Sikkim: Wikis

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'vbras mo ljongs
འབྲས་མོ་ལྗོངས་
Sikkim
Gangtok
Location of 'vbras mo ljongs
འབྲས་མོ་ལྗོངས་
Sikkim
Coordinates 27°20′N 88°37′E / 27.33°N 88.62°E / 27.33; 88.62
Country  India
District(s) 4
Established 16 May 1975
Capital Gangtok
Largest city Gangtok
Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling
[[Legislature of Sikkim
सिक्किम|Legislature]]
(seats)
Unicameral (32)
Population
Density
540493 (28th)
76.17 /km2 (197 /sq mi)
Official languages Nepali (lingua franca), Bhutia, Lepcha (since 1977), Limbu (since 1981), Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang (since 1995) and Sunwar (since 1996)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area 7096 km2 (2740 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-SK
Website sikkim.gov.in/
Seal of 'vbras mo ljongs
འབྲས་མོ་ལྗོངས་
Sikkim

Sikkim (Limbu: About this sound Sikkim , Tibetan: འབྲས་ལྗོངས་, 'bras ljongs; Denzong[1]; "Demojongs i.e. the Goodly Region, or Shikim, Shikimpati or Sikkim of the English and Indians...."[2]) is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. It is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa.[3] This thumb-shaped state borders Nepal in the west, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and the east and Bhutan in the southeast. The Indian state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south.[4] Despite its small area of 7,096 km2 (2,740 sq mi), Sikkim is geographically diverse due to its location in the Himalayas. The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, is located on the border of Sikkim with Nepal.[5] Sikkim is a popular tourist destination owing to its culture, scenic beauty and biodiversity.

Legend has it that the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche visited Sikkim in the 9th century, introduced Buddhism and foretold the era of the monarchy. Indeed, the Namgyal dynasty was established in 1642. Over the next 150 years, the kingdom witnessed frequent raids and territorial losses to Nepalese invaders. It allied itself with the British rulers of India but was soon annexed by them. Later, Sikkim became a British protectorate and merged with India following a referendum in 1975.

Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali (lingua franca), Bhutia, Lepcha (since 1977), Limbu (since 1981), Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang (since 1995) and Sunwar (since 1996).[6] English is taught at schools and used in government documents. It is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepalese majority. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and the largest town. Sikkim has a booming economy dependent on agriculture and tourism.

Contents

Toponymy

The most widely accepted origin of the name Sikkim is that it is a combination of two words in the Limbu Su, which means "new", and Khyim, which means "palace" or house, in reference to the palace built by the state's first ruler, Phuntsog Namgyal. The Tibetan name for Sikkim is Denjong, which means the "valley of rice".[1] The Lepchas, original inhabitants of Sikkim called it Nye-mae-el or paradise,[7] and the Bhutias call it Beymul Demazong, which means the hidden valley of rice.[7] In Hindu religious texts, Sikkim is known as Indrakil, the garden of Indra.[8]

History

Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. The statue in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world at 36 metres (120 ft).

The earliest recorded event related to Sikkim is the passage of the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche through the land in the 8th century. The Guru is reported to have blessed the land, introduced Buddhism in Sikkim, and foretold the era of monarchy in the state that would arrive centuries later. In the 14th century, according to legend, Khye Bumsa, a prince from the Minyak House in Kham in Eastern Tibet, had a divine revelation one night instructing him to travel south to seek his fortunes. His descendants were later to form the royal family of Sikkim. In 1642, the fifth-generation descendant of Khye Bumsa, Phuntsog Namgyal, was consecrated as the first Chogyal (king) of Sikkim by the three venerated Lamas who came from the north, west and south to Yuksom, marking the beginning of the monarchy.[9]

Historical (1876) Map of the Princely state of Sikkim depicting Chomto Dong Lake [1] in northern Sikkim. However, the whole of Chumbi and Darjiling are not depicted as part of Sikkim in the map. Double-click for details.

Phuntsog Namgyal was succeeded in 1670 by his son, Tensung Namgyal, who moved the capital from Yuksom to Rabdentse. In 1700, Sikkim was invaded by the Bhutanese with the help of the half-sister of the Chogyal, who had been denied the throne. The Bhutanese were driven away by the Tibetans, who restored the throne to the Chogyal ten years later. Between 1717 and 1733, the kingdom faced many raids by the Nepalese in the west and Bhutanese in the east, culminating with the destruction of the capital Rabdentse by the Nepalese.[10] In 1791, China sent troops to support Sikkim and defend Tibet against the Gurkhas. Following Nepal's subsequent defeat, the Qing Dynasty established control over Sikkim.[11]

Following the arrival of the British Raj in neighboring India, Sikkim allied with them against their common enemy, Nepal. The Nepalese attacked Sikkim, overrunning most of the region including the Terai. This prompted the British East India Company to attack Nepal, resulting in the Gurkha War of 1814.[12] Treaties signed between Sikkim and Nepal resulted in returning of the territory annexed by the Nepalese in 1817. However, ties between Sikkim and the British weakened when the latter began taxation of the Morang region. In 1849 two British doctors, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Dr. Archibald Campbell, the latter being in charge of relations between the British and Sikkim Government, ventured into the mountains of Sikkim unannounced and unauthorised.[13] The doctors were detained by the Sikkim government, leading to a punitive British expedition against the Himalayan kingdom, after which the Darjeeling district and Morang were annexed to India in 1853. The invasion led to the Chogyal becoming a titular ruler under the directive of the British governor.[14] In 1890, Sikkim became a British protectorate and was granted more sovereignty over the next three decades.[15]

The Dro-dul Chorten Stupa in Gangtok.

In 1947, a popular vote rejected Sikkim's joining the Indian Union, and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to a special protectorate status for Sikkim. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications, but Sikkim otherwise retained autonomy. A state council was established in 1955 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal. Meanwhile, the Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for the Nepalese. In 1973, riots in front of the palace led to a formal request for protection from India. The Chogyal was proving to be extremely unpopular with the people. In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) appealed to the Indian Parliament for a change in Sikkim's status so that it could become a state of India. In April, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the voting people (59% of the people entitled to vote) voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later, on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the monarchy was abolished.[16]

In 2000, the seventeenth Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who had been proclaimed a tulku by the atheist Chinese Communist party, escaped from Tibet to the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Chinese officials were in a quandary on this issue, as any protests to India would mean an explicit endorsement of India's governance of Sikkim, which the Chinese still regarded as an independent state occupied by India. China eventually recognized Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India accepted Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China.[17] This mutual agreement led to a thaw in Sino-Indian relations.[18] New Delhi accepted Tibet as a part of China in 1953 during the government of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[19] On July 6, 2006, the Himalayan pass of Nathula was opened to cross-border trade, further evidence of improving relations in the region.[20]

Geography

Kangchenjunga, (8,586 metres / 28,170 ft)), highest peak of India and third-highest on Earth
Cities and towns of Sikkim

The thumb-shaped state is characterized by wholly mountainous terrain. Almost the entire state is hilly, with an elevation ranging from 280 metres (920 ft) to 8,585 metres (28,000 ft). The summit of the Kangchenjunga is the highest point which falls on the border between Sikkim and Nepal.[5] For the most part, the land is unfit for agriculture because of the precipitous and rocky slopes. However, certain hill slopes have been converted into farm lands using terrace farming techniques. Numerous snow-fed streams in Sikkim have carved out river valleys in the west and south of the state. These streams combine into the Teesta and its tributary, the Rangeet. The Teesta, described as the "lifeline of Sikkim", flows through the state from north to south.[citation needed] About a third of the land is heavily forested.

The Himalayan ranges surround the northern, eastern and western borders of Sikkim in a crescent. The Lower Himalayas in the southern reaches of the state are the most densely populated. The state has 28 mountain peaks, more than 80 glaciers[21], 227 high-altitude lakes including the Tsongmo Lake, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri Lake, 5 hot springs, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Eight mountain passes connect the state to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.[22]

Unfrozen Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim
Mountains of North Sikkim

Sikkim's hot springs are known for medicinal and therapeutic values. The most important hot springs are at Phurchachu (Reshi), Yumthang, Borang, Ralang, Taram-chu and Yumey Samdong. They have high sulphur content and are located near river banks. Some also emit hydrogen.[23] The average temperature of the water in these hot springs is 50 °C (122 °F).[24]

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Geology

The hills of Sikkim mainly consist of gneissose and half-schistose rocks, making their soil brown clay, and generally poor and shallow. The soil is coarse, with large amounts of iron oxide concentrations, ranging from neutral to acidic and has poor organic and mineral nutrients. This type of soil tends to support evergreen and deciduous forests.[25]

Most of Sikkim is covered by Precambrian rock and is much younger in age than the hills. The rock consists of phyllites and schists and therefore the slopes are highly susceptible to weathering and prone to erosion. This, combined with the intense rain, causes extensive soil erosion and heavy loss of soil nutrients through leaching. As a result, landslides are frequent, isolating the towns and villages from the major urban centres.[26]

Climate

The climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the northern parts. The tundra-type region in the north is clad by snow for four months a year though the temperature drops below 0 °C (32 °F) almost every night.[27] The peaks of north-western Sikkim are perpetually frozen.[28] Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim, however, witness a temperate climate, with the temperatures seldom exceeding 28 °C (82 °F) in summer or dropping below 0 °C (32 °F) in winter. The mean monthly temperature in summer is 15 °C.[29] The state has five seasons: winter, summer, spring, and autumn, and a monsoon season between June and September. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around 18 °C (64 °F). Sikkim is one of the few states in India to receive regular snowfall. The snow line ranges from 20,000 feet in the north to 16,000 feet in the south.[30] During the monsoon, heavy rains increase the possibility of landslides. The record for the longest period of continuous rain is 11 days. In the northern region, because of high altitude, temperatures drop below −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter. Fog also affects many parts of the state during winter and the monsoons, making transportation perilous.[31]

Subdivisions

The four districts of Sikkim and their headquarters

Sikkim has four districts, each overseen by a Central Government appointee, the district collector, who is in charge of the administration of the civilian areas of the districts. The Indian army has control of a large territory, as the state is a sensitive border area. Many areas are restricted and permits are needed to visit them. There are eight towns and nine subdivisions in Sikkim.

The four districts are East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North Sikkim and South Sikkim. The district capitals are Gangtok, Geyzing, Mangan and Namchi respectively.[32] These Four Districts are further divided into Subdivisions. "Pakyong" and "Rongli" are the subdivisions of the East District. "Soreng" is the subdivision of the West District. "Chungthang" is the subdivision of the North District. "Ravongla" is the subdivision of the South District.[33]

Flora and fauna

The Rhododendron is the state tree.

Sikkim is situated in an ecological hotspot of the lower Himalayas, one of only three among the Ecoregions of India. The forested regions of the state exhibit a diverse range of fauna and flora. Owing to its altitudinal gradation, the state has a wide variety of plants, from tropical to temperate to alpine and tundra, and is perhaps one of the few regions to exhibit such a diversity within such a small area. Nearly 81% of the area of Sikkim comes under the administration of its forest department.[34]

The flora of Sikkim include the rhododendron, the state tree, with a wide range of species occurring from subtropical to alpine regions.

Orchids, figs, laurel, bananas, sal trees and bamboo grow in the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests of the lower altitudes of Sikkim, which enjoy a subtropical-type climate.

In the temperate elevations above 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) are Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests, where oaks, chestnuts, maples, birches, alders, and magnolias grow in large numbers, as well as Himalayan subtropical pine forests, dominated by Chir pine.

The alpine-type vegetation is typically found between an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 metres (11,500 to 16,400 ft). In lower elevations are found juniper, pine, firs, cypresses and rhododendrons from the Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. Higher up are Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, home to a broad variety of rhododendrons and wildflowers.

Sikkim has around 5,000 flowering plants, 515 rare orchids, 60 primula species, 36 rhododendron species, 11 oak varieties, 23 bamboo varieties, 16 conifer species, 362 types of ferns and ferns allies, 8 tree ferns, and over 424 medicinal plants.[35] A variant of the Poinsettia, locally known as "Christmas Flower", can be found in abundance in the mountainous state. The orchid Dendrobium nobile is the official flower of Sikkim.

The Red Panda is the state animal of Sikkim.

The fauna include the snow leopard,[36] the musk deer, the Himalayan Tahr, the red panda, the Himalayan marmot, the serow, the goral, the barking deer, the common langur, the Himalayan Black Bear, the clouded leopard,[37] the Marbled Cat, the leopard cat, the wild dog, the Tibetan wolf, the hog badger, the binturong, the jungle cat and the civet cat.[38] Among the animals more commonly found in the alpine zone are yaks, mainly reared for their milk, meat, and as a beast of burden.

The avifauna of Sikkim consist of the Impeyan pheasant, the crimson horned pheasant, the snow partridge, the snow cock, the lammergeyer and griffon vultures, as well as golden eagles, quail, plovers, woodcock, sandpipers, pigeons, Old World flycatchers, babblers and robins. Sikkim has more than 550 species of birds, some of which have been declared endangered.[39]

Sikkim also has a rich diversity of arthropods, many of which remain unstudied even today. As with the rest of India, the most studied group is that of the butterflies. Of approximately 1438 butterfly species found in the Indian subcontinent, 695 have been recorded from Sikkim.[40] These include the endangered Kaiser-i-hind, Yellow Gorgon and the Bhutan Glory.[41]

Economy

This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Sikkim at market prices estimated by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.[42]

Year Gross State Domestic Product
1980 520
1985 1,220
1990 2,340
1995 5,200
2000 9,710
2003 23,786 [2]

Sikkim's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $478 million in current prices.

Sikkim's economy is largely agrarian. The British introduced terraced farming of rice,[43] in addition to crops such as maize, millet, wheat, barley, oranges, tea and cardamom.[44] Sikkim has the highest production and largest cultivated area of cardamom in India.[45] Because of the hilly terrain, and lack of reliable transportation infrastructure, there are no large-scale industries. Breweries, distilleries, tanning and watchmaking are the main industries. These are located in the southern reaches of the state, primarily in the towns of Melli and Jorethang. The state has a high growth rate of 8.3%, which is the second highest in the country after Delhi.[46]

Elaichi or Cardamom is the chief cash crop of Sikkim.

In recent years, the government of Sikkim has extensively promoted tourism. As a result, the state revenue has increased 14 times since the mid-1990s.[47]

A fledgling industry the state has recently invested in is gambling, including online gambling. A casino was opened in March 2009, the Casino Sikkim, and seven further casino licences are being considered by the state government.[48] The Playwin lottery has been a commercial success and operates all over the country.[49][50]. In October 2009 the government of Sikkim announced plans to offer three online sports betting licences.[51] Among the minerals mined in Sikkim are copper, dolomite, talc, graphite, quartzite, coal, zinc and lead.[52]

The opening of the Nathula Pass on July 6, 2006 connecting Lhasa, Tibet to India is expected to give a boost to the local economy, though the financial benefits will be slow to arrive. The pass, closed since the 1962 Sino-Indian War, was an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road, which was essential to the wool, fur and spice trade.[20]

Transport

The River Teesta is considered as the "lifeline of Sikkim."

Sikkim does not have any airports or railheads because of its rough terrain, however, the first airport of the state is expected to be ready by 2011 in Pakyong, 30 km (19 mi) away from Gangtok.[53] The closest airport, Bagdogra Airport, is near the town of Siliguri, West Bengal. The airport is about 124 km away from Gangtok. A regular helicopter service run by the Sikkim Helicopter Service connects Gangtok to Bagdogra; the flight is thirty minutes long, operates only once a day, and can carry 4 people.[54] The Gangtok helipad is the only civilian helipad in the state.

The closest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri.[55]

New Sikkim Railway Project has been launched to connect rangpo town of sikkim with sevoke whic is expected to complete in 2015.

National Highway 31A and National Highway 31 together link Siliguri to Gangtok.[56] The Sikkim National Transport runs bus and truck services. Privately-run bus, tourist taxi and jeep services ply throughout Sikkim and also connect it to Siliguri. A branch of the highway from Melli connects western Sikkim. Towns in southern and western Sikkim are connected to the northern West Bengal hill stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling.[57] The state is connected to China by Nathu La.

Demographics

Old Sikkimese woman

The majority of Sikkim's residents are of Nepali ethnic-national origin who arrived in the 19th century. The native Sikkimese consist of the Bhutias, who migrated from the Kham district of Tibet in the 14th century, and the Lepchas who are believed to have migrated from the Far East. Tibetans reside mostly in the northern and eastern reaches of the state. Immigrant resident communities include the Biharis, Bengalis and Marwaris who own most of the shops in South Sikkim and Gangtok.[59]

Hinduism is the major religion in the state, followed by Buddhism. Sikkim has 75 monasteries, the oldest dating back to the 1700s.[60] The Christians are mostly Lepcha people who were converted by British missionaries since the late 19th century. Among other minorities are Muslims of Bihari ethnicity and Jains.[61] Though tensions between the Lepchas and the Nepalese escalated during the merger of Sikkim with India, there has never been any communal violence, unlike most other states.[62]

Nepali is the lingua franca of Sikkim. Bhutia and Lepcha are also common. English and Hindi are also spoken and understood in most of Sikkim. Other languages include Dzongkha, Groma, Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Majhi, Majhwar, Nepal Bhasa, Rai, Sikkimese, Sherpa, Sunuwar, Tamang, Thulung, Tibetan, and Yakha.[63]

Sikkim is India's least populous state. In 2001 it had 540,851 inhabitants, with 288,484 males and 252,367 females.[64] It is also one of the least densely populated states with only 76 persons per square kilometre. Its growth rate is 32.98% (1991–2001). The sex ratio is 875 females per 1000 males. With 50,000 inhabitants, Gangtok is the state's only significant town. The urban population in Sikkim is 11.06%.[33] The per capita income stands at Rs. 11,356, which is one of the highest in the country.[65]

Culture

The Gumpa being performed in Lachung during the Buddhist festival of Losar

The Sikkimese celebrate all major Hindu festivals such as Diwali and Dussera. Nepali festivals like Tihar and Bhimsen Puja are common.[66] Losar, Loosong, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen, Drupka Teshi and Bhumchu are Buddhist festivals. During the Losar (Tibetan New Year) most offices and educational institutions are closed for a week.[67] Muslims celebrate Id-ul-fitr and Muharram.[68] Christmas has also been promoted in Gangtok to attract tourists during the off-season.[69]

Western rock music and Hindi songs have gained wide acceptance among the Sikkimese. Indigenous Nepali rock and Lepcha music are also popular.[70] Common sports in Sikkim are Football and cricket. Hang gliding and river rafting have also been introduced in order to promote tourism.[71]

Noodle-based dishes such as the thukpa, chowmein, thanthuk, fakthu, gyathuk and wonton are common in Sikkim. Momos, steamed dumplings filled with vegetable, buff (buffalo meat) or pork and served with a soup, are a popular snack.[72] Beer, whiskey, rum and brandy are widely consumed.[73] Sikkim has the third highest per capita alcoholism rate amongst all Indian states, behind Punjab and Haryana.[74]

Government and politics

State symbols
State day May 16 (day of accession to India)
State animal Red Panda
State bird Blood Pheasant[75]
State tree Rhododendron
State flower Noble orchid[76]

Like all states of India, the head of the state government is a governor appointed by the Central Indian Government. His/her appointment is largely ceremonial, and his/her main role is to oversee the swearing in of the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, who holds the real executive powers, is the head of the party or coalition garnering the largest majority in the state elections. The governor also appoints the cabinet ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister. Sikkim has a unicameral legislature like most other Indian states. Sikkim is allocated one seat in each of both chambers of India's national bicameral legislature, the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha. There are a total of 32 state assembly seats including one reserved for the Sangha. The Sikkim High Court is the smallest high court in the country.[77]

The White Hall complex houses the residences of the Chief Minister and Governor of Sikkim.

In 1975, after the abrogation of Sikkim's monarchy, the Congress Party got the largest majority in the 1977 elections. In 1979, after a period of instability, a popular ministry headed by Nar Bahadur Bhandari, leader of the Sikkim Sangram Parishad Party was sworn in. Bhandari held on to power in the 1984 and 1989 elections. In the 1994 elections Pawan Kumar Chamling from the Sikkim Democratic Front became the Chief Minister of the state. The party has since held on to power by winning the 1999 and 2004 elections.[14][54] It won all the 32 seats of the state assembly in 2009.[78]

Infrastructure

Tibetology Museum and research centre.

Although roads in Sikkim are often exposed to landslides and flooding by nearby streams, the roads are significantly better than the equivalent roads of other Indian states. The roads are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), an offshoot of the Indian army. The roads in South Sikkim and NH-31A are in good condition, landslides being less frequent in these areas. The state government maintains 1857.35 km of roadways that do not fall in the BRO jurisdiction.[33]

Sikkim receives most of its electricity from 19 hydroelectric power stations.[47] It has achieved 100% rural electrification.[79] Power also obtained from the National Thermal Power Corporation and Power Grid Corporation of India.[80] However the voltage is unstable and voltage stabilisers are needed. Per capita consumption of electricity in Sikkim is 182 kWh. The state government has promoted biogas and solar power for cooking but these have received a poor response and are used mostly for lighting purposes.[81] 73.2% of the total households have access to safe drinking water,[33] and the large number of streams assures sufficient water supply.

Media

The Rumtek monastery is the most famous monument of Sikkim and was the centre of media attention in 2000.

The southern urban areas have English, Nepali and Hindi dailies. Nepali language newspapers as well as some English newspapers are locally printed, whereas Hindi and English newspapers are printed in Siliguri. Important local dailies[82] are the Samay Dainik, Sikkim Express (English), Sikkim Now (English), and Himalibela. The regional editions of English newspapers include The Statesman and The Telegraph, which are printed in Siliguri and available in the same day, as well as The Hindu and The Times of India, printed in Kolkata, which are received with a day's delay in the towns of Gangtok, Jorethang, Melli and Geyzing. Himalaya Darpan, a Nepali daily being published from Siliguri is one of the leading Nepali dailies in the region. The Sikkim Herald is an official weekly publication of the government. Online media covering Sikkim include the Nepali newspaper Himgiri, the English news portal Haalkhabar and the literary magazine Tistarangit. Avyakta, Bilokan, Journal of Hill Research, Khaber Khagaj, Panda, and Sikkim Science Society Newsletter are the registered publications in Bengali, Nepali, and English published out of Sikkim in weekly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annual periodicities.[82]

Internet cafés are well established in the district capitals, but broadband connectivity is not widely available. Satellite television channels through dish antennae are available in most homes in the state. Channels served are the same available throughout India along with Nepali language channels. The main service providers are Dish TV, Doordarshan and Nayuma. The area is well serviced by local cellular companies.

Education

Literacy in Sikkim is 69.68%, which breaks down into 76.73% for males and 61.46% for females. There are a total of 1157 schools, including 765 schools run by the State government, 7 central government schools and 385 private schools.[83] Twelve colleges and other institutions in Sikkim offer higher education. The largest institution is the Sikkim Manipal University of Technological Sciences, which offers higher education in engineering, medicine and management. It also runs a host of distance education programs in diverse fields. There are two state-run polytechnical schools, Advanced Technical Training Centre (ATTC) and Centre for Computers and Communication Technology (CCCT) in Sikkim which offer diploma courses in various branches of engineering. ATTC is situated at Bardang, Singtam and CCCT at Chisopani, Namchi. Sikkim University a central university, began operating in 2008 at Yangang, which is situated about 28 km from Singtam.[84] Many students, however, migrate to Siliguri, Kolkata, Bangalore and other Indian cities for their higher education.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Bell, Charles Alfred (1987). Portrait of a Dalai Lama: the life and times of the great thirteenth. Wisdom Publications. p. 25. ISBN 086171055X. 
  2. ^ Strachey (1884), p. 2.
  3. ^ Arjun Adlakha (April 1997). "Population Trends: India" (PDF). International brief. U.S. Department of Commerce. p. 5. http://www.census.gov/ipc/prod/ib-9701.pdf#search=%22india%20state%20population%22. Retrieved 4 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Physical Features of Sikkim". Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim. 29 September 2005. http://sikkimipr.org/GENERAL/ecosystem/ecosystem.htm. Retrieved 12 October 2006. 
  5. ^ a b Madge, Tim (1995). Last Hero: Bill Tilman, a Biography of the Explorer. Mountaineers Books. p. 93. ISBN 0898864526. 
  6. ^ Sonam Wangdi (Oct 13,2009). "Nepali Language in the Eighth Schedule of Constitution". http://www.darjeelingtimes.com/news/print/2208.html. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "General information about Sikkim". Sikkim Tourism, Government of Sikkim. http://sikkimtournet.com/webforms/general/Introduction.aspx. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Datta, Amaresh (2006) [1988]. Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 2. Sahitya Akademi. p. 1739. ISBN 8126011947. 
  9. ^ Central Asia. Area Study Centre (Central Asia), University of Peshawar. v. 41, no. 2. 2005. pp. 50–53. 
  10. ^ Singh, O. P. (1985). Strategic Sikkim. Stosius/Advent Books. p. 42. ISBN 0865908028. 
  11. ^ Singh, O. P. p. 43
  12. ^ Jha, Pranab Kumar (1985). History of Sikkim, 1817-1904: Analysis of British Policy and Activities. O.P.S. Publishers. p. 11. ASIN: B001OQE7EY. 
  13. ^ "Sikkim and Tibet". Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine (William Blackwood) 147: 658. May 1890. 
  14. ^ a b "History of Sikkim". Government of Sikkim. 29 August 2002. http://sikkim.nic.in/sws/sikk_his.htm. Retrieved 12 October 2006. 
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References

  • Evans, W.H. (1932) The Identification of Indian Butterflies. (2nd Ed), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.
  • Haribal, Meena (1992) Butterflies of Sikkim Himalaya and their Natural History. Sikkim Nature Conservation Foundation.
  • Hooker, Joseph Dalton "Himalayan Journals" Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co. Assistant-director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Holidaying in Sikkim and Bhutan – published by Nest and Wings – ISBN 81-87592-07-9
  • Sikkim — Land of Mystic and Splendour – published by Sikkim Tourism.
  • Manorama Yearbook 2003 – ISBN 81-900461-8-7
  • Strachey, H. (1854). "Physical Geography of Western Tibet." Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XXIII, pp. 1–69, plus map.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sikkim, Nepali: सिक्किम, is a state in East India in the Himalayan foot hills also bordering the nations of Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

  • Gangtok – the district in the east and the capital of Sikkim.
  • Geyzing – the district in West Sikkim
  • Mangan – the district in North Sikkim
  • Namchi – the district in South Sikkim
  • Pelling
  • Ravangla
  • Yuksom
  • Dzongu - In North Sikkim, region reserved for the Lepcha People.

Understand

The state official language of Sikkim is Nepali, which is also the primary language of most locals. Many other languages such as Dzongkha and Tibetan are also spoken by smaller numbers. However, Hindi is also widely spoken as a second language, and all educated people are able to speak English.

Get in

There are no airports or railway stations in Sikkim. The only way to enter Sikkim from rest of India is by road using bus or jeep from West Bengal.

By plane

Nearest airport for Sikkim is Bagdogra, near Siliguri in North Bengal, which is 124 km and approximately four hours drive from Gangtok. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, SpiceJet, etc. service Bagdogra linking it with other major airport in India (including Guwahati). You can also take a helicopter from Bagdogra to Gangtok.

Next to the Bagdogra airport exit, is a government operated pre-paid taxi stand. You can get a four seater (Maruti Omni) or a ten seater (Tata Sumo, Mahindra Maxx, etc) for fixed rates to various destinations in Sikkim. The standard fare for Bagdogra-Gangtok is Rs 1,100 for a four seater and Rs 1,500 for a ten seater (as of April, 2009). Try to get hold of fellow tourists to share the fare.

An alternative could be to take a pre-paid taxi to Siliguri (about 10 kms from Bagdogra airport) and hop into a ten-seater shared taxi for Rs 130 per person (as of April, 2009).

By train

Construction of a 50-km rail link from Sevoke, West Bengal to Rangpo, Sikkim started in 2009, but is not expected to be ready until 2015, and it'll take another few years after that until it reaches another 40 km up to Gangtok.

In the meantime, the nearest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Both of them have a number of trains connecting them to Kolkata. You should be able to get pre-paid taxis to Gangtok outside the railway stations easily.

By bus

The Sikkim government has fixed rate (and fixed schedule) buses plying between Siliguri and Gangtok.

After 44 years of closure, the Nathu La pass to Tibet, China – a part of the historic Silk Road – opened again in July 2006. There are plans for a Gangtok-Lhasa bus service.

Get around

Most travel in Sikkim is done by bus or jeep on road. Trekking is also a popular option.

  • Rumtek Monastery [1] – 24 km from Gangtok in East Sikkim – the main seat of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim. Originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in 1740, but fell into disrepair. The current structure dates from 1959.
  • Tsongmo Lake [2] – 40 km from Gangtok in East Sikkim on Nathula route – Tsongmo Lake (also called Changu Lake or Tsomgo Lake) is a large lake in the East Sikkim district of India. It is oval-shaped, with a length of about one kilometre and has an average depth of fifteen metres.It is also a home of Brahminy Ducks besides being a stopover for various migratory birds. Etymologically "Tso" means lake and "Mgo" means head, thus literally meaning "source of the lake" in the Bhutia language. Tsongmo lake is declared a sacred lake by the local Buddhist and Hindu population. The lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover. It is believed that the birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface. There is a motorable road from Pemayangtse right up to the lake area. It falls in the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals are not permitted to visit this lake without special permission. A little distance from the lake is a beautiful natural three storied cave, the Tseten Tashi Cave is a worth to visit.
  • Nathu la pass - The Nathu la pass lies on the Indo-Chinese border and is only open for Indian tourists. People who wish to visit Nathu la should get special permission one day in advance. Please note, however, that the pass is not open on Mondays & Tuesdays every week.It closes in the winter and opens in May.
  • Baba mandir - Eight kilometers from Nathu la pass is the original Harbajan Singh Baba Temple from which the Indo-Bhutan border is approximately 6 km and the India-China border is around 5 km. A must visit place for all those who like to explore places!
  • Kabi Lungstok - Kabi Lungtsok is a historic place, located on North Sikkim Highway, 17 kms away from Gangtok. This is the same place where the historic treaty between Lepcha Chief Te-Kung-Tek and the Bhutia Chief Khey-Bum-Sar was signed ritually.
  • Chungthang - Chungthang is located in the northern part of Sikkim. It is located at the confluence of Lachen and Lachung Chu and is the starting point of the river teesta. It is believed that Chungthang is blessed by a guru Rimpoche.
  • Gurudongmar Lake [3] - Gurudongmar lake is at an altitude of 5150 meters ft. The lake is both sacred and pristine. It has crystal clear waters and and the way leading to it is a cold desert. The lake remains completely frozen during the Winters, except for a small part which is considered to be touched by Guru Padmasambhava. Visits to the lake are allowed after obtaining a permit from the Government. Foreign nationals are not allowed to go there. The whole area is controlled by Army, due to it's proximity to China. . The air pressure is only 55 % compared to sea level , making altitude sickness a certain outcome for any longer stay without lengthy acclimatization. For day trip visitors a night halt at Lachen is advised for minimal altitude acclimatization . It is advisable to not to run or speak loudly. Just sit by the lake enjoying it's beauty and the surrounding mountains. Tourists are generally asked to leave the place by 1 - 2 PM, after which the wind speeds picks up and is enough to carry small stones with it!
  • Dzongri trek: Dzongri trek is possible in the west part of the Sikkim. This trek is suitable for those trekkers who wish to go for a short and easy trek. This trek provides beautiful view of unique landscape, which permanently gets printed on the trekkers mind. [4]

Do

There are many adventure activities possible to do in Sikkim. Tourists can go for Trekking, Rafting and Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Yak Safari and many more.

Eat

Sikkimese relish Tibetan food. You must eat delicious momos stuffed with meat. For vegeterians, veg momos are also available. Noodles, locally called Thupkas, are also good.

  • Allen's Kitchen, Gangtok (Accross the Fire station, down from the foot bridge to MG Road). Great place for non-vegetarian delicacies. Try the very tasty chicken momos (dumplings) and beef chilli. Very reasonable. Tandoori chicken was not that good.  edit
  • Chhang/ Thumba/ Chee - Locally brewed millet beer, sometimes served in bamboo glass with a wooden straw. A must try. Available almost everywhere in Sikkim.
  • HIT Beer - This local favorite is manufactured by a brewery owned by the Bollywood Actor Danny Denzongpa. This brand is available almost everywhere in Sikkim.
  • Liquor - Liquor like whiskey, brandy, rum etc is very cheap in Sikkim as compared to other parts of India.
  • Bamboo Grove Retreat, Kazi Road, Gangtok (Above tibet Road), +91-3592-208816, [5]. Located at the heart of city, this 2 star boutique hotel offers ample of hospitality and comfort. It boasts of having its own garden and also an open badminton court. It is surrounded by lush bamboo groves and provides a peaceful and homely environment. It has 19 clean and well decorated rooms providing a breathtaking view of the mountains and a friendly staff. 3000.  edit
  • Hotel Superview Himalchuli, Zero Point. Run by the Sikkimese family. It is ideal for families. This hotel offers a panoramic views of the Gangtok town, valleys and mountains. It has room top garden and private parking. The rooms are reasonably priced and offers multi cuisine.
  • Teen Taley, Rumtek (Near Rumtek Monastery), 03592 252256 09832014867, [6]. An Eco Garden Resort spread over an area of seven acres, this resort provides breathtaking view of the mountain ranges.The resort has been envisaged on the idea of promoting the local. It has its own organic garden and farm animals which provide for healthy and organic local food. What it offers to the visitors is a place free from the crowded city, service that is based on care with each guest being regarded as god. Furthermore the resort is a thing of beauty in itself, a place for nature lovers, and for those seeking that elusive thing called inner peace.... the perfect getaway.  edit
  • Mayal Lyang Homestay, 1. Passingdang, Upper Dzongu, Sikkim (30 minutes from Mangan Bazaar), +91-9434446088, [7]. An eco-tourism initiative, this homestay is located in the heart of Lepcha land - Dzongu. One can experience the warmth and hospitality of Lepchas, the aborginal inhabitants of Sikkim. The hosts, Gyatso and his wife, are very nice people and have great tales to tell. The village is set amongst dense vegetation, on the side of a hill, with the Rongyung Chu River flowing at the hill's base. This place is far from the tourist hustle bustle. Visit here if you like to stray from the beaten path. The whole area is picturesque and unspoiled. Possible things to do here include visiting pristine places in Dzongu, trekking, angling, watching butterflies and birds, eating organic food grown here etc. (27.5290093,88.5141045) edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SIKKIM, called by Tibetans Dejong (" the rice country"), a protected state of India, situated in the eastern Himalaya, between 27° 5' and 28° 9' N. and between 8 7° 59' and 88° 56' E. It comprises an area of 2818 sq. m. of what may be briefly described as the catchment basin of the headwaters of the rivers Tista and Rangit. On the S. and S.E., branches of these rivers form the boundary between Sikkim and British India, while on the W., N. and N.E. Sikkim is separated from Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan by the range of lofty mountains which culminate in Kinchinjunga and form a kind of horse-shoe, whence dependent spurs project southwards, gradually contracting and lessening in height until they reach the junction of the Rangit and the Tista. Thus the country is split up into a succession of deep valleys surmounted by open plateaus cut off from one another by high and steep ridges, and lies at a very considerable elevation, rising from 1000 ft. above sea-level at its southern extremity to 16,000 or 18,000 ft. on the north. The main trade-passes into Tibet, such as the Jelep (14,500), Chola (14,550), and Kangra-la (16,000), are not nearly so high as in the western Himalaya, while those into Nepal are less than 12,000 ft.

Physical Features

Small though the country is, a wide variation of climate makes it peculiarly interesting. From a naturalist's point of view it can be divided into three zones. The lowest, stretching from woo to 5000 ft. above sea-level, may be called the tropical zone; thence to 13,000 ft., the upper limit of tree vegetation, the temperate; and above, to the line of perpetual snow, the alpine. Down to about 1880 Sikkim was covered with dense forests, only interrupted where village clearances had bared the slopes for agriculture, but at the present time this description does not apply below 6000 ft., the upper limit at which maize ripens; for here, owing to increase of population (particularly the immigration of Nepalese settlers), almost every suitable spot has been cleared for cultivation. The exuberance of its flora may be imagined when it is considered that the total flowering plants comprise some 4000 species; there are more than 200 different kinds of ferns, 400 orchids, 20 bamboos, 30 rhododendrons, 30 to 40 primulas, and many other genera are equally profuse; in fact Sikkim contains types of every flora from the tropics to the poles, and probably no other country of equal or larger extent can present such infinite variety. Butterflies abound and comprise about 600 species, while moths are estimated at 2000. Birds are profusely represented, numbering between Soo and 600 species. Among mammals, the most interesting are the snow leopard (Felis unica), the cat-bear (Aelurus fulgens), the musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) and two species of goat antelope (Nemorhaedus bubalinus and Cemas goral). Copper and lime are the chief minerals found and worked in Sikkim, but they are of little commercial value at present. Government and Population. - The population is essentially agricultural, each family living in a house on its own land: there are no towns or villages, and the only collection of houses, outside the Lachen and Lachung valleys, are the few that have sprung up round country market-places, such as Rhenock, Dikkeling and Gangtok; but in the above-mentioned valleys the inhabitants, who are Bhutanese in origin and herdsmen in occupation, have large clusters of well-built houses at various altitudes up the valleys, which they occupy, in rotation according to the season of the year.

The seat of government, or in other words the palace of the raja, was formerly situated at Rubdentze; but when that place was taken and destroyed by the Gurkhas, a new palace was built at Tumlong, close to the eastern and Tibetan boundary, while a subsidiary summer residence was erected on the other side of the Chola range at Chumbi, in the Am-mochu valley. At the present time the raja and his court remain in the more open country at Gangtok, where the British political officer and a small detachment of native troops are also stationed.

The first regular census of Sikkim, in 1901, returned the population at 59,014, showing an apparent increase of nearly twofold in the decade. Of the total, 65% were Hindus and 35% Buddhists. The Lepchas, supposed to be the original inhabitants, numbered only 8000, while no less than 23,000 were immigrants from Nepal.

The state religion is Buddhism as practised in Tibet, but is not confined to one particular sect; while among the heterogeneous population of Sikkim all manner of religious cults can be found. Education is at a low ebb, though the monasteries are supposed to maintain schools, and missionary enterprise has established others.

The revenue of Sikkim has increased under British guidance from Rs. 20,000 a year to nearly Rs. 1,60,000, derived chiefly from a land and poll tax, excise, and sale of timber; the chief expenditure is on Chillianwalla. the maintenance of the state, which practically means the raja's family, and on the improvement of communications. The country has a complete system of mountain roads, bridged and open to animal (but not cart) traffic. British trade with Central Tibet is carried over the Jelep route, on the south-eastern border of Sikkim.

History

The earliest inhabitants of Sikkim were the Rong-pa (ravine folk), better known as Lepchas, probably a tribe of IndoChinese origin; but when or how they migrated to Sikkim is unknown. The reigning family, however, is Tibetan, and claims descent from one of the Gyalpos or princelings of eastern Chinese Tibet; their ancestors in course of several generations found their way westwards to Lhasa and Sakya, and thence down the Am-mochu valley; finally, about the year 1604, Penchoo Namyge was born at Gangtok, and in 1641, with the aid of Lha-tsan Lama and two other priests of the Duk-pa or Red-hat sect of Tibet, overcame the Lepcha chiefs, who had been warring among themselves, established a firm government and introduced Buddhist Lamaism as a state religion. His son, Tensung Namyge, very largely extended his kingdom, but much of it was lost in the succeeding reign of Chak-dor Namyge (1700-1717), who is credited with having designed the alphabet now in use among the Lepchas.

In the beginning of the 18th century Bhutan appropriated a large tract of country on the east. Between 1776 and 1792 Sikkim was constantly at war with the victorious Gurkhas, who were, however, driven out of part of their conquests by the Chinese in 1792; but it was not until 1816 that the bulk of what is known to us as Sikkim was restored by the British, after the defeat of the Nepalese by General Ochterlony. In 1839 the site of Darjeeling was ceded by the raja of Sikkim. In 1849 the British resumed the whole of the plains (Tarai) and the outer hills, as punishment for repeated insults and injuries. In 1861 a Britisn force was required to impose a treaty defining good relations. The raja, however, refused to carry out his obligations and defiantly persisted in living in Tibet; his administration was neglected, his subjects oppressed, and a force of Tibetan soldiers was allowed, and even encouraged, to seize the road and erect a fort within sight of Darjeeling. After months of useless remonstrance, the government was forced in 1888 to send an expedition, which drove the Tibetans back over the Jelep pass. A convention was then concluded with China in 1890, whereby the British protectorate over Sikkim was acknowledged and the boundary of the state defined; to this was added a supplemental agreement relating to trade and domestic matters, which was signed in 1893. Since that time the government has been conducted by the maharaja assisted by a council of seven or eight of his leading subjects, and guided by a resident British officer. Crime, of which there is little, is punished under local laws administered by kazis or petty chiefs. Since 1904 political relations with Sikkim, which had formerly been conducted by the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, have been in the hands of the Viceroy.

Rajas of Sikkim (Dejong-Gyalpo): Penchoo Namgye (1641-1670), Tensung Namgye (1670-1700), Chak-dor Namgye (1700-1717), Gyur-me Namgye (1717-1734), Penchoo Namgye (1734-1780), Tenzing Namgye (1780-1790), Cho-phoe Namgye (1790-1861), Sikhyong Namgye (1861-1874), Tho-tub Namgye (1874), the maharaja, whose son has been educated at Oxford.

Authorities. -Sir J. W. Edgar, Report on a Visit to Sikkim and the Tibetan Frontier in 1873 (Calcutta, 1874); Macaulay, Report on a Mission to Sikkim and the Tibetan Frontier (Calcutta, 1885); The Gazetteer of Sikkim (Calcutta, 1894); Hooker, Himalayan Journals (London, 1854); L. A. Waddell, Lamaism (London, 1895); Among the Himalayas (London, 1898). (A. W. P.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Singular
Sikkim

Plural
-

Sikkim

  1. State in eastern India which has Gangtok as its capital.

Translations


Simple English

File:India Sikkim locator
A map showing us where Sikkimese is located.

Sikkim (Bengali:সিক্কিম, ভারত) is a state in the Republic of India. It has the smallest number of people and second smallest land size (2,745 mi² (7,110 km²)) of any state. The third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga (28,208 Ft asl) is in Sikkim. The capital is Gangtok and other big towns are Gayzing, Pelling, Yuksam and Jorethang. The languages spoken are English, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tibetan, Nepali and Hindi. Tourism makes a lot of the money in this small state of India, because it is not close to the sea. It is next to Bhutan to the east, Nepal to the west, Tibet to the north and the Indian mainlands to its south.

Sikkim has been cut off from the outside world for a long time. It was settled by Tibetans in the 16th century and became a British protectorate in 1890. Sikkim became part of India in 1949 and became a state in 1975.

Sikkim's people have mainly Nepalese ancestry; there are also Bhotias (Tibetan in origin) and aboriginal Lepchas, who are mainly pastoral nomads. The Nepalese practice Hinduism, but the former chogyal (“king under the religious laws”) and the official class are Buddhist, and Sikkim is known for its Buddhist monasteries. Tibeto-Burmese languages and dialects are commonly spoken.

Contents

Physical Features

Sikkim is the second smallest state after Goa, but it has many physical features like forests, rivers and mountains around its edges. Most of the mountains above 6100 meters (20000ft) are near the west of the state, like Mt Kanchendzonga. Other mountains that are over 6100 meters (20000ft)tall are Kabru (the second tallest), Sinilchu, Pandim, Rothong, Kokthang, Talung, Kanglakhang, Simvo & Jonsang. On the east side the tallest peak is Paunhri, which is about 6700 meters(22000ft) tall. The other mountains that are a little bit shorter than 6100 meters (20000ft) are Masthonangye, Yabukjakchen, Narsing and Lamaonden. Most of the mountains in Sikkim have never been climbed, because the Sikkimese consider them sacred. They feel that when the mountains are climbed, they will not be holy anymore.

Lakes

On the way between Gangtok to Nathula, 35 kilometers from Gangtok is Lake Changu (Tsomgo), about 3693 meters (12310 ftp) above sea level. Two other lakes nearby are the Bidangcho and the Mememcho. Lake Kechopari is another well-known lake. It is between Gyalshing and Yoksum. Many of the lakes in Sikkim are on the western border, north of Chiwabhanjang towards the Base Camp. Laxmipokhari, Lampokhari, Majurpokhari, Dud Phokhari, Samiti Lake, and the twin lakes of Ram-Laxman are a few of the lakes in this area. Gurudogmar, which is the largest lake, is in North Sikkim.

Hot Springs

Sikkim has many hot springs which are known to be good for health. The most important hot-springs are at Phurchachu(Reshi), Yumthang, Borang, Ralang, Taram-chu and Yumey Samdong. All these hotsprings have a lot of sulfur and are near the river banks. The average temperature of the water in these hot springs is 50 °C.

Foods and Drinks

Sikkimese usually eat rice, green vegetables, potatoes, dal, and sinky, Kenama and Gundruk, (Nepali food).

Momo

Momo is a very popular Tibetan treat in Sikkim. It is prepared by stuffing meat and vegetable ingredients in flour dough then making them into dumplings. Momos are eaten with soup and chilli sauce. This Tibetan dish can be found in almost every local restaurant and fast food shop.

Thukpa

Thukpa is a noodle soup with vegetables and beef which is also very popular.

Sael Roti

Seal Roti (Nepali traditional food) is made by grinding rice and water into a paste, then deep fried. It is normally eaten with potato curry. It is prepared during Dasai and Tihar (local festivals).

Gundruk

Gundruk is the leaves of the mustard oil plant that are dried in the sun, then boiled with ingredients.

Geography

  • Area : 7400 Sq.km
  • Capital : Gangtok
  • Height: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Land type: Hilly from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
    • Summer

Max- 21 °C ; Min - 13 °C

    • Winter

Max -13 °C ; Min - 0.48 °C Rainfall : 325 cm every year

  • Languages spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi

National symbols of Sikkim


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