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Map of Sikkim (Source: India-WRIS)



The early history of Sikkim was not known. Its history started from 13th Century A.D., with the signing of a treaty between Lepcha Chief Thekong Tek and Tibetan prince Khye-Bhumsa at Kabi Lungtsok in North Sikkim. Later the Namgyal dynasty ruled this state for more than 300 years. This dynasty was set up by the Bhutia king Phunstog or Penchu. This dynasty also belonged the last Chogyal, Namgyal Palden Thondup. The Chogyal had developed ambitions of becoming a sovereign ruler and making Sikkim an independent state. With the march of history, events in Sikkim saw the state pass democracy and become an integral part of the Indian Union in 1975.


It is a small mountain state in the eastern Himalayas and it is bounded by Tibet on north, Nepal on west, Bhutan on east and West Bengal on south. Total area of the state is 7,096 sq km. India's highest mountain peak Kanchanjunga (World's third highest) rises from this area. Nearly two third of the Sikkim's area is snow covered throughout the year. Tista is the main river of the state, divides the state into north and south. The other rivers are the Lahen, Lachung, Rangit and Rangpo. The climate of this state varies with the altitudes. The upper region is extremely cold but the southern part's weather is humid, similar to neighbouring state West Bengal.


Sikkim is a hilly state and situated in the north-eastern region of India.


The climate of the state varies from cold temperate and alpine in northeast to subtropical in the south. Rainfall is heavy and well distributed during the months from May to early October. July is the wettest month in most of the places. The intensity of rainfall during south-west monsoon season decreases from south to north, while the ditribution of winter rainfall is in the opposite order. The maximum temperature is recorded usually during july and August, and the minimum during December and January.


  • Agriculture
  • Industry


Agriculture is the main source of occupation of the state. However, the state has only about 12 percent of its land under cultivation. Major food crops are Maize, rice, wheat, potato etc. Cash crops are ginger, cardamom, orange, tea and off-season vegetables. This state has a monopoly in the big variety of cardamom production. Emphasis, at present, is being made on development of commercial and horticulture crops and floriculture.Animal husbandry is very important in this state.


Sikkim is a industrially backward state. In order to develop industrial climate the state has been formulated new industrial policy from 10th April 1996. Department of Industries launched different promotional schemes. Sikkim Industrial Corporation was established in March 1977 with twin objectives of State Financial Corporation and Small Industries Development Corporation.Main industries of the state are handloom and handicrafts, tea, juices and jams, biscuits and other bakery products, beer, matches, washing soap, electric cables, watches, leather goods and industrial jewels. Sikkim Time Corporation (SITCO) owned by Sikkim government in collaboration with IIMT assembles watches, manufactures digital watches and M.I.C. chips.


  • Irrigation
  • Power
  • Transport
  • Education
  • Health
  • Telecommunication



The two closest railway stations area New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri connecting Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Lucknow and other important cities.


There is no airport in Sikkim. Bagdogra airport in West Bengal which caters to the state is 124 km from Gangtok. Bagdogra has regular Indian Airlines and Jet Airways services from Kolkata and Delhi and also the North-East.


Gangtok the state capital, is the main tourist attraction. Besides, there are important tourists places like Buddhist temple at Yumthang, natural garden at Bankhim, the monastery at Dubdi, Changu Lake, Rumtek monastery, Tsomgo and Phodong monastery, Dzongri, Varsey, Tashiding etc. The state has much more potential for the development of tourism and efforts are also being made in that direction.

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