Welcome to Sikkim - General Information

Sikkim - Facts & Figures
Time zone : IST (UTC+5:30)
Area : 7,096 km (2,740 sq mi)
Capital : Gangtok
Largest City : Gangtok
District(s) : 4
Population : 540,493 (28th)
Density : 76.17/km (197/sq mi)
Language(s) : Nepali, Bhutia, English, Hindi
Chief Minister : Dr. Pawan Kumar Chamling
Governor : Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh
Established : 16 May 1975
Legislature (seats) : Unicameral (32)
ISO abbreviation : IN-SK
     

Sikkim has been given many names. The Lepchas, original inhabitants of the land called it Nye-mae-el `paradise'. The Limbus named it Su Khim or `new house' while to the Bhutias it was Beymul Demazong `the hidden valley of rice'.

Introduction ImageToday, travelers embarking on a journey of Sikkim discover a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, the infinite variety of its flora and fauna makes it a holiday that is at once fascinating and challenging.

The crowning glory of Sikkim is Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. With magnificent snow and ice scenery it is often regarded as the undisputed monarch among the peaks of the world. But for the Sikkimese Khangchendzonga is much more than a mountain and is revered as the abode of their guardian deity Dzo-nga.

Introduction Image

Even today the mountain god is invoked and prayed to during Pang Lhabsol, a major Sikkimese festival, which also commemorates the blood brotherhood sworn between the Lepchas and the Bhutias at Kabi in the fifteenth century. The sacred mountain can be viewed from every corner of Sikkim and remains an intrinsic part of the consciousness of the people.

Sikkim shares its border with Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east, with the Tibetan plateau rising from its northern border. It was once a Himalayan monarchy and part of the fabled Silk Route to China. Its merger with India in 1975 has offered a window to the world to discover the treasures of this hidden land.

Introduction ImageSikkim's tiny size geographically belies the profound diversity she offers. The state has the steepest rise in altitude over the shortest distance and has within its 7,096 sq. kms the entire climatic range, from tropical to temperate to alpine, bestowing on the land an intense natural heritage. Lush and thick forests, flush with blooms of exotic flora, hilly expanses embellished by Sikkim's two main rivers, the Teesta and the Rangeet, the picturesque villages, hot springs and waterfalls have a compelling appeal.

TheThe mountain sides are dotted with many caves which are considered holy by the people and revered as places of pilgrimage. The 135 feet tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava is situated at Samdruptse, South Sikkim.

Sikkim has much to offer all her visitors. From popular home stays where one can get a first hand experience of rural Sikkim to endless possibilities for adventure sports. From ancient monasteries and flamboyant festivals to all the amenities of the modern world. The State is naturally gifted having all sorts of destinations and circuits required for the tourists. Tourism in Sikkim has impressive varieties of Tourism Products, some of them are: />
Organic, Green and Pollution Free State
Very rich Culture, traditions, heritage and strong commitment
Eco-tourism & Wildlife
Village Tourism
Adventure Tourism
Wellness, Health, Yoga, Herbal and medical tourism
Religious, culture, Heritage and pilgrimage Tourism
Conference Tourism and many more 

Introduction ImageThe mighty and majestic mountains, green valleys, wilderness & sense of adventure, delightful cuisines, peaceful and crime free State, Hot spot of biodiversity and a mixture of things that would make any place on the earth a delight to visit, has made Sikkim the hot destination for Tourism that it should be. Virtually unexplored, offers unique opportunities in almost all the major aspects of Tourism. The State Government in the past years have given top priority and importance for development of sufficient and required infrastructure for the development of tourism in the State. Some of the important steps taken are:

Construction of good network of all weather roads
A very good network of communication, internet, telephone etc.
A good network of transport- private participation
Introduction of Helicopter services which is being further upgraded
Construction of network of Helipads
Airport under development
A substantial enhancement in accommodation , hotels and Home stay
Approval by Government of India for Railway line.
Double lane of existing NH-31A and construction of alternate National High Way
For power and energy support, a network of Hydro Electric projects
Development of required Human Resources for the sector
Safety and security
Regulation of Tourism trade
A good network of travel agents, tour operators and other services providers
A well established network of Tourists Reception-cum- Information Centers (TRICs) which are being further strengthened

 Add to this the different communities, each with their own distinctive festivals and traditions, the dances and the music; it has all the elements that go into making a holiday an unforgettable experience.

Come, Be Blessed