About Sikkim

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sikkimSikkim is a small Himalayan state in north-east India that is part of the Himalayan mountain seam that connects north-east India, Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. 

Sikkim’s total population is 540,000, made up of Lepchas – the first inhabitants; Bhutias, the earliest settlers who came into Sikkim from Tibet and, Nepali-Sikkimese who settled in Sikkim when it was a Kingdom before its merger with India in 1975.

Sikkim lies in the shadow of India’s highest mountain, Khangchendzonga, which Sikkimese people worship as their mother-mountain. 

Sikkim’s biodiversity makes it an eco-tourism paradise and Khangchendzonga National Park, which is partially in Dzongu, is a biodiversity hotspot.

Khangchendzonga range as seen from the village of Lingthem in Dzongu

Sikkim’s landscape ranges from subtropical to alpine and travelers can drive through several weather zones in one day. 

Sikkim has several hundred species of birds, butterflies and plants, which can be seen along established – and not so established – walking and trekking routes. 

Sikkim’s capital is Gangtok, which means ‘the town on the hilltop’. It is a small city, built into the forest and offers visitors the advantages that a city brings such as restaurants, shops and transport, coupled with the attraction of being close to nature. 

Gangtok can be reached via the neighbouring state of West Bengal: by air from Bagdogra, rail from New Jalpaiguri, or car or bus from Siliguri.

Non-Indian visitors to Sikkim need an Inner Line Permit which can be obtained from Sikkim Tourism at Rangpo, the state border town. Sikkim is close to the tourist destinations of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Nepal and Bhutan.

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