Sikkim- The State of Diverse Cultures

Sikkim is located in the eastern region of the country and is covered by national and international borders. It is bordered by China, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal. Kanchenjunga is located on the Nepal and Sikkim border and is the third highest peak in the world. Gangtok is the Capital as well as the largest city of the state. 11 official languages are spoken in different regions of Nepal that include Tamang, Newari, Gurung, Limbu, Sikkimese, English, Lepcha, Rai, Sanwar, Nepali and Magar.

With the total population of 607,688 as per 2011 census, the state is ranked as the 2nd least populous state in the country. It is divided into 4 districts. Vajrayana Buddhism and Hinduism are the major religions being followed by the people of Sikkim. Western, eastern and northern borders of the state are covered by the Himalayas.

Specialties of Sikkim: -

Points of interest: -Yumthang Valley, Rumtek Monastery, Buddha Park, Char Dham, Nathu La, Pemayangtse Monastery, Kanchenjunga Falls, Gurudongmar Lake, Khecheopalri Lake, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Namgyal Instute of Tibetology, Phodong Monastery, Zemu Glacier, Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Center, Himalayan Zoological Park (Gangtok) and so on..

Sikkim Img

Culture

All Hindu festivals such as Diwali, Dusshera, Janmashtmi and Navratras are celebrated by the Nepalese people of Sikkim. Traditional and Cultural festivals are also celebrated and fairs as well as the events. Muslims in Sikkim celebrate Muharram and Eid-ul-Fitr. Christmas is also celebrated with the aim to promote off season tourism in the state. Some of the Buddhist festivals are Loosong, Drupka Teshi, Losar, Lhabab Duechen, Bhumchu and Saga Dawa.

Sikkim main cuisines are mostly noodle based that includes chowmein, fakthu, wonton, thupka, gyathuk and thanthuk. Momos are also popular among the people of all regions of the state in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian forms. People like Indian pop music and Western rock music as well. Regional music forms such as Lepcha and Nepali rock are also popular.

Geography

Sikkim is an eastern state that shares its boundaries with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the east and north, Nepal to the west, Bhutan to the east and West Bengal to the south. It is a popular destination that attracts a large number of tourists each year. Sikkim captures about 7,096 square kilometres of India’s total area and this makes it 27th largest state in the country.

The state encompasses 28 mountain peaks and about 80 glaciers. 5 major hot springs and around 100 rivers and main streams. The hot springs are significantly important for their therapeutic use and medicinal values. It experiences regular snowfall and five meteorological seasons including monsoon, summer, winter, autumn and spring. The temperature ranges between 28˚C in summers to -40˚C in winters.

Economy

The agrarian economy of the state is based on the cultivation of barley, maize, wheat, cardamom, millet, tea and oranges along with terraced farming of rice. A strong industrial base is not found in the regions of Sikkim due to lack of proper transport and infrastructure. Tourism contributes to the economy as many domestic and international tourist visits there every year.

Small scale mining industries for extraction of including zinc, copper, quartzite, lead, talc, copper, coal, graphite and dolomite are located in the state. Due to the immense growth in tourism, the economy has risen 24 times since 1990’s.

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