55 Facts About Sikkim: Culture, History, Geography, And More | Kidadl


55 Facts About Sikkim: Culture, History, Geography, And More

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

One of the smallest Indian states, Sikkim is the land of the mighty Himalayas and colorful rhododendrons that make it one of the top tourist spots in the country.

Sikkim has 11 official languages, including Nepali, Hindi, and English. The flora and fauna in its valleys adds to the beauty of the snow-capped mountain peaks of Sikkim.

Sikkim is surrounded by three countries and only one Indian state, West Bengal. The neighboring nations are Nepal in the west, Bhutan in the east, and China in the north. The capital city of Sikkim is Gangtok.

The ancient Silk Route lies partly in Sikkim and was once the most important trade route connecting India with Tibet. The third highest peak in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga, is located in Sikkim. The state is also known for its hot springs, which have medicinal and therapeutic properties.

Facts About Sikkim

Here are some of the most interesting facts about this state in northern India.

Sikkim is the second smallest and the least populous state in the country.

Sikkim’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism.

This state has the second lowest GDP among all Indian states.

It is the first and only Indian state to be known as an organic state due to its implementation of organic farming.

Sikkim's primary agricultural products are maize, millet, wheat, and paddy. Apples and oranges also grow well there.

Sikkim is the largest cardamom-producing state in India as it has the most significant area for encouraging the growth of cardamom.

Sikkim has several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, such as the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kyongnosla Alpine Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a national park in Sikkim listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as the first ‘Mixed World Heritage Site’ in India.

Ravangla is a popular tourist spot in western Sikkim.

Sikkim is known as 'Beyul Demazong' in Bhutan, which can be translated as 'the hidden valley of rice.'

Historical Facts About Sikkim

The northern state of Sikkim in India is a diverse region with monasteries and waterfalls. You can feel history coming alive in this state, which was once an independent nation. Let's take a closer look at some of the historical facts about Sikkim.

The name 'Sikkim' comes from the Limbu word 'Su him,' which means 'new house.'

Very little is known about Sikkim's history before the 17th century. It is known that the Bhutia people began to reside in the region during the 14th century. They came from Tibet in the north.

The kingdom of Sikkim was founded in 1642 and was ruled by the Chogyal, who were Buddhist rulers. Phuntsog Namgyal took the throne in 1642 as the ruler of the Chogyal.

From 1642 until 1975, the Namgyal line remained on the throne as Sikkim had an independent monarchy.

A series of regional wars occurred in the mid-18th century. Sikkim was at battle with the two countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Many Nepalese people began relocating to Sikkim during these wars.

The Anglo-Nepalese War during 1814-1816, saw Sikkim help British India.

As a result of its help, Sikkim received support from Britain, and the domains lost under these regional wars were re-established to the former nation.

Sikkim became an accepted protectorate of the United Kingdom by 1817.

Darjeeling was once a part of Sikkim. British East India Company ensured that the city became a part of India in 1835. It is now one of the highly sought-after places for traveling in modern West Bengal.

Sikkim and Britain allied with one another, which prompted East India Company to gain the submontane locales from Sikkim in 1849. This was also the starting point of the military annihilation of the nation.

Political gatherings started taking shape in Sikkim after India became independent of British rule in 1947.

The Indo-Sikkimese treaty of 1950 made the nation an Indian protectorate. India accepted accountability of the safeguarding, critical correspondences, and outside relations of Sikkim.

Sikkim finally became a part of the Indian Union on May 16, 1975, as the 22nd state of the largest democratic country on the planet. The prime minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament to absolve Sikkim as a state of India.

Geographical Facts About Sikkim

The topography of Sikkim is one of the most breathtaking on the Indian subcontinent. From the pristine beauty of the Teesta River to the magnificent views of the Himalayas, Sikkim embodies what every traveler wishes to see at least once in their lifetime. Let's dive into some of the geographical facts about this state.

The hot springs of Sikkim, located near river banks, are very famous and attract many people to the state every year. Some of the most popular hot springs are Yumthang, Taram, Ralong, Borong, and Yume Samdong hot springs.

The best time to take advantage of these springs is February and March. Take a relaxing bath and rejuvenate yourself by dipping in these natural spas. These hot springs can heal various ailments due to their medicinal qualities.

Mt. Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-highest peak at 28,169 ft (8,586 m). This huge mountain lies in Sikkim as a part of the eastern Himalayas that border the state in the north. It is also the highest peak in India.

This state is home to a vast range of flora and fauna. It is a paradise for bird watchers as you can see more than 552 species of birds in Sikkim.

The bearded vulture, with its huge wings, is a famous bird among bird lovers. Next time you visit the state, do not forget to pack your binoculars for spotting rare and colorful birds.

More than 600 butterfly species also live in this state. You can research butterflies and could even take pictures of them.

Teesta River is the primary waterway of the state. Its tributaries run through the state in the direction of north to south.

This state is also home to about 600 varieties of orchids and 240 types of ferns and medicinal plants. More than 150 species of gladioli and 46 types of rhododendrons can be found in Sikkim. The state tree of Sikkim is the Rhododendron niveum.

Singshore Bridge, located in Pelling in north Sikkim, is the second-highest Asian bridge. It is a suspension bridge with a length of 650 ft (198 m) and a depth of 722 ft (220 m). You will not be able to take your eyes off the splendid beauty of the waterfalls and valleys once you start walking on this bridge.

The once famous Silk Route belonged to the state in the area known as Nathula Pass. It is still used now during journeys from the Indian subcontinent to Tibet’s Kailash Manasarovar.

You cannot complete an authentic Sikkim experience without visiting the various monasteries.

Sikkim's Culture

The only Indian state with a large section of its local population from another nation is Sikkim. Nepalese people constitute a maximum percentage of the general population. Let's find out other interesting facts about the culture of Sikkim.

Sikkim's residents consist of Lepcha and Bhutia people alongside the Nepalese population.

This state is home to many temples devoted to worshiping many gods and goddesses. There is also a temple dedicated to a human. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple in Sikkim was built in honor of Major Harbhajan Singh, an Indian army soldier, and people fondly remember him as the 'Hero of Nathula'.

Locals believe that the spirit of the former soldier protects Indian soldiers who serve in the army in the high-altitude terrains of eastern Himalayas.

You might have come across long scrolls hanging in Buddhist houses and monasteries all over Sikkim. These are called Thankas and some people believe that they help to protect people from evil spirits. The rich illustrations and artworks in these Thankas are eye-catching.

The designs of Thankas are so intricate that it takes more than a month or sometimes even two to complete work on one parchment. If you visit Sikkim, you could bring home a Thanka as a souvenir.

Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim is one of the most sacred monasteries in the state.

A special holy water ceremony named Bhum Chu is organized annually here, which is said to forecast the state's future.

In Bhum Chu, the sacred urn, or Bhum, holds water. This is opened during the ceremony with hymns and chants, and the water level inside it indicates the fortunes of the following year for Sikkim.

The Ecclesiastical Department of Sikkim is unique to the state, which looks after the welfare and proper functioning of over 200 monasteries, temples, churches, gurudwaras, and mosques present in Sikkim.

Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism are the main two religions in the state of Sikkim. Buddhist monasteries are plentiful all over the state.

Mt. Kanchenjunga is worshipped as a deity in Sikkim who is mounted on a snow lion, armed, and red-colored.

Phang Lhabsol is a Buddhist festival that takes place on Thanksgiving to pay respect to the mountain deity, Mt. Kanchenjunga.

Rumtek Monastery in Rumtek is one of the most visited places in Sikkim.

Did you know?

Along with the natural beauty of Sikkim, it is equally famous for its food.

Thukpa is a must-try dish of Sikkim. Having its origin in Tibet, it is a noodle soup filled with meat and vegetables.

Travelers going to Sikkim swear by the various types of momos available all over the state.

Fried and steamed momo is one of the most popular items in the state.

Bamboo shoot curry is a local dish that has to be eaten with rice. Fermented bamboo is a staple ingredient of this dish.

Sikkim Manipal University campus at Tadong is a scenic place that can be visited by tourists.

The annual International Flower Festival takes place in Sikkim in the summer months.

Namchi has a spot known as Siddheswari Dham, in which a vast Shiva statue of 108 ft (33 m) tall is erected.

Chaang is a popular drink of Sikkim served in bamboo vessels known as tongba.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?