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SIKKIM GUIDE

 
Sikkim is sandwiched between Nepal to the west and Bhutan to the east. The magical lure of Sikkim has always been attracting people all over the world. Sikkim is a dream that one can realize and enjoy, now that the area is open to all.Sikkim is full of Buddhist monasteries. Its capital, Gangtok has a lot to see, specially the Research Institute of Tibetology, a World centre for the study of Buddhist philosophy & religion and has a rare collection of statues and over 200 Buddhist icons.


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  SIKKIM INFORMATION

 
Sikkim The land of mighty Kanchenjunga. A holiday land with few equals anywhere. This jewel -like mountain state of ethereal beauty with an area of 7299 Sq. kilometres, nestles in the heart of the Himalayas.Wrapped in mists and clouds. A garden state with an incredible variety of orchids, rhododendrons, gladioli and a host of other flowers. Rustling, tumbling streams and torrents. Mountain monasteries and quaint shopping plazas.India's 22nd State lies in one of the most enthralling regions of the Himalayas. This hidden peaceful land of rice cultivation, called "Bayul Demojong" by the local people, is inhabited by Nepalis, Lepchas, Bhutias, Tibetans and Marwaris.
 
   

  SIKKIM FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Sikkim at a Glance ...

     
 

Area:    

7300 sq km

 

Capital:

Gangtok

 

Languages: 

Hindi, English
  Per Capita Income: 6,451
  Religion: Hindu, Christianity
  Main Income: Tourism, Agriculture, Industry
  Best Time to visit: September to March
 
   

  SIKKIM HISTORY

 
In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal was successful in getting a special status of protectorate for Sikkim. This was in face of stiff resistance from local parties like Sikkim State Congress who wanted a democratic setup and accession of Sikkim to the Union of India.The treaty signed between India and Sikkim ratified the status of Sikkim as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. Tashi Namgyal died in 1963 and was succeeded by his son Palden Thondup Namgyal. By the beginning of 1970 there were rumbling in the political ranks and file of the State, which demanded the removal of Monarchy and the establishment of a democratic setup. This finally culminated in wide spread agitation against Sikkim Durbar in 1973.There was a complete collapse in the administration.
 
   

  SIKKIM TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Changu Lake (Gangtok) » Yumthang (Gangtok) » Rumtek Monastery (Gangtok)
 
   

  SIKKIM FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
Saga Dawa, Lhabab Dhuechen, Losoong, Losar, Dusshera, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Holi are the fais & festivals celebrated in Sikkim.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air: The busiest route in and out of Sikkim is the road between Gangtok and Siliguri. The town of Bagdogra at a distance of 124 km from Gangtok has the nearest airport. Flights from Bagdogra can be booked at the Indian Airlines office on Tibet Road in Gangtok (Phone 03592-23099). There are regular flights to Guwahati, Calcutta, and Delhi from Bagdogra.

By Rail: The nearest railway stations from Gangtok are New Jalpaiguri (125 km) and Siliguri (144 km) connected to Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, and other important cities in India.

By Road: Gangtok is connected by road to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Siliguri. Cars, luxury coaches and jeeps are available for hire in the town. There are also regular bus services run by the Sikkim Nationalized Transport.  
 
   

  SIKKIM MAJOR CITIES

 
Gangtok » Phodong » Rumtek
 
   

  SIKKIM WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
Mountain slopes, foot -hills and valley walls covered with a variety of dense growth offer a natural habitat for many types of animals, birds and insects. About 500-600 species of birds and 631 species of butterflies alone are found in this small state. Orchids found in abundance attract several hundreds species of butterflies which can offer a lepidopterist a lifetime of work and delight. In forest surrounded valleys the butterflies are found inn swarming numbers .The black and the dreaded brown bear are mostly found in forests located at heights ranging from 4,000 feet to 11,000 feet (1250 metres to 3453 metres) above sea level. Musk deer are quite common in areas with an average height of 9000feet (about 2800 meters). Tiger, leopard, sambar, barking deer, leopard cat, marbed cat, squirrel are mostly confined to warmer areas. Yak, panda, otter, goral, wild bear, ovis, nahura, bhyang-lung (wild sheep )and Vyang-gra (wild goat) are other animals that can be seen in Sikkim. Otter is much prized for the brocaded fur caps worn by some Sikkimese. The tail-less mountain rats, rock Lizards and snow fox like predators are also found in high altitudes.Numerous species of birds ranging from gigantic Imamergeyer to the miniscule flower pecker abound in the forests of Sikkim and are enough to make this land an Ornithologists paradise. Flamboyant pheasants, partridges, ducks, quails, teals, eagles, barbet, Himalayan cuckoo, Babblers and Thrushes are some of the birds found in Sikkim. The Tibetan black crow with rosy feet is also found in northern Sikkim. The bright red coloured Miniwet known as "Red King" in Nepal has also its habitat in Sikkim. Crap and Trout fish abound in the rivers and lakes of the state.
 
   

  SIKKIM ARTS AND CRAFTS

 
Foremost among Sikkim's products are the beautiful hand woven woolen carpets with traditional Sikkimese motifs and unique designs and combinations of rich colours. These attractively designed carpets are in great demand in Sikkim and abroad. The handsome woolen texture are durable, plush and are dyed not with synthetic dyes but traditional vegetable Sikkimese dyes. The designs vary from sophisticated harmonising tones to the brilliant rioting of vermilions against intense blues. Another exclusive product of the state is the Sikkimese table locally called as Choktse. These foldable Choktse are prepared in varying designs and dimensions. The Sikkimese hand made paper is another product demanded inside and outside the state. The traditional Sikkimese weaves and woolen blankets which can be designed into bags, shawls, jackets, opulent Sikkimese thankas (traditional tapestry ), leather works, dolls, variegated applique work, batiks, an exquisite selection of dolls and a variety of fashionable garments for modern people are the other specialties of the state. For the development of these industries government has set up an institute of cottage industries. The locally made handicrafts are sold at the institute.