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Friday, November 12, 2010

Banjhakri Falls – A Touristy Spot near Gangtok in Sikkim

Banjhakri falls is your typical touristy spot in Sikkim. It is an energy park and a shamanistic theme park. The falls is set amidst dense greenery and the theme park itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the Jhakri culture.


There is quite a story behind this place and its name. The word ‘Banjhakri’ means a forest shaman. If we break it down further ‘Ban’ means primitive and ‘Jhakri’ means shaman.


Shaman is a priest among certain people of northern Asia, regarded as one with healing and magical powers who can influence the spirits and bring about good and evil.


And it is these Shamanistic practices that 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.

 
All these are quite interesting and so is the waterfall that roars down from a height of say 70 feet. Enough facilities have been provided for the tourists to go closer to the waterfall and in fact take a natural shower.


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. Apart from being view points, these spots are also designed in shamanistic style and one can see great artwork on their ceilings.

 
Apart from the waterfall, the energy park and the theme park, this place, like all true tourist locations in India offers a great shopping outlet. It even hosts some decent momo stalls. Nothing beats a hot plate of momos and a steaming cup of tea on a nippy evening here.


But having said all the above, I somehow feel that this place gets too crowded for my comfort. May be because it is too close to Gangtok (4 kms away). Hence, remember to plan your itinerary in such a way that you visit this place during the non-travel or touristy season.



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