Waikhu hunting or crab hunting at Waikhong in Manipur is the first adventure trip I enjoyed. I went for a school project in this beautiful hill of Manipur.
It was full moon night (Purnima) of October. I have to stay the night in school. The local guide inform me that tonight we will go for crab hunting in a nearby stream.
The sky was lit with the moon’s enchanting light and we could see the water clearly. We carry a torchlight and a long knife.
I was accompanied by a local guide along with my cousin brother. Three of us started from a little bridge near the Sandhong laifam. The place was very scenic with fireflies guiding us the way.
The stream water was not deep, it was just one feet above our ankle. The crystal clear water from the hill was flowing smoothly.
When we just plunged into the water, we saw 5-6 crabs inside the water. Our guide, Sanasam Tomba was expert in crab hunting. He could easily picked all the crabs.
I tried to hold one, which tried to bite my fingers. My cousin brother Chanam Khamba was holding the torchlight. Fishes like Ngamu, Ngasep and Phabou Nga are also found swimming in the clear shallow water.
The crabs are lying like small pebbles along the river. Tomba said that during night crabs came out and search for the foods. They prefer a special fruits from a Tree which were grown along the banks.
Along with the crabs we also catch lots of small fishes. We journeyed in the stream which was filled with crabs. Within 10 minutes of our adventure along the river, we caught more than 50 crabs. Some escape from me.
Tomba and Khamba were expert in catching the crabs. Crabs are filling our buckets. They are big in size and one must be weighing around 200-300 grams.
The water was knee deep in some spot and we could not catch them. So, we travel further to the hill which is not far. We are lucky to hunt crab on the full moon night of October.
Tomba said waikhu hunting on full moon is most successful as crabs came out on this night. On other days we can catch but not like today.
We have traveled hardly one kilometre and our bucket was full. Nearly we have caught around 100 crabs which is a huge catch. If I am expert in Waikhu hunting, we could cross 150.
Some crabs have escaped from me. And I also told my team not to pick up the small ones. Let them grow further so we can hunt again.
I must say, without climbing high waterfalls or mountain, the Waikhu hunting in Waikhong is a must to do list. Once in a year, we can go and catch crabs.
It was like picking pebbles from the stream. If you have time to visit Manipur, we can plan for a waikhu hunting trip. Waikhong is around 50 km from the State capital Imphal.
We can stay the night in a jungle camping and enjoy the crab delicious recipe as well. The local people are good and they will join us too.
Waikhong is known as salt village as well. During early days, this village is famous for spring salt well. Today also, there are few natural salt wells. This might be the reason why crabs of Waikhong are tasty!