One of the smallest states in India, Sikkim is a personification of the phrase ‘good things come in small packages’. Enveloped by the Himalayas, this state happens to be the ideal spot for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and people looking to deepen their spiritual connection as it is steeped in an ancient Buddhist tradition.
WINDOW TO THE HIMALAYA
12 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SIKKIM
SMALL BUT ATTRACTIVE
This state is one of the most picturesque locations in the entire world.
DOMINATED BY 40% FOREST
Sikkim is the land of a variety of plants, animals, rivers, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. The lofty mountain peaks, pristine lakes, serene monasteries, and stunning trekking routes make Sikkim a truly unique destination for Dharma Tours.
DRENJONG - THE "VALLEY OF RICE"
It's valleys serve as a source for many crops, mainly famous for rice production. The name of Sikkim is a combination of two words i.e. ‘Limbu’ (Su) means “new”, and ‘khyim’ which means “house”. The Tibetan name for Sikkim is Drenjong which means “valley of rice”.
Covering almost 7,096 sq.km - with 4 districts harboring ~ 610,577 people - situated at an elevation ranging from 280 meters in south at the border with West Bengal to 8,586 meters in northern peaks near Nepal and Tibet.
TOUCH THE HEAVEN
These mountains form part of the long range – the mighty Himalaya - with its Mount Kangchenjunga, being the 3rd highest mountain in the world.
ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO MEDITATE
With the least populous state in India and located at the foothills of the Himalayas it is considered to be one of the best places for meditation. Most popular monasteries visited by the tourists are Pemayangtse and Rumtek Monasteries where young monks are educated in the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist culture.
KNOWN AS THE BIRD's PARADISE
From tropical to alpines, Sikkim’s botanical and zoological richness is awe- inspiring, boasting of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of all the birds found in the Indian sub-continent. The state animal is the Red Panda. 81% of the state comes under the administration of the forest department. Sikkim is popularly known as ‘Bird’s Paradise’. This state boasts over 552 different species of birds and about 690 species of butterflies.
INDIA'S CLEANEST STATE
The state was given this title in 2012, and it aims to become a completely organic one by 2019. Things like plastic bags are completely banned here.
YEARLY INTERNATIONAL FLOWER FESTIVAL
Sikkim has around 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants. The main displays in the flower show are orchids, gladioli, roses, cacti, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, ferns, and herbs.
KINGDOM FROM 1642 - 1975
The history of Sikkim began in 1642 as a kingdom established when India was still a princely state and had not unified. At that time Sikkim had already solidified into country then with a king known as a Chogyal or dharma king. Sikkim remained an independent country ruled by the monarchs until 16 May 1975.
SIKKIM HAD 12 KINGS
Palden Thondup Namgyal was the last king of Independent Sikkim. There was contacts between ancient Hindus and Tibetans, followed by the establishment of a Buddhist kingdom or Chogyal in the 17th century.
BUDDHIST MASTER PADMASAMBHAVA
Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, was an 8th-century Buddhist master from the Indian subcontinent, Bhutan and Nepal. The Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world at 36 meters (120 ft.).