Sikkim

Sikkim
Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. The state borders Nepal to the west, Tibet to the north and east, and Bhutan to the southeast. The state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south. With just slightly over 500,000 permanent residents, Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area. Despite its small area of 7,096 km (2,740 sq mi), Sikkim is geographically diverse due to its location in the Himalayas. The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, is located on Sikkim's border with Nepal. Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity. Legend has it that the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche visited Sikkim in the 9th century, introduced Buddhism and foretold the era of the monarchy. Indeed, the Namgyal dynasty was established in 1642. Over the next 150 years, the kingdom witnessed frequent raids and territorial losses to Nepalese invaders. It allied itself with the British rulers of India, but was soon annexed by them. Later, Sikkim became a British protectorate, before merging with India following a referendum in 1975. Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali (which is its lingua franca), Bhutia, Lepcha (since 1977), Limbu (since 1981), Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang (since 1995) and Sunwar (since 1996). English is taught in schools and used in government documents. Sikkim is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepalese majority. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and the largest town. Sikkim has a booming economy dependent on agriculture and tourism, and has the only open border between India and China.

Website: http://www.sikkim.gov.in/


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