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Lachung, Sikkim, India. Author Nichalp. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Lachung, Sikkim, India. Author Nichalp

Sikkim: small Himalayan Indian state

Sikkim, an ancient Himalayan monarchy, in 1975 became the 22nd state of the Indian Union. The small country is located in the eastern Himalayas, between the states of Nepal and Bhutan, a land rich in mountains, forests, glaciers, hot springs and lakes.

The country is almost entirely mountainous, its land rises from the lowest point at 280 meters up to over 8,000 meters of Mount Kangchenjunga (8,586 m), which is the highest mountain in Sikkim and India, as well as being the third highest mountain in the world.

The majority of the country’s population are ethnic Nepalese, the most practiced religion is Hinduism (60%), followed by Buddhism (28%), Nepali is the lingua franca of Sikkim, but there will also speak Hindi and English. The most important cities are the capital Gangtok, and the towns of Geyzing, Mangan and Namchi.

Kangchenjunga, Sikkim, India. Author Carsten Nebel. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Kangchenjunga, Sikkim, India. Author Carsten Nebel

Sikkim’s economy is largely agricultural, but tourism is increasingly important due to the rich cultural tradition of the people, the scenery and biodiversity of the country. Among the places to see in Sikkim, the first goal is definitely the capital, Gangtok, where are the palace of the Maharaja and an important Buddhist monastery. In the rest of the country are to visit the monasteries of Rumtek, Enchen, Tashidind and Pemayangtse. The country is also interesting for the folklore and religious holidays. Among the natural beauty of the Himalayan peaks and glacial lakes such as Lake Changu or Tsongmo.

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