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Sikkim (; ) is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
in northeastern
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
. It borders the
Tibet Autonomous Region The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or Xizang Autonomous Region, called Tibet or Xizang for short, is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' pr ...
of China in the north and northeast,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
in the east,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
in the west, and
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they spe ...

West Bengal
in the south. Sikkim is also close to India's
Siliguri Corridor The Siliguri Corridor is a narrow stretch of land (about wide) located around the city of Siliguri in West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali language, Bengali: ''Paschim Banga'' ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the ...
near
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, , ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in . It is the in the world, with a population exceeding 163 million people, in an area of , making it one of the in the world. Bangladesh shares land bor ...

Bangladesh
. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the
Eastern Himalaya] The Eastern Himalayas extend from eastern Nepal across Northeast India, Bhutan, the Tibet Autonomous Region to Yunnan in China and northern Myanmar. The climate of this region is influenced by the monsoon of South Asia from June to September. It i ...
, Sikkim is notable for its
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
, including
alpine Alpine may refer to: Places * Alps, a European mountain range * Alpine states, associated with the mountain range, or relating to any lofty mountain areas * Mountainous or alpine; the mountains. Australia * Alpine, New South Wales, a Northern Vill ...
and
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

subtropical
climates, as well as being a host to
Kangchenjunga Kangchenjunga, also spelled Kanchenjunga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of in a section of the Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', n ...

Kangchenjunga
, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and largest city is
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the
Khangchendzonga National Park Khangchendzonga National Park also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a national park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List ...
– a
UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNES ...
. The
Kingdom of Sikkim The Kingdom of Sikkim (Classical Tibetan Classical Tibetan refers to the language of any text written in Tibetic after the Old Tibetan period. Though it extends from the 12th century until the modern day, it particularly refers to the l ...

Kingdom of Sikkim
was founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century. It was ruled by
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
priest-kings known as the
Chogyal The Chogyal (" Dharma Kings", , Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...
. It became a
princely state A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a vassal state under a local or indigenous or regional ruler in a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company and af ...
of
British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one ...

British India
in 1890. Following Indian independence, Sikkim continued its
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
status with the Union of India after 1947, and the Republic of India after 1950. It enjoyed the highest literacy rate and per capita income among
Himalayan states The Himalayan states are a group of countries straddling the Himalayan mountain range in Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern ...
. In 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyal's palace. In 1975, after the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...

Indian Army
took over the city of
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
, a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
was held that led to the deposition of the monarchy and Sikkim joining
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
as its 22nd state. Modern Sikkim is a multiethnic and
multilingual in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of King County, Washington, King County, Washington (state), Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the la ...

multilingual
Indian state. The
official languages An official language, also called state language, is a language given a special status in a particular jurisdiction (area), country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a country's official language refers to the language used in government (j ...
of the state are
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
,
Nepali
Nepali
, Sikkimese and Lepcha. Additional official languages include
Gurung The Gurung people, also called Tamu, are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of central Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय ल ...
, Limbu,
MagarMagar may refer to: *Magar people *Magar language *Khagendra Thapa Magar, the shortest man in the world (as of 2012) *Magar, the Catholicos of All Armenians from 1885 to 1891 See also

* Magyar (disambiguation) {{disambig, surname Language and ...
, Mukhia, Newari,
Rai Rai or RAI may refer to: Title of royalty and nobility * Rai (title) ''Rai'' ( ur, , ; bn, রায়) is a historical title of royalty and nobility in the Indian subcontinent used by rulers and chieftains of many princely states. It is deri ...
, and
Tamang The Tamang (; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida, based on the ancient B ...
for the purpose of preservation of culture and tradition in the state.
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
is taught in schools and used in government documents. The predominant religions are
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
and
Vajrayana Buddhism Vajrayāna (Sanskrit: "thunderbolt vehicle" or "diamond vehicle") along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism are names referring to Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's ...
. Sikkim's economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism. , the state had the fifth-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing.Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
Sikkim accounts for the largest share of
cardamom Cardamom (), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Reco ...

cardamom
production in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, and is the world's second largest producer of the spice after
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Am ...

Guatemala
. Sikkim achieved its ambition to convert its agriculture to fully organic between 2003 and 2016, and became the first state in India to achieve this distinction.Paull, John (2017
"Four New Strategies to Grow the Organic Agriculture Sector"
, Agrofor International Journal, 2(3):61–70.
It is also among India's most environmentally conscious states, having banned "in any government functions and meetings" and
polystyrene Polystyrene (PS) is a synthetic Aromaticity, aromatic hydrocarbon polymer made from the monomer known as styrene. Polystyrene can be solid or foamed. General-purpose polystyrene is clear, hard, and brittle. It is an inexpensive resin per un ...

polystyrene
products (throughout the state).


Toponymy

The origin theory of the name ''Sikkim'' is that it is a combination of two Limbu words: ''su'', which means "new", and ''khyim'', which means "palace" or "house". The
Tibetan Tibetan may mean: * of, from, or related to Tibet * Tibetan people, an ethnic group * Tibetan language: ** Classical Tibetan, the classical language used also as a contemporary written standard ** Standard Tibetan, the most widely used spoken dialec ...
name for Sikkim is ''Drenjong'' (Wylie-transliteration: bras ljongs''), which means "valley of
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
", while the
Bhutia The Bhutia (; sip, Drenjongpa / Drenjop ; ; "inhabitants of Sikkim"; in Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Dru ...
s call it '' Beyul Demazong'', which means '"the hidden valley of rice". According to folklore, after establishing Rabdentse as his new capital, Bhutia king Tensung Namgyal built a palace and asked his Limbu Queen to name it. The
Lepcha people The Lepcha (; also called Rongkup ( Lepcha: ᰕᰫ་ᰊᰪᰰ་ᰆᰧᰶ ᰛᰩᰵ་ᰀᰪᰱ ᰛᰪᰮ་ᰀᰪᰱ, ''Mútuncí Róngkup Rumkup'', "beloved children of the Róng and of God") and Rongpa ( Sikkimese: )) are among the indigeno ...
, the original inhabitants of Sikkim, called it ''Nye-mae-el'', meaning "paradise". In historical
Indian literature Indian literature refers to the literature produced on the Indian subcontinent until 1947 and in the Republic of India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most po ...
, Sikkim is known as ''Indrakil'', the garden of the
war god A war god in mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), atti ...

war god
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia afte ...

Indra
.


History

The Lepchas are considered to be the earliest inhabitants of Sikkim. However the Limbus and the
Magars The Magar, also spelled as Mangar, and Mongar, are the third largest ethnolinguistic groups of Nepal representing 7.1% of Nepal's total population according to the 2011 Nepal census, Nepal census of 2011. The original home of the Magar people was ...
also lived in the inaccessible parts of West and South districts as early as the Lepchas perhaps lived in the East and North districts. The Buddhist saint , also known as Guru Rinpoche, is said to have passed through the land in the 8th century. The Guru is reported to have blessed the land, introduced
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
, and foretold the era of monarchy that would arrive in Sikkim centuries later.


Foundation of the monarchy

According to legend, Khye Bumsa, a 14th-century prince from the Minyak House in
Kham Kham (; ) is one of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the others being Amdo in the northeast, and Ü-Tsang in central Tibet. The original residents of Kham are called Khampas (), and were governed locally by chieftains and monasteries. K ...

Kham
in eastern
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
, received a
divine revelation In religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involu ...
instructing him to travel south to seek his fortunes. A fifth-generation descendant of Khye Bumsa,
Phuntsog Namgyal Phuntsog Namgyal ( Sikkimese: ; Wylie: ''phun tshog rnam rgyal'') (1604–1670) was the first chogyal The Chogyal (" Dharma Kings", , Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam ...
, became the founder of Sikkim's monarchy in 1642, when he was consecrated as the first
Chogyal The Chogyal (" Dharma Kings", , Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...
, or priest-king, of Sikkim by the three venerated
lama Lama (; "chief" ) is a title for a teacher of the '' Dharma'' in Tibetan Buddhism. The name is similar to the Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language ...

lama
s at
Yuksom Yuksom is a historical town in Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim district in the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim. It was the first capital of Sikkim established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal (temporal and religious k ...

Yuksom
. Phuntsog Namgyal was succeeded in 1670 by his son, Tensung Namgyal, who moved the capital from Yuksom to
Rabdentse Rabdentse was the second capital of the former Kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The capital city was destroyed by the invading Gurkha army and only the ruins of the palace and the chortens are seen here now. However, the ruins of this city ar ...

Rabdentse
(near modern
Pelling Pelling is a small hill town in the district of West Sikkim, India. Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing and 131 k ...

Pelling
). In 1700, Sikkim was invaded by the
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
ese with the help of the half-sister of the Chogyal, who had been denied the throne. The Bhutanese were driven away by the
Tibetan people The Tibetan people (; ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to Tibet. Their current population is estimated to be around 6.7 million. In addition to the majority living in Tibet Autonomous Region of Chin ...
, who restored the throne to the
Chogyal The Chogyal (" Dharma Kings", , Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Ind ...
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 Rabdentse was the second capital of the former Kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The capital city was destroyed by the invading Gurkha army and only the ruins of the palace and the chortens are seen here now. However, the ruins of this city ar ...

Rabdentse
by the Nepalese. In 1791,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
sent troops to support Sikkim and defend
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
against the
Gorkha Kingdom Gorkha Kingdom ( ne, गोरखा राज्य) was a Khas people, Khas kingdom in the confederation of 24 states known as Chaubisi rajya, on the Indian subcontinent, present-day western Nepal. The Kingdom of Gorkha extended from the Mars ...
. Following the subsequent defeat of Gorkha, the Chinese
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
established control over Sikkim.


During the British Raj

Following the beginning of
British rule The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', literally, "rule" in Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, ...

British rule
in neighbouring
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, Sikkim allied with Britain against their common adversary,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
. The Nepalese attacked Sikkim, overrunning most of the region including the
Terai , image =Terai nepal.jpg , image_size = , image_alt = , caption =Aerial view of Terai plains near Biratnagar, Nepal , map = , map_size = , map_alt = , map_caption = , biogeographic_realm = Indomalayan realm The Indomalayan realm is one of ...
. This prompted the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
to attack Nepal, resulting in the
Gurkha War The Anglo-Nepalese War (1 November 1814 – 4 March 1816), also known as the Gurkha War, was fought between the Gurkhas of the Kingdom of Gorkha (present-day Nepal) and the British forces of the East India Company (EIC, present-day India). Bot ...
of 1814. Treaties signed between Sikkim and Nepal resulted in the return 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 Morang District ( ne, मोरङ जिल्ला ) is located in Province No. 1 Province No. 1 (proposed names: Koshi/Purbanchal) is the easternmost of the seven provinces established by the new constitution of Nepal Nepal (; ...
region. In 1849, two British
physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintainin ...

physician
s, Sir
Joseph Dalton Hooker Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (30 June 1817 – 10 December 1911) was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British botanist and explorer in the 19th century. He was a founder of geographical botany and Charles Darwin's closest friend ...

Joseph Dalton Hooker
and Dr. Archibald Campbell, the latter being in charge of relations between the British and Sikkimese governments, ventured into the mountains of Sikkim unannounced and unauthorised. The doctors were detained by the Sikkimese government, leading to a punitive British expedition against the kingdom, after which the
Darjeeling Darjeeling (, ) is a city and a municipality in the Indian States and union territories of India, state of West Bengal. It lies in the Lesser Himalayas at an elevation of . It is noted for its tea industry, its scenic views of the world's thi ...

Darjeeling
district and Morang were annexed to British India in 1853. The Chogyal of Sikkim became a
titular rulerA titular ruler, or titular head, is a person in an official position of leadership who possesses few, if any, actual powers. Sometimes a person may inhabit a position of titular leadership and yet exercise more power than would normally be expected, ...
under the directive of the British governor as a result of the invasion. Sikkim became a British
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
in the later decades of the 19th century, formalised by a
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
signed with China in 1890. Sikkim was gradually granted more sovereignty over the next three decades, and became a member of the
Chamber of Princes The Chamber of Princes (''Narendra Mandal'') was an institution established in 1920 by a royal proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to m ...
, the assembly representing the rulers of the Indian
princely states A princely state, also called a native state, feudatory state or Indian state (for those states on the subcontinent), was a vassal state A vassal state is any state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State ...
, in 1922.


Indian protectorate

Prior to
Indian independence Indian independence may refer to: *Independence Day (India) Independence Day is celebrated annually on 15 August as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation's independence upright=1.0, Pedro I of Brazil, Pedro surrounded by a ...

Indian independence
,
Jawaharlal Nehru Jawaharlal Nehru (; ; ; 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964) was an Indian Anti-colonial nationalism, anti-colonial nationalist, secular humanist, social democrat, and author who was a central figure in India during the middle third o ...

Jawaharlal Nehru
, as the Vice President of the Executive Council, pushed through a resolution in the
Indian Constituent Assembly The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. It was elected by the 'Provincial Assembly'. Following India's independence from British Government in 1947, its members served as the nation's first Parliament. ...
to the effect that Sikkim and Bhutan, as Himalayan states, were not 'Indian states' and their future should be negotiated separately. A standstill agreement was signed in February 1948. Meanwhile, Indian independence and its move to democracy spurred a fledgling political movement in Sikkim, giving rise to the formation of Sikkim State Congress (SSC), a pro-accession political party. The party sent a plate of demands to the palace, including a demand for accession to India. The palace attempted to defuse the movement by appointing three secretaries from the SSC to the government and sponsoring a counter-movement in the name of Sikkim National Party, which opposed accession to India. The demand for responsible government continued and the SSC launched a civil disobedience movement. The Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal asked India for help in quelling the movement, which was offered in the form of a small military police force and an Indian Dewan. In 1950, a treaty was agreed between India and Sikkim which gave Sikkim the status of an Indian
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications. In other respects, Sikkim retained administrative autonomy. A state council was established in 1953 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal. Despite pressures from an India "bent on annexation", Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal was able to preserve autonomy and shape a "model Asian state" where the literacy rate and per capita income were twice as high as neighbouring
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
. an
page 2
Meanwhile, the Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for Nepalis in Sikkim. People marched on the palace against the monarchy. In 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyal's palace.


Merger and statehood

In 1975 in Sikkim, 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India. In April of that year, the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...

Indian Army
took over the city of
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
and disarmed the Chogyal's palace guards. Thereafter, 1975 Sikkimese monarchy referendum, a referendum was held in which 97.5 per cent of voters supported abolishing the monarchy, effectively approving union with
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
. India is said to have stationed 20,000–40,000 troops in a country of only 200,000 during the referendum. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the India, Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished. To enable the incorporation of the new state, the Parliament of India, Indian Parliament amended the Constitution of India, Indian Constitution. First, the List of amendments of the Constitution of India, 35th Amendment laid down a set of conditions that made Sikkim an "Associate State", a special designation not used by any other state. A month later, the List of amendments of the Constitution of India, 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and made Sikkim a full state, adding its name to the Constitution of India#First Schedule, First Schedule of the Constitution of India, Constitution.


Recent history

In 2000, the seventeenth Karmapa, Karmapa controversy#Urgyen Trinley Dorje, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who had been confirmed by the Dalai Lama and accepted as a tulku by the Chinese government, escaped from Tibet (1912–1951), Tibet, seeking to return 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 China still recognised as an independent state occupied by India. The Chinese government eventually recognised Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, in return for India declaring Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet as a "part of" the territory of China; New Delhi had accepted Tibet as part of China way back in 1954, but China appears to have believed that the agreement had lapsed. The 2003 agreement led to a thaw in Sino-Indian relations. On 6 July 2006, the Sikkimese Himalayan pass of Nathu La was opened to cross-border trade, becoming the first open border between India and China. The pass, which was first opened during the 1904 Younghusband Expedition to Tibet, had remained closed since the 1962 Sino-Indian War. On 18 September 2011, 2011 Sikkim earthquake, a magnitude 6.9Mw earthquake struck Sikkim, killing at least 116 people in the state and in
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
,
Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Druk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Ch ...

Bhutan
, Bangladesh and Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet. More than 60 people died in Sikkim alone, and the city of
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
suffered significant damage.


Geography

Situated in the Himalayan mountains, the state of Sikkim is characterised by mountainous terrain. Almost the entire state is hilly, with an elevation ranging from in the south at the border with West Bengal to in northern peaks near Nepal and Tibet. The summit of
Kangchenjunga Kangchenjunga, also spelled Kanchenjunga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of in a section of the Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', n ...

Kangchenjunga
, the world's third-highest peak, is the state's highest point, situated on the border between Sikkim and
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
. For the most part, the land is unfit for agriculture because of the rocky, precipitous slopes. However, some hill slopes have been converted into terrace farming, terrace farms. Numerous snow-fed streams have carved out river valleys in the west and south of the state. These streams combine into the major Teesta River and its tributary, the Rangeet, which flow through the state from north to south. About a third of the state is heavily forested. The Himalayan mountains surround the northern, eastern and western borders of Sikkim. The Lower Himalayas, lying in the southern reaches of the state, are the most densely populated. The state has 28 mountain peaks, more than 80 glaciers, 227 high-altitude lakes (including the Tsongmo Lake, Tsongmo, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri Lakes), five major hot springs, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Eight mountain passes connect the state to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. Sikkim's hot springs are renowned for their Hot spring#Therapeutic uses, medicinal and therapeutic value. Among the state's most notable hot springs are those at Phurchachu, Yumthang Valley, Yumthang, Borang, Ralang, Taram-chu and Yumey Samdong. The springs, which have a high sulphur content, are located near river banks; some are known to emit hydrogen. The average temperature of the water in these hot springs is .


Geology

The hills of Sikkim mainly consist of gneiss and schist which Weathering, weather to produce generally poor and shallow brown clay soils. The soil is coarse, with large concentrations of iron oxide; it ranges from neutral to acidic and is lacking in organic and mineral nutrients. This type of soil tends to support evergreen and deciduous forests. The rock consists of phyllites and schists, and is highly susceptible to weathering and erosion. This, combined with the state's heavy rainfall, causes extensive soil erosion and the loss of soil nutrients through Leaching (agriculture), leaching. As a result, landslides are frequent, often isolating rural towns and villages from the major urban centres.


Climate

The state has five seasons: winter, summer, spring, autumn, and monsoon season. Sikkim's climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the north. Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim experience a temperate climate, with temperatures seldom exceeding in summer. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around . Sikkim is one of the few states in India to receive regular snowfall. The snow line ranges from in the south of the state to in the north. The tundra-type region in the north is snowbound for four months every year, and the temperature drops below almost every night. In north-western Sikkim, the peaks are frozen year-round; because of the high altitude, temperatures in the mountains can drop to as low as in winter. During the monsoon, heavy rains increase the risk of landslides. The record for the longest period of continuous rain in Sikkim is 11 days. Fog affects many parts of the state during winter and the monsoons, making transportation perilous.


National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries

List of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Sikkim: *
Khangchendzonga National Park Khangchendzonga National Park also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a national park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List ...
* Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary * Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary * Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary * Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary * Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary * Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary


Government and politics

File:Sikkim-district-map-num.png, 150px, A clickable map of Sikkim exhibiting its four districts
  1. East Sikkim
  2. North Sikkim
  3. South Sikkim
  4. West Sikkim
rect 310 410 361 475 East Sikkim rect 242 167 304 241 North Sikkim rect 189 413 232 479 South Sikkim rect 84 383 132 456 West Sikkim desc bottom-left
According to the Constitution of India, Sikkim has a parliamentary system of representative democracy for its governance; universal suffrage is granted to state residents. The government structure is organised into three branches: * Executive: As with all States and territories of India, states of India, a governor stands at the head of the executive power of state, just as the president is the head of the executive power in the Union, and is appointed by the President of India. The governor's appointment is largely ceremonial, and his or 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 cabinet ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister. * Legislature: Sikkim has a unicameral legislature, the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, like most other Indian states. Its state assembly has 32 seats, including one reserved for the Sangha (Buddhism), Sangha. Sikkim is allocated one seat in each of the two chambers of India's national bicameral legislature, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. * Judiciary: The judiciary consists of the Sikkim High Court and a system of lower courts. The High Court, located at Gangtok, has a Chief Justice along with two permanent justices. The Sikkim High Court is the smallest state high court in the country. In 1975, after the abrogation of Sikkim's monarchy, the Indian National Congress gained a 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 of the Sikkim Democratic Front became the Chief Minister of the state. Chamling and his party had since held on to power by winning the 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections. However, the 2019 legislative assembly elections were won by the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party and the chief minister since then is Prem Singh Tamang. The current Governor of Sikkim is Ganga Prasad.


Subdivisions

Sikkim has four districts – East Sikkim, North Sikkim, South Sikkim and West Sikkim. The district capitals are
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
, Mangan, India, Mangan, Namchi and Gyalshing respectively. These four districts are further divided into 16 subdivisions; Pakyong, Rongli, Rangpo and Gangtok are the subdivisions of the East district. Soreng, Yuksom, Gyalshing and Dentam are the subdivisions of the West district. Chungthang, Dzongu, Kabi and Mangan are the subdivisions of the North district. Ravongla, Jorethang, Namchi and Yangyang are the subdivisions of the South district. Each of Sikkim's districts is overseen by a state government appointee, the district collector, who is in charge of the administration of the civilian areas of the district. The
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...

Indian Army
has control over a large part of the state, as Sikkim forms part of a sensitive border area with
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. Many areas are restricted to foreigners, and Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 (India), official permits are needed to visit them.


Flora and fauna

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 (animals), fauna and flora (plants), flora. Owing to its altitudinal gradation, the state has a wide variety of plants, from tropical species to temperate, alpine and tundra ones, and is perhaps one of the few regions to exhibit such a diversity within such a small area. Nearly 81 per cent of the area of Sikkim comes under the administration of its forest department. Sikkim is home to around 5,000 species of flowering plants, 515 rare orchidaceae, orchids, 60 primula species, 36 rhododendron species, 11 oak varieties, 23 bamboo varieties, 16 pinophyta, conifer species, 362 types of ferns and ferns allies, 8 tree ferns, and over 900 medicinal plants. A relative of the Poinsettia, locally known as "Christmas Flower", can be found in abundance in the mountainous state. The Dendrobium nobile, Noble Dendrobium is the official flower of Sikkim, while the rhododendron is the List of Indian state trees, state tree. Orchids, ficus, figs, Lauraceae, laurel, bananas, Shorea robusta, sal trees and bamboo grow in the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests of the lower altitudes of Sikkim. In the temperate elevations above there 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. Alpine climate, Alpine-type vegetation is typically found between an altitude of . In lower elevations are found juniper, pine, firs, Cupressus, cypresses and rhododendrons from the Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. Higher up are Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows and high-altitude wetlands, which are home to a wide variety of rhododendrons and wildflowers. The fauna of Sikkim include the snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan tahr, red panda, Himalayan marmot, Himalayan serow, Himalayan goral, muntjac, common langur, Asian black bear, clouded leopard, marbled cat, leopard cat, dhole, Tibetan wolf, hog badger, binturong, and Felis chaus affinis, Himalayan jungle cat. 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 Bird, avifauna of Sikkim include the impeyan pheasant, Satyr tragopan, crimson horned pheasant, snow partridge, Tibetan snowcock, bearded vulture and griffon vulture, as well as golden eagles, quails, plovers, woodcocks, sandpipers, pigeons, Old World flycatchers, Old World babbler, babblers and robins. Sikkim has more than 550 species of birds, some of which have been declared endangered species, endangered. Sikkim also has a rich diversity of arthropods, many of which remain unstudied. Some of the most understudied species are Sikkimese arthropods, specifically butterfly, butterflies. Of the approximately 1,438 butterfly species found in the Indian subcontinent, 695 have been recorded in Sikkim. These include the endangered Teinopalpus imperialis, Kaiser-i-hind, the Meandrusa payeni, Yellow Gorgon and the Bhutanitis lidderdalii, Bhutan Glory.


Economy

Sikkim's nominal state gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US$4.6 billion in 2019, with GDP per capita being $7,530 (₹ 5,50,000) thus constituting the List of Indian states by GDP, third-smallest GDP among India's 28 states. The state's economy is largely agriculture, agrarian based on the terraced farming of
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
and the cultivation of crops such as maize, millet, wheat, barley, orange (fruit), oranges, tea, and
cardamom Cardamom (), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Reco ...

cardamom
. Sikkim produces more cardamom than any other Indian state and is home to the largest cultivated area of cardamom. Because of its hilly terrain and poor transport infrastructure, Sikkim lacks a large-scale industrial base. Brewery, Brewing, distilling, Tanning (leather), tanning and Watchmaker, watchmaking are the main industries and are mainly located in the southern regions of the state, primarily in the towns of Melli and Jorethang. In addition, a small mining industry exists in Sikkim extracting minerals such as copper, Dolomite (mineral), dolomite, talc, graphite, quartzite, coal, zinc, and lead. Despite the state's minimal industrial infrastructure, Sikkim's economy has been among the fastest-growing in India since 2000; the state's GDP expanded by 89.93% in 2010 alone. In 2003, Sikkim decided to fully convert to organic farming and achieved this goal in 2015 becoming India's first "organic state". In recent years, the government of Sikkim has extensively promoted tourism. As a result, state revenue has increased 14 times since the mid-1990s. Sikkim has furthermore invested in a fledgling gambling industry promoting both casinos and online gambling. The state's first casino, the Casino Sikkim, opened in March 2009. In the year 2010 the government subsequently issued three gambling licenses for casinos and online sports betting in general.The Playwin lottery has been a notable success in the state. The opening of the Nathu La pass on 6 July 2006, connecting Lhasa,
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
, to India, was billed as a boon for Sikkim's economy. Trade through the pass remains hampered by Sikkim's limited infrastructure and government restrictions in both India and China, though the volume of traded goods has been steadily increasing. Elaichi.jpg, ''Elaichi'', or
cardamom Cardamom (), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Reco ...

cardamom
, is the chief cash crop of Sikkim. Cherry Resort inside Temi Tea Garden, Namchi, Sikkim.jpg, Temi Tea Garden, Namchi, Sikkim Temi Tea Garden Panoramic View.jpg, Tea garden at Temi, Sikkim. Terraced rice fields of Sikkim India.jpg, Terraced rice paddy fields of Sikkim.


Transport


Air

Sikkim did not have any operational airport for a long time because of its rough terrain. However, in October 2018, Pakyong Airport, the state's first airport, located in Pakyong, Pakyong Town at a distance of from Gangtok, became operational after a four-year delay. It has been constructed by the Airports Authority of India on 200 acres of land. At an altitude of above sea level, it is one of the five highest airports in India. The airport is capable of operating ATR (aircraft manufacturer), ATR aircraft. Before October 2018, the closest operational airport to Sikkim was Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri in northern
West Bengal West Bengal (, Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they spe ...

West Bengal
. The airport is located about from
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
, and frequent buses connect the two. A daily 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 four people. The Gangtok helipad is the only civilian helipad in the state.


Roads

National Highway 10 (India), National Highway 10 (NH 10; List of National Highways in India by highway number, formerly NH 31A) links Siliguri to Gangtok. Sikkim Nationalised Transport runs bus and truck services. Privately run bus, tourist taxicab, taxi, and jeep services operate throughout Sikkim and also connect it to Siliguri. A branch of the highway from Melli connects western Sikkim. Towns in eastern, southern and western Sikkim are connected to the hill stations of Kalimpong and
Darjeeling Darjeeling (, ) is a city and a municipality in the Indian States and union territories of India, state of West Bengal. It lies in the Lesser Himalayas at an elevation of . It is noted for its tea industry, its scenic views of the world's thi ...

Darjeeling
in northern West Bengal. The state is furthermore connected to
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
by the mountain pass of Nathu La. List of National Highways of Sikkim:


Rail

Sikkim lacks significant railway infrastructure. The closest major railway stations are Siliguri Junction and New Jalpaiguri in neighbouring West Bengal. However, the New Sikkim Railway Project has been launched to connect the town of Rangpo in Sikkim with Sevoke on the West Bengal border. This line is Sivok–Rangpo line, Sevoke-Rangpo Railway Line from Sivok railway station to Rangpo railway station. The five-station line is intended to support both economic development and
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organi ...

Indian Army
operations and was initially planned to be completed by 2015, though as of 2013 its construction has met with delays. The railway line up to Rangpo is expected to be completed in 2021. In the second phase the line will be extended up to
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
. In addition, the Ministry of Railways (India), Ministry of Railways proposed plans in 2010 for railway lines linking Mirik in West Bengal to Namchi, Daramdin, Ranipool, and
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
.


Infrastructure

Sikkim's roads are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), an offshoot of the Indian Army. The roads in southern Sikkim are in relatively good condition, landslides being less frequent in this region. The state government maintains of roadways that do not fall under the BRO's jurisdiction. Sikkim receives most of its electricity from 19 hydroelectric power stations. Power is also obtained from the National Thermal Power Corporation and Power Grid Corporation of India. By 2006, the state had achieved 100 per cent rural electrification. However, the voltage remains unstable and voltage stabilisers are needed. Per capita consumption of electricity in Sikkim was approximately 182 kilowatt hour, kWh in 2006. 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. In 2005, 73.2 per cent of Sikkim's households were reported to have access to safe drinking water, and the state's large number of mountain streams assures a sufficient water supply. On 8 December 2008, it was announced that Sikkim had become the first state in India to achieve 100 per cent sanitation coverage, becoming completely free of public defecation, thus attaining the status of "Nirmal State".


Demographics

Sikkim is India's least populous state, with 610,577 inhabitants according to the 2011 census of India, 2011 census. Sikkim is also one of the least densely populated Indian states, with only 86 persons per square kilometre. However, it has a high population growth rate, averaging 12.36% per cent between 2001 and 2011. The human sex ratio, sex ratio is 889 females per 1,000 males, with a total of 321,661 males and 286,027 females recorded in 2011. With around 98,000 inhabitants as of 2011, the capital
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
is the most significant urban area in the mostly rural state; in 2005, the urban population in Sikkim constituted around 11.06 per cent of the total. In 2011, the average per capita income in Sikkim stood at 81,159 (US$1,305).


Languages

The official languages of the state are
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
, Nepali language, Sikkimese Nepali, Sikkimese (Bhutia) and Lepcha. Additional official languages include
Gurung The Gurung people, also called Tamu, are an ethnic group in the hills and mountains of central Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय ल ...
, Limbu,
MagarMagar may refer to: *Magar people *Magar language *Khagendra Thapa Magar, the shortest man in the world (as of 2012) *Magar, the Catholicos of All Armenians from 1885 to 1891 See also

* Magyar (disambiguation) {{disambig, surname Language and ...
, Mukhia, Newar language, Newar,
Rai Rai or RAI may refer to: Title of royalty and nobility * Rai (title) ''Rai'' ( ur, , ; bn, রায়) is a historical title of royalty and nobility in the Indian subcontinent used by rulers and chieftains of many princely states. It is deri ...
, and
Tamang The Tamang (; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida, based on the ancient B ...
for the purpose of preservation of culture and tradition in the state. Nepali is the lingua franca of Sikkim, while Sikkimese (Bhutia) and Lepcha are spoken in certain areas. English is also spoken and understood in most of Sikkim. Other languages include Dzongkha, Groma language, Groma, Hindi, Majhi language, Majhi, Majhwar language, Majhwar, Thulung language, Thulung,
Tibetan Tibetan may mean: * of, from, or related to Tibet * Tibetan people, an ethnic group * Tibetan language: ** Classical Tibetan, the classical language used also as a contemporary written standard ** Standard Tibetan, the most widely used spoken dialec ...
, and Yakha language, Yakha.


Ethnicity

The majority of Sikkim's residents are of Sikkimese people, Nepali ethnic origin. The indigenous peoples of Sikkim, native Sikkimese consist of the
Bhutia The Bhutia (; sip, Drenjongpa / Drenjop ; ; "inhabitants of Sikkim"; in Bhutan Bhutan (; dz, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Druk Yul, ), officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan ( dz, འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, Dru ...
s, who migrated from the Kham district of Tibet in the 14th century, and the Lepcha people, Lepchas, who are believed to pre-date the Bhutias and are the oldest known inhabitants.
Tibet Tibet (; ; ) is a region in East Asia covering much of the Tibetan Plateau spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, Monpa, Tamang people, Tamang, Qia ...

Tibet
ans reside mostly in the northern and eastern reaches of the state. Migrant resident communities include Bengali people, Bengalis, Bihari people, Biharis and Marwaris, who are prominent in commerce in South Sikkim and
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
.


Religion

According to the 2011 census, 57.8% follow
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
, making it the state's majority religion.
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
is followed by 27.4% of the population, while Christianity is followed by 9.9%. There are many Hindu temples throughout the state. Vajrayana, Vajrayana Buddhism, which accounts for 27.3% of the population, is Sikkim's second-largest, yet most prominent religion. Prior to Sikkim's becoming a part of the Indian Union, Vajrayana Buddhism was the state religion under the Chogyal. Sikkim has 75 Buddhist monasteries, the oldest dating back to the 1700s. The public and visual aesthetics of Sikkim are executed in shades of Vajrayana Buddhism and Buddhism plays a significant role in public life, even among Sikkim's majority Nepali Hindu population. Christianity in India, Christians in Sikkim are mostly descendants of Lepchas who were converted by British missionaries in the late 19th century, and constitute around 10% of the population. As of 2014, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Sikkim is the largest Christian denomination in Sikkim. Other religious minorities include Muslims of Bihari ethnicity and Jains, who each account for roughly 1% of the population. The traditional religions of the Indigenous peoples of Sikkim, native Sikkimese account for much of the remainder of the population. Although tensions between the Lepchas and the Nepalese escalated during the merger of Sikkim with India in the 1970s, there has never been any major degree of communal religious violence, unlike in other Indian states. The traditional religion of the Lepcha people is Mun (religion), Mun, an animist practice which coexists with Buddhism and Christianity. Legship_shiva_temple.jpg, Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple in Legship is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. Rumtek Monastery - Inside Close View.jpg, Rumtek Monastery Viswavinayak.jpg, Vishwa Vinayak Temple at Rhenock


Districts

There are 6 districts in Sikkim, 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 Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 (India), permits are needed to visit them. The four districts are:


Culture


Festivals and holidays

Sikkim's Nepalese majority celebrate all major Hindu festivals, including Tihar (festival), Tihar (Diwali) and Dashain (Dashera). Traditional local festivals, such as Maghe Sankranti, Sakela, Chasok Tangnam and Bhimsen Puja, are popular. Losar, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen, Drupka Teshi and Bhumchu are among the Buddhist festivals celebrated in Sikkim. During the Losar (Tibetan New Year), most offices and educational institutions are closed for a week. Sikkimese Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr and Muharram. Christmas has been promoted in Gangtok to attract tourists during the off-season. Western rock music and Indian pop have gained a wide following in Sikkim. Nepalese rock, Nepali rock and Lepcha music are also popular. Sikkim's most popular sports are association football, football and cricket, although hang gliding and river rafting have grown popular as part of the tourism industry.


Cuisine

Noodle-based dishes such as thukpa, chow mein, thenthuk, fakthu, gyathuk and wonton are common in Sikkim. Momo (food), Momos – steamed dumplings filled with vegetables, beef or pork and served with soup – are a popular snack. Beer, whiskey, rum and brandy are widely consumed in Sikkim, as is tongba, a millet-based alcoholic beverage that is popular in
Nepal Nepal (; ne, :ne:नेपाल, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in S ...

Nepal
and
Darjeeling Darjeeling (, ) is a city and a municipality in the Indian States and union territories of India, state of West Bengal. It lies in the Lesser Himalayas at an elevation of . It is noted for its tea industry, its scenic views of the world's thi ...

Darjeeling
. Sikkim has the third-highest per capita alcoholism rate amongst all Indian states, behind Punjab (India), Punjab and Haryana.


Media

In 1957, a Nepali monthly magazine ''Kanchenjunga'' became the first news outlet for the masses in Sikkim. The southern urban areas of Sikkim have English, Nepali and Hindi daily newspapers. Nepali-language newspapers, as well as some English newspapers, are locally printed, whereas Hindi and English newspapers are printed in Siliguri. Important local dailies and weeklies include ''Hamro Prajashakti'' (Nepali daily), ''Himalayan Mirror'' (English daily), the ''Samay Dainik'', ''Sikkim Express'' (English), ''Kanchanjunga Times'' (Nepali weekly), ''Pragya Khabar'' (Nepali weekly) and ''Himali Bela''. Furthermore, the state receives regional editions of national English newspapers such as ''The Statesman (India), The Statesman'', ''The Telegraph (Kolkata), The Telegraph'', ''The Hindu'' and ''The Times of India''. ''Himalaya Darpan'', a Nepali daily published in Siliguri, is one of the leading Nepali daily newspapers 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'', the ''Journal of Hill Research'', ''Khaber Khagaj'', ''Panda'', and the ''Sikkim Science Society Newsletter'' are among other registered publications. If one types ''Sikkim'' in the input box and submits, the list is displayed. 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 largely the same as those available in the rest of India, although Nepali-language channels are also available. The main service providers include Dish TV, Doordarshan and Nayuma.


Education

In 2011, Sikkim's adult literacy rate was 82.2 per cent: 87.29 per cent for males and 76.43 per cent for females. There are a total of 1,157 schools in the state, including 765 schools run by the state government, seven central government schools and 385 private schools. There is one Institute of National Importance, one Central university (India), central university and four private universities in Sikkim offering higher education. Recently, Government of Sikkim has approved the open school board named Board of Open Schooling and Skill Education, BOSSE to provide Secondary Education, Senior Secondary as well as Skill & Vocational Education up to pre-degree level and to provide opportunity to continue education to such students who have missed the opportunity of school education. Sikkim has a National Institute of Technology Sikkim, National Institute of Technology, currently operating from a temporary campus in Ravangla, Ravangla, South Sikkim, which is one among the ten newly sanctioned National Institutes of Technology, NITs by the Government of India under the 11th Five year Plan, 2009. The National Institute of Technology Sikkim, NIT Sikkim also has state of art super computing facility named PARAM, PARAM Kanchenjunga which is said to be fastest among all 31 NITs. Sikkim University is the only central university in Sikkim. The public-private funded 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 polytechnic schools – the Advanced Technical Training Centre (ATTC) and the Centre for Computers and Communication Technology (CCCT) – which offer diploma courses in various branches of engineering. ATTC is situated at Bardang, Singtam, and CCCT at Chisopani, Namchi. Sikkim University began operating in 2008 at Yangang, which is situated about from Singtam. Many students, however, migrate to Siliguri, Kolkata, Bangalore and other Indian cities for their higher education. The campus of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology of the Government of India, is at Pakyong in East Sikkim, and offers formal and informal education in the IT/ITES sector.


Towns and cities

The major towns and cities of Sikkim are as follows:
Gangtok Gangtok (; ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district, Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayas, Himalayan range, at an elevatio ...

Gangtok
, Pakyong, Namchi, Jorethang, Rangpo, Singtam, Gyalshing, Mangan, India, Mangan, Soreng,
Pelling Pelling is a small hill town in the district of West Sikkim, India. Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing and 131 k ...

Pelling
, Rhenock, Rongli, Rorathang, Ravangla, Chungthang, Ranipool, Lachen, Sikkim, Lachen, Nayabazar, Lachung, Dikchu, Majitar, Legship, Melli,
Yuksom Yuksom is a historical town in Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim district in the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim. It was the first capital of Sikkim established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal (temporal and religious k ...

Yuksom
, Sherathang, Namthang, Rinchenpong, Singhik, Hee Burmiok, Tashiding, Yangang, and Damthang, Sikkim, Damthang.


Sports

The popular sports played in Sikkim include association football, football, cricket, archery, volleyball, tennis, badminton, and sport of athletics, athletics. Adventure sports like paragliding, Hiking and mountain biking are also popular in Sikkim. The stadiums of Sikkim are as follows: * Mining Ground, Mining Cricket Stadium, Rangpo * Paljor Stadium, Gangtok * Bhaichung Stadium, Namchi * Resithang Athletics Stadium, Gangtok.


See also

* Outline of Sikkim * East Sikkim district


References


Further reading and bibliography

* * * * * Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David (2011). 'The Tea Horse Road from Lhasa to Sikkim'. ''China's Ancient Tea Horse Road''. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. * * Joseph Dalton Hooker, Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1854).
Himalayan Journals: notes of a naturalist in Bengal, the Sikkim and Nepal Himalayas, the Khasia mountains etc.
' Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co. * * Ray, Arundhati; Das, Sujoy (2001).
Sikkim: A Traveller's Guide
'. Orient Blackswan, New Delhi. . * * * ''Holidaying in Sikkim and Bhutan''. Nest and Wings. . * ''Sikkim – Land of Mystic and Splendour''. Sikkim Tourism. * ''Manorama Yearbook 2003''. .


External links


Government

*
Official website of Sikkim Tourism


General information

* * {{Authority control Sikkim, Northeast India States and territories established in 1975 Tibetan Buddhist places 1975 establishments in India Former British colonies and protectorates in Asia States and union territories of India