A mountain state in the Indian Himalayas and a former Himalayan Kingdom situated between Nepal in the West, Bhutan in the East and Tibet/China in the North. Sikkim with its rich bio-diversity has 180 lakes ranging in an altitude from 200 meters to almost in the lap of Mt. Khanchendzonga 8,585meters- the third highest mountain in the world. Sikkim is spread in 7096 Sq. km. area has 600 Species birds, 4,500 species flowering plants, 424 species of Herbal plants, 240 species of Ferns and 16 species of Conifers besides 36 species of Rhododendron, 600 species of Butterflies, 600species of Orchids, making it a botanists' paradise.Sikkim promises vistas of Mountains, Lakes, Monasteries, numerous species of Flora and Fauna and most of all hospitable & friendly people of Sikkim.
Sikkim is one of the most promising states of India today with happy people and their unique culture. It gives its visitors a genuine welcome and treats them as friends. With its spectacular scenery and enviable climate, it is no wonder that tourist dies to visit it. Its abundance of rivers and lakes accompanied by its moist air gives it a lush. Its strangely tropical look gives the habitat of varied and exotic flowers. Most rare and unique orchid flower offers majestic beauty accompanied by the others flowers. Sikkim is a multilingual, multi-religious and multicultural state.
Place of Interest
Sikkim today is a rapidly evolving society. Its major towns like Gangtok the capital city, Namchi and Jorethang already are urbanizing at a steady pace. More and more people are being attracted by business opportunities and gradually imbibing the cosmopolitan character. Though Sikkim is predominantly a Buddhist state its spirit is secular and here churches, monasteries, gurdwaras, mosques, and temples co-exist peacefully. Is it hard to define the true culture of Sikkim? it could best be called a wonderful mosaic, a unique pattern made beautiful by the unusual harmony in its individually colorful threads. And that is its trait. The predominant communities are the Lepchas, the Bhutias and the Nepalese and over the years there have been inter-racial marriages among the three.
The Lepchas are the natives of Sikkim with very little known about their origin. A theory has it that the Lepchas moved in from the borders of Assam and Burma while another speaks of them migrating from Southern Tibet. But basically, they are of mongoloid stock. The tribe were nature worshippers and belonged to the Bon faith. It was later that they converted to Buddhism and much later to Christianity. In order to preserve their tribe and their tradition the government also has a reserved area for the Lepchas at Dzongu that has been declared restricted area.
The Bhutias are pure of Tibetan origin who migrated to Sikkim from Tibet somewhere after the fifteenth century. The language of the Bhutias is Sikkimese, a dialect of the Tibetan language and are mostly Buddhists. A predominant Bhutia population inhabits North Sikkim in the villages of Lachung and Lachen. The Lachungpas and the Lachenpas still retain their age-old village administrative system called the Dzumsa with an elected village chief called the ? Pipen?. Lachen and Lachung are also restricted areas. The Bhutia men still wear their traditional garment called the (Bakku) while women sport their (Bakku), (Hanju) with the married one donning a colorful (Pangdin) too.
The Nepalese who migrated from Nepal from the mid-nineteenth century form the dominant population. It was the British who patronized the Nepalese for their warlike qualities and integrity and raised an entire army consisting purely of Nepalese soldiers. They were also allowed to settle down in the hill tracts belonging to British India. In Sikkim, the Chogyal had granted a lease to some Nepalese traders sometime in the year 1860. It was these traders who reaped bountiful harvests in the fertile lands of Sikkim with the help of Nepalese farmers who later settled down completely. These early Nepalese settlers introduced terraced farming in the region and also brought the cardamom along with them which became a prized cash crop. The Kiratis who are also Nepalese are also believed to be the natives of Sikkim along with the Lepchas. The Kiratis include the Limbus, Rais, Tamangs, Gurungs, Magars, and others. The Nepalese speak the Nepali language written in the Devanagari script and is the major language spoken in Sikkim. The Nepalese are mostly Hindus though we can also find Buddhists and Christians among them too.