  Species Protection  Not Available  Not Available

Background

Shirui Hill, with an altitude of 2570 m, is located in Shirui village of Ukhrul District of Manipur. The rare and endangered siroy lily is the state flower of Manipur. Shirui peak (and the lily) are known by different names, each slightly different from the others: Siroy, Shiroi, Sirohee and Shirui, the last one being the local pronunciation. The hill is a part of the Shirui-Kashong range, which is proposed to be a national park under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. It is one of the only two places in Manipur that the Siroy lily is found, and even here only for a couple of months following mid-May every year. The area is also known to be inhabited by endangered bird species like the Blyth’s tragopan and Mrs. Hume’s bar-backed pheasant or nongyin, Manipur’s state bird.

Such widespread flowering of lilies as is seen today could not be seen between 1994-5 and 1999- 2000, when hardly 3-4 mature lilies were found in bloom. The huge numbers of visitors visiting the area during this season would flatten the beds and pluck and uproot the lilies. This resulted in a sharp decline of lilies in bloom.

Since the year 2000, the Shiroi Youth Club (a local club based at the Shirui village which is nearest to the site) has been tirelessly protecting the site. Among the steps that the youth club members took to protect the lilies were: checking the visitors, guarding the site as volunteers, putting up barbed-wire fencing around the site, levying a fine of Rs 50 for every lily plucked and Rs 500 for every lily plant uprooted. The hard work of the Shiroi Youth Club has borne fruit and after a gap of nearly 11 years widespread flowering of the lily can be seen again.

The greatest threat to this rare lily is from the large influx of tourists. In the flowering season there are busloads of young students or other tourists. Tourists are not only loud and rowdy but also end up trampling many budding lilies. Despite enough signs pointing towards the need to conserve and protect the habitat, many tourists deliberately pluck lilies to take back home for their ‘loved ones’.

  This case study has been compiled from information provided by Salam Rajesh, independent researcher based in Manipur (in 2002), and Kanchi Kohli, a member of Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, based in Delhi (in 2004).

Salam Rajesh
Sagolband Salam Leikai,
Imphal-795001, Manipur.
email: salamrajesh@rediffmail.com

Kanchi Kohli
Kalpavriksh 134, Tower 10,
Supreme Enclave
Delhi-110091
Ph: +91 11 22753714
Email:kanchi@hathway.com; kanchikohli@gmail.com

This case study was part of the Directory on Community Conserved Areas (2009), published by Kalpavriksh. The directory can be downloaded here.

Recent Updates

Shirui National Park proposal strongly opposed

A news article on the Shirui Village Authority strongly opposing the proposal to create the Shirui National park under the Forest Department.

Forest department takes up Nongin Conservation at Shirui

An article on the state forest department laying the foundation stone of “Conservation Breeding Centre of the State Bird – Nongin (Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant)” in Shirui.

Shirui Lily – promoting harmony

The Shirui Lily festival is celebrated to not only promote district tourism, protect and conserve Shirui Lily but also to promote communal harmony.

Tourism Development in Shirui Kashong: An Overview

An article on the Shirui Kashong and tourism and development issues.

Unplanned Deforestation Threatening Shirui Lily: Gov

As the festivities of Shirui Lily Week 2014 unfolded, Governor VK Duggal expressed a bit of his concern that the lily is facing threat of diminishing bloom due to unplanned deforestation at Shirui hills.

Related Information

Destination Siroy

A conservation program to protect Manipur's state flower is limiting the loss of its habitat, but community-wide efforts are needed to sustain the efforts in the long run.

Photo Gallery

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