Team led by SDM Gangtok Robin Sewa today, July 28 sealed the popular tourist destination Banjhakri Falls. The park was sealed as the person who was operating the park was unable to pay defaulting lease amounting of Rs 2.5 Crores to the department of Tourism, Government of Sikkim.
Speaking with Sikkim Chronicle, Senior Tourism Department officer said that the Bhanjhakri falls or park is government’s asset which was given to the person (defaulter) to operate but since the person was unable to pay the defaulting amounting sum of Rs 2.5 crores since two and half years hence Bhanjhakri falls was sealed.
Prior to sealing of the park today, last year the District Administration of East Sikkim had intervened the matter and had passed an order under ‘Rent recovery Act’ which mentioned that the property should be taken back by the state government.
Following to which, the defaulter (Defaulter) had challenged the decision of district administration in the high court. However, the High court of Sikkim upheld with the decision of the District Administration’s order to tack back the property under rent recovery act which eventually led to sealing of the Bhanjhakri park today.
The Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park is a recreation centre and tourist attraction near Gangtok. The park’s statuary and other displays document the Ban Jhakri, or traditional shamanic healer, who worships spirits living in caves around the falls. It is a natural waterfall sourced from springs at higher elevation. The cascade is approximately 30 meters high. The park covers the area of approximately 2 acres. The park was constructed by the Rural Management Development Department Government of Sikkim later the property was handed over to the State Tourism department.
The theme park was conceived by Former Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling During his foot tour of Ranka on the 28th of September 2004. Following to which he intended to revive interest in the traditional shamanic beliefs of the people. Besides the natural surroundings, the park is themed around ancient human traditions of appeasing spirits by Shamans or better locally as jhakris, Bongthings, Bijuas, Phedangbas, etc. These Shamans perform rituals to enhance and enrich their occult powers so that they can better ward off evils and epidemics of disease.
The park consists of the water falls, beautiful landscapes and well laid out trails to wander about. Gazebos in local design are scattered around the location, from where one can marvel at the view of the falls and stream waters gushing by. There are foot bridges in Sikkimese style spanning the meandering stream and connecting one enchanting spot to another. Dotted all over the park are exquisite varieties of flowers arrayed in multiple mosaic- from Artesia to acer, garden is to poinsettia camellias, angelicas’, hydrangeas and tebuchinies with a host of flowering trees.
The park sustains its energy needs through renewable energy sources like solar lamps and has mini Hyde station, making it totally eco-friendly.