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India became independent in the year 1947. But till 1974, Sikkim was recognized as an independent nation. In 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to Indian Parliament to change the status of Sikkim so that it could became a state of India. Finally on 16 May 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of India.

Historical Facts about Sikkim

  • Phuntsog Namgyal founded the Namgyal dynasty and established himself as the monarch ruler of Sikkim in 1642. He was called as Chogyal which means priest king. In 1670 his son Tensung Namgyal ascended to the throne. Sikkim allied itself with British India in 19th century.
  • Sikkim was annexed and defeated by the Bhutanese in 1700. Later Tibetans drove out the Bhutanese and restored the crown to Chogyals. Sikkim faced raids for quite a long period of time by Nepalese and Bhutanese.
  • Gurkha war of 1814 is seen as backlash of attach of Nepalese on the Sikkim. British East India Company in alliance with Sikkim attacked Nepal which is called as Gurkha war. After this war, peace treaties were signed between Nepal and Sikkim.
  • Due to expansionist policy of British, the ties between the East India Company and Sikkim gradually snapped and Sikkim was annexed by British. Although Sikkim was given sovereignty and it was given the status of princely state.
  • In 1973 there were huge riots and thus and thus there was a consensus among the masses to get protection from India. In 1975 thus Indian Army took over the control in Gangtok and a referendum was sought. The referendum gave clear mandate to abolish the monarchy and to become a part of Union of India.
  • Eventually on 16 May 1975 the monarchy was abolished and the Sikkim was merged with Indian union and become the 22nd state of India.
  • It shares border with only 1 state – West Bengal in south. It also shares international boundary with 3 countries i.e. Bhutan in east, Nepal in west and China in north which also happens to be maximum number of international borders shared by any Indian State. Note – there is only one more state which has maximum ( 3 nos.) number of international borders : Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This is the 22nd state of Indian union. As per 2011 census it is the least populous state of India and second smallest state by area just after Goa.
  • Nathu la pass is the key geographical feature of this state. Nathu La pass is a part of the ancient Silk Routewhich once was an important trade route connecting India with the far reaches of Tibet. This pass was closed follwed by the India China war of 1962.
  • Kangchenjunga the world’s third highest and India’s highest peak (on actual grounds Mount K2 doesn’t comes in India’s control as it lies in POK) starts from this region and is located on its border with Nepal.
  • River Tista and its tributaries flows through the state from north to south. River Tista is the main waterway of Sikkim.
  • The Sikkim state boasts about its 5 major and numerous others hot water springs. These hot springs are known for their medicinal & therapeutic reasons. Some of the important hot springs are at Borang, Ralang and Yumey Samdong.
  • Ban Jhakri water falls which is located near Gangtok is a major tourist attraction.
  • Sikkim is known for its rich biodiversity and is the land known for more than 500 different species of Orchids, 11 Oak species, 23 different varieties of Bamboo trees and over 400 different medicinal plants. More than 81 % area is forest and it has trees such as sals, figs, bananas at lower elevations. At higher altitudes there is abundance of chir, pine, oaks and maple trees.
  • Khan-gchendzonga National park is one of the highest national parks in world and includes World’s third highest mountain Kangchenjunga. Deorali is another national park of the state.
  • Red Panda is the state animal and noble orchid is the state flower.
  • Yak and musk deer are the main animals found in Sikkim.
  • Sikkim is the first Indian state known to have implemented organic farming and is called first organic state.

Quick Basic Facts about Sikkim

Capital Gangtok
Official Language Nepali
Main spoken languages Nepali, English, Lepcha, Limbu, Bhutia
Area 7,096 Sq Km
Area Rank 28th
Population 6,10,577 (as per 2011 census)
Population Rank 29th
Population Density 86/Sq Km
Literacy Rate 82.2 %
Sex Ratio 889 females per 1000 male
No of Districts 4
Assembly seats 32 (Unicameral)
Lok Sabha seats 1
Rajya sabha seats 1
Established on(Joining in India) 16 May 1975
First Chief Minister Kazi Lhendup Dorjee
First Governor B B Lal
Highest Peak Kangchenjunga
State Symbols of Sikkim
State Tree Rhododendron
State Flower Noble Dendrobium
State Animal Red Panda
State Bird Blood Pheasant

Economic Facts about Sikkim

  • GDP of the state is very poor and Sikkim comes on second last position by GDP rank of all Indian States. If economy is measured in terms of GDP per capita then Sikkim stands at third position among all Indian states (first being Goa, second is Delhi). (as per year 2014 GDP data).
  • Sikkim’s economy is dependent mainly on agriculture and tourism.
  • Mineral Resources of Sikkim – Gold, silver, copper, Zinc
  • Main Industries of Sikkim - most available industries are food processing, tanning, watch assembly, distilleries, breweries, flour mills etc
  • Main agriculture products of Sikkim – Maize, paddy, millet, wheat and barley. Orange, potatoes, apples and cardamom are also produced.
  • Sikkim has largest area for Cardamom production and also it is the highest producer of large cardamom in India.
  • Sikkim is very rich in many species of orchids.
  • Sikkim Rhubarb (Rheum Nobile) is a huge flowering plant about 2 Mtr maximum height. It is native to Himalayas and Sikkim specially.
  • After re-opening of Nathu la pass on 6th July 2006, the state’s economy has seen significant growth as it facilitated growth of trade and business with Lhasa region of Tibet, China.

Social and Cultural Facts about Sikkim

  • Apart from the Laddakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, it is the only Indian state which shows the glimpses of rich Buddhism culture. Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions of the state. About 61 % of population is of Hindus and 28 % follow Buddhism.
  • Rumtek and Phodong monasteries are the most famous religious spots depicting Buddhist culture of Sikkim. Other famous monasteries include – Enchey monastery, Pemayangtse monastery, Phensang monastery and Tashiding monastery.
  • Sikkim is known for Gumpa dance which is performed by Buddhists during the Losar (New year) festival.
  • In Tibatese language Sikkim is called as Drenjong which means valley of rice. In Bhutan, the Sikkim is called as Beyul Demazong which means hidden valley of rice. In ancient times Sikkim was also called as Indrakilwhich means garden of lord Indra.
  • Sikkim has third highest per capita alcohal consumption rate (just behind Punjab and Haryana) among all Indian states.
  • Momos, Wonton and Thukpa are the most popular cuisine of the state.
  • Buddha park of Ravangla containing 130 feet high statue of Buddha is famous tourist spot of Sikkim.
  • Gurudongmar lake & Tsomgo lake which are situated at a height of 5180 mtr and 3700 mtr respectively are sacred lake as per Buddhist beliefs.
  • Statue of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) in south district is considered as patron of Sikkim as per Buddhist beliefs.
  • Mask dances of Bhutias, Nepalis and Lepchas are famous.
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