Sikkim is sheer magic. This is not just the most beautiful place in the world but cleanest and safest too. If once the charms of the State were limited to mists, mountains and colourful butterflies, they are now complimented by tangible development and progress. With its unique culture and natural landscape, Sikkim is a picture of perfection and pristine purity. Nestled in the Himalayas and endowed with exceptional natural resources, Sikkim is a hotspot of biodiversity and development. Though small in size, yet Sikkim has been identified world over as an important repository of germplasms of unknown dimensions. Perhaps, there is no part of the world, which offers a spectacular scene with every turn of the road as Sikkim. Though land-locked, Sikkim is one of the most beautiful and strategically important state of the Indian Union.
Sikkim is situated in the lap of the world’s third highest mountain,Mount Kanchenjunga (8603 meter.), and it worshiped as the Guardian Deity of Sikkim. Sikkim shares her borders with Tibet in the North, Bhutan in the East, Nepal in the West and State of West Bengal in the South. With an area of 7,096 sq. km, holding 9 sub division, 4 districts (North, South, East & West) and population of 5,70,077 people.
Sikkim is adorned with snowy mountain, fast flowing rivers, lush valleys, terraced hills, sacred lakes, medicinal hot springs, pristine waterfalls, luxuriant forests with exotic flora and fauna i.e.Rhododendron(state tree), Manolia and orchids(state flower).
Sikkim is a hotspot of Biodiversity of Flora and Fauna ranging from Tropical to Alpine. Sikkim has 407 varieties of Orchids, 680 types of butterflies and 550 species and sub-species of birds. The rivers have Trout, Salmon and Carp. Animals found in the dense forest of Sikkim: The Dreaded Himalayan Bear, Musk and barking Deer, Snow Leopard, Marbled Cats, Red Panda (state animal), The Blue Sheep etc.
Little is known of Sikkim’s history prior to the 17th century. The state’s name is derived from the Limbu words su him, meaning “new house.” The Lepcha were early inhabitants of the region, apparently assimilating the Naong, Chang, Mon, and other tribes. The Bhutia began entering the area from Tibet in the 14th century. When the kingdom of Sikkim was established in 1642, Phuntsog Namgyal, the first chogyal (temporal and spiritual king), came from the Bhutia community. The Namgyal dynasty ruled Sikkim until 1975.
Sikkim fought a series of territorial wars with both Bhutan and Nepal beginning in the mid-18th century, and Nepal subsequently came to occupy parts of western Sikkim and the submontane Tarai region to the south. It was during this period that the largest migration of Nepalese to Sikkim began. In 1816 these territories were restored to Sikkim by the British in return for its support during the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16), but by 1817 Sikkim had become a de facto protectorate of Britain.
Sikkim’s economy is based predominantly on agriculture, with the sector engaging more than half of the working population. Corn (maize), rice, buckwheat, wheat, and barley are produced in terraced fields along the valley flanks. Beans, ginger, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, and tea also are grown. Sikkim is one of the world’s principal producers of cardamom. Many of Sikkim’s farmers also raise livestock, including cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry. Cattle and buffalo are limited mainly to the subtropical humid belt, while yaks and sheep are herded in the higher elevations in the north.
Copper, lead, and zinc are mined in Sikkim. The state also has deposits of other minerals, including coal, graphite, and limestone. Only a fraction of Sikkim’s mineral resources are commercially exploited.
The hydroelectric potential of Sikkim’s Tista River system is considerable. There are a few large hydroelectric stations and many smaller plants that provide energy to Gangtok, Rangpo, Singtam, and Mangan. Rural electrification has remained a government priority.
The constitution of Sikkim provides for a governor—appointed by the president of India—as the head of state. The governor is aided by the state Council of Ministers, which is led by a chief minister. The Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is a unicameral elected body, with a portion of the seats allocated to the combined Lepcha and Bhutia populations. One Lepcha-Bhutia seat is reserved for the nominee of the lamas (Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders); some seats also are reserved for representatives of the Scheduled Castes. The final court in the judiciary system is the High Court at Gangtok, from which appeals may be made to the Supreme Court of India. Lower courts include district courts, which handle both criminal and civil cases, and sessions courts, which generally handle civil cases; judicial magistrates rule on criminal offenses.
The state is divided into a handful of districts. Within each district, local headmen serve as liaisons between the people and the district administration. Panchayats (village councils) administer the villages and implement welfare programs.
Sikkim is a basin surrounded on three sides by precipitous mountain walls. There is little lowland, and the variation in relief is extreme. Within a stretch of roughly 50 miles (80 km), the land rises from an elevation of about 750 feet (225 metres) in the Tista River valley to nearly 28,200 feet (8,600 metres) at Kanchenjunga, India’s highest peak and the world’s third highest mountain. The Singalila Range separates Sikkim from Nepal in the west, while the Dongkya Range forms the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the east. Several passes across this range afford easy access to the Chumbi valley in Tibet and, beyond the valley, to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.
Sikkim’s cultural life, though showing strong Tibetan influences, retains a character derived from the various tribes of Sikkim and their pre-Buddhist customs. The most important festival of the year is the two-day Phanglhapsol festival in August or September, in which masked dancers perform in honour of Kanchenjunga, the presiding deity. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (1958), in Gangtok, has one of the largest collections of Tibetan books in the world. Many monasteries are repositories of wall paintings, thang-kas (religious paintings mounted on brocade), bronze images, and other artworks.
Explore the clean lush green valleys, rhododendron groves, subtropical woodlands and the white-top peaks of the eastern Himalaya in this distinctive mountain kingdom, which are only some of the Sikkim tourism places to visit. Sikkim tourism encompasses the beauty of the snowy mountain tops, the Changu Lake and Gurudongmar Lake, scenic treks like the Dzongri trek and the Khangchendzonga trek, majestic dairy farms, enchanting monasteries, cosmopolitan centers, diverse landscapes and much much more! Sikkim tourism development corporation also assists tourists in chalking out a suitable plan so that they can enjoy their trip to the fullest, without missing out on any of the fascinating places. One can also make a west Sikkim tour plan, specifically to visit the lush green mountainscapes.
Sikkim is sheer magic. This is not just the most beautiful place in the world but cleanest and safest too. If once t ...