Facts About Sikkim: History, Tourism, Food, and General Facts
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Facts About Sikkim: History, Tourism, Food, and General Facts

One of the first facts about Sikkim you should know is that it is the second smallest state in India.  Moreover, it one of the most beautiful states and earns a ton of foreign currency with the help of tourism.

The Indian subcontinent consists of a total of 29 states. Among all these states, Sikkim is considered the 22nd state of this country.

In this article, you all know the facts about Sikkim. These facts refer to the historical facts, general facts, scientific facts, and so on. These facts will help you understand all the activities, events, and tourism aspects of the state.

Do you know that Sikkim was not a state of the Indian subcontinent from the beginning? It was considered a separate country before 1975. At that time, Monarchs ruled the Sikkim Kingdom. On May 15, 1975, as per the Indian constitution, Sikkim became a part of this subcontinent.

History of Sikkim

Sikkim has a lot of historical value to offer to Indian tourism. Tourists from all over the world visit this state to know about its historical fact.

Before 1975, it was denoted as a Buddhist Kingdom. The Namgyal Chogyal Dynasty ruled Sikkim at that time.

During that period, Nepal attacked this small kingdom several times to capture it.

In 1947 it gained independence. However, the famous monarchy of Sikkim was planned to be destroyed in 1973 by bureaucrats, but they had not succeeded.

In 1975, by the Indian government’s influence, it merged with India as the 22nd state.

Lepcha were the known people who captured Sikkim primarily. They have high similarities with the “Khasi” people. This group of people lives in Meghalaya, another Indian state.

Here the similarity refers to the family, culture, dressing sense, and so on. However, their language is not the same as the “Khasi” community. Instead, their language has a high similarity with the Tangkul Naga community. They live in northern Manipur.

Many history books state that in the 8th century, A.D. Saint Padmasambhava introduced Buddhism in this state. The people of Sikkim were highly obliged to him. They obeyed Saint Padmasambhava as Guru Rimpoche.

In 1814, the Gurkha war occurred between British India and Nepal. British India had taken the help of Sikkim to fight Nepal. Sikkim helped British India because they wanted to teach the Nepalese a lesson with the help of war.

As Nepal attacked Sikkim several times in past years, it was the reaction of those attacks from Sikkim. These are the most common facts about Sikkim.

General facts about Sikkim

Sikkim is one of the beautiful states of India. People from all over the world come to this state because of its natural and scenic beauty. The Himalayan Mountain range surrounds Sikkim.

Tourists are left in awe by the beauty of the Himalayan Mountains in the morning. Tibet is its neighboring country, and this state of India is influenced by Tibet a lot. Its other name is Drenjon, which is a Tibetan word.

Population facts of Sikkim

Now let’s start to know the general facts about Sikkim. The area of this state of India is approximately 7,096 km². As it is a small state, so its population is also small. Only 610,577 people are currently living in Sikkim.

Among all the states of India, Sikkim has gained 28th rank according to the area, and according to the population, it has gained 29th rank. The population density of this state is 86/sq.km, which is the low population density number for an Indian state.

Life in Sikkim

Agricultural facts about Sikkim

India mainly focuses on agriculture, and Sikkim is no exception. However, many people of Sikkim do other jobs for a living too. This is because the soil condition of Sikkim is not best suited for different types of agriculture.

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The primary crop of Sikkim is maize. Some more crops they grow include millet, wheat, barley, orange, tea, cardamom, and so on. It has a huge forest area; approximately 5841 km² is covered with forests. People of Sikkim are mostly dependent on forests for a living.

River, lakes, and dams of Sikkim

Sikkim has two main rivers, and these are Teesta and Rangeet. Tourists come here to see the origin of these rivers.

Teesta is considered a very famous and holy river in India. The origin of Teesta is Cholamu Lake, and the origin of Rangeet is Rathong Glacier. Both of these origins are situated in Sikkim.

Sikkim has hundreds of lakes, but some of these lakes are very famous in India. These famous lakes are Tsongmo Lake, Gurudongmar Lake, Khecheopalri Lake, Tso Lhamu Lake / CholaMu Lake, Green Lake, Kathok Lake, Menmecho Lake, and so on.

People come to see some dams of Sikkim also. Two famous dams of this state are Teesta V Dam and Rangit Dam. The height of Teesta V Dam is 87 meters, and the height of Rangit Dam is 47 meters.

Administration facts about Sikkim

The capital of Sikkim is Gangtok. It is one of the most famous tourist places in India. People come to this place first to visit Sikkim.

The chief minister of Sikkim is Prem Singh Taman,g and the governor of Sikkim is Ganga Prasad. It has four numbers of districts. Further, the chief of the justice of Sikkim is Mr. Arup Kumar Goswami.

The state mammal of Sikkim is the red panda, and the state bird of Sikkim is the blood pheasant. Moreover, noble Dendrobium is considered the state flower. Moreover, the tree of the state is rhododendron.

Red Panda Sikkim

Language and religious facts

Most of the people of this state are Nepali, as approximately 62% of people currently living in Sikkim are Nepali. However, in Sikkim, there are other races too. Bhutia, Hindi, Lepcha, Limbu, Sherpa, and Tamang live in this state with Nepali. However, they are much less in number compared to Nepali people.

You can combine Bhutia, Hindi, and Lepcha all these races, but still, you may not find more than 20% of the total people who live in Sikkim.

Most people of Sikkim are Hindu. More than 57% of people in this state obey the Hindu religion. After Hinduism, Buddhism is the second largest religion of this state. More than 25% of the total people of Sikkim obey this religion.

Facts About Sikkim: History, Tourism, Food, and General Facts
People of Sikkim

Cultural heritage and arts of Sikkim

Sikkim is very popular for its folk songs and folk dances. Every year thousands of tourists come to this state to see its cultural events.

Two major festivals of Sikkim are Diwali and Dussehra. However, you can see some local festivals here too. These local festivals are not as popular as the two major Hindu festivals.

These local festivals are Bhimsen Puja and Maghe Sankranti. During this time, local people sell beautiful handicrafts and furniture pieces to tourists.

Some examples of famous folk dances of Sikkim are Bhutia’s Denzong Gnenha Dance, Nepali’s Khukhuri Naach, Bhutia’s Tashi Yangku Dance, Bhutia’s Singhi Chaam Dance, Lepcha’s Chu Faat Dance, and Sikmari Dance.

Some examples of famous traditional music of Sikkim are:

  • Gha to Kito
  • Lu Khangthamo
  • Chi Rimu, Rechungma
  • Gnungmala Gnunghey
  • Be Yu Mista
  • Tashi Zaldha

Some examples of famous temples of Sikkim are

  • Rameshwar Mahadev Mandir
  • Hanuman Tok
  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Pemayangtse Monastery
  • Ganesh Too
  • Solophok Chardham

The traditional dresses of Sikkim are Barkhu and Honju. During festivals, most of the males of Sikkim wear Barkhu, and females wear Honju.

In this state, there are three tribes. These are Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas. Some other local festivals are Dentam Rhododendron, Kagyed Dance Festival, Lampokhari Paryatan Mahotsav, Sonam Lhochhar Festival, Bhumchu Festival, Losoong Festival, and Saga Dawa Festival.

Famous food of Sikkim

As Sikkim is a northwest state of India, the food habits of this state are completely different from popular states of India. So if you want to visit Sikkim soon, you must try these three famous food items of Sikkim. These foods may make your journey memorable.

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Gundruk soup

This soup is one of the famous soups in Sikkim, and it is very cheap. You can find this anywhere in Sikkim for under $2. It is a veg soup and is probably the best food in the chilled evening.

Momos

Momos are one of the top snacks that you can find anywhere in Sikkim. People love this because of its taste and quality.

The roots go back to Tibetian dumplings. You can find eight to ten momos per plate in Sikkim.

If you visit Pelling town, then you must try Chinese momos. It is very soft and buttery.

Yak cheese

Yak cheese is another popular food of Sikkim. It is full of protein, nutrients, and fats. You can find here the candies of yak cheese also.

If you want to try trekking, then you must try these candies. It will help you to provide extra energy during trekking.

Scientific facts about Sikkim

Thousands of tourists visit Sikkim every year, but most tourists don’t know about the “8 lucky signs” of Buddhism.

Many people may have seen these signs of architectural buildings in Sikkim, but they may not know the actual meaning of these signs. These signs are:

  1. The lotus that represents the blossom of life
  2. The parasol that protects people from suffering
  3. The two golden-colored fish that swims through the troubles without pain in life
  4. The victory banner that is victorious over all evil forces
  5. The vase that represents a healthy and long life
  6. The shell that denotes the sound of Dharma that is just reaching for an awakening journey
  7. The wheel of Dharma that symbolizes Karma and the life
  8. The knot that causes and effects of wisdom and compassion

All of these facts about Sikkim are mainly focused on spirituality and Buddhism. All of these 8 signs symbolize a person’s life journey.

In simple words, these signs want to state that a person can eliminate all the evil forces by his karma. Therefore, if he walks with Dhamra for his entire life, he may get a long and healthy life without much suffering.

Places to visit in Sikkim

Lesser known facts about Sikkim

There are some less known facts about Sikkim that you must know. Unfortunately, lots of people don’t know about these. However, if you are planning to visit Sikkim soon, then these unknown facts will definitely help explore Sikkim more.

Spirit in the temple in Sikkim

Baba Harbhajan Singh was a soldier of the Indian army. After his death, Indian soldiers built a temple to honor him. Lots of local people believe that the spirit of Baba Harbhajan Singh still comes there to protect the border of India.

Sikkim has 11 official languages

Most of the states in India have one or two official languages, but Sikkim has a total of 11 official languages.

Among these languages, 4 languages are primarily languages. These are English, Sikkimese, Nepali, and Lepcha.

Other languages are considered secondary languages. These are Mukhia, Magar, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, and Tamang.

Agricultural fact

Sikkim is the world’s second-largest cardamom producer. Guatemala is the first in this list of cardamom producers.

Other facts

  • According to census data, Sikkim has the least population among all Indian states
  • Among all Indian states, Sikkim is only a defecation-free state in India
  • The Teesta River is considered the lifeline of Sikkim
  • Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Forest is the world’s highest national forest
  • Gurudongmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world that is situated in Sikkim
  • Hindus, Buddhists, and Nepalese consider Gurudongmar Lake holy
  • Kanchenjunga is the third-highest peak in the world, and it situates in this state
  • Sand Mandala is a world-famous art, and Sikkim is the source of this art.
Facts About Sikkim: History, Tourism, Food, and General Facts
Himalayan Range from Sikkim

Final thoughts

If you want to visit Sikkim, these facts will help you explore better. Further, it may help to make your journey memorable. In Sikkim, you must visit Gangtok once. From here, you can get a taste of the amazing natural beauty of Kanchenjunga.

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