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Sikkim

Tourist Place

Perched between Nepal in the west, Bhutan in the east, and Tibet (China) in the north, Darjeeling (West Bengal) in the south. Sikkim is 7096 square miles in area and contains Mount Khanchendzong, the third highest peak in the world. Formerly a kindom, since 1975 it has been a tiny land -locked state of India. Sikkim, with its rich biodiversity, has 150 lakes ranging in altitude from 200 meters to almost 800 meters. A mountainous region in eastern Himalaya has 600 species of birds, or about half the population found in India. Sikkim has 4000 species of flowering plants, making it a botonist's paradise.
It has 558 species of orchids, and 39 species of Rhododendrons and around 600 species of Butterfilies. Sikkim is rich in avifauna and considered to be a bird watches paradise. Its avian population extends to almost 550 species within an altitudinal variation of 200 meters.
Sikkim
Three ethnic communities-  Bhutias, Lepchas and Nepalese intermingling lives in harmoney through out the culture and environment rich Sikkim. Popular goes up to 5,76,000 spread across 7096 Sq. Km area. Culturally & environmentally rich Sikkim offers varities of ethnic face in their own coustumes, traditions and cultures. People are both Hindus and Buddhist with some population of new Christians. Mountains and lakes are worshipped by the large section of the population. Hindu & Buddhist dominant population, sizable nature worshipper still practice traditional way of religion and healing. The climate varies between the tropical heat of the valleys and the alpine cold of the snowy regions. The altitudinal zone of vegetation range in tropical, sub tropical, temperate to alpine. Some places, just in a matter of one hour topography change from hot low lying area to severe cold alpine zone. In some accessible tourists spots, snow lasts till the end of June in some high places. Sikkim is considered a hot spot of biodiversity in the Eastern Himalaya.

History

This history of Sikkim is an diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.
The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.
In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully Sikkim's status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy is favour of democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led the annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

Culture & Festivals:-

The peaceful conexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterizes the cultural diversity of Sikkim.
Festival
Lepcha  are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.
Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means hill, thum means place of district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as "Hill people".
Festival
Bhutias  are Tribetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as the supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.
Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dassehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Economy 

The society of a region, it's culture, social institutions, beliefs and social structure are all sensitive of the development. Economic activity is referred to as the liveilood pattern, so is the prevalent economic condition of the people. People of Sikkim engage in different economic activities, prominent among which are Tourism, Industries, horticulture and agriculture etc. giving rise to definite occupational structure. In other words, economic parameters of a region are the best indicators of the development
A peep into Sikkim's Economy :-
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Forest
  • Mining
  • Industries
  • Power
  • Liquor Industry
  • Aqua Culture
  • LiveStock

Place of Interest

  1. Tsomgo (Changu Lake) :- 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water in bhutia language.
    Sikkim
  2. Pelling : - Around 10 kms from Gyalshing, Pelling is today emerging as the second biggest tourist destination in the state after Gangtok. 
  3. Hot Springs :- Sikkim has many hot springs known for their therapeutic value. High in Sulphur content, the waters are believed to have great medicinal properties with the average temperature of the water in these hot springs close to 50 C.
  4. Buddhist Circuit : - Sikkim was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava, the great Buddhist saint who visited Sikkim in the 8th century and consecrated the land, meditating at its four corners to ride it of all negativity.
    Buddhist Circuit
  5. Gangtok :- The capital of Sikkim is a charming and picturesque town, straddling with striking houses spilling down the hillside.
  6. Yuksom :-  This was the first capital of Sikkim, where historical records say that the first divine ruler of Sikkim was sancitified in 1641 by the three learned lamas. 
Nathula Pass, The Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden and Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology are the other place which attract visitors.

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