Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. It is the least populous state in India, and the second-smallest in area after Goa. It borders Nepal in the west, Tibet to the north, and Bhutan to the east. The Indian state of West Bengal borders Sikkim to its south. The official languages are English, Bhutia, Nepali, Lepcha, Limbu, and Hindi. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Despite its tiny size, Sikkim is geographically diverse, owing to its location on the Himalaya. The climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak, is located in the northwestern part of the state on the boundary with Nepal, and can be seen from most parts of the state. It was an independent Buddhist Kingdom, ruled by Chogyal Kings and when the British left India, Sikkim rejected offer to join the union of India. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to a special protectorate status for Sikkim. Sikkim was to be a suzerainty of India, in which India controlled its external affairs, defense, diplomacy and communication. However Chogyal King was slowly proving to be extremely unpopular, especially with increased Nepali population. In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for representation and change of Sikkim's status to a state of India. Indian Army moved into Sikkim, seizing the city of Gangtok, disarming the Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which majority of the people voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished.
Visitors whose Indian Visa is not endorsed with Sikkim permit are required to complete a form and provide a passport size picture at the border of the Indian state. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. The highest portion of sikkim lies in its north west direction. A large number of mountains having altitudes of about seven thousand meters stands here with - Kanchenjunga (8598 m.), The third highest peak in the world. The high serrated, snow capped spurs and peaks of Kanchenjunga look attractive consisting of Kumbha Karna (7711 m.), Pendem (6706 m.), Narsingh (5825 m.), Kabru Dome (6545 m.), etc. A number of glaciers descends from eastern slopes of Kanchenjunga into Sikkim where snow clad line is found above 5300 mtrs. The biggest of them is Zemu, from whose snout above Lachen monastery rises the river Teesta. Teesta is the main river and its main tributaries are Zemu, Lachung, Rangyong, Dikchu, Rongli, Rangpo and Rangit which form the main channel of drainage from the north to the south. It boasts of the great mount Kanchendzonga as its crown. Ethically Sikkim has mainly three groups of people viz. Nepalis, Bhutias, Lepchas. The local language is Nepali. English is the official language. This jewel- like mountain state of ethereal beauty with an area of 7299 sq. kms , nestles in the heart of Himalayas. Cradled in the manifold splendors of nature deep within the snow clad Himalayas is Sikkim's capital Gangtok. Wrapped in mists and clouds, a garden state with an incredible variety of rhododendrons & a host of other flowers.
September 18 Earthquake was a warning to all those who erdregaisdd spiritual significance of Sikkim and ignored religious sanctity of lakes, rivers and mountains of Sikkim. In order to appease our Guardian deities and ensure September 18 like devastation would not recur in future, we should have wisdom to respect nature and clarity in mind to stop all upcoming hydro electric power projects in Sikkim.