Itahari: Located at Mikwakhola Rural Municipality-4 of Taplejung, Fungfunge waterfall is the magnificent waterfall of Nepal. This all-weather waterfall has huge volume of water which is visible even from the distant hills just opposite to the waterfall.
The fall was listed among the 100 destinations for Visit Nepal Year 2022.
There are several reasons for visiting the waterfall, the travelers said. Here we talk about its six salient features of the waterfall.
1. A noted Mundhum landmark of Taplejung
This is one of the beautiful Mundhum landmarks of Yakthung Limbu community. They have their own native indigenous name for this waterfall. They call it 'Fangfangden'. Arjun Mabuhang, a Mundhum researcher and also a noted author of Nepal, says Fungfunge (Fangfangden) is a must-go place for all who are eager to know the Limbu landmarks talked in Mundhum. ''Personally, I have written about its significance in the Nepal Magazine some two decade ago talking about its Mundhum roots and other significances'', said Mabuhang. He added, ''This is an attractive waterfall in Nepal. This dwarfs all other waterfalls of the Province 1, if not for all waterfalls of Nepal, in terms of its beauty and waterfall volume as well as visibility from faraway hills.'' Fungfunge waterfall is also one of the many crucial Mundhum landmarks in Tehrathum, Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung districts of Province 1.
2. Second tallest waterfall of East Nepal
Fungfunge waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls of Nepal. According to Dipak Khadka, an environmental expert doing his Ph.D who has taken GIS reading of the waterfall in his repeated visits to its vicinity, Fungfunge waterfall is 300 meter tall. This is the second tallest known waterfall in the Province 1. ''In terms of height Hyatrung of Tehrathum district is some 65 meter taller than this waterfall'', said Khadka, ''However, when it comes to water volume and other beauties and biodiversity, this waterfall is extremely beautiful from multiple angles.''
3. One of the most accessible faraway waterfalls of East Nepal
Fungfunge waterfall is also a better point from accessible point of view. It is reached within four hours of drive from district headquarters of Taplejung, It is also not so far from Gupha Bazar. It takes around five to six hours of drive from Gupha Bazar to reach vicinity of the waterfall. ''There was not good road track when I came to this waterfall for the first time in 2011'', said Indra Limbu, a local from Dobhan Bazaar of Taplejung. He added, ''After the operation of 73.5 megawatt Mewa Khola Hydro-electricity Project, this waterfall got infrastructural boot for connectivity and other commercial activities.'' Regular public vehicles are available from Taplejung Bazaar to Fungfunge waterfall. They charge around Rs. 900 for a rider, said Hemraj Niraula, a tourism campaigner from Taplejung. Niraula said Fungfunge could have welcome more travelers had there been blacktopped roadways connecting district headquarters and the waterfall area.
4. Availability of hotel, teahouse and home-stays
There is good availability of hotels and teahouses in the area. This sort of service is not available in faraway waterfalls in Nepal. ''There are some home-stays and tea houses as well as hotel with average service'', said Rabi Kiran Maden, a tourist Informant of Laligurans Municipality of Tehrathum. ''Our 21 members of travelers have recently spent an overnight in the Fungfunge waterfall in the single hotel'', said Maden. He added, ''If a single hotel can accommodate 21 guests other few hotels can accommodate more people for overnight stay.'' Maden said availability of running water, electricity, local food items, serene scenes of Mewa Khola and picture-perfect surrounding hills give added attraction to the waterfall area. Maden, however, cautioned travelers to be aware of leeches in times of rainy days. ''For some folks, natural leech therapy is their attraction and choice'', said Maden talking about the attraction of leech to some travelers.
5. A great transit travel point of Taplejung
Other than being destination in itself, Fungfunge waterfall is also a great transit travelling point for other beautiful and important parts of Taplejung. People eager to travel the Dhungesangu, the birthplace of Nepal's leader Madan Bhandari is not so far from this venue. Plus, people eager to travel to the beautiful northern hinterlands of Taplejung like Tokpegola and Olangchunggola have easy route from this waterfall. ''It takes around one and half day to reach Tokpegola from Fungfunge waterfall'', said Khadka, who have made multiple trips there. He added, ''For travelling to Olangchunggola, it takes around three to four days from Fungfunge waterfall.''
6. A great future venue for canoeing
Fungfunge has an attractive venue for adventurous canoeing activities. As of now, no such activities are running here both commercially and voluntarily. In the future, such activities have great potentialities here. ''I have done and seen canoeing in many waterfalls'', says Jivan Shrestha who is known from his name of 'Firante: A Traveler'. ''There is huge canoeing potentiality in Fungfunge waterfall. Locals, local tourism entrepreneurs and local government must come up collectively to tap into this potentiality'', suggested Shrestha who has been to this beautiful waterfall of Taplejung in recent week. ---