Banjhakri Waterfall, Gangtok, Sikkim:
BanJhakri Falls is about 6-7 km from Gangtok on the way to Ranka on National Highway 31 to North Sikkim. Banjhakri Falls is spreads on 2 two acres of land. The main attraction of the park is the waterfalls which cascades from a rocky height of almost 30m / 90 -100 ft approx. The Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park is a recreation centre and tourist attraction near Gangtok, in the state of Sikkim, India. The park's statuary and other displays document the Ban Jhakri, or traditional shamanic healer who worships spirits living in caves around the falls. Ban means "forest", and Jhakri means "healer".
This project is the physical translation of a concept visualised by Mr Pawan Chamling, the honourable Chief Minister of Sikkim, a story on Banjhakri, Jungle witch doctor. Banjhakris believed to be cave dwellers having power to train and convert young pure soul in witchcraft practices for becoming a witch doctor, believed to be a wild man, ranging from 3-5 feet in height , with conical heads and the entire body covered with hair barring head and face. The young souls are picked up and taken to his den and those found pure at heart and soul are only trained for a period of roughly a month and are returned back to the place from where they were picked up. The Banjhakri possesses super natural power and thus the figure as visualized along with Bongthings. Bijwas have been erected and placed under a thatched roof covered structure duly depicting the healing power to those requiring help. The showcasing of Banjhakri along with Bongthings, Bijwas etc. is to depict the age old practice of nature worshipers, beliefs on healing powers, detection / diagnose of the cause of ailments, driving away of bad sprits etc.
Among the park's attractions are a man-made lake with a dragon in the centre, gazebos, statues of jhakri, and statues of the ancestors of the Lyam Lymay, Mangpas, and Lepcha peoples of Sikkim. Sculptures of Jhakri, Bongthing, Phedangba, and Bijuwa are housed in thatched enclosures. Paved paths and footbridges wind through the landscaped garden, which is decorated with ornamental trees and flowers, such as ardesia, acer, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), camellia, angelica, hydrangea, and tebuchinie. All along the park you will witness ethnic sculptures and figurines depicting Jhakri culture. The figurines in the park illustrates rituals, some healing ceremonies and others the induction process in the life of a shaman. Other recreational activities and refreshment stalls are also placed at the entrance of the park. Entrance fee is levied for all visitors.
The entire energy requirement of the Banjhakri Water Falls Park is met from renewable sources of the energy. The river that runs below the falls has been harnessed in the park to light up the cafeteria and souvenir shops. Solar Streets lights provide for outdoor lighting. The Banjhakri Falls doubles as the Energy education centre that helps in the sensitization and promotion of the renewable energy technologies and its importance. Considering the real threat that is being posed by Climate Change and Global Warning the Park plays an important role in creation of the awareness of our environment.
Best Visit Hours 09:00 Hrs. to 17:00 Hrs. Entrance fee is levied for all visitors. It takes approximately 30 min drive to reach here from Gangtok. Local taxi is available from the market place and hotel.