Sikkim is a northeastern 22nd State of the Indian Union, and is located in the Eastern Himalayas. Mount Khangchendzonga(8585 mtrs) ,the third Highest Peak in the World is a revered peak in Sikkim. Sikkim is separated by the Singali La range from Nepal in the West, Cho La range from Tibet in the northeast and the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Southeast, Rangit and Rangpo Rivers form the borders with the Indian State of West Bengal in the South. The Geographical area of the State is 7096 sq. Km.
Sikkim constitutes Four Districts and 16 Subdivision. It has unicameral legislature with 32 seats and has 1 Lok Sabha and 1 Rajya Sabha Seats.
It is bestowed with high biodiversity, The Fauna and Flora are rich and unique, The Orchids and Rhododendrons are globally known and display astonishing diversity at Species. Red Panda is the State Animal, Blood Pheasant is the State Bird, Dendrobium Nobile is the State Flower, and Rhododendron is the State Tree.
The Modern History of Sikkim begins from the year 1642 with the consecration of the first Chos-rGyal/Chogyal (Dharma Raja/Righteous King) Phuntsog Namgyal at Yuksom(The First Capital).The Namgyal Dynasty ruled Sikkim till merger with the Indian Union on May 16,1975. Kazi Lendhup Dorji Khangsarpa became the First Chief Minister of the State. The present Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling of the Sikkim Democratic Party is the longest serving Chief Minister of Sikkim since 1994 till Date.
Sikkim is the least populated State of India with population of around 6-7 lakhs. The three Major group are the Lepchas ,the Bhutias and the Nepalis. Other Ethnic people like the Tibetens, the Marwaris, the Biharis also form a significant part of the State’s Population.
The literacy rate of Sikkim is 82.20% as of 2011.The State has 11 official languages, viz. Lepcha, Bhotia, Nepali, Limboo, Gurung, Mangar, Tamang, Khambu-Rai, Newari, Sherpa and Sunuwar. These languages and dialects belongs to several branch of the Indo-Aryan family and Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan speech Family. Nepali is the lingua franca of Sikkim followed by English, Hindi and Bhotia. English and Nepali are the medium of instruction in educational institutions.
The major religious groups in Sikkim are the Hindus and the Buddhists. There are also a considerable number of Christians, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Bahai, Yumaism and others.
The Major Festivals of Sikkim are Losar (Tibetan New Year), Saga Dawa(Triple Blessed Occasion associated with the Birth, Enlightenment and the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha), Pang Lhabsol (unique festival associated with the worship of Guardian Deity Mount Khangchendzonga),Dasain (the most important Hindu Festival celebrated by the Nepalis), Tihar/Diwali (the festival of Lights).
Other important Sikkimese Festivals are Maghe Sankranti, Sonam Lhochar, Holi, Sakewa, Bhanu Jayanti, Drukpa Tsheshi, Tendong lho Rum Faat, Lhabab Duechen, Sirijunga Teyongsi Sawan Tongnam, Tamu Lochar, Trungkar Tshechu, Barahimizong, Christmas, Good Friday.etc
Sikkim Industry is usually Agro based, Large Cardamom is native to Sikkim Himalayas and Sikkim is the largest producer of it in India.
Gangtok, (meaning Hilltop) the present and 4th Capital of the State is a beautiful bustling town and is one of the cleanest Capital in India. It is 126 Km from Bagdogra Airport, 123 km from New Jalpaiguri Railway Terminus, 114 Km from Siliguri and is well connected by NH 10. Pakyong Green Field Airport and Railhead at Khanikhola,Majitar is under construction and will connect the rest of the country in the near future. The important monasteries and Mandirs in and around Gangtok are Enchey Sanga Rabtenling Gonpa, Choeten Monastery, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Gangtok Thakurbari Mandir.etc. Helipad at Burtuk offers Helicopter Service to Bagdogra.
Sikkim was declared as the “Greenest State” in the country in 1999 and also declared the only organic state by Govt. of India. In 2008, Sikkim achieved the unique feat of becoming the first ever Nirmal Rajya in the country by attaining 100% Sanitation coverage in terms of individual household toilets, School toilets, aganwadi toilets, institutional and community toilets. Sikkim has been a model state in the forefront of cleanliness, Environmental consciousness, Zero open defecation, law & order, Organic products, a remarkable feat achieved by this Small State for all to follow.
Sikkim is bestowed with Natural beauties and Mountain peaks and has been at the forefront in Tourism Sector as well. The Old Silk route from Zuluk is a mesmerizing trails of valleys and ridges. The third highest Mountain peak Mt Khangchendzonga and its ranges of other mountain peaks blesses the beautiful landscape. The unique Flora and Fauna is a paradise for nature lovers. The natural wild flowers in Yumthang valley,North Sikkim and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in west Sikkim is a delight for Tourist. The Major Tourist Spots in Sikkim are Tashi View Point (near Gangtok), Himalayan Zoological Park at Bulbuley, Tsomgo Lake on the Gangtok-Nathula Highway, The Nathu La Pass situated at an altitude of 14097 ft and links India with Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple between Nathu La and Jelep La, Memencho Lake 60 km from Gangtok at an altitude of 11719 ft within Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Kupup at an elevation of 12956 ft has the world Highest Golf Course and also the war memorial of British Soldiers killed in Gnatong War,1888, Pelling in West Sikkim situated at an altitude of 6419 ft is a gateway to important historical places ,Sang ngak Choeling (Sangachoeling) Monastery is the one of the oldest monastery built in 1714 facing yet another famous Pemayangtse Monastery established in the year 1651 by Lhatsun Chenpo and was reconstructed in 1705 by Chagdor Namgyal the third Monarch of Sikkim, The Ruins of Rabdentse, the second capital of Sikkim near Pelling is preserved by the Archeological Survey of India, Khechopelri Lake about 25 km from Pelling is a sacred lake hidden under rich forest cover, Yuksom meaning the meeting Place of three holy ones is the first capital of Sikkim and has Dubdi Monastery considered as the oldest monastery of Sikkim established in 1647 soon after the consecration of the first Chogyal, Hotsprings “Phur cha-chu” at Reshi, Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir at Legship, Eco tourism Trekking trail at Uttarey along the famous Singalila range bordering Nepal and West Bengal, Kabi Lungtsok in NorthSikkim, Dzongu a beautiful village inhabited by Lepchas, Lachen and Lachung valleys inhabited by Lachenpas and Lachungpas, Yumthang Valley with a marvelous blend of Flora and Fauna and a breadthtaking scenic grandeur, Guru Dongma r Lake a sacred Lake, Namchi meaning “ Top of the Sky”, Guru Padmasambhava Statue at Samdruptse, Tathagata Tsal in Ravongla, Pilgrimage Site of Sri Siddhesvara Dhaam which has 108 ft Statue of Lord Shiva with 12 jyotirlings and is a representation of the Chaar Dhaam in Namchi, Lord Kirateshwar temple, Sai Temple, Temi Tea Gardens.
It is also among India's most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles and Styrofoam products.