Location : Sikkim is a very small hilly state in the Eastern Himalayas, infixed between Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian state of West Bengal.
State Capital : Gangtok
Best Time to Travel : March to June and September to December
Languages : Nepali, English, Hindi, Bhutia (Sikkimese), Bhutia
(Tibetan), Lepcha, Limboo.
Weather Conditions : The climate of the state has been roughly
divided into the tropical, temperature and alphine zones. For most of the
period in a a year, the climate is cold and humid as rainfall occurs in each
month. The area experience a heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay
of Bengal. The rainfall in north district is comparatively less than of the
other districts. The general trend of decrease in temperature with increase
in altitude holds good every where. Pre-monsoon rain occurs in April-May and
monsoon (south-west) operates normally from the month of May and continues
up to early October.
Sikkim is the 22nd state of India came into existence with effect from 26th
April, 1975. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of
Himalayas, is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters.
But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs.
Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. Sikkim has been
divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated
into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose.
The original people of Sikkim were the Lepchas, which means "ravine
folk." Lepchas came to the region from the Assam and Myanmar side.
During 1200's AD, the Bhutia, a Tibetan people, started moving into the
region. They included the Namgyal clan, who arrived in the 1400's and
steadily won political control over Sikkim. In 1642, Phuntsog Namgyal
(1604-1670) became the Chogyal (king). He presided over a social system
based on Tibetan Lamaistic Buddhism. His descendants of Phuntsog Namgyal
ruled Sikkim for more than 330 years.
During the 1700's, Sikkim suffered continuos attacks from Nepal and Bhutan,
after which it lost much of its territory. Nepalese also came to Sikkim and
settled there as farmers. By the 1800's, Sikkim's population was culturally
very complicated, and internal conflict resulted. In 1814-1815, Sikkim
backed the British in a successful war against Nepal, and won back some of
its territory, once lost.
In 1835, the British East India Company acquired the health resort of
Darjeeling from Sikkim. During the mid-1800's, Sikkim violently withstand
attempts to bring it under British rule, but in 1861 it finally became a
British colony. The British had access through Sikkim to Tibet, and Sikkim's
independent status was recognised.
In 1890, Britain and China signed a convention recognising the border
between Sikkim and Tibet. Later, the British installed a political office to
help the Chogyal of Sikkim run the internal and external functions of the
It was in the year 1950, the Indian government took over the responsibility
for Sikkim's external affairs, defence, and communication. The struggle that
had brought Indian independence in year 1947 promoted a democratic boom in
Sikkim. The Chogyals lost their power as a result of the gradual
introduction of a new democratic constitution. In 1973, India took Sikkim
into the union as an associate member. In 1974, Sikkim became India's 22nd
The Physiology of Sikkim
Sikkim has a very rugged topography and flatlands are difficult to come by.
Being a part of the inner mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Sikkim is hilly,
having varied elevations ranging from 300 to 8,540 meters. But the habitable
areas are only up to the altitude of 2,100 metres and thus constitute only
20% of the total area of the state.