Information About Sikkim - History Geography Culture Festivals

History of Sikkim
Sikkim is also known as Shikim or Su Khyim. Buddhist saint Padmasambhava, first mentioned the name of the state in the 8th century. Sikkim was invaded by Bhutanese followed by Tibetans, Nepalese and Chinese. Sikkim became a British protectorate, in 1890. Sikkim was rejected to join Indian union after Indian Independence in 1947. In 1950, Sikkim was made into Indian protectorate based on Indo-Sikkim treaty. Finally Sikkim was made Indian state on 16th May 1975. The Chinese government recognized Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India officially recognizes Tibet as a part of China.

Geography of Sikkim
Sikkim is situated in the Himalayan Mountains. Most of the state is hilly, with its elevation varying from 280 meters to 8586 meters. The world's third-highest peak, Kangchenjunga, is the state highest point, located on the border between Sikkim and Nepal. One third of the state is having dense forest. Sikkim has 80 glaciers, 28 mountain peaks, five major hot springs, 227 high-altitude lakes, and more than 100 rivers and streams. Sikkim receives regular snow falls. Sikkim shares national borders with China, Bhutan and Nepal, and national border with West Bengal.

Government and Administration of Sikkim
For administration purpose Sikkim is divided into four districts. Most of the area in the state is under Indian Army. Foreigners are not allowed in most areas, and official permit is required to visit them. Sikkim Sangram Parishad Party, Sikkim Democratic Front are the major political parties in the state. Sikkim legislative assembly consists of 32 seats. Sikkim contributes one member to the Indian Assembly.

Language and Culture of Sikkim
Sikkim has perfect blend of different cultures, religions, communities and customs. The Lepchas, the Bhutias, and the Nepalese are the main communities in the state. Sikkim's cuisine is a mix of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet cuisines. Buddhism and Hinduism are widely followed in the state. Carpets, thankas, wood carved furniture, and canvas wall hangings are the main handicrafts of Sikkim. Sikkim is known for their amazing mask dance. Singhi Chaam, Yak Chaam, Lu Khangthamo, Gha to Kito, Chi Rimu are some of the dance forms in the state. Nepali is widely spoken in the state followed by Hindi and English. Tibetan, Bhutia, and Lepcha are the dialects spoken in the state. Noodle based food are famous here and alcohol is widely consumed.

Education Status in Sikkim
Literacy rate of Sikkim was 82.2% in the year 2011. Sikkim has 1157 schools, twelve colleges and two polytechnic colleges. Sikkim Manipal University of Technological Sciences is the largest institute in the state. Students, migrate to other cities like Siliguri, Kolkata, Bangalore for their higher education.

Economy of Sikkim
Sikkim’s GSDP was 1.57 billion USD in the year 2014. Sikkim’s economy is mainly driven by agriculture, in which maize, millet, rice, wheat, tea, barley; oranges and cardamom are the main crops. Production of cardamom is highest in Sikkim when compared to other states. Brewing, tanning, distilling and watchmaking are the main industries in the state. Tourism has increased 14% of state revenue. Sikkim is investing in fledgling gambling industry, promoting casinos and online gambling.

Tourism in Sikkim
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim is a charming and picturesque town. Gangtok is protecting in old customs and at the same time offering modern day amenities. Yuksom was the first capital city of the state, which is considered as sacred from the inception. Tsomgo Lake is a holy lake which is a kilometer long and oval shaped. Nathula Pass is at an elevation of 14200 feet and located at Indo-China border. Pelling is the best place to get good look at Mt. Kanchendzonga. The Rumtek Monastery is a residence for the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Do-Drul Chorten is one of the beautiful stupa with 108 prayer wheels. Apart from these, they are many tourist places in the state.

Festivals Celebrated in Sikkim
Lhabab Dhuechen Festival is celebrated on the 22nd day of ninth month of lunar calendar. It represents the descent of Lord Buddha. Losoong Festival is the conclusion of the harvest season and also suggests the end of Tibet’s year 10th month. Losar Festival is celebrated in the month of February and it is the Sikkim New Year. Guru Rimpoche's Trungkar Tshechu is celebrated to honor Guru Rimpoche. Kagyed Dance Festival is celebrated in the month of December.

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