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A map showing us where the location of Sikkim
Map of Sikkim
Coordinates: 20°N 77°E / 20°N 77°E / 20; 77Coordinates: 20°N 77°E / 20°N 77°E / 20; 77
Country  India
Region North-east India
Established 16 May 1975
 • Legislature Unicameral (seats)
 • Total 7,110 km2 (2,750 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 610,577
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Official languages Nepali (lingua franca)
Bhutia and Lepcha (since 1977)
Limbu (since 1981)
Newari, Gurung, Magar, Sherpa, and Tamang (since 1995)
Sunwar (since 1996)


Sikkim (Nepali: सिक्किम) is a state in India. It is next to Bhutan to the east, Nepal to the west, Tibet to the north and the Indian state of West Bengal to its south. It has the smallest number of people and second smallest land size (7,110 square kilometres or 2,750 square miles) of any state in India. The third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga (8,597 metres or 28,205 feet above sea level) is in Sikkim. The capital is Gangtok and other big towns are Gayzing, Pelling, Yuksam and Jorethang. The languages spoken are English, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tibetan, Nepali and Hindi. Tourism makes a lot of the money in this small state of India, because it is not close to the sea.

Sikkim has been cut off from the outside world for a long time. It was settled by Tibetans in the 16th century and became a British protectorate in 1890. Sikkim became part of India in 1949 and became a state in 1975.

Sikkim's people have mainly Nepalese ancestry; there are also Bhutia's (Tibetan and Bhutnese in origin) and aboriginal Lepchas, who are mainly pastoral nomads. The Nepalese practice Hinduism, but the former chogyal (“king under the religious laws”) and the official class are Buddhist, and Sikkim is known for its Buddhist monasteries. Tibeto-Burmese languages and dialects are commonly spoken.

Physical Features[change | edit source]

Sikkim is the second smallest state after Goa, but it has many physical features like forests, rivers and mountains around its edges. Most of the mountains above 6100 meters (20000ft) are near the west of the state, like Mt Kanchendzonga. Other mountains that are over 6100 meters (20000ft)tall are Kabru (the second tallest), Sinilchu, Pandim, Rothong, Kokthang, Talung, Kanglakhang, Simvo & Jonsang. On the east side the tallest peak is Paunhri, which is about 6700 meters(22000ft) tall. The other mountains that are a little bit shorter than 6100 meters (20000ft) are Masthonangye, Yabukjakchen, Narsing and Lamaonden. Most of the mountains in Sikkim have never been climbed, because the Sikkimese consider them sacred. They feel that when the mountains are climbed, they will not be holy anymore.

Lakes[change | edit source]

River Teesta.jpg

On the way between Gangtok to Nathula, 35 kilometers from Gangtok is Lake Changu (Tsomgo), about 3693 meters (12310 ftp) above sea level. Two other lakes nearby are the Bidangcho and the Mememcho. Lake Kechopari is another well-known lake. It is between Gyalshing and Yoksum. Many of the lakes in Sikkim are on the western border, north of Chiwabhanjang towards the Base Camp. Laxmipokhari, Lampokhari, Majurpokhari, Dud Phokhari, Samiti Lake, and the twin lakes of Ram-Laxman are a few of the lakes in this area. Gurudogmar, which is the largest lake, is in North Sikkim.

Hot Springs[change | edit source]

Sikkim has many hot springs which are known to be good for health. The most important hot-springs are at Phurchachu(Reshi), Yumthang, Borang, Ralang, Taram-chu and Yumey Samdong. All these hotsprings have a lot of sulfur and are near the river banks. The average temperature of the water in these hot springs is 50 °C.

Foods and Drinks[change | edit source]

Sikkimese usually eat rice, green vegetables, potatoes, dal, and sinky, Kenama and Gundruk, (Nepali food).


Momo is a very popular Nepalese treat in Sikkim. It is prepared by stuffing meat and vegetable ingredients in flour dough then making them into dumplings. Momos are eaten with soup and chilli sauce. This Nepalese dish can be found in almost every local restaurant and fast food shop.


Thukpa is a noodle soup with vegetables and beef which is also very popular.

Sael Roti

Seal Roti (Nepali traditional food) is made by grinding rice and water into a paste, then deep fried. It is normally eaten with potato curry. It is prepared during Dasai and Tihar (local festivals).


Gundruk is the leaves of the mustard oil plant that are dried in the sun, then boiled with ingredients.

Geography[change | edit source]

  • Area : 7110 km2
  • Capital : Gangtok
  • Height: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Land type: Hilly from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
    • Summer

Max- 21 °C ; Min - 13 °C

    • Winter

Max -13 °C ; Min - 0.48 °C Rainfall : 325 cm every year

  • Languages spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi

National symbols of Sikkim[change | edit source]