Banjhakri waterfalls is a popular tourist spot near Gangtok in Sikkim.
We visited Gangtok for a couple of days with Jagrata’s father (Baba). He wanted to see the Medical Institute of Judhajit and the place too.
We decided today to visit Bankjhakri waterfalls with him due to its proximity to the city of Gangtok. It’s around 5 km from Gangtok.
The 100-foot waterfall is set amidst dense greenery and the theme park itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the Jhakri culture.
The waterfall roars down from a height of 100 feet. Enough facilities have been provided for the tourists to go closer to the waterfall.
Banjhakri means a forest shaman. A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing. Banjhakri and Banjhakrini are shamanic deities in the tradition of the Tamang people of Nepal. The two are a couple, and possibly different aspects of the same being.
These shamanistic practices are depicted via the figurines in this theme park. Some of these depict rituals, some healing ceremonies and others the initiation process in the life of a shaman.
A jhakri is required to identify the right boys and teach the technique secretly in his forest cave. And after the training the boys themselves became Jhakris being able to cure anybody affected by evil spirits.
Sikkimese style bridges have been built over the water streams and that lead to small view points from where one can get great shots of the waterfall.
Baba couldn’t walk up the stairs to reach the waterfall area, so he sat near the stairs leading to the waterfall and was watching some local boys catching fish in the stream.
Angling enthusiasts can find out about the fishing spots along the stream which runs merrily through the Banjhakri Falls Energy Park.
There is also a cafeteria in the exhibition center. It even hosts some decent momo stalls. Nothing beats a hot plate of momo, aloo dum and a steaming hot cup of tea on a afternoon. It’s a nice place and worth a visit. It should be on every Gangtok visitor’s itinerary.